My Second Time Around

I never thought I would see the day. Getting married for the second time was not something I planned. Much less to a man with three (almost adult) sons. And yet, I am walking on air.

Divorce statistics are sobering. 55% of first marriages and 67% of second marriages end in divorce. The top reason cited: lack of communication. Another truly relevant reason is a difference in priorities. Looking at these, one wonders how to effectively keep the niggles at bay, especially if given a second chance at love.

As a sensory coach, I am an advocate for the essential and influential link between the sensory and emotion. Recently researchers have discovered new cells in the amygdala, a small structure in the emotional brain, connecting a sensory stimulus with an emotional response. We are all aware of this, think about the emotions triggered when listening to your favourite piece of music, or taking a refreshing swim, or jumping on a trampoline.

Another meaningful connection is between the senses and the brain’s motivation center. Each time yourself or your partner engage in enjoyable and healthy sensory activities, the brain’s motivation center fires, leaving us feeling connected, energized, present and motivated.

This is all too relevant once we touch on the issue of priorities and communication in a relationship. You do not want to keep your partner from the activities which lights up their whole being. The emotional and motivational drive is something you cannot compete with, in any case.

I and my brand-new husband, are at the opposite sides of the sensory spectrum. He is the highest of the high sensory seekers, and I am the lowest of the low sensory sensitive. Potentially a relationship rife with conflict. But we had our sensory profiles assessed to gain knowledge, awareness and understanding, for effective negotiations, communication, and prioritizing.

We kept our wedding ceremony private and exclusive; it was just the five of us under the milkwood trees. For a sensory sensitive like myself, it was sacred and quickly processed. The reception, however, is going to be a complete and utter sensory storm – think gin bar, cigar bar, champagne bar, dancing, live music, and droves of family and friends. For my husband, his ultimate perfect day ever.

Before planning your next break or weekend away, before moving in together or getting married, and especially if you are an established couple, have your sensory profiles assessed. Compare, discuss, negotiate, embrace, giggle, accept. Make your sensory selves’ part of the relationship, an alley and not an enemy. If you do not, you will end up living separate lives.

Do not assume that you know your partner’s sensory profile. It is not fair to guess! Get the scientific scores behind you to negotiate and communicate effectively.

Refrain from saying: “I know you”. Rather be the thought to be non-existent black swan in your relationship saying: “I do not know your sensory profile, and why you do the things you do. But I would love to know.” It is a powerful tool to have in your toolbox, whether it is your first, second or tenth chance at love.

You can contact me on ida@brainsense.co.za to take your online sensory profile questionnaire with feedback session. When you do this as a couple, it is a precious and lasting gift.

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