Coming Home Exercise
Often it’s small and simple things that are done consistently that make a big difference. Today I want to talk about hugs. Specifically as a way to reconnect after you've been apart. And I don't mean a long business trip, I mean, any time you see each other after a period of being alone.
This exercise is the simplest thing you can do for each other and it feels absolutely wonderful. And yet, it’s not always easy.
It’s a hug. An embrace. A chance to reconnect when you come home. Body to body, belly to belly, nervous system to nervous system. A simplest ritual of connection.
You’d be surprised how many couples don’t hug or touch when they come home. Especially in long term relationships, especially after having kids. We get busy, we forget, we get distracted, and soon enough - it becomes strange and awkward, so we stop.
This is a video by Stan Tatkin, PhD, who is one of the most well known teachers in the field of relationships. The video is for therapists, but I think everyone can get a lot out of it.
I’m going to make a commitment. For the next two weeks I’m going to hug Rick like this every single day after he comes home from work or from doing errands. Our dog Bailey usually wants to join us - and the truth to be told, often we pay more attention to him when we come home than to each other.
Bailey is so playful and loving and so eager and so excited when we come home, it’s impossible to ignore him.
So maybe I’ll upgrade my commitment, maybe I can learn from Bailey and match his energy when Rick comes home. What if I showed just as much joy and happiness, just because he comes home, just because I missed him?
I invite you to join me in this challenge. If you want a double challenge, combine it with a 7 second kiss exercise (coming up soon).
People are often worried that they are going to get a lot of homework in Couples Counselling - and I think I give the best homework ever.
Have fun practicing!
P.S. Here are a couple of books by Stan Tatkin, that are worth reading to understand your attachment styles, to improve your relationships and to get closer to each other.
Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship
We Do: Saying Yes to a Relationship of Depth, True Connection, and Enduring Love