Chris WrightChris Wright is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. He sees clients in the Washington, D.C. area and has telephone clients from all over the world. He also has over 35 years of experience as a trainer and workshop leader in human and organizational development across the U.S. and Canada. Chris was founder and director of the Human Relations Institute in Houston, Texas. He was also the Director of PAIRS International -- training psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists in couple’s skills programs. As an innovator in the field, he has developed a unique blend of tools that increase the effectiveness in relationships -- for couples and in the workplace. He has Masters Degrees from the University of Arizona and Antioch University in Los Angeles.
Host: Why can there be so much conflict and tension in a relationship when a couple is really in love?
Chris Wright: Here is the thing, when our needs are met, it nourishes us in some way, it makes us feel whole. We are getting an experience of something outside of ourselves that replicates something that we are missing deep inside. So it fills us in a way that feels wonderful and makes up indeed feel whole, it s a very fulfilling experience. But when those needs are not met or when they are disregarded, the exact opposite happens. We start to contract inside; it starts filling this with agitation, maybe hurts our feelings or we get anxious. This is the source of the conflicts in the relationship and in that moment, we could lose touch with our sense of being in love with the person, maybe we are so angry or hurt in that moment. But it s true that this is really a natural part of being in a relationship, we all have these areas of insecurity, of emptiness inside.
So from time to time in life, as it stretches us, those areas are going to get triggered and up comes those feelings inside. If we have the tools, if we have the frameworks, so that we always work through it in a hard felt way, then it s fine and then we stay ahead of it. If we do not have these frameworks, if we do not have those tools, then there is no emotional safety and the whole thing over time can start driving us apart.