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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:46 pm 
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Patty,


Quote:
a process of rapport building that enables parties to confidently disclose previously hidden thoughts and feelings. Intimate conversations become the basis for 'confidences' (secret knowledge) that bind people together. Developing an intimate relationship typically takes a considerable amount of time


If you look at this first quote it is explaining how intimacy is a process, in this case referring to the beginning of the process that leads to intimacy. One of the ways we are trying to look at this as in going back to the beginning of engaging in intimacy that builds trust. And yes they are interchangeable trust builds intimacy, intimacy builds trust. But our focus in this thread is the beginning stages where the intimacy is what builds the trust. Hopefully as we explore this more we will all gain some insight from our discussion.

Quote:
sitting in the same room, either reading, watching television etc actually creates intimacy. It is the fact that you are in each others presence that has the intimacy be created. Sitting down to a meal together creates intimacy. Sharing a bed creates intimacy. There are many ways that you bond with people that requires little forced effort~you just have to be willing to be in each others presence!


Although imo I wouldn't exactly call this proactive, it is one of those Amen truths! :w:


Bj,

An excellent example of an exercise in rebuilding intimacy by a specific communication that is "safe" for both. (baby step)

Quote:
Sharing the answers to these questions gave us an opportunity to talk about our feelings, without any contention or potential for arguments. It helped to create a greater awareness of the different messages we had each brought with us to our marriage.




Anyone want to volunteer to keep track of what we come up with here so that it can be a part of the tool kit that we will hopefully be putting together as a help aide for partners? (someone who is not in the early stages so as not to distract).


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 Post subject: Intimacy How To's
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:03 pm 
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Early in our relationship counseling, our counselor suggested that we find child like things to do together to find intimacy- she also encouraged sex.

Well, even though I only saw the tip of the iceberg then, our relationship made some headway in our going for walks through the autumn leaves and recalling childhood memories of how we both loved to play in the leaves as kids. We had a destination walk that took us about 30 minutes one way and then we stopped for coffee and walked back home.

When we had an early wet snow, we wanted to build a snow fort together but didn't get around to it. We are both creative and that kind of thing appeals to each of us.

We do recall our early marriage memories, talk about old times that were good. We do hug and snuggle. All this helps to feel a little more normal even tho we each struggle with our own pain because of his SA.

He, too, has a childhood where emotions were not allowed - his survival techniques have probably always involved sneaking around and lying - he's very good at it, and I think that a big part of his addictiion is running con - the sneaking around. Very scarey to me.

We try to do nightly diad talks which is topic based (3 topics on a piece of paper).We draw the paper randomly and take turns talking/listening for a 3 minute period per topic. There is no question and answer time - just listening and talking. We each do each topic. And we sit knee to knee in dining room chairs looking directing each others eyes. In fact, we do a 2 minutes stare without talking before we even begin.

If one of us misses the boat completely in terms of the topic, we can call attention to that - but no big discussio. We accept that we misunderstood the topic or, in come cases, were deflecting it.

Some tiopics are harder than others and deal with feelings, emotions, values - but it's all open ended - there are no right or wrong ways to do this. At the end - after we've done each topic, we stand and hug for 2 minutes. Yes, we do use a timer.

It is a safe way to communicate - and sometimes it opens the door to further discussion later.

NJ


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:17 am 
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such wisdom here on this forum. not feeling particularly wise today, but i do have a question. some of you have spoken of ways to build good honest communication which leads to trust which leads to emotional intimacy. i'd personally like to hear more of those practical day to day strategies. i think many of our sa/pa partners have built such strong self protecting walls that they are incapable of this, at least early on. so, once again, it falls on us to come up with ways to get the communication started. (assuming we are still trying to salvage our relationship). i'm at a loss for ideas here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:35 pm 
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Quote:
We try to do nightly diad talks which is topic based (3 topics on a piece of paper).We draw the paper randomly and take turns talking/listening for a 3 minute period per topic. There is no question and answer time - just listening and talking. We each do each topic. And we sit knee to knee in dining room chairs looking directing each others eyes. In fact, we do a 2 minutes stare without talking before we even begin.


