5 things most people don’t know about emotional connection in marriage

Emotional Connection In Marriage

We know emotional connection is important in marriage, but why?

Here are five powerful benefits of emotional connection with your partner that you may not know.

1. Emotional connection is the key to problem solving

When couples fight, it’s usually not about what they are fighting about. Couples fight because they feel emotionally disconnected and don’t like it.

And when couples feel that disconnection, they will pick the first thing in sight to blame for the anxiety they feel.

He: “If you would just park the car on your side of the driveway I wouldn’t have to worry about hitting it every time I back out of the garage!”

She: “Well if you would fix my side of the driveway, I wouldn’t have to step in the mud every time I get out of my car!”

Even if she parks on her side every time for the rest of her life, and even if he fixes the driveway today, it won’t solve the problem.

Why? Because the problem is not the problem.

The problem is the feeling of being emotionally disconnected.

When a feeling of disconnection occurs, anxiety is triggered, defenses go into effect, and our adrenal gland pumps cortisol into our system. Feeling stressed, we then blame the problem on the first thing that becomes apparent in that moment.

“It’s the way you put the dishes in the dishwasher!”

“It’s your mother! You care more about her than you do me!”

“It’s your job! I feel like you’d rather be at work than at home with me!”

“It’s…” you name it! Every disgruntled partner has something they think is the problem!

But THAT PROBLEM IS NEVER THE PROBLEM!

The problem is not feeling connected.

Nagging, criticizing, cajoling, or giving the silent treatment might get you what you’re asking for…

…but it will never get you what you want – the restored feeling of connection with your partner that you’re really longing for.

2. Emotional connection produces feelings of full-aliveness.

If you repair the rupture and feel connected again, defenses come down, the happy chemicals start flowing. There’s nothing more pleasurable than the rush of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin into your system!

This results in feelings of safety, connection, passion, and full aliveness .

When you feel connected again all the “problems” you’re struggling to solve simply dissolve.

“Chuck that sounds like a fairy tale!”

No it’s true! When you feel connected things just aren’t such a big deal.

Like the way your partner puts the dishes in the dishwasher, the love he has for his mother, or her commitment to her job. These are just the things we complain about when we feel disconnected.

With a close emotional connection, these things simply dissolve, as overwhelming feelings of well-being flood you and your partner and the space between you.

3. Emotional connection lowers your stress level

When criticism is replaced with appreciation, and frustrations are translated into positive requests for things that make us feel loved, anxiety abates, defenses come down, safety is achieved, and relaxed joyfulness is experienced.

That’s when you’ll notice a whole lot less stress even when your life is otherwise very stressful.

Everytime you give your partner a hug, your pituitary gland releases oxytocin which lowers your heart rate and lowers cortisol levels.

Why is this important?

Cortisol is a hormone largely responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

It’s a fact that partners who regulate stress with regular physical embracing and ongoing physical intimacy have fewer life-threatening diseases.

There is no better stress remedy than a close connection, and regular hugs, and other physical contact with your intimate partner.

To come home after a hard day to a warm embrace has more value than you might think.

Have you ever wondered how world leaders handle all the stress when they feel the weight of the world on their shoulders?

Relationship Coach, Bruce Muzik, gives a firsthand account of how Sir Richard Branson asked Jean Oelwang, the CEO of Branson’s not-for profit organization, Virgin Unite, to observe The Elders while they were together on Branson’s Carribean island. (The Elders are some of the greatest peacemakers of our time including Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter among others.)

Branson asked Oelwang to discover the one thing all these leaders had in common.

Can you guess what she discovered?

The one thing all these world leaders had in common was an extraordinary relationship with their marriage partner!

This was the only thing she could find that they all had in common.

It was feeling the love and support of an intimate partner, being able to regulate cortisol by intimate physical contact, the confidence that comes from feeling fully and unconditionally loved by someone who accepts you just as you are.

This is one of the keys to these world leaders’ success and sustainability!

Intimacy with your marriage partner can reduce stress better than anything you can do on your own, such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness, or you name it.

But wait…there’s more!

4. Emotional connection results in more and better sex

When a relationship is predictably stable and safe, more and better sex is usually the result.

Aside from the health benefits of a regular sex life, there is the fun, and feelings of full aliveness that come with complete vulnerability, safety, and intimacy that only couples can enjoy.

“Ok Chuck, you had me at ‘more and better sex!’”

5. Emotional connection unleashes your creativity

So, what is it about an intimate partnership that brings out the best in men and women?

There is no greater uplifting feeling than to have someone who loves you unconditionally. Someone who is there for you when things are at their worse. Someone who can look you in the eye, and remind you of who you are when you are doubting yourself.

When you’re emotionally connected you HAVE EVERYTHING. You DON’T NEED THE OTHER STUFF.

Not from your job, or from success, or from a bigger bank account, or from anything.

It’s only when we feel emotionally disconnected that we look to all those other things for our significance and fulfillment. And it never really lasts.

A stable, secure, and deep emotional connection is the key to not only succeeding but also finishing well in this life.

Sandy is always there reminding me to never give up!

Retirement, what’s that? We’re having too much fun together doing our part to make the world a better place to even think of retiring!

But if I didn’t have Sandy I would have given up long ago. I certainly would not be where I am today.

I believe what Jean Oelwang discovered.

The passion, the joyful relaxation, and the full-aliveness that overflow from your marriage into your life work is the number one key to having the greatest impact and  influence you can possibly have.

I feel I can conquer the world with Sandy by my side.

And when I fail, it simply doesn’t matter. Because I already have what my heart really longs for – a deep connection with her.

This makes me bolder and more willing to take risks than I would otherwise. I’m constantly inspired to go further! Why not? There’s nothing to lose!

It’s like Chloe Kim, the 17 yr. old snowboarder who won olympic gold in Pyeongchang 2018.

Chloe Kim back to back 1080s

She she scored enough on her first run to win the gold medal.

Since she had already secured the gold, she realized there was no way she could fail on her last run.

So she pulled out all the stops, and went for the record books. As a result she got an almost perfect score, nailing back to back 1080s, in other words, three full mid-air revolutions!

I want my “last run” in life to be like that!

How about you?

Here’s to a deeper emotional connection with your partner.

Work on that first…and then launch that blog, write that book, create that new program, start that business!

Access your dreams and unleash your creativity!

Let me know if I can help. I have a six-week couples coaching program that can help you get connected.

Please leave your questions and comments below!

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Author: Chuck

Chuck Starnes is a relationship coach who is passionate about helping couples find the safety, connection, passion and full-aliveness they are looking for together. He also helps organizations become more productive by improving relationship skills.

4 thoughts on “5 things most people don’t know about emotional connection in marriage”

  1. Yay Chuck. Happy St Paddy’s Day. ☘️ Here’s to great last runs for us all. 🍻
    Thanks to your coaching tools I believe that my marriages next run will be the best one yet. 🤗
    Warmest Thanks.

  2. Thank you Chuck. It’s so easy for couples with their hectic lives to drift apart and then wonder where the “magic” went. You’ve helped Maggie and I reconnect and in doing so rediscover why we fell in love in the first place.

    1. Yes, it is very easy in our hectic lives to drift apart and lose that magic! So glad to hear how you and Maggie have gone deeper in your connection and rediscovering why you fell in love! Thanks for being such a great example in your demonstration of the skills in our workshop

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