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          Undivided Attention Exercise

          May 11, 2004

          During the “Relationship Rescue Retreat” Dr. Phil guides the six couples through an exercise he calls Stop, Start and Continue, which is designed to reveal exactly what each of them wants. Use this exercise to open up the lines of communication with your spouse.

          Get two chairs. You and your partner now sit in the chairs, with one of you having your knees slightly apart and touching the front edge of your partner’s chair. The other partner should have his or her knees together so that they can fit between the first partner’s knees. Both of you put your hands in your lap as opposed to folded across your chest. From the moment you sit down, make and maintain eye contact.

          This is what is referred to as a dyad. That is simply a term that describes a two-person unit where the partners are face to face and are involved in active eye contact. Reach down deep into your gut, deep into your heart, and tell the truth. Speak with absolute honesty. You probably don’t get many chances like this. Make it count.

          Wife to Husband:
          Complete the sentence, “What I wish you would stop doing because it is killing me inside …”

          Husband to Wife:
          Complete the sentence, “What I wish you would stop doing because it is killing me inside …”

          Wife to Husband:
          Complete the sentence, “What I wish you would start doing because I need it so desperately …”

          Husband to Wife:
          Complete the sentence, “What I wish you would start doing because I need it so desperately …”

          Wife to Husband:
          Complete the sentence, “What I hope you will continue to do, because I value it so greatly …”

          Husband to Wife:
          Complete the sentence, “What I hope you will continue to do, because I value it so greatly …”

          Now stand facing your partner, with your hands behind your backs. On the count of three, you’re going to rate your marriage on a scale of one to 10. One is the worst, 10 is absolute perfection. At the same time, using your hands, show each other the number you rate your marriage.

          Subtract the number you chose from 10, and give your partner that many reasons why your relationship is not a 10. For example, if you rate your marriage a 2, give 8 reasons why your relationship is not a 10. After you’re finished, your partner does the same.

          Take that same number and now give your partner that many things he/she can do to make your relationship a 10. Be specific. Name things your partner can actually do something about to improve your relationship.

           

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