Hug to Diffuse

It’s happening again. Suddenly we find ourselves in that all too familiar territory:  we’re gridlocked in an argument about goodness-knows-what and it’s starting to turn nasty. Our spirits deflate and we both want it to be different but backing down seems harder than it should be.

At times like this, couples need a circuit breaker; a fail-safe practice that will short-circuit the argument and reset their relationship before it escalates to shouting and serious offense. The Connect Hug is simple, effective and easy.  Couples simply hold each other close and breathe. Before long, the physical proximity melts the ice between us. With each deep breath, the tension dissipates and with it, our will to sustain the argument.

When couples ask us how long they should Connect Hug, our answer is simply: until you both feel your bodies relax and the emotional openness restored. Surprisingly, this doesn’t take as long as one might think, usually only a minute or so.

All it takes is for one of us to make the request: “Can I have a hug?” Even when it starts reluctantly or awkwardly, the magic of the Connect Hug works because the couple are sincere about their relationship and committed to their unity. Often, the argument becomes irrelevant afterwards, or if they do re-approach the discussion, they do so with calm and efficiency.

So when the tension is high, hug to diffuse!

2015-01-15T15:06:16+00:00

About the Author:

Francine & Byron Pirola
Francine & Byron Pirola are the founders and principal authors of the SmartLoving series. They are passionate about living Catholic marriage to the full and helping couples reach their marital potential. They have been married since 1988 and have five children. Their articles may be reproduced for non commercial purposes with appropriate acknowledgement and back links.

2 Comments

  1. Cindy August 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    It is so true that our sensitivity mostly arises from our childhood frustrations, whether you remember it or not. It is good to know that we can rely on God to love us and heal us in this kind of situation.

  2. sarann August 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    The amygdala is in the primitive part of the brain and concerned with survival. It works by comparing incoming information with emotional memories. Love this portion of the article so applicable not only with your spouse but parents and in-laws… it’s nice to know that when we are being slightly irrational that we can blame some chemical process.. haha

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