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Category Archives: Intimacy Series

Want bring sexy back into your Marriage? Osculate!

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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I would address kissing a little more in-depth. Sorry it has taken me a little longer than expected.

According to the 2009 General Social Survey, which has tracked the social behaviors of Americans since 1972, estimates that about 15 percent of married couples have not had sex with their spouse in the last six months to one year, according to Denise A. Donnelly, associate professor of sociology at Georgia State University, who has studied sexless marriage.

Provided there is no medical condition that is causing the problem. I can venture a guess that the art of osculation a.k.a. kissing is one of the missing pieces to solving the sexless marriage issue.  If you can somehow revive the lost art of kissing it may lead to other benefits as well.

Here are some reasons to consider:

Kissing will improve your overall health.

1.) Kissing boosts immunity. A recent study reported in the journal Medical Hypotheses says kissing may increase a woman’s immunity from Cytomegalovirus. Cytomegalovirus, contracted through mouth to mouth contact, can cause infant blindness and other birth defects if the mother is a carrier during pregnancy. Otherwise, the bug is relatively harmless in adults. Kissing has long been thought to be a way to pass along bugs and thus strengthen the body’s defenses. With the extra saliva generated from kissing it can wash bacteria off your teeth, which can help break down oral plaque.

2.) Kissing helps you solidify why you picked your mate in the first place. Anthropologist Helen Fisher describes kissing as a “mate assessment tool.” Discover Your “Type” (It Really Exists)

Much of the cortex is devoted to picking up sensations from around the lips, cheeks, tongue and nose. Out of 12 cranial nerves, five of them are picking up the data from around the mouth. It is built to pick up the most sensitive feelings—the most intricate tastes and smells and touch and temperature. And when you’re kissing somebody, you can really hear them and see them and feel them. So kissing is not just kissing. It is a profound advertisement of who you are, what you want and what you can give.

Since kissing has been lacking in the sexless marriage it might also cause you to question why you chose this person to marry.

3.) Kissing burns calories! Depending on different reports, anywhere from 2 to 6 calories a minute.

Kissing can persuade your partner!

1. Being an overall good kisser can persuade your partner to get between the sheets instead of remaining on top of the sheets.

2. Good kissing bring back feelings of bonding and attachment too. Sharing a passionate kiss can re-create and maintain a feeling of connectedness in relationships.

3. Good kissing can also lead to arousal and sex. Passionate make-outs are often necessary (and effective) precursors to further physical intimacy.

Good kissing will require you to brush up on your elements!

1.As so aptly portrayed in the movie Hitch, you’ve got to be all in. Both men and women also found assertiveness attractive in a kisser.

2.Touching, caressing, and general physical can lead to more deeper passionate kisses.

3.Get back to the basics! Closed-mouth kissing initially, with minimal saliva exchange (especially for women). Soft, moist lips were preferable – but a drooling, tongue-down was not. Over time, kissing could work up to greater “passion” and “intimacy”.

In the end if you want to bring sexy back to your marriage. Start with a kiss!

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All I want is what I NEED!

Modern society tells us, “Go out and get the most out of life!”  What we may not realize is that it may be to the detriment of your relationship. According to Matthew Kelly’s book The Seven Levels of Intimacy, the-get-what-you-want philosophy cannot give birth to any form of significant or satisfying relationship for two people. It can only give birth to selfish fulfillment of one person’s desires at the expense of the other person’s real and legitimate needs.

A good example is the basic premise of what the view of “manhood” between a man and a woman. Today, women are frustrated because they want their husbands to be MEN. That could mean a variety of things; holding it down on the job, holding in down at home, and holding it down in the bedroom. In reality is that all you need from your man? Is that the definition of manhood?

Biologically, they are already living up to their end of the bargain. Women haven’t clearly expressed specifically what they need from their husband. Therefore, the husband will never be able to live up to this expectation because they are unsure of your need and they will not fulfill your illegitimate WANT because its selfish in nature.Men don’t help because themselves either because they will never clearly state what they need from their wife. In fear of being soft, or feeling vulnerable they know they can’t HOLD IT ALL DOWN. On the other hand, they do know what they want, and they want it all the time.

Do you personally know what you need from your spouse? Does your spouse know what you need from them?

These are very difficult questions to answer because it takes a certain mindset to ensure that clearly express these needs. Sure there are basic needs like food, air and the like. But I’m talking about needs around the 4 dimensions of your character: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. These needs are subtle, and not easily communicated unless you have mastered the other levels of intimacy.

