Many years ago one of my client’s talked of her realizing something had gone out of her marriage when she no longer experienced “pillow talk” with her husband. Conversations in bed, real talking with your spouse, seem to be a lost experience with so many couples.
People come to us because they have this and that problem, some very serious issues indeed, and some have to do with just losing that special feeling for one another. Coupling between men and women starts with some attraction that creates conversation. We all recall when we lost time in conversations with people we liked, even our spouses. Sometimes the problem we need to deal with is helping couple’s have conversations again, especially about the problems they face together. Counseling itself is simply a conversation about what matters, a conversation with someone who wants to listen to what you have to say.
What happened to conversations between husbands and wives? A conversation, which means something or is enjoyable or may untangle some problem because “two heads are better then one,” occurs between people who are friendly with each other. There is that likeability factor between friends, isn’t there? Between husbands and wives certain dislikes creep into a relationship because we are naturally different, or because we can’t meet each other’s expectations, or because…. so many because! With many couples, conversations just seep away with the years. Pillow talk, well forget that!
It is clear to me that our over-scheduled, over-wired, 24/7 life style is killing conversations. Who has the time? We all want to hear the point and move on. This is not a breeding ground for friendship or intimacy! It creates loneliness and very sad hearts. No wonder there are so many affairs. People who have affairs find and take the time to have conversations with one another. So where there’s a will there’s a way. Will the time to “be” with your spouse!
Here are some basic tools from the Isenberg tool chest.
• Once you both “will” that time, you need to individually try and actually listen to what your spouse is actually saying “as if” you were their best friend again. Open your heart.
• Try listening to a paragraph or two without rehearsing your answer or silently discounting their words. Open your ears.
• It also pays to look at your “partner” while listening because “seeing” the whole person helps in “hearing” them. Lovers do that. Real friends do that. Therapists do that. And you can do that. Open your eyes.
Willing it can lead to enjoying each other in renewed ways. You may even enjoy “pillow talk” again.
Shelly Isenberg, February 15, 2011