Knee to Knee, Eye to Eye
What if there was one thing you could do each week that may ensure you and your spouse live a long and happy life together? Okay, attending the temple together wins hands down, but how about an additional idea? It’s called “Knee to Knee, Eye to Eye.”
“Knee to Knee, Eye to Eye” is a weekly opportunity to truly connect with your spouse. When you adopt this as a habit, many problems will never show up in your relationship.
What to do? Sit in chairs facing each other knee to knee when and where you won’t be interrupted. Keep your hands separate on your legs, or hold hands with spouse if it’s comfortable. Say nothing for two whole minutes; just connect with your eyes. (Think about this--how do we connect with babies from the start? Eye to eye. How did we connect as new lovers in the beginning of our courtship? Eye to eye. The eye is the window to the soul. And there’s no one on earth more qualified to know your soul.)
Follow the five prompts as you discuss each item, eye to eye:
Appreciation--Gratitude is a super-high energy emotion. A conversation began in thankfulness sets an inviting tone. Give specific compliments and gratitude.
“One thing I appreciated about you this week was…”
Plans--Discuss the outlook for together, alone, and family time. What will we look forward to together? If we’re in this life together for eternity, looking forward to something in the upcoming future mirrors the excitement of togetherness for eternity. Examples: concert, getaway, dinner at a special place, doing things differently.
“What’s going on this week? When will we make quality time together?”
Finances--One of the biggest rocks in the happy marriage path is money disagreement. Take the time to talk about how your accounts, spending, and projections look. (Remember to allow money for individual or couple fun and freedom.)
“According to the last bank statement…” “Our budget is…”
Improvements-- Be humble, don’t get defensive; apologize if need be. Never say “never” or “always” because you will always be wrong. Of course, take turns!
“What can I do to improve?”
Goals--Be focused on a common purpose, and know individual dreams as an opportunity to support each other.
“What are your goals, and how can I help?”
This Knee to Knee, Eye to Eye exercise need not take long; but DO IT weekly.
Side note: If you know your “Love Language” (Gary Chapman), you’ll notice that all five languages by which we give and receive love are covered in this simple exercise: 1. Quality Time, 2. Words of Affirmation, 3. Gifts of Love, 4. Physical Touch, and 5. Acts of Service
Ideas for this exercise taken from:
Stan Tatkin, PsychoBiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT)
Zach Oates, Bowl of Oates Blog