Am I saying that you should deny getting some personal fulfillment in life. No! What I am saying is that if you constantly focus on your personal wants in your relationship you will continually come up short in happiness and fulfillment. That’s when the competition occurs because you will expect your spouse to fill the wants that you couldn’t achieve yourself. Then you use emotional blackmail and manipulation to get your way. You know the mantra “If you loved me, you would…”

A good example of the manipulation game is one of a woman who had a very stressful year that included obstacles with her teenage daughter and her own personal health. For her birthday she wanted to get away so she took a cruise. She wanted her husband to go, but he decided to not to because he knew it would be a strain financially. The wife really wanted him to go, so by the fact that he didn’t she felt he wasn’t connected. He interpreted her trip as being selfish, no matter what he was feeling.

What never happened in this discussion is what they both needed from their partner. She needed to be comforted, and supported for the tough time she had, while he needed to be heard and his opinion taken into account.

Relationships are not about getting what you want, it’s about helping each other strive to become the best version of yourself.

So we must reframe our thinking around the quest to pursue legitimate needs over illegitimate wants.

Step 1. Make a choice to set your individual desires aside for legitimate needs of your partner. This will begin to become a collaborative effort.

Step 2. Understand that you mate will know what you need when you need it because you don’t always say how you feel, and rarely say what you need.

Step 3. Our needs can change daily based on our circumstances. Instead of reacting in the same way, act on what your intuition is telling you and respond accordingly. Think  out-of-the box if you have to.

You are at a point in your marriage that you have been able to accept their opinions, you can clearly reveal your hopes and dreams, honor his or her feelings and you are keenly aware of their faults, fears and failures.

Once you master this final level of intimacy you will reach the pinnacle of what our marriages are supposed to be.

If you are on the East Coast, enjoy this rainy weekend with your family, and spouse.

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Intimacy Series

 

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Faults..I will show you mine, if you show me yours (Intimacy Level #6)

In dating, or even early in marriage you never hear anyone say, I love him/her because they have faults. But in the 6th level of intimacy starts when faults, fears or failures begins to show itself in you, or your partner and impact the relationship. Your significant other might have already been aware of your faults, but the difference now is that you can admit have them and that you need help to overcome them for the sake of the relationship.

Some of the fears might include:

  • Fears that we don’t measure up.
  • Fears we won’t make enough money to enjoy it.
  • Fears about parenting.

So how do we reach the level of intimacy with our partners? Take ownership of our faults, fears and failures. You can’t grow if you don’t show. By not admitting you need help, it slows down all aspects of your personal development;moral, ethical, and emotional.

We can also get stuck in the past and continue to make some choices that are detrimental to us personally and in our relationship. By admitting these issues, your partner can walk beside you as you make new choices that help you move toward your best self.

At this level we also acknowledge that we also have a dark side to our personalities. According to Matthew Kelly, author of The Seven Levels of Intimacy, states We all think, say, and do things that are inconsistent with he person most people think we are and the person we are trying to be. We all think things that are inconsistent with our core values and beliefs and the philosophy of life we are trying to follow.

We have to admit that we have a dark side or our dark side may overtake our lives the harder we try to conceal it. By exposing our darkness into the light in the loving environment of intimacy it allows us to strengthen and reduce the hold that our darkness may have on our life.

Finally we all have a past, and we should do our best to share it, our personal story, the good and the bad with our partners.

If by some chance your partner’s fears, dark side, or the past personally impacted you along the way you must have the power to forgive. Kelly says, “The ability to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity and so too, is the ability to ask for forgiveness.

In this 6th level of intimacy we have exposed our fears, faults, and failures which reveals not only who we are, but how we became to be. And you will give your partner insight on what you need.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Intimacy Series

 

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Dreams! When done together can make your life wonderful!

I love “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I use to watch it every December during the Christmas Holidays. The great thing about the film is that it helps you to appreciate what you have as opposed to what you don’t.

The clip below is great theme for our next intimacy level on
sharing our dreams with our partner.

In the last intimacy level #3 we talked about the importance
of being accepted by our partners in order to share our opinions. This
acceptance by our partner helps bridge the gap to this next intimacy level
which is the ability to share our dreams.

According to Matthew Kelly’s Seven Levels of Intimacy,
dreams are the hopes, fantasies, and our deepest desires that we have for our
future. In today’s environment it takes a great degree of vulnerability to be
able to share our dreams with our partners because we often don’t receive the
acknowledgement and support we expect or need in order to work towards
fulfilling them.

To avoid that result, we often don’t reveal our dreams and
try to make a go at it alone. This procedure can diminish your effectiveness as
a couple because you wind up traveling on different paths. You often see this
happen to celebrity couples’ as their own individual dreams take precedent over
their dreams as a couple i.e. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony or Maria Shriver
and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It was at this point, there dreams were going in different directions.

They obviously weren't having dreams about one another.

Acknowledging and accepting your partner’s individual dreams
and creating mutual dreams not only can energize you as a couple, but it can
also be instrumental in achieving the dreams you have envisioned. It will also the
direction your lives may go. This level of intimacy can be very satisfying and
exciting, but your mastery to achieve this level of intimacy won’t be achieved
until you have mastered the other three levels.

So what are the components needed to have mutually shared
dreams.

  • Knowing each other’s dreams is crucial. If you
    are working toward one dream and your partner is working toward another, it will
    cause conflict because how they view  the
    direction of their life is different from yours.
  • Delayed gratification – understanding this and
    practicing takes a certain discipline and a degree of communication. If you
    have mutually shared dreams, you will have to put some of your own personal
    dreams and aspirations on hold for the good of the relationship. That may mean
    you delay purchasing that car in order to place the money into your house fund,
    or putting off the dream vacation you can’t afford now and save it in order to
    travel after retirement.
  • Write your dreams down. There are seven areas in
    which you could dream about: physical, emotional, intellectual, professional,
    financial and adventurous.  After you
    have written them down in a journal, or on the computer, set goals around them
    with a timetable. Preferably one year. Revisit your dreams once a year and
    remind your spouse of the dreams the both of you have envisioned for your
    future.
  • If you can plan a getaway to work on this, do it
    today, or set some time over the course of several weeks to get this done.

STRIVERS, get to dreaming and writing! Have a good weekend.

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Intimacy Series, Uncategorized

 

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If I wanted your Opinion, I’d Ask! (Intimacy Level #3)

The fact is you should ask and cherish the opinion of your spouse. It’s crucial if you want to reach intimacy level #3. According to Matthew Kelly’s Seven Levels of Intimacy, it’s also the first obstacle couple’s encounter in their quest for an intimate relationship.

What we experience, read, the type of education we receive shape our opinions in drastic ways. In contrast, our opinions are by no means stagnant. They change over time. What we must also keep in mind is that our spouse has lived a totally different live, and therefore will have a totally different opinion on certain things and they will also change.

You may ask how can these opinions affect our relationship.

By not respecting the fact that your partner may have a difference of opinion. We spend most of our energy trying to defend and convince the other that our opinion is the right one. In order to maintain superiority over our opinion we do one of two things. We either argue our point to the cows come home or we defuse the situation by using jokes, changing the subject or diversion to keep us from possibly changing our opinion and losing what we feel is a position of authority.  Either way, this type of relationship over time takes its toll and you eventually drown and revert back to a relationship of clichés and facts.

HOW BORING!

STRIVERS! Do you want to drown, in boring clichés or facts or would you prefer to rise above the waves to this level of intimacy?

If you choose the latter, you must reconcile one of some of these issues below in your mind.

  1. All relationships have unresolvable issues. I am a relationship coach and even my PG and I have unresolvable issues. The unresolvable issues are due to the differing opinions and expectations of our lives. The same thing goes for you and your partner. So I ask you,”Would you rather be right, or just be?”
  2. Instead of creating gridlock of trying to be right, make a choice to develop a common goal and work together. Developing a couples’ mission statement in this stage is crucial because it brings clarity and a reference point to all conversations.
  3. Make the leap to accept your partner for who he/she is. Important in this step is accepting yourself for who you are. In my discussions with clients, I have seen them develop a real sense of resentment in their spouse because they reflect something they see in themselves they don’t like. Active listening to truly understand someone’s opinion, instead of jumping in to defend yours helps diminish the opportunity to judge and criticize our partner so they can feel accepted.
  4. Open your mind and heart. Some things in life can’t be explained. If you are one that has to understand and have an explanation for everything that happens in your life, it will leave you at a disadvantage to achieving true intimacy. By opening your mind and heart you remain open to new ideas and opinions. This doesn’t mean you suppress the one’s you have, you just allow yourself to accept and recognize your partner has his/her own.

