Research shows that romance is a powerful and an important ingredient in one's life. In fact, brain scans show that men are activated by romance as strongly as women, indicating that romance applies to BOTH sexes. Surprised? If you are, it's because when it comes to romance, society views women as addicts and men as immune.
You and your partner get into a spectacular fight. And let us guess... it's his fault. Or hers. Definitely not yours. It's never really our fault. Even if we apologize, we may still think our partner provoked us to act that way. If only he listened better. If only she stayed out of it. As couples therapists we see this often.
Like most couples, we have certain labels we've come to own over time. I, for example, am the visionary, the queen of creative chaos. I bring fire, optimism and 10 ideas a minute to each conversation. Meanwhile, Pat is producer, the king of structure. He is organized, dependable, a genius at follow through.
We rely on the expression around the eyes with our partners to connect. It tells us if they are feeling safe or happy or worried or threatened. Without this cue we don't know how to respond. We see this in children with autism who have flat muscle tone around the eyes; not only are we unable to understand their social engagement cues, but they are not able to understand ours either.
Ellie has a habit of expecting the worst of others, so when she felt that her husband was keeping things from her, it was easy for me to think that she was imagining things. It turns out that Ellie was right. After months of having been labeled as "crazy" and "paranoid" she was finally, albeit sadly, vindicated.