Stop everything and get this book: Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin.
Why do I love this book?
This is the first book I've read that provides a neurological basis for the Conscious Partnership, or the union of two people committed to the needs of the relationship rather than the needs of the self.
Some of my favorite take-aways thus far:
Your marriage is not about you. It's about the relationship. Tatkin states that marriage is not about satisfying your personal needs or healing your personal wounds. It is about honoring the relationship itself. When a couple commits to the good of the relationship above all else, they create the security they need for deeper healing to occur.
The longing for a safe zone is why we pair up. Tatkin uses the term, the "couple bubble," to describe the compassionate space of love and acceptance that couples create for each other. The purpose of the couple bubble is to help each partner relax and feel wanted, protected, and cared for. When couples create a loving emotional environment for their relationship, they develop new neural pathways to replace the old toxic pathways filled with the debris of childhood sufferings.
"You have to love yourself before anyone can love you" is a myth. This statement is commonly expressed in self-help lit, but Tatkin reveals its fallacy. Babies don't come into this world already self-loving or self-hating. They learn to love themselves because they experience being loved by someone else. Our self-worth and self-esteem are co-developed with other people.
There is so much in this brief but powerful book and I'll share more as I dig into it further.
Lastly, I am so excited because tomorrow I'll be attending the annual Couples Conference, where Tatkin will deliver a keynote session. Other "heavy hitters" in relationship science, including Helen Fisher (author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray) and Ester Perel (author of Mating in Captivity), will also present their latest insights for couples.
It's a total geekfest for those who love to help those who love - and I can't wait to be there! More to come!