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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Existing Significant Relationships (Part Three)

Early relationship repair begins by focusing on the individual issues and how those dysfunctions are being played out. Ideally, both partners are seeking individual and couples therapy. They are looking for support groups that can lend insight into their healing process. During the period of sexual abstinence, it is important to connect through activities the promote trust, partnership building, and fun, such as hiking, golf, or bridge. It also is important to schedule date nights with focus on a relaxed, stress-free environment.

I invite both partners to take a time-out from genital contact, a period of abstinence. The goal is to allow anger, resentments, and betrayal to heal. The reintroduction of genital connection will take place over a period of time and with a specific plan.

You can then move into nongential connection, which include cuddling, caressing, massaging, hand-holding and kissing. Integrating what you have learned through individual attunement and nurturing is the first step in nongential contact. It involves expressing your needs and getting to know your partner. This slows down the process, allowing each partner to be present and attuned to the other. This can feel awkward, but, the comfort level will most likely increase when this process begins.

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