I ask you, what bonds a couple? Sex, laughter,… common interests. No. It is tears. Couples that cry together, stay together. It is this basic fact that I have learned over countless hours with suffering couples. Anger and revenge drive couples apart, shared tears bring couples back together.
Now, you might be thinking, I cry plenty in my relationship or marriage and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. True, many lonely people cry alone while suffering in a broken relationship. Lonely tears are wasted tears. Weeping alone is hopeless and depressing while sharing tears is cleansing and healing. Couples who feel comfortable sharing tears maintain a stronger bond through the inevitable periods of relationship distress.
An Exercise for You
I would like you to take a moment and think about the last time that you and your partner cried together. Go ahead, take a minute and think about a time when you have shared tears. If you can't think of a time, think about other people in your life that you have shared tears with. Are you more forgiving in those relationships? More patient? Less angry? How long does a good cry with somebody last before you start noticing the things that annoy you about them or start seeing what they don’t give you rather than what they do give you.
Good Relationships Start with Tears
Think about the tears that parents shed as they hold their crying newborns. They cry with them because they have shared an intense experience together. We have two human beings, parent and child, one big and one small, crying together from a shared experience. We all know that this happens. Why does it happen? And more importantly, what are the effects of these shared tears. Nature created emotion in humans to create and maintain social bonds. The newborn knows this and needs this first and foremost. Our most primitive bonding experience is literally "hugging while crying." The parallels between lovers and parents are both compelling and odd, from using the term baby, to the deep eye contact, to the focus on physical touch.
Let us now fast forward from your first crying bonding experience to your most recent...a committed relationship.
If it has been some time since you and your partner have held each other and had a good cry about the difficulties you have caused each other, come on in and we will try to move the barriers away from accomplishing this difficult but crucial goal.