Research

Deciphering The Language of Love

Based on attachment research beginning with John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth in the 1960’s to current research looking at the neuroscience of attachment, it is understood that the love we feel from another person has a profound effect on our physical and emotional health. In fact, MRI studies have found that partners can tolerate pain better when they are holding the hand or even imagining a loved one! Dr. Sue Johnson explains the three attachment styles: secure, insecure-anxious, and insecure-avoidant. While these styles often begin in childhood, they can also be created within an adult romantic relationship. The most common problem that couples face is emotional disconnection. Thus, when a couple is not attuned to one another, they can be insecurely attached, causing partners to behave in ways that are often primal (i.e. fight, flight, or freeze). Emotion focused couples therapy, developed by Dr. Johnson and based on the research on attachment, has been shown to effectively change couples’ attachment styles and brings them from disconnection into a more securely attached and connected relationship.

Sue Johnson

Deciphering The Language of Love

Love, Factually: Gerontologist Finds the Formula to a Happy Marriage

Cornell gerontologist Karl Pillemer asked 400 married American seniors to give their advice on love and relationships. Learning to communicate and working as a team were important to sustaining their 30 plus years of marriage. These couples said they treated marriage as an unbreakable, lifelong commitment. When choosing a partner, these couples advised getting to know your partner very well before getting married and choosing someone with the same core values. Sometimes we can be quick to end a relationship when passion fades or tensions arise, and sometimes that’s a good call. However, as these senior couples know, there is hope and the possibility in times of conflict and disconnection.

Cornell University

Love, Factually: Gerontologist Finds the Formula to a Happy Marriage