Problems In Your Relationship? – How To Create New Intimacy
Sally and Henry have been married for 16 years. Sally cares about the home and the children. They have two sons in the middle of puberty. Sally doesn’t feel appreciated by Henry.
Henry leaves the house every morning at 7. He has a long way to go to reach his office. They had moved to countryside so that the boys could get fresh air to breathe and space to play.
Henry is a manager in a big company. He is responsible for 250 people in his department.
He comes home at 9 pm. Henry is super tired and would love to just sit down with a glass of wine and a book or his best music. But Sally stands in the kitchen door and grumbles: “Why are you so late again? You are never on time for dinner.“
He answers disquietingly:
“We had another important project meeting. When it was finished I rushed home.“
Sally goes on nagging: “It’s always about your business… We are not important, hm? You leave me alone with the children’s education, and the housekeeping, and you never care how I am!“
Now, Henry looses his temper: “I bust my butt so that you can have a good life. It’s getting worse to meet the businesses’ demands. Every day I fight to keep my job. And you are always nagging. In your eyes I never do the right thing…“, he turns around and leaves the room.
NO ONE FEELS APPRECIATED
Scenes like that occur more often lately. No one feels appreciated by the other. When they fought in the past, they had sex for reconciliation. After that everything was fine again. Nowadays they have sex only a maximum of twice a month, sometimes less.
The two of them are not able to talk about what each other needs to be happy, nor care that they get what they need. Instead, they put the blame on each other. They don’t see one another as the loving person, as they view themselves. Due to this discontentment they only see deficiency.
Now they are facing the decision to go on like this, to split up or to find a way to make a new start.
Sally wants to change the tense relationship into a harmonious one, like it used to be in the beginning. She agrees with Henry on having a date next weekend. They want to go to the lake. Alone, and without the children.
RITUAL FOR A NEW BEGINNING
At a nice and quiet spot, they spread a blanket and sit down cross-legged on a cushion. Sally explains what she has in mind. One of them should start and then exchange roles. The rules: when one speaks, the other one listens. No answers, no justifications, no explanations…
First, they close their eyes. Taking some deep breaths and sighing loudly to help them to arrive in that very moment.
After a while they open their eyes. Henry goes first. He puts everything on the table that he dislikes in their actual relationship/situation. It’s important that he doesn’t accuse Sally. He talks always in the first person perspective. Sally listens.
After Henry has finished talking, it is Sally’s turn.
They close their eyes again. Each of them listens to themselves, hands over their hearts. What do their hearts say? What are their desires and longings?
Now it is Henry’s turn again: When he is ready, he states what his heart is telling him. Doing so, he looks at Sally. Then, she asks him: “What hinders you in bringing these desires and longings into your life?“ Henry tells her what it is that hinders him.
Then, he tells Sally what he needs. Sally is still listening and gives Henry the space to talk. It has been a long time since she really saw Henry.
Now it’s Sally’s turn. Henry listens carefully and is surprised to hear what moves Sally.
After both have finished their parts, they take each other’s hands and gaze into each other’s eyes. Then they ask each other what they could do for them in this particular moment. Henry wants to be held by Sally. Sally doesn’t mind and so they sit for a few minutes and enjoy the intimacy they haven’t had for such a long time.
Sally wants Henry to stroke her back. Henry complies with her request. (Everybody has the option to say “no“ if the other’s request isn’t a fit for them. One should always respect what’s good for both.)
To finish the ritual, the couple sits across from each other gazing into each others eyes, holding hands and finding their individual ending.
This ritual brings them closer again and can be a basis for reorienting their relationship.
I invite you to try this ritual with your partner even though you might not be in a tricky situation. I would be happy if you would post your experiences in the comments section.