Learn To
Reconnect

If you have two minutes, we have a quick little trick that might just make your marriage last forever. We are not kidding. If you're worried about your marriage (and even if you're not!), you simply have to try this.

Couple in Embrace

Maintaining connection

Do you feel like you're drifting apart?

Couples often lead such busy lives that they don't take time to share and really be together. Even if they carve out date nights, doing things like going to the movies or out with friends doesn't give them a renewed sense of knowing and loving each other. Time for themselves as friends and lovers gets pushed to the end of the to-list that, of course, never has an end. Without this personal connection, minor annoyances can turn into huge arguments. Yet, with it, minor annoyances are just that -- minor.

relationships take work

But if you do a little bit every day, it won't be such a painful chore.

Here's an exercise I created many years ago to help couples build in this special time for themselves, even with hectic daily schedules. It takes two minutes, which really can be squeezed into any day. And, when put into perspective (preparing for a divorce takes a lot longer), it's very doable. The exercise is called "ITS." In the story below, you'll see how ITS got its name.

After 13 years of marriage, Jacob and Eliza have become compatible housemates and marginally compatible co-parents to their three sons. They both work; they have their own interests they share with friends. They go out together as a family; they go out with other couples.

What, you may ask, is the problem? They rarely spend time together, just the two of them. And when they do, as Eliza says, "We usually talk about the kids, work, politics -- nothing personal."

On the surface, it looks like Jacob and Eliza have a relatively good marriage. The only real problem, as Eliza implies, is they've grown distant. They don't talk about anything personal or loving. They don't talk about their wishes or fears for the future, their dreams, or their love and affection. Their unresolved arguments leave bitterness; their unexpressed anger builds up. Without the loving conversations, there is no balance for the negative feelings -- and that can erode a marriage.

How ITS works

I designed an exercise to help them reconnect in a way that allowed them to safely express their feelings -- positive and negative. Here's how it works, and what they did.

1Get in position

"Sit together on a sofa or bed, with both of you facing the same direction. That means one of you is facing the other's back. Let's say that you, Jacob, are IT first. Eliza, you sit with your arms around Jacob's waist. Jacob, for two minutes, you get to talk; you can say anything you want. Eliza, you can't respond. You just hold him."

2Share your thoughts and feelings

"Since she can't see your face, Jacob, and she can't say anything, you can tell her anything you want. It might be something she did that angered or hurt your feelings; it might be a funny story that happened at work; it might be a memory from childhood. Or, you could just sit quietly and feel her arms around you. You can use those two minutes any way you want. You have a captive audience who won't walk away and who can't talk back."

3No feedback

"When the time is up, neither of you are to talk about it. On another day, switch. This means, Eliza, that Jacob holds you now while you use your two minutes any way you want. Make sure each of you has at least one turn during the week; if you both want a second (or third) round, go for it. But remember, no more than two minutes. And no matter what the other says, you can't talk about it afterward."

4This is not foreplay

"Oh, and one more thing: Regardless how you both feel, this exercise is not to lead to love-making. If you want to do that, do it at some other time."

Next: How did it work out for Jacob and Eliza?

Continue »
12

Tags: getting him back

Recommended for you

Comments

Comments on "Save your marriage in 2 minutes a day"

Tina January 18, 2013 | 12:53 PM

Great tips. I think it's so important to TALK to each other. My husband normally calls me on his way home from work. It's sorta our "alone time" haha cause once he's home the kids want his attention.

Jessica October 15, 2012 | 3:03 PM

Everyone has two minutes a day, and I think it's so important to devote that time (or more) to your spouse. My husband and I got in the habit of watching TV every night before bed. Recently, we decided to not watch TV once a week, and instead lay there and talk. It's really helped us feel more connected to each other.

Jessica October 15, 2012 | 3:03 PM

Everyone has two minutes a day, and I think it's so important to devote that time (or more) to your spouse. My husband and I got in the habit of watching TV every night before bed. Recently, we decided to not watch TV once a week, and instead lay there and talk. It's really helped us feel more connected to each other.

Leslie July 02, 2012 | 5:04 PM

What a fun way to get closer to your spouse. Whether playing the ITS game or not, the main point is to give your spouse your undivided attention. Let him/her vent and discuss what's going on. All you need to do is listen. My husband and I do this at dinner...this is why we try to go out atleast once a week without the kids. If the kids aren't there, we're really able to express ourselves to eachother.

Henry August 18, 2010 | 3:49 PM

plesse tell me more about how to settle rift/problems in my family. if my wife is giving me bul, refusing to give me whenever i need to make love even kissing her. what will i do to make her understand me that i really love her and can do without her.

+ Add Comment


(required - not published)