Bids for Emotional Connection in Couples Therapy by Dr. Dan Wile, PhD,

Intro by Gary Krane

The following brilliant essay is by Dr. Dan Wile, a therapist  whom the eminent Dr. John Gottman calls, “a genius and the greatest living marital therapist [in America].” The essay is a highly sophisticated analysis of what Gottman calls “Bids,” or what we at know as actions that meet our need and our partner’s need for “connection and concern.”  This is one of the 8 needs most predictive of long lasting committed relationships and part of couplewise’s “Clarify Your Needs” process.

If the need is not met, the feeling is likely to be one of loneliness.  If readers identify with the loneliness or lack of connection discussed in this essay, we suggest using‘s new Make Agreements tool.   Start by agreeing to talk to your mate about the lack of “bids” in your relationship; it could be a great first step to restoring connection and intimacy.  Then to agree to begin making bids a regular part of your life together.

For an excellent complement to this article, we also recommend you read last week’s blog, “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage.”

—Gary Krane PhD, CEO/Co-Founder,

Bids for Emotional Connection in Couples Therapy

Courtesy of Dan Wile, PhD,

John Gottman’s concept, “bids for emotional connection,” is practically a complete theory of relationships in itself. Hearing the word “bids,” we picture partners reaching out to each other in a variety of ways. Gary Chapman, in his book, The Five Love Languages, lists five such ways: words of affirmation (“That situation was delicate and you really handled it beautifully”), touch (“How about a hug?”), quality time (“Let’s get a babysitter and make a reservation at Chez Alouette”), gifts (“This scarf was so gorgeous, it had your name on it”), and acts of service (“Why don’t you take a nap while I do the cleaning up?”).

Partners make bids to create, increase, maintain, and re-establish connection. Arriving home at the end of a day, we ask: “How was work today?” Noticing that our partner is preoccupied, we say, “What are you thinking?” Sensing something amiss, we send out a probe: “Are you upset with me about something?”
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What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage – by Amy Sutherland, New York Times

What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

New York Times

As I wash dishes at the kitchen sink, my husband paces behind me, irritated. “Have you seen my keys?” he snarls, then huffs out a loud sigh and stomps from the room with our dog, Dixie, at his heels, anxious over her favorite human’s upset.

In the past I would have been right behind Dixie. I would have turned off the faucet and joined the hunt while trying to soothe my husband with bromides like, “Don’t worry, they’ll turn up.” But that only made him angrier, and a simple case of missing keys soon would become a full-blown angst-ridden drama starring the two of us and our poor nervous dog.

Amy Sutherland is the author of “Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers” (Viking, June 2006). She lives in Boston and in Portland, Me.

“Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do’” by Jason DeParle, New York Times

Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do’


ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Jessica Schairer has so much in common with her boss, Chris Faulkner, that a visitor to the day care center they run might get them confused.

They are both friendly white women from modest Midwestern backgrounds who left for college with conventional hopes of marriage, motherhood and career. They both have children in elementary school. They pass their days in similar ways: juggling toddlers, coaching teachers and swapping small secrets that mark them as friends. They even got tattoos together. Though Ms. Faulkner, as the boss, earns more money, the difference is a gap, not a chasm.

But a friendship that evokes parity by day becomes a study of inequality at night…

Read more…

Great vacation ideas for couples

Great vacation ideas for couples. Top10 Summer Vacations

REPORT: “What Works in Marriage and Relationship Education?”

If anyone still has doubts that short-term, inexpensive, skill-building, educational interventions can be powerfully effective in improving and even saving marriages, we at believe you will find this read a powerful inspiration.

Give it read and post a comment or two. Start by clicking the image below.

Don’t forget to come back and comment.

Research report provided by the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. Written by Alan J. Hawkins, PhD. and Theodora Ooms, MSW.