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.
The Six Steps of the Couples Conversation™️
Step 1: Notice if you’re in your Wounded Self or in your Loving Adult
Step 2: If you’re in your Wounded Self use a Bridge to shift into your Loving Adult
Step 3: As your Loving Adult, take personal responsibility for your role in the situation and move into an Intention to Learn with your partner
Step 4: Integrate the Loving Partner Behaviors into your conversation.
Step 5: Ask your partner for a Loving Action and also offer your partner a loving action
Step 6: Share an appreciation about your partner that relates to your conversation.
Inner Bonding Concepts
Wounded Self – The part of us that takes our partner’s behavior personally and tells ourselves things that aren’t true. These false beliefs cause us to feel angry, resentful, shame, anxious, depressed, jealous, defensive, critical and judgmental. Then we take our feelings out on our partner.
Loving Adult – The healthy mature part of us that acts appropriately in the world. We’re in our Loving Adult when we know what is in our highest good in any situation and then take the necessary steps to make that happen. Our Loving Adult only tells ourself the truth about our partner’s behavior and as a result we feel our natural feelings of sadness, helplessness, loneliness, joy and peace.
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 in our heart.
Personal Responsibility – When we accept that either we’re causing our feelings by what we’re thinking, doing or allowing or that we need to manage our feelings which are a natural response to our partner’s behavior.
Intention to Learn – When we’re truly wanting to know about 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.
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.