The doctors worked feverishly in panic. Seven years ago when it was born, it was healthy, vibrant, and full of life but now it was fading and losing life fast. The doctors tried all types of interventions but nothing worked and then, it got worse. A loud series of beeps indicated that it had coded and that death was imminent. There was only one last thing to try. The doctor employed CPR and the power of touch to resuscitate the heart with his hands and the lungs with his lips.
The patient is this story is not a child. It’s a relationship. Don and Jessica had only been married seven short years before it was on serious life support. Don had just alerted Jessica that he would be taking a promotion that required him to work in another state five days a week. Jessica’s blood pressure boiled as she confronted him about why he would choose to leave his wife and kids by themselves all week. Don’s cold yet desperate response backed her down while rocking her to the core. “It’s not like we have a real marriage anyway. I doubt you’ll even miss me.” Jessica folded her head in her hands and began to cry.
Don and Jessica are like a lot of couples. Don felt rejected and coped by busying himself with work to the point that he barely spent time any time at home. When he was home, he mostly ate, watched sports, disciplined his sons and/or went to sleep. Jessica, on the other hand, was overwhelmed with work and the demands of being PTA treasurer, taking their twin boys to football practice and games four times a week and taking her mother to dialysis. Needless to say, their relationship was an after thought and, as a result, dying and on life support.
Even though Don didn’t say it, taking a position out of town was not about money. It was about seeing if their relationship was worth fighting for. It worked because the couple was in counseling with me the same week. After listening to the facts, I quickly deemed that Don and Jessica were like a lot of couples. They didn’t have as many problems as they thought. Instead, they had one huge problem that caused all the rest. Don & Jessica were diagnosed with relationship neglect which has resulted from a lack of T.T.I. They had no time, no touch, and no intimacy.
Don & Jessica’s relationship required an immediate fix. Don needed convincing to rescind his acceptance letter and Jessica needed answers not to take him to the cleaners and file for a messy divorce. I prescribed this couple the four T’s to get more time, touch and intimacy in their relationship immediately. The four T’s:
Scheduled Time- consistently scheduled date nights
Togetherness- focused attention only on one another without distraction
Tuning- listening so well that you tune in well enough to truly feel your lover’s emotions
Touch- serves as physical evidence that you truly love your partner
The couple decided to make Wednesdays their weekly date night. On Wednesdays, the kids had a babysitter and mom was asleep by 7pm. Sometimes, the couple went out and sometimes they stayed in but they always gave each other time, touch and intimacy by following the four T’s. Jessica would run her fingers through her husband’s curly hair and Don would rub his wife’s feet while they talked about everything under the sun except work, mom, the kids or stress without interruption.
Within months, their relationship was alive, well and passionate. Don & Jessica became Wednesday Lovers and made a habit of celebrating each successful date with hot, passionate, mind blowing sex. Don turned down the position, Jessica coordinated a car pool with the other football moms and both alternated taking grandma to dialysis. Their date night improved their chemistry and enabled them to find solutions to save their relationship.
Is your relationship on life support? Don’t let it die! Create your own date night and give your relationship the time, touch and intimacy it needs to thrive. It worked for Don & Jessica and it will work for you.