Encouraging Intimacy: Couples whose relationship lacks intimacy may benefit from being encouraged to engage in constructive emotional disclosure

It has long been proposed that self-disclosure and empathic responding form the basis of good quality intimate relationships.

A study by Alexandra Mitchell and her colleagues in 2008 examined 102 couples who completed intimacy measures following videotaped discussions about relationship problems and crises occurring both within and outside the relationship. They reported that “…men’s own disclosure and empathic responding predicted their feelings of intimacy, whereas women’s intimacy was predicted by their partner’s disclosure and empathic responding.

Self-disclosure and empathic responding appear to be important behavioral determinants of intimate feelings, but the manner in which they influence intimacy differs according to gender.”

This suggests that aspects of empathic responding may influence intimacy in men and women differently. The authors summarised these differences as follows:

  • Men’s caring predicted their own intimacy, whereas their understanding and validation did not. Men may feel more effective in responding to their partner’s vulnerability and, therefore, closer to their partner when they express affectionate concern for their partner rather than just understanding and acceptance of their partner’s disclosure.
  • Women felt more intimate when their partners exhibited understanding, validation, and caring.

One practical implication of this finding is that couples whose relationship lacks intimacy may benefit from being encouraged to engage in constructive emotional disclosure discussions more frequently, particularly as a means of regaining closeness after relationship damage has occurred.

Men will feel a greater sense of intimacy from responding to their partner and expressing caring towards their partner, and their partners will feel a greater sense of intimacy because of this.

Reference:

Mitchell, Alexandra E, Castellani, Angela M, Herrington, Rachael L, Joseph, Jana I, Doss, Brian D, Snyder, Douglas K (2008). Predictors of intimacy in couples’ discussions of relationship injuries: An observational study. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 21-29.

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

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Balance: Clarify values and your commitment, dedicating time to study, faith and/or meditation

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

4. Spiritual.

Focus on clarifying values and your commitment, dedicating time to study, faith and/or meditation.

Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Think improvement rather than thinking that you ought to be perfect. If you appreciate that change is inevitable, therefore focusing on getting better through enhanced awareness and careful exploration of issues and by developing and improving skills to deal with those issues we remain flexible and allow for error and therefore alleviate anxiety.

Enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Balance: Participate in community events and work on at least one area where you can give service to benefit others

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

3. Social
Enjoy a rich private life, give service and show integrity. Participate in community events and work on at least one area where you can give service to benefit others. Be it via a volunteer organisation or individual seeking support (i.e. mentoring), connect and assist others.

From 21–27 May 2018, thousands of events will be held across the country to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer their time. National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. # NVW2018.

Many organisations draw upon the generous support of many who give up their valuable time and share their knowledge and resources..This year theme is Give a little. Change a lot represents the millions of volunteers who make a profound impact in their communities and on society, through giving a little time.

Participate in a community event or work on at least one area where you can give service to benefit others.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Balance: 15 minutes a day being creative makes a huge difference to your well-being

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

2. Intellectual
If we appreciate that change is inevitable, therefore focusing on getting better through enhanced awareness and careful exploration of issues and by developing and improving skills to deal with those issues, we remain flexible and allow for error and therefore alleviate anxiety.

Consider reading, meditation, visualising, planning and writing. Stimulate the right side of your brain, engage in create endeavours and take time out to think outside the everyday. Research suggests that 15 minutes a day makes a huge difference to your well-being and can stimulate the brain to learn in new and different ways. Enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Balance: Start slow and build up to make exercise a regular part of your day and week

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

  1. Physical

Exercise whenever you can and feel the chemical change in your body. Get out doors and enjoy the world. Despite the challenges, it truly is a beautiful world we live in.

Start slow and build up to make exercise a regular part of your day and week. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Improvement becomes the norm and if we take this into our relationships, we can focus on improving rather than thinking that it ought to be perfect.

If we appreciate that change is inevitable, therefore focusing on getting better rather than being perfect, we can alleviate anxiety. Enjoy the journey as well as the destination. Start today.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Balance: continued refinement and attention to all of the following four areas in our lives

Often we find we live our lives narrowly focusing on work or home. Think about your life and the balance you maintain. Change is possible and often easier than you think.

The late Stephen Covey suggests consistent and continued refinement and attention to all of the following four areas in our lives:

  1. Physical;
  2. Intellectual;
  3. Social and
  4. Spiritual.

Attempting to balance exercise, nutrition and stress management (physical); by reading, visualising, planning and writing (Intellectual); focusing on clarifying values and our commitment, dedicating time to study, our faith and/or meditation (Spiritual); and through our service, being empathic, being synergistic and ensuring security (Social), ensures success.

Don’t get caught up in the demands of life and forget ourselves and our partner. Be proactive and do this for your relationship. “We are the instruments of our own performance, and to be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time to regularly sharpen the saw in all four ways”.

You don’t have to get it right the first time. This is part of life’s journey of learning and developing. You will get there if you are willing to invest the time and effort to developing new habits.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Many young couples view technology as a way to bring greater intimacy to their relationship, even as it introduces new sources of tension

Whilst most of the qualities that help sustain a good relationship have not changed – commitment, effective communication, constructive conflict and patience, honesty, forgiveness amongst others – there is strong evidence that couples are using mobile technologies to enhance their relationships. Both the opportunities and threats associated with the use of internet and mobile device use including the stress associated with their use by couples must be understood and considered to ensure effective communication in all their life stages.

While younger adults in serious relationships are more likely than older couples to report that the internet has had an impact on their relationship, this impact can cut both ways. Many young couples view technology as a way to bring greater intimacy to their relationship, even as it introduces new sources of tension.

  • 45% of online 18-29 year olds in serious relationships say the internet has had an impact on their relationship – 21% say a major impact.
  • 42% of 18-29 year olds with a mobile phone in a serious relationship say their partner has been distracted by their phone while they were together.
  • 41% of online 18-29 year olds in serious relationships felt closer to their partner because of online or text conversations.

“Technology is everywhere and our relationships are no exception,” said Amanda Lenhart, lead author of the report and Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center. “And for younger adults and those in newer relationships, tools such as mobile phones and social media are there at the beginning and play a greater role today for good and for ill.”

Reference:

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship