More than ever, we need to be intimate with each other; tender, caring, and communicative.
During the last few weeks, every person I saw in the Bay Area was clearly impacted in some way by the changes in our political climate. As a couples therapist, I witness the impact of this on people’s intimate relationships. Those who are feeling fear, grief, and anger about the political situation need to turn to their partners for support and care. But, for many couples, this is not easy.
None of us are impacted in exactly the same way by the election results. For those who are upset by the election results, all of the the differences in gender, sexuality, race, socio-economic, and immigrant status between us are now highlighted and some feel more vulnerable that others. For those who feel that their rights may be taken away in the coming government, it can be hard to see a partner as an ally if they are experiencing it less personally.
People in every couple tend to have different emotional styles. One partner may feel overwhelmed by the news and want to curl up in a ball with their cat. Another might be poring over every news article. One might want to be alone and another may be trying to gather with like-minded people and strategize. Some people’s nervous systems become hypo-active under stress and they can appear numb or withdrawn. Others can become hyper-active and express strong emotional reactions. It can be hard for two people who are experiencing opposite emotional reactions to feel connected and empathic to the differences.
However, more than ever, this connection is our medicine. More than ever, we need to be intimate with each other; tender, caring, and communicative. More than ever, we cannot face the challenges around us alone. More than ever, we need quality time with our loved ones, and simple things like physical affection, cooking meals, and taking walks.
If you are struggling with the impact of political changes on your relationship, try some of these ideas.
Raia has been working with individuals and couples for 8 years and has completed several advanced trainings in couples therapy, attachment theory, neuroscience, somatics, trauma, and sexuality. She enjoys blending the art and science of psychotherapy, studying evidence-based approaches, and also honoring the deep mystery of the human heart and mind. Her work is informed by two decades of personal practice of yoga and meditation as well as many years of teaching. Raia is experienced in working with diverse couples including LQBTQI, monogamous, and polyamorous couples. Read More