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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can You Explain What Intimacy Is?

In Carolyn Hax's column in this morning's paper, a reader asks her to explain what intimacy is. The reader thought it is "part trust, part openness, part honesty, part acceptance and part other stuff".

Carolyn told her she had named the pieces, so put them together. Her definition: "Intimacy is when two people are open and honest with each other, even about their less-attractive sides, each loves and accepts the whole truth about the other, not just the highlights; and each trusts the other not to use this truth as a weapon."

Can you explain intimacy? Check out my book "Becoming Soul Mates" for more about intimacy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

20-20 Focus on Infidelity

Recently 20-20 attempted to answer the question, "Why do people cheat on each other?" They said 60% of cheaters are men, 40% are women. Whatever the percentage, cheating destroys trust and without trust people cannot become soul mates.

Some people simply do not know how to love or let go of defenses sufficiently to create intimacy. Some women believe that being "in love" means a continuation of the high energy excitement and passion experienced when a relationship is new. Some men never mature beyond their adolescent fantasies of unknown women as sexual objects. It takes maturity to move beyond the adolescent fantasy to know, understand, and love a real woman.

When two people commit to learning to understand, love, and accept each other, they will experience a growing intimacy. Fear will become less and less. Trust and safety will overshadow fear.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Dr. Erich Fromm on Love

"Love," says Dr. Fromm, "is the only satisfactory answer to the problems of human existence." Yet many people do not learn to love with maturity , self-knowledge, and courage. Learning to love requires intentional openness, genuine insight and understanding. You must be willing to practice what you learn, to open yourself to another human being. That takes willingness to be vulnerable and tough.

For example, if your partner tries to tell you that your sarcasm is hurtful, you don't tell her she just isn't a good sport and that you were only joking. Instead, you thank her for telling you and you try to be direct instead of using sarcasm. Listen instead of always being right.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Common Communication Mistake

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply. Proverbs 18:13 says, "He who answers before listening-that is his folly and his shame." The New English Bible puts it this way, "To answer a question before you have heard it out is both stupid and insulting." SOUL MATES LISTEN WITH THE INTENT TO UNDERSTAND.
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Another Frog to Prince Winner

Another winner of the Frog to Prince contest, Caroline from North Dakota, wrote: "I caught my man doing something right. Since being laid off work, my husband has picked up the task of house cleaning and caring for our three-year-old daughter. However, when he cleaned the kitchen he wouldn't wipe down the counters and stove nor sweep the floor. When I carefully brought it to his attention, he became upset. I let it go. A day or so later I came in from work and the dishwasher was loaded and the counters were wiped off.
The floor still had not been swept but I acted as though I didn't notice. I gave him a huge bear hug and kissed him deeply and thanked him for his hard work in the house that day. He stated that if washing a few dishes would get him that much attention what would cleaning the toilet get him. We laughed."

Notice what your children, spouse, or employee do right. Let them know you appreciate it, and you will get more, enjoy more, and feel better.