Intimacies are the little secrets held back from your partner. Learning how to share intimate thoughts in a safe way with structure becomes the nutrients that will rebuild a healthy marriage.
The first step is to set up a framework that you and your partner recognize and honor. It starts with first preparing them by supporting them.
“I have something very intimate to share with you. You do not have to react or respond in any way. I just want to be listened too and heard by you. I will let you know when I am done and all I need to hear from you is, “Thank you”.”
The setup brings your partner into listening awareness and grounds them into being in the present moment with you. In order to hold this space, you need to understand that listening to your partner takes priority over the kids, pets, and cell phones. After setting up the full safeport speech a few times, just saying, “I have an intimacy to share.” will be enough to put your partner into the listening space.
You can also ask your partner, “do you have any intimacies to share with me?”
This lets them know that you are open to giving them your full attention. If your partner has trouble with giving you their full attention, then change locations, and you might want to add a physical, visible object that allows your partner to reference who is talking by holding the object and who is listening. Pass the object back and forth a few times to get good at changing between sharing and listening roles.
If it is still hard at first, another technique is to repeat back to your partner what you heard them say. Ask them if you got it or if you missed something. It is amazing at first how much is actually missed between what is said and what is heard. Couples that have not communicated at deep intimate level for a long time may need lots of practice before this becomes easy and second nature to them. This is a skill like any other that will get better with structured, consistent practice, and so its is not enough to do it once a month. This is a great practice to start daily with a goal of doing it once a day for 10 days.
Check in next week for How Do We Love Each Other’s Darkness?