The Entanglement Checklist
We have illusions about feelings. I am going to make some true and false statements and I would like you to answer them in your journal.
- Expressing feelings is a sign of weakness.
- Some feelings are better than others.
- It is not masculine for males to express feelings.
- If you express anger, you will become out of control.
- Feelings are less important than thoughts.
- Intimacy is experienced only when we make physical love.
- People who don’t talk about feelings do not have any.
- Its not okay to angry with someone you love because this will mean you do not love them.
- If you express feelings, you will be hurt, criticized, misunderstood or rejected by others.
Pictures and Feeling List
What we usually say as feeling statements
- I think I am afraid of you.
- I feel that you’re not spending enough time with me.
- My feeling is that you’re a jerk.
- Logically these tears don’t make any sense.
A lot of people come into therapy saying they don’t know how they feel. This comes from the way we were brought up.
- Feelings were unacceptable
- Punishment for feeling other than happy or being easy
- Told to stop feeling sorry for yourself
- Feelings in the home were mostly destructive and hurtful
We hold emotions in our bodies and we must become aware of where they are and what are the words that comes with the feelings.
Sadness -throat, belly, chest lump, pressure, empty
Anger -back of neck, head tension in temples
Fear -belly, head, chest shortness of breath
Sexual -feelings, genitals, lower belly fullness, good achy,warmth
Joy -chest area, eyes expansive, glowing, bubbly
Write out these questions in your journal and answer… take some time.
- Do you favor certain emotions?
- Which are easier to express?
- Most difficult?
- What do you think is the easiest for your partner?
- What do you think is more difficult for your partner?
Share and listen. This is a time to understand active listening. Explain…
Now act out feeling and have the partner respond verbally… then switch.
Remember to answer in I statements.
Sad..act it out… then partner might say something like… “I can feel myself wanting to comfort you.”
Fearful… “I can see you are really afraid and I don’t know what to do.”
Annoyed… “I feel you are mad at me. I feel mad at you for being annoyed.”
Notice which ones are hard for you to respond.
TELLING THE TRUTH
Go back and forth with these exercises. About every 2 to 5 minutes change.
- Talk about anything in the moment. “A” speaks, then “B”.
- Talk about your body experiences in the moment.
- Inner awareness. Close your eyes. Listen to what your partner is saying to you about their experience. This is about hearing your partner and honoring your own experience. Can I be myself and still be with my partner?
- Look into your partners eyes
B.In journal… a list of what is essential to you in a relationship.
A partner who:
- is willing to look at issues and not blame.
- has a sense of humor.
- is excited about life.
- has a deep commitment to growth.
- shares tasks at home.
- keeps agreements.
How it is… What I want materials things, relationships, money and Sex.
Relationship… How it is… is that I am angry at always cooking. What I want is for you to cook at least twice a week.
Material… How it is… is that the back door is broken. What I want is for it to be fixed.
Money… How it is… is that I feel hurt that you have your money and I have mine and we don’t share as one. What I want is that we begin to have one account… not your account and our account at the bank.
Sex… How it is… is that I am much too tired to have make love at night all the time. What I want is to make love in the morning… to take the time for longer and more sweet love making.
Say back and forth 5 times each… “I am willing to get close to you”. Each time you say this back and forth, notice how you feel. Then “I choose to be close to you, to tell you all my feelings, to tell the truth and keep agreements.”
Then say.. “I am willing to clear up any obstacles to us getting close in a way that is totally friendly”.
Getting Separate… or getting Space
Problematic signs: turning the back on the partner, shutting the eyes when the other is speaking, walking away when partner is in mid-sentence, sighing or rolling the eyes, interrupting, tensing up and holding the breath. Any more?
- Say.. “I am willing to be separate and develop my full potential as an individual.”
- Then say… “I support you in developing your full potential as an individual.”
Mission Statement for the Couplehood
Re-romancing the Heart and the Body
- First write out how your partner is now pleasing you. ” I feel loved and cared about when you… … .”
- What you used to do. “I used to feel loved and cared about when you… ..”
- “I would like you to…”
- Now combine the lists and prioritize which is the most important to least and compare.
- 1001 ways to Romance
- Sex.. sensate focus, How it is and What you want.
Communication is the key. Beyond just sharing thoughts and feelings is this deep recognition of another person’s being. It is the basis of companionship, a deep connectedness. This is looking into your partners eyes, seeing your beloved, know that together you are becoming the “best you can be”… that is the ultimate commitment.