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Emotional Virus

What is one of the most, if not the most important aspect of your life? What is it that if you have this day in and day out you will be more likely to live longer, stay healthy, and feel satisfied with life? It is a successful marriage. Research study after study supports that married people live longer, get sick less often, have more economic resources, and feel more satisfied with life. This does not mean that single people are left out of the party. It is apparent that single individuals who have a significant community of intimate relationships where they are known, loved, and supported fare very well. It is social, emotional separation and isolation that is so destructive to our well being; and we can experience this even if we are married.

We are designed for relationships, and just like a virus on a computer, a bad relationship makes our system run poorly. What constitutes a bad relationship? The virus in our significant relationships is lack of emotional connection. According to Attachment theory, we were designed with a biological, emotional, and behavioral attachment system; included in that design is an emotional thermostat that monitors and attempts to correct the virus of emotional disconnection, just like virus detection software on our computers.

What is the most disrupting influence on how your day goes? When you are experiencing difficulties in your married or family life that set off your emotional thermostat how well do you concentrate and perform that day? Are you not distracted by intrusive thoughts and feelings that pull at you like a boat pulling a water tube? If you have ever been or seen "tubing" you know what I mean. The motorboat pulls and jerks and flips you around. You are hanging on for dear life trying not to let the boat operator toss you off. When there is emotional disconnection from your intimate partner who you look to for comfort, support, understanding, acceptance and appreciation, it causes an emotional "water tubing" effect of separation and isolation.

Most of us will do most anything to get off the emotional "water tube" and reconnect. We instinctively know that we perform better when we are connected so we work to restore the disconnection to our mate or significant other. Try paying attention to your emotional thermostat and how it affects you when you feel threatened in your significant relationships. When you feel disconnected and separated from them, notice how this affects you. You will become more aware of how important such relationships are and how much we need each other to live as we are designed to live.

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