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On the last track we discussed preserving and protecting friendship within marriage. We also discussed five roadblocks to friendship in marriage. These five roadblocks are, there’s no time, "we’re not friends, we’re married", "we don’t talk like friends anymore", the ravages of conflict, and reckless words.
On the next two tracks we will discuss techniques of intimacy discipline. There are 2 diverse techniques of intimacy discipline that I have found highly effective in creating the kind of healthy climate in which broken relationships can heal and sound relationships can grow and flourish.
On this track we will discuss how discipline is control and describe the first of the 2 techniques of intimacy discipline. The technique described on this track is a technique for reserving the sanctity of the marriage bed. As you listen to the next two tracks, please consider whether any of these areas cause problems for your client. Perhaps the techniques described will be productive in your therapy.
Greg, age 53, stated, "I love her…, and she loves me. We thought we had something, but now we’re falling apart." I find that discipline is what makes commitments and priorities work. Without discipline, intimacy is set adrift, as Greg was discovering. He and his wife, Sheri, had accomplished the first difficult steps toward discipline. The couple had made sincere commitments to each other and their intimate relationship. Also, Greg and Sheri had devised honest sets of priorities that each had agreed upon. Would you agree that by understanding discipline, Greg and Sheri could effectively save their marriage?
Discipline is Control
I stated, "If you decline responsibility, you will lack discipline. If you lack discipline, you may lose control. A lack of discipline is the discipline of aggression or withdrawal. Aggression happens when someone seeks to occupy by emotional or physical force somebody else’s life space. Withdrawal happens when a partner simply bows out, becomes less than an observer, or blind to the relationship." As you know, there are varying degrees of participation between aggression and withdrawal.
I continued discussing how discipline is control with Greg. I stated, "On the other hand, if you take responsibility and act on it, you gain discipline. By gaining discipline, you can gain increasing control.
Two Techniques of Intimacy Discipline
Technique # 1: The Sanctity of the Marriage Bed
I stated to Greg, "No matter what happens in the world outside, no matter what happens in the other rooms of the house, you can choose to allow nothing negative to violate your haven. If you do this, only positive experiences, at the worst neutral experiences, will happen there." Greg spent time thinking on the sanctity of the marriage bed with Sheri. Greg wrote the following description of how he planned to implement this technique with his wife:
Technique # 2: Poem of the Marriage Bed
Four Positive Changes Resulting from the "Poem of the Marriage Bed"
Think of your Greg. Could your male intimacy client benefit from the poem of the marriage bed technique? Could playing this track in an upcoming session help your Greg in understanding how discipline is control?
On this track we discussed techniques of intimacy discipline. We examined how discipline is control and we described the first of the 2 techniques of intimacy discipline. The technique described on this track is a technique for reserving the sanctity of the marriage bed.
On the next track we will continue our discussion on techniques of intimacy discipline. We will explore one additional technique. This technique of intimacy discipline is conflict resolution. There are two major areas of conflict resolution. The two major areas of conflict resolution are factual conflict resolution and opinion-based conflict resolution.
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