How many times have you seen this couple battle: the wife has pulled her husband into therapy because she is sick of an empty marriage. “He spends hours watching golf or football and I’m lucky to get two sentences out of him.” He retorts, “Every conversation leads to another litany about what I’ve done wrong. I’m sick of it. It’ll never be good enough for you.” And they continue around the merry-go-round.
Stan Tatkin, in his book for couples, Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship, writes, “The couple bubble is an agreement to put the relationship before anything and everything else. It means putting your partner’s well-being, self-esteem, and distress relief first. And it means your partner does the same for you. You both agree to do it for each other.”
This is very similar to what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” To build a couple bubble you must put your partner’s needs ahead of your job, your kids, your church, or your hobbies. To build the couple bubble we say to each other, “We are going to make our relationship a powerful source of safety, encouragement, support, and love.” When I focus on my partner’s feelings and needs and send the message, “I am here to care for you,” I not only meet my partner’s needs, but I also build a relationship that has powerful resources to meet my needs. It is like investing in Facebook in 2005 and receiving a 6000-times return on your investment. When you invest love into your partner you give a little and eventually will receive a lot; you’re building the couple bubble.