So even if you don’t ask for your partner’s opinion, it’s vital that you hear it.  If true intimacy is what you seek.

Have a great day, STRIVERS.

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2011 in Intimacy Series

 

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Nothing but the Facts, at least the Personal One’s (Intimacy Level #2)

I am writing this blog a little later than usual, so you might be entering the door after a long day at work. The only energy you may have is to talk about the weather, the job, sports, or the politics of the day. If that type of staccato language permeates your basic conversations with your spouse along with the good ‘ole cliché’, then you are slowly on your way to a yawner of a marriage.

All is not lost. In  Matthew Kelly’s book, The Seven Levels of Intimacy, interpersonal facts are important to help initialize conversation, but in order to create that necessary from bridge from the second to the third level of intimacy you must be able to shift from lower level interpersonal facts to higher lever interpersonal facts, those that are stimulating and lead to an increased level of learning, and finally to personal facts, those rare facts that you possess that help the other person become the best version of themselves.

What is the recipe for this type of intimate behavior with our spouse? Our speech. We have the opportunity to focus on being more positive than negative. And we can do that any number of ways.

  1. Acknowledge your partner for doing something good, or right.
  2. Don’t be so quick to judge one another. Judgement can cloud our inner and outer exchanges with our partners and kill the relationship. Practice the art of nonjudgement.
  3. Work on correcting, rather than criticizing.This can be very difficult depending on how your spouse views your words and tone of voice..you would want to acknowledge the effort of your partner before you correct.
  4. Reduce Gossip
  5. Find moments to voice your moments of appreciation. This will going a long way making your partner feel loved and valued.
  6. Look at how you filter your speech..If you say “whatever is on your mind” all the time.  In what other ways are you undisciplined?

I started this blog by acknowledging the fact that you may be tired due to your depleted energy, but did you ever think that you partner you are coming home to is lonely. Lonely by the mere interpersonal, mundane facts that you give day after day.

Today, do something different. Take your spouse by the hand sit across from them and tell them as many personal facts that you can think of in a couple of minutes..It will break the monotony and lead to the next level of intimacy you are longing for.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Intimacy Series

 

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It is what is Is? Is this It? (Intimacy Level #1)

One major question I ask couples is, “how do you cultivate your marriage and spend time with each other? Mos of the time, I get,”Not much, we are just too busy. It is what it is!” I hear this new catchphrase, ‘It is what it is’ a lot. It explains everything that is boring or monotonous in our relationships. Cliché’s can be a way we initially start out a connection with our partners.  We don’t want to seem cold or unfeeling to our partner even if at the time we don’t really care.

As our relationship progresses, we don’t want to get stuck at this first intimate level. If overly used, clichés’ can kill any possibility of your marriage advancing to the next level because the relationship can’t go to the next level, because you keep your partner at arm’s length.

People use clichés because they don’t want to be judged or criticized for having a specific opinion, or are just so self-absorbed would rather not engaged in deep conversation because other viewpoints might affect their own worldview.

How do we overcome the Art of the Cliché in our own relationship? We must reclaim the goal of spending time together. I like to call it, relaxed engagement. Matthew Kelly in his book ‘The Seven Levels of Intimacy’ calls it carefree timelessness. It’s significant time, two to four hours that you spend with your spouse without an agenda. You may say to yourself, “I already spend time with my spouse.” That may be true, but is it the type of time that isn’t influenced by the sense of urgency and to-do lists. The time with our spouses is often spent after work, after the kids are in bed, and definitely when you’re not tired. This type of time will not get us beyond this first level of intimacy that we so desire and the love we would like to provide our spouse.

So what steps do we take to create this sort of relaxed engagement?

  1. Schedule it. Before the weekend is out, set up a day for the month of August and set a date. To carve out this amount of time together, will require you to take a day off from work, or if it’s on the weekend and you have kids, you will have to solicit help from your parents, friends, or a babysitter. Start small, maybe once a month and try to build up to as many days as your monthly schedule allows.
  2. Remove all distractions, no cell phones, I-Pads, anything. Communicate to children as well as the babysitters. Contact us for emergencies, only!
  3. Allow your time to be moved by the day, no agenda or expectations.
  4. Finally, let go of the cliché! Start the conversation with a thought-provoking question. You just might learn something new.
 
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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Intimacy Series

 

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