The Fourteen Days of Loving with Honesty Dyads

Day 1

EVENING ACTIVITY
Your evening activities, because they are directly interactive, are extremely important. To program yourself for the highest probability of success, choose a time when competing or interfering activities are at a minimum. Specifically, that means when dinner is over, the television is turned off, the kids are in bed, and the phone is off the hook. You will need about thirty uninterrupted minutes.

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 wherein the partners are face to face and are involved in active eye contact. Use the dyad arrangement every night. You will also need a clock or a timer with a bell.

You and your partner will be assigned topics or given questions in which you will interact in a very structured fashion while sitting in this dyad. It is very important that you strictly adhere to all of the instructions for each assignment and that you remain in the dyad position. Do not vary or depart from the instructions in any way, and do not break your dyad arrangement until completion of all assignments.

Day 1
Here's your first assignments in the dyad. Sitting silently, make eye contact with your partner for two uninterrupted minutes. The emphasis here is on silence. Do not make small talk. Look your partner in the eye. This might seem like an eternity, but, you must do it if you are ever going to start acknowledging your partner as thinking, feeling, and caring human being. Rarely do couples, especially those in distress, take the time to just look at each other as human beings, to look at one another without any judgments or questions or concerns.

Next, it is time to talk to one another, but only in a very structured fashion. Each night there will be three topics to discuss. With each topic there will be a start to a sentence, and it is up to you to finish it in as many different ways and with as much embellishment and honest disclosure as you possibly can. There is a specific pattern in the way you must talk to each other. The partner who is to speak first (it can be either one of you) shares his or her thoughts and feelings about the assigned subject matter for three uninterrupted minutes while maintaining eye contact with the second partner, who is to keep time and signal when the three minutes is up. You must stop talking when your time is up.

At the conclusion of the first partner's remarks, the second partner can make only one response: "Thank you for caring enough to share, and I promise to weigh it carefully." No other statement may be made. The second partner or listener cannot argue, disagree, agree, or ask questions. Commit the response to memory and give it precisely and dutifully each time your partner completes his or her sharing.

Then it's the second partner's turn. He or she will take three minutes and respond to the same subject matter as the first partner while being timed by the first partner. Again, eye contact is to be maintained throughout the entire response, and the first partner's only response can be: "Thank you enough for caring to share, and I promise to weigh it carefully."

For your first evening there are three topics. Tonight and each successive night, keep your book handy so you can read the assignments exactly and follow the pattern precisely.

Here is your agenda for evening number 1. You need the book and timer. Arrange your dyad and maintain eye contact silently for two minutes.


TOPIC 1
Partner A: "I chose you as the person with whom I would form an intimate relationship because. . ." Three minutes

Partner B: "Thank you for caring enough to share, and I promise to weigh it carefully."

Partner B: "I chose you as the person with whom I would form an intimate relationship because. . ." Three minutes

Partner A: "Thank you for caring enough to share, and I promise to weigh it carefully."


TOPIC 2
Partner A: "My greatest fear in opening up to you has been. . ." Three minutes

Hint: Use "I" statements, not 'you" statements. Avoid saying, "My greatest fear in opening up to you has been that you would not handle it well. "Instead, offer statements such as "My greatest fear in opening up to you has been that I didn't trust myself enough because. . ."

Partner B: "Thank you for caring enough to share, and I promise to weigh it carefully."

Partner B: "My greatest fear in opening up to you has been. . ." Three minutes

Partner A: "Thank you for caring enough to share, and I promise to weigh it carefully."


TOPIC 3
Partner A: "What I hope to gain by opening up to you is . . ." Three minutes

Partner B: "Thank you for caring enough to share, and I promise to weigh it carefully."

Partner B: "What I hope to gain by opening up to you is . . ." Three minutes

Partner A: "Thank you for caring enough to share, and I promise to weigh it carefully."


Give each other a thirty-second hug.



Go to day:   1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  



For a more in-depth look at yourself, your partner and how to reconnect, you can read Relationship Rescue and do the exercises in Dr Phil's Relationship Rescue Workbook.