I’ll call them Sandy and Joe. Joe couldn’t slow down enough to be truly present and intimate with Sandy. Sandy’s frustrations about this made her feel lonely within the marriage and her dissatisfaction pushed Joe further away. Joe’s heart was so emasculated from his past marriage that if she was upset, he couldn’t really hear her without tuning out in fear. Sandy was angry that she left her job to be at home to be with Joe more, yet she felt ignored or abandoned by his lack of intimate connection.
I took them through an exercise to witness one another’s frustrations taken out physically with a plastic baseball bat against the ground… cuing them to the core of what was missing… both yearned for deeper connection and safety to be themselves.
I then took them through communication exercises to hear one another without fixing, judging, agreeing or disagreeing, no blaming or accusing… just authentic sharing… and listening with total allowance… breathing through whatever was being triggered… simply saying “Thank you” each time one another finished sharing.
Given each was being heard impeccably, Sandy didn’t get so frustrated and went right to the core of her loneliness… making Joe want to comfort her, not escape. Joe was able to express his fears making Sandy want to be tender and safer for Joe to be around. They dropped their shield and swords and were vulnerable, intimate and connected. They wanted to care for one another into healing and both felt empowered to take responsibility for their own needs and evolve.
At the end I blindfolded both of them and gave them strawberries to feed one another… to touch one another slowly, to sensually explore each other’s faces, fingers. They laughed and moaned and cried. They really loved one another… and grew stronger having sat ‘in the fire’.