in Your Relationship
Over the years I have had many couples inquire about how they could improve the intimacy in their marriage. One activity that my clients really like is an activity that helps them develop the verbal intimacy in their relationship. The activity begins with a short writing experience and is followed by a discussion about the writing activity. The overall purpose of the activity is to help you better understand what your spouse is thinking about throughout the day.
Here’s how you can implement this activity in your relationship.
Step #1: Both you and your spouse begin with a piece of paper and something to write with.
Step #2: Set a timer for 3 minutes and then begin writing about the things you have been thinking about during throughout the day. Write for three minutes about the things you throught throughout the day. Do this without editing.
Step #3: Once the timer stops one of you will begin by sharing the things you have been thinking about during the day. The other will listen without interupting. Once one partner has completed their list their partner who has been listening is given the option to validate what was said (e.g. that sounds hard, or I would like to hear more about that). At this point you don’t ask questions (e.g. why were thinking about that). Once this process is done the other partner reads their list.
Step#4: In this final step express appreciation for what your spouse shared with you. Then, if you both agree, ask questions in an effort to understand more about their thoughts throughout the day.
The primary goal of this exercise is to learn how to be more open with each other. Couples who do this assignment often report more verbal intimacy in their relationship. They often say things like, “We haven’t talked like this for years. Every day I learn more about my spouse and what he/she is thinking about. This helps me feel like I know him/her better.”
My suggestion is to do this activity everyday for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks evaluate if you want to continue daily discussions or move it to a few times a week or maybe just once a week. My experience has been that the more couples do this the closer they feel to each other.