At the beginning of the year we asked you to complete our survey on what you most wanted for 2015. We got such a huge response, thank you for your beautiful and important feedback.
At this time of Valentine’s Day, the day of love, I want to tell you what the huge winner was for those who completed our couples questionnaire: they wanted more intimacy. It was so interesting – it didn’t matter if they were male or female, their age, or what part of the country they were from, their answer was that what they most desired was more intimacy.
As someone who was a divorce attorney for 20 years and who now does so much work with couples, I can tell you the fastest, quickest, most efficient and surest way to bring more intimacy into your life (whether with your partner or friends or relatives, any relationship of any type) is to be honest – you be honest and allow the other person to be honest.
It’s amazing to me how many people respond to this concept with – “I can’t be honest, if I were honest, he/she would leave me (or be angry with me, or would never understand or I’ll hurt them”) — everyone’s got a story about why they can’t be honest. If you had that response, I will tell you, my friend, unless and until you figure out a way to be honest with your partner (or your friend, or your parents, or your siblings, etc.), the relationship is doomed to failure. It may take awhile, it may die a slow, agonizing death, but it will die.
As they say in AA, “our dysfunction is only as big as our secrets”.
And stop telling yourself that what you’re doing is telling little white lies.
There is no such thing as a white lie, there are only lies. Period.
Allowing the other person to be honest and taking them off the hook. So if you say you want intimacy, then that means you’re going to have to be honest AND you’re going to have to allow the other person to be honest. I’m sure many of you are telling yourself that you always allow the other person to be honest, but do you really? Honestly?
What happens when they even start to broach something that they know is going to be sensitive to you? Do you immediately have a reaction? Do you immediately get upset? Do you have an automatic response when it comes to certain things (what your partner “should” be doing, how they “should” be behaving, what they “should” be interested in, aware of, talking about, etc.). If you find yourself using the word “should” a lot (or thinking it), you’ve got yourself a problem.
It won’t be possible for your mate (or partner, or friend, or child, etc.) to be honest with you if you can’t provide a safe place where they can be honest with you. If they know they’re going to get blasted, guess what they do? They shut up. And whose fault is that? Both of you, but you can only take responsibility for your part in this, not theirs.
The only way to allow them to safely be honest with you, is if you make a decision to take them off the hook for what’s going on. If you truly want them to be honest with you, it can only be done in the space of love, not the space of judgment.
There are many areas where judgment will be automatic and where you will be telling yourself, of course I must be angry/upset/not okay with this. Please understand that I’m not talking about condoning or encouraging hurtful behavior – an affair, an addiction, illegal or immoral acts. You must ask yourself, do I want to know or am I willing to live in (unblissful) ignorance? My experience is that once everything finally comes out into the open, it turns out that pretty much everyone either knew or suspected, it’s the elephant in the room that no one is talking about.
And in most situations we’re not talking about something as awful as criminal behavior. It’s most often this feeling of “does he/she love me anymore?” “Why doesn’t he/she treat me with the same kind of love and respect as they used to?” “Why does he/she care more about the kids/their work/sports/their friends than they do about me?”
If you truly want more intimacy, you have to have the guts to ask the questions – “how are you doing?”, “is everything okay?” – and then be willing to listen and receive the answers in a space of non-judgment with an open heart. Even if you start to hear answers that aren’t what you hoped for. If you can listen with an open heart and respond with an open heart, the path to a new level of honesty can lead to a path of incredible intimacy. It can be amazing.
But for many of us, we simply don’t know how to create that kind of space, or to ask the right questions or even to open our hearts in the first place. That’s why doing a Sedona Soul Adventures Couples Retreat can be so extraordinary. We’ve had so many people come to us who were on the verge of divorce and during their time here everything got changed around – they were able to go into that space of acceptance and love and connection. And even better, they are able to re-kindle that spark, that juiciness that they had at the very beginning of their relationship.
And did you know that last year we were named the #1 Couples Retreat in the US by Guidedocs? What an honor – but the honor came because what we do works!
It’s so ironic that after spending 20 years as a divorce attorney, I’ve now spent 13 years (and counting!) of helping people stay together. It’s a much better feeling and way more fun!
Jim and Kate say that after their Soul Adventure “the depth of our relationship is far beyond anything we expected”
“Sedona Soul Adventures completely surpassed my expectations. If you had told me that the connection between my partner and myself could be this deep and spiritual, I would have said it couldn’t be done. The depth of our relationship is far beyond anything we expected. We also have the skills to keep that bond, and keep working on our individual journeys. Sedona Soul Adventures has changed our lives, forever! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Jim & Kate, Oak Park, Illinois
So if you want to find the intimacy you’re craving, come and do a Sedona Soul Adventures Couples Retreat. Call and speak to one of our Angel Guides – they’ll speak to each of you together and separately and really get an idea of what’s going on, what’s happening, and what both of you would love to have happen and then they’ll design the perfect retreat of one-one-one private sessions utilizing over 40 of the most incredible and experienced practitioners here in Sedona. Your retreat will bring both of you into that love and connection and intimacy that you’re craving and into the relationship of your dreams.
Call us toll free at 1-877-204-3664 (US and Canada). For our friends outside the US and Canada call 01 928-204-5988 or click here and we’ll call you.
This coming Saturday is Valentine’s Day, the day of love. What better gift could you give to each other than the gift of rekindling your relationship?
Wishing you a week of hearts and flowers and juicy love.
Debra Stangl, Founder