The Fire Has Gone Out, Part 4
By Marita Littauer with Chuck
Noon, MA, LPCC
-- Erica’s new career success has upset the long-term equilibrium of her marriage. Last week, we looked at some specific strategies for renewing intimacy in marriage.
In this week’s practical installment—“The Interaction”—you’ll explore a “homework assignment” intended to restore intimacy and, over time, establish a new balance in the relationship.
If you have not been following along with us, I encourage you to go back and read parts one, two, and three before reading this week's column.
For couples in a similar situation to Todd and Erica, Chuck would recommend the following:
1. Both husband and wife need to alternate days as the initiator of intimacy. Relationships tend to fall into a pursuer/distancer dynamic. The longer that each member of the couple remains in the same role, the further the couple tends to grow apart. By reversing roles frequently, the couple grows together. The husband might take odd days with the wife taking the even ones. Being the pursuer means initiating intimacy with touch, kisses, hugs, saying "I love you," etc.
2. The husband should buy, gift wrap, and present intimate attire that is sexy, yet tasteful. He should rehearse the compliments he will offer the wife when she is wearing his selection that will make her know he finds her attractive—and deliver them when they are together. "Not bad" and "Okay" are not acceptable praise.
3. The wife will take responsibility to "dress the set" (bedroom). She should plan an evening of intimacy. Her actions might include personal pampering, new sheets, candles, bubbly beverage, wearing the new intimate apparel, music, meeting her husband at the door, etc.
4. After a successful evening at home, the husband needs to plan and execute an intimate surprise overnight get away. He should pack for both (perhaps involving the assistance of her closest friend to ensure he remembers everything important to her) and arrange for childcare if needed.
5. Both partners need to develop a "language of intimacy" that will allow them to address sexual needs and desires comfortably. To initiate the use of the "language of intimacy" and become more comfortable talking about physical needs and desires, the couple may start with a back rub that over a period of time evolves into a full body massage, including intimate areas, alternating spouses as the recipient.
Be sure to watch for the next installment of Marita's column.
Marita Littauer is a professional speaker with more than twenty-five years experience. She is the author of 17 books Including Personality Puzzle, Communication Plus, The Praying Wives Club, Tailor-Made Marriage—from which this column is derived, and her newest, Wired That Way. Marita is the President of CLASServices Inc., an organization that provides resources, training and promotion for speakers and authors. Marita and her husband Chuck Noon have been married since 1983. For more information on Marita and/or CLASS, please visit www.classervices.com or call 800/433-6633.
Chuck Noon has worked as a professional counselor--licensed in two states. He holds a BA in Motion Picture Production from Brooks Institute and an MA in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from the University of San Diego. He has worked with hundreds of families and couples in many varieties of settings. Currently, Chuck is working in mental healthcare management. Chuck and Marita live in the mountains outside of Albuquerque.
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