This Meetup is for couples (homo- or hetero-sexual) at any stage of development, from first dating to married for “X” years who wish to establish a sustaining and sustainable consummate partnership--passionate, intimate, and committed. It is for those who desire an interdependent relationship of equals in power, understanding and independence; a relationship that is transparent where each partner has nothing to hide and feels understood and supported.
“We depend on our loved ones to support us emotionally and be a secure base as we venture into the world and learn and explore. The more we sense that we are effectively connected, the more autonomous and separate we can be. Adult romantic love is an attachment bond, just like the one between mother and child. Emotional dependency is not immature or pathological; it is our greatest strength” Sue Johnson, Love Sense.
"For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation." Rainer Marie Rilke
"We are always trying to be relieved of our incompleteness and to bridge the gulf between one human being and another. Are we not like those pieces of coins broken in half for keepsakes with each of us forever seeking our missing part? May we be among the happy few to whom it is given to meet our other halves and be made complete." Plato’s The Symposium
The online inventory, Prepare-Enrich, with over 30 years of existence and 4 million users will be offered to further each couples’ progress towards a “consummate” relationship where passion, intimacy and commitment are all equally balanced and engaged. Go here: http://www.prepare-enrich.com/couples
Jack’s Pairing Today website for relationship education (www.pairingtoday.com (http://www.pairingtoday.com/)) will be a resource for all couples with such books offered as: The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm; Seven Principles for Making Marriages Work by John Gottman; Love Sense by Sue Johnson; Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller; among many others.
One model for couples that will be explained and explored is the Attachment theory begun by John Bowlby on infants-mothers whose work has been carried forward for couples today by Sue Johnson who created "Emotional Focused Therapy" for couples. Bowlby and his colleague Mary Ainsworth found that infants subjected to the "Strange Situation" where the mother left the baby alone with a stranger or by itself for a few minutes and then returned. The babies tended to react in three different ways to the absence of their mother and her return. Most were upset when the mother left to varying degrees but some were not. Many were calmed by the mother when she returned but some were not and some did not respond much to her coming back as they had not responded to her leaving. Out of the observed behaviour, three “attachment styles” were identified:
1. Secure: distressed upon mother leaving, accepted stranger, easily comforted on mother’s return.
2. Insecure Avoidant: not distressed by mother leaving or stranger’s presence, not greeting mother upon her return.
3. Insecure Anxious/Ambivalent: highly distressed upon mother leaving, not accepting of stranger, not comforted upon mother’s return—clings or strikes.
Longitudinal studies show that how infants responded in the Strange Situation carried through into their adulthood with romantic relationships. These three “Attachment Styles”: Secure, Avoidant, Anxious will apply to YOU in how you respond to your current and past partners.
Here is a quote from Attached:
“Attachment theory designates three main “attachment styles,” or manners in which people perceive and respond to intimacy in romantic relationships, which parallel those found in children: Secure, Anxious, and Avoidant. Basically, secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving; anxious people crave intimacy, are often preoccupied with their relationships, and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back; avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness. In addition, people with each of these attachment styles differ in:
• their view of intimacy and togetherness
• the way they deal with conflict
• their attitude toward sex
• their ability to communicate their wishes and needs
• their expectations from their partner and the relationship
All people in our society, whether they have just started dating someone or have been married for forty years, fall into one of these categories, or, more rarely, into a combination of the latter two (anxious and avoidant). Just over 50 percent are secure, around 20 percent are anxious, 25 percent are avoidant, and the remaining 3 to 5 percent fall into a fourth, less common disorganized category.”
Here is a Youtube video on the book:
Attached - The Science of Attachment - Anxious and Avoidant Loving
We will use the Attachment Styles model to help you understand your partnership challenges and make your intimate relationships better.
Jack Carney, the Meetup creator and manager, has 20 years personal and professional experience at working with couples including Relationships Australia and starting his own introduction agency, Partners for Life up in Brisbane, Australia in 1997 where he appeared on TV as a relationship consultant.
Here are my Partner for Life videos from Australia TV in 1997: