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Apr 16, 2024

Loneliness and disconnection in relationships can often stem from unmet needs for emotional connection. When one partner reaches out for support, validation, or understanding, and their bids go unnoticed or ignored, it can lead to feelings of isolation and alienation. This lack of responsiveness can create a sense of being unheard or unseen, deepening the emotional distance between partners. Over time, repeated instances of unmet bids can erode trust and intimacy, leaving individuals feeling unfulfilled and disconnected in their relationship.

In this episode, Laura Heck and Dr. Jessica Higgins delve into the importance of turning towards your partner in a relationship to address feelings of loneliness and disconnection. By understanding the bidding system in relationships and learning to respond with empathy and curiosity, individuals can build stronger connections with their partners. This episode emphasizes the significance of acknowledging past traumas, developing new skills, and fostering grace and understanding to overcome emotional barriers and create a more fulfilling and intimate partnership.

Laura Heck is a licensed marriage and family therapist, Certified Gottman Therapist, co-host of Marriage Therapy Radio, and host of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work workshop for couples. She speaks and trains for The Gottman Institute and is a regular media expert on the topic of intimate relationships.

Check out the transcript of this episode on Dr. Jessica Higgin's website.

In this episode

05:30 Laura Heck's journey into relationship support.

11:22 Understanding bids for connection in relationships.

16:27 Importance of positive to negative ratios in relationships.

21:23 Exploring bids and responses in relationship dynamics.

26:03 Understanding shutting down in relationships.

31:37 Responding to criticism and harsh startups.

33:18 Repairing miscommunications and misunderstandings.

42:32 Building compassion and empathy in relationships.

45:16 Addressing trust and misunderstandings in relationships.


The Gottman Institute

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert (*Amazon affiliate link) (book)

Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication

Connect with Laura Heck





Podcast: (Apple Podcast)

Connect with Dr. Jessica Higgins






Twitter: @DrJessHiggins 



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