[This article is the first in a 7-part series on the Six Intimacy Skills™️ by Laura Doyle.]
I don’t know about you, but I did not learn the kind of healthy intimacy skills that sustain long-term relationships when I was growing up.
Although I sincerely believe my parents were doing the very best they could, they married and divorced each other twice during my childhood — unintentionally leaving a void where a template for healthy marriage might have been.
Most of us were not fortunate enough to see modeled a healthy, connected, intimate long-term relationship when we were children, and this absence of a tried-and-true formula for a thriving relationship may persist to today.
Without a roadmap to intimacy we do our best to imagine what it might look like.
We may read books, attend workshops, or go to “experts” like marriage therapists, counselors, or clergy members to help us figure out how to have the connected, intimate union we long for.
Sadly, these efforts often don’t yield the results we’re seeking because even “experts” may not know the skills that foster deep, intimate connection. In fact, their relationships may be more fractured and distressed than our own!
Over the past few months I’ve been digging into and putting into practice the Six Intimacy Skills™️ (SIS) created by Laura Doyle, author of The Empowered Wife and the New York Times best-selling — and controversial — book, The Surrendered Wife.
No doubt when I first heard the title The Surrendered Wife I was immediately turned off.
Thankfully, sacrifice, martyrdom, and subjugation are nowhere to be found in Doyle’s work.
Quite the opposite.
In the short time I have studied and practiced the SIS, I have experienced them as profoundly empowering, inspiring, and life-changing — both for myself and my marriage of 32 years.
And that’s why I want to share these skills with you.
The Six Intimacy Skills*:
- Replenish Your Spirit with Self-Care
- Restore Respect
- Relinquish Control of Your Man
- Receive, Receive, Receive!
- Reveal Your Heart with Vulnerability
- Refocus Your View with Gratitude
Self-care, respect, letting go of control, receiving, vulnerability, and gratitude — who can argue with that!?
Over the next few weeks, I will discuss each of the SIS and share why I believe that every woman who desires more intimacy and connection with a man needs to master these six skills. (Although these skills are presented to be practiced in heterosexual relationships, they may be applicable to same-sex couples where there is a moderate to strong masculine-feminine polarity between partners.)
And if you’d like to get started now learning the SIS, I highly recommend getting a copy of Doyle’s book, The Empowered Wife, as well as following these recommendations:
- Let your learning and experimenting with the skills be your private information. I promise that if you begin practicing even one of the six skills (especially #s 2-6) you will notice changes in your relationship within a short time. I got noticeable results in 3 days! You will feel more free to experiment and make mistakes if — for now — you keep your learning laboratory private.
- Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. You may bristle at the sub-titles of Doyle’s books, her thoughts about a spouse’s occasional use of pornography, and her recommendations for financial intimacy. I hear you. By all means, honor your truth and follow the wise 12-step program slogan, “take what you like and leave the rest.” (Please note: submitted comments relating to Doyle’s opinions or work other than the practice of the Six Intimacy Skills™️ will not be published on this site.)
There is absolute gold in the SIS and I don’t want you to miss any of it.
*From The Empowered Wife: Six Surprising Secrets for Attracting Your Husband’s Time, Attention, and Affection, by Laura Doyle
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© Vicki Tidwell Palmer, LCSW (2019)