What a wonderful way to build communication and it doesn't take up too much time but done consistently is a great tool!

2 Baby steps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:42 am 
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So far we have:

Nightly short topical conversations
Being in each others presence while relaxing
Discussing feelings on safe subjects (without having to do with SA)
Work at friendship being established/reestablished
Putting aside an hour to focus on something childlike or fun/frivolous
Talk about hidden thoughts and feelings
A willingness to invest the time!
Adventures
Discussing our life dreams and goals


Adding from my experience, one of the things that my husband and I did when we first met was we talked for hours on the phone almost every night (and no we weren't teenagers but in our 30's!). In those conversations we talked about our dreams and goals in life. I think that is so important not to lose our dreams as we get older. We may have to adjust some of them but we still need to dream. I think it makes us closer when we share this with others. Also when we first started dating we would go for rides off the beaten path just to see what we could find. My husband has the knack of being able to get lost and then unlost out of the blue! This was adventurous, fun and extremely fulfilling. Finding farms that sold fresh milk or vegetables, hidden antique stores, family owned bakeries, an old train station, a small town that felt like we went back in time with a candy store that I must of spent an hour in! Really neat things. These are some of my most fondest memories and they were apart of some very intimate moments of sharing.


So I will add adventures to the list and talking about our life dreams.

What kinds of things did you do early in your relationship that led to becoming closer?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:20 pm 
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What about having a set time to each say something positive that we like or love about the other person or something that affirms the positive aspects of their personality or behaviour?

It could be every evening before bedtime, or weekly (if you have weekly 'meetings'), or after a meal etc.

It's good to receive affirmation and it is really helpful to the person giving it because it gets us out of those ruts of negativity and resentment that we sometimes get bogged down in.

For instance - I really like my H because he is kind to creatures, when there is no obvious benefit to him. I also like him because he makes the best coffee in the universe for me (even though he is a tea drinker). I affirm the integrity he shows in his business dealings (I would give a specific example here).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:59 am 
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hehe, coach Devi, sounds like you've seen my house when we have sit-down dinners! With 3 kids and all their activities, we don't all sit down every night. But when we do, when dinner is over, we all share 3 things, our "best" from the day or week, our "worst" from the day or week, and one thing we like about each person at the table, always ending with yourself. It lets everyone else in on the joys and heartbreak you've had (bests and worsts) so they can offer highfives and support, and it reminds us all of all the little things we are to other people. Like when my h can say that one thing he likes about his daughter is how much care and detail she puts into her art, and when our son can say one thing he likes about his father is that he works hard at his job to provide for us. Just little things, but when you get to it at least once a week, it can go a long way. And especially if you have children, and they know that mom and dad are not ok (and they will know, even if you think they are sheltered from it, the pain I and many of us are experiencing is like presence in the home some days) it does a lot for them to hear that there are still things mom and dad like about each other. Even if all I can come up with some days is "you mowed the lawn so i don't have to" or something equally banal, it helps, and for me, with my self esteem issues, to have to say something I like about myself, in front my family, is a very good exercise and I hope that by doing so, I am setting the example for them to always find things they like about themselves, too.

To sum up (again) what we share are personal bests/worsts, and then one thing we like about everyone present, ending with self.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:52 pm 
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So far we have:

Nightly short topical conversations
Being in each others presence while relaxing
Discussing feelings on safe subjects (without having to do with SA)
Work at friendship being established/reestablished
Putting aside an hour to focus on something childlike or fun/frivolous
Talk about hidden thoughts and feelings
A willingness to invest the time!
Adventures
Discussing our life dreams and goals
Share our personal bests/worsts of the day
Set a time each day to say something positive that we like or love about the other person or something that affirms the positive aspects of their personality or behavior?

