The opportunity to cultivate a transformational partnership is not what people have traditionally expected from marriage. But as we evolve, so does this robust yet still somehow fragile institution.
Dr. Keith and Jeff begin this podcast with a brief history of marriage, from the days when it was concerned mainly with power, property and family lineage, up to the present where we can choose to experience a conscious, lifelong love affair, a practice that Dr. Keith refers to as “American Tantra”.
All relationships start in the “as long as” phase. Meaning, “I’ll stay with this person as long as…” some need or condition is met. But marriages based on such conditions can be unstable, and 50-60% of marriages end in divorce (though 80% of divorced people try again!).
As Dr. Keith points out, the true gifts of marriage, and the work, begin to show up when each partner commits to the next stage of intimate bonding: “I’ll do what it takes to stay with this person …” If you and your partner are both willing to do what it takes to get back to love, again and again, then your marriage becomes a path of transformation.
“You should be fulfilled in your marital love affair at least 80% of the time. If it’s less than that you have some work to do.” ~Dr. Keith Witt
Dr. Keith also describes how attachment styles that are formed very early in our lives — some more healthy than others — determine how we will respond to the conflict in a marriage. The good news is that we are evolving beings and a positive intimate relationship can shift our attachment style from insecure to secure.
Having worked with literally thousands of couples as a psychotherapist — and as part of a 40+ year marriage himself — Dr Keith has extensive knowledge on what it takes to practice a marital love affair. In this conversation he shares intimate insights on topics such as what questions to ask as you consider marriage, how to deal with conflict and infidelity, progressive bonding, passion and friendship, and above all, the challenge of supporting each other’s mutual development.
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