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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Satir's 4th Freedom

The Freedom to Ask for What One Wants Instead of Always Waiting for Permission

My book, "Becoming Soul Mates--How to Create the Lifelong Relationship You Always Dreamed Of" begins with a chapter on intimacy. Many men do not know how to respond to their wife's or lover's complaints of lack of intimacy. Women, apparently, have difficulty asking for what they want.

I begin my book with: "A deeply frustrated man sat in my office and burst out, 'I don't know what she wants me to say. If I knew, I would say it.' One way or another many men express the same sentiment to their therapist in response to their wife's or lover's complaints of lack of intimacy."

Many times the lack of communication results from the speaker's believing she has been heard and understood when she hasn't. When asking for what one wants, be clear, specific, and check to see if what you asked for has been understood. Remember, men and women speak separate emotional languages. A conflict in language can easily turn into a conflict of needs. In many surveys nine out of ten women surveyed ranked intimacy highest in what they want from marriage. Men rarely rate intimacy first.

Shortly after my husband and I married, I would say, "Talk to me." He would answer with a smile, "Lie down and I will talk to you."

Satir ably describes the five freedoms necessary to make contact with others. In her book, "Making Contact" she also describes the four types of communicating that often go with people who have low opinions of themselves, who have not yet learned to live their five freedoms. She describes them as placating, blaming, super reasonable, and irrelevant. I highly recommend this book.

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