“How can I kiss the lips at night that chewed my ass out all day?”

Whilst driving home yesterday a song with the above title came on the Outlaw Country music station we were listening to. (really!)  After I finished laughing I found myself thinking – “it may be a bit colorful in its language, but the song is expressing a basic truth about relationships.”  A prime tenent of Imago couples therapy is that safety is a prerequisite of true connection and intimacy.  And of course any form of “ass chewing” be it ragging, nagging, bitchin’, moaning, yelling or sarcasm will destroy your partner’s sense of being safe with you the minute it appears.  So we have a choice.  If we want passion at night, we need to find a way to speak our truth during the day without damaging the sense of safety and trust in the relationship.    This is the beauty of truly intentional, loving dialogue.  We can speak what is real without doing harm.  It may take a bit of extra effort – but the result in terms of intimacy and passion is well worth the effort.

Posted by Laura

Laura Marshall, LCSW, is the founder and director of the Sagebrush Center for Relationship Therapy. Her experience spans thirty years of supporting couples and individuals to create healthy and meaningful lives and relationships. She is also adjunct faculty for the New Mexico Highlands School of Social Work. She lives with her husband Steve and five sons in Farmington, New Mexico.

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