I know there's gotta be more out there that you all have done to get to know your partners in the beginning or that you did as a family to feel closer. Let's get some more ideas!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:37 am 
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i'm liking this thread. i'm getting ideas that i might be able to implement. i would add non sexual physical intimacy. my p is great at hand holding :g: and holding me at night. it means a lot to me.
simple acts of consideration for each other tend to get lost in this mess and yet they can be powerful. things like getting up and greeting each other at the door can reap tremendous rewards. it's a way of saying you are more important than anything else i happen to be doing at the moment.
any more ideas? i'll take anything i can get to help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:43 pm 
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--Kissing and hugging every morning before we go our separate ways - looking into each others eyes and saying "I'm so glad you're in my life, I love you".
--Kissing and hugging when we get home at night, every night!
--Hiding love notes/cards for each other to find (thanks Couples Workshop).
--Foot rubs, face massage or massage with the Hitachi electric massager - these are good if you' re tired.
--Talking on the phone every day at least twice (we've done this since we met - now 6 1/2 years).
--Falling asleep in each others arms.
--Talking - about our finances, religion/spirituality, books, childhood memories both good and bad - always talking.
--Teaching each other something - a new recipe, how to fish, painting a room, dancing.
--Going for walks and TALKING (or not).
--Passing a quiet afternoon or evening in companionable silence.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:47 pm 
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--Oh, and being ready to say, "I'm not sure what you mean/were thinking when you said/did that - please clarify/tell me" instead of getting angry or resentful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:11 pm 
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Ah, yes, connecting throughout the day!

My h cannot really talk to me on the phone while he is at work, but he CAN use Instant messaging there. I will IM what the kids and I are up to, he IMs the ups and downs of his work day, and we can discuss dinner plans, rest of the week plans, etc.

I often say that IM saved our marriage 3 years ago, and I think if we didn't have it, we would be in much worse shape than we are today.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:18 am 
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Yes, we forget that daily communication can actually keep the connection alive.

One other thing to add to the list: disclosure on my part. Telling your partner things about yourself and life that you've never told anyone else and might have hesitated telling him. If we expect and want disclosure from them we need to be willing to do the same. It's frightening but ultimately brings both much closer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:26 am 
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I'm not sure if this is an intimacy exercise - but it's really positive.

I stole a bit from Crysler (ahem - I think someone forgot to log in under their own name!) about drawing slips of paper.

What H and I have done is write little challenges on each slip. We did it a bit backwards, because we realised when we had done that it was all values based. Every other day we are each drawing a slip and doing the challenge. Here are some of the things we wrote

Quote:
Learn a poem by heart and recite it to your partner
Eat no sweet things for a day (fruit is ok)
Run up the steep steps nearby twice (100+ steps)
Send three loving texts to your spouse. Spouse has to reply lovingly to each. (H DOES NOT TEXT, so this is a challenge!)
No shopping for two days (H loves shopping!) except for dogs and aged father
Cook a meal you have never cooked before for both of you
Learn three interesting facts and tell your spouse about them from memory
Take photographs of each other and photoshop them to mutually acceptable standard (we are both very photo shy)
Frame every statement you make today positively


We are finding this fun, positive and non-threatening


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Thanks, so glad to have re-discovered this thread - I contributed once, but it accidently was posted under someone else's name.

We still do the nightly diads - take turns drawing a slip of paper with 3 topics that we have to talk about or listen to. Anyway, we each talk and listen to each topic which were borrowed off a Joel Osteen Calendar. Now we ad our own personal topic at the end.

This process begins with our staring into each other's eyes for 2 minutes (knee to knee). Then talk/listen about one topic on the piece of paper for 3 minutes. When one of us is done talking, the other says" Thank you for caring enough to share, I promise to weigh it carefully." This line is borrowed from DR.PHIL.

The topics are a mixed bag but usually focus on being positive in your thinking instead of negative, following through with action behind your plans for the future, making deposits in your spouse's emotional account instead of withdrawals, etc. . Many tie in with RN vey well. There is enough room for personel interpretation. Sometimes we are serious and sometimes have fun - but always looking into each others eyes, knee to knee. Nice

I love the the fun stuff everyone has contributed, too. I just ran out into the yard to tell my H about some of them and my 42 year ols son, who's here helping building a new fence, smiled when I said "They might sound kind of silly and childlike - but that's what we need."

Thanks for telling me how to get here and re-discover this great thread. I hope folks keep posting their ideas.

Nellie James


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