The Couples Conversation™️ comes from my 24 years of learning, practicing and teaching a psychospiritual process called Inner BondingⓇ and adapting the Six Step Inner BondingⓇ process and its concepts to couples work. The Couples Conversation™️ changes the way you and your partner talk to each other. By embracing six specific behaviors when you talk with your partner you can transform your relationship.
The six Loving Partner Behaviors are:
1. Opening to learning
2. Taking personal responsibility
3. Defining your own self-worth internally
4. Setting loving boundaries
5. Taking loving actions
6. Validating your partner
By learning and practicing these six behaviors, you’ll replace arguing, blaming, criticizing, withdrawing, caretaking and controlling with understanding, compassion, gratitude, acceptance, respect, caring and empathy.
Inner Bonding® Concepts
Wounded Self – This is a very young part of us that believes we can control others to get them to love and approve of us and to feel safe. The false beliefs of our Wounded Self may have helped us survive childhood but today are causing us to feel angry, resentful, shame, anxious, depressed, jealous, defensive, critical and judgmental. When our Wounded Self is in control, we withdraw, try to control and manipulate our partner. We take our partner’s behavior personally.
Loving Adult – This is the mature part of us that acts responsibly. When we’re in our Loving Adult, we know what is in our highest good in any situation and then take loving actions that make us feel peaceful, joyful and higher self-worth. Our Loving Adult only tells our self truth and is able to manage natural feelings of sadness, helplessness, loneliness, joy and peace. When our Loving Adult is in charge, we don’t take responsibility for our partner’s feeling and behavior and we are loving, supportive, caring, nurturing, comforting, positive and hopeful.
Protections – These are the different ways you avoid your core feelings of loneliness, helplessness and heartbreak. These are your Wounded Self’s strategies to distract yourself from having these three core feelings. Anything can be a protection if your intention is to avoid your core feelings. Eating, sleeping, working, watching TV or spending time with friends are protections when your intention is to avoid and distract yourself from your feelings.
Intention to Learn – When we’re truly wanting to know the good reasons for our thoughts, actions and feelings and for our partner’s behavior. When we’re in the Intention to Learn, we hear everything as information rather than as an attack.
Bridge – A way to shift from our Wounded Self into our Loving Adult. Bridges can include taking a walk in nature, reading a meaningful passage, going to the gym, doing deep breathing, yoga, playing an instrument or listening to music. Bridges help us move from being closed and in our head to being open and in our heart.
Personal Responsibility – When we accept that we’re either causing our feelings by what we’re thinking, doing or allowing or we need to learn how to manage our feelings of helplessness, loneliness and heartbreak.
Loving Boundary – Something we do or say to take loving care of ourself rather than trying to control our partner by telling our partner what to do or not to do. When we set loving boundaries, we use ‘I’ statements keeping the focus on what we need to do to take care of our self rather than telling our partner what they need to change.