Report 5: “Mental Intimacy”

Nicole Salviejo

Josie Garcia

Anna Valenzuela

Psy 409b, Spring 2008, Generation 27

Dr. Leon James, Instructor, University of Hawaii

Link to class home page

 

Section 1: Lecture

N. Salviejo

Link to: Lecture Notes (Section 6)

 

Developing Mental Intimacy

 

This week’s lecture notes focuses on ways that husbands and boyfriends can improve their relationships with their wives and girlfriends.  One way that husbands and boyfriends can do this is by developing a deeper level of mental intimacy with their partners, which in turn will help their relationship to reach a higher level in the Three-Fold Self as characterized by the Unity Model of Marriage.

 

 

In order for husbands and boyfriends to develop a deeper level of mental intimacy with their wives and girlfriends they must first do two things, which include: stop adding to their partner’s mental distress and, secondly, men must learn ways that will ease their partners’ mental distress. 

 

Husbands who truly cherish and love the mental intimacy provided by their wives will easily be able to do these two things.  According to Dr. James, for the husbands who only love their partners on a shallow level (i.e. loving their wives physical appearance and not the mental intimacy provided by partners), they will continually refuse to practice these two rules on a daily basis.  In the end, the husbands who do not wish to become more mentally intimate with their wives, they will not become soul mates in eternal marriage.

 

 

“Anti-intimacy Practices”

 

Below is a list of common behaviors, or “anti-intimacy practices”, that husbands and boyfriends must refrain from doing, in order to ease or not add any more mental distress experienced by their wives and girlfriends:

1.         Insulting or embarrassing their wife in public.

2.         Ignoring her when she walks into the room.

3.         Refusing to help her with household chores.

4.         Pressuring her to have sex even when she says no.

5.         When a husband lies or hides things from his wife.

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Husbands must monitor their interactions with their partners and must take note of the types of disjunctive behaviors they partake in, which may result in their wife’s unhappiness or mental distress.  In order to do so, they must allow their wives to point out these disjunctive behaviors and then must try to stop these negative behaviors themselves. 

 

 

Dr. Laura and Disjunctive Behavior

 

One example of a disjunctive behavior explained in the lecture notes was found in a radio conversation Dr. Laura Schlessinger had with a woman who was upset that her husband accused her of not loving him because she chose to teach Sunday school at a Christian church than accompany him to mass at the same church. 

 

Under the Unity Model of Marriage, the husband is displaying a selfish disjunctive behavior in which he is choosing to not respect his wife’s choice to teach.  According to Dr. James, this is a form of mental abuse and this mentality and level of moral reasoning stems from the male dominance phase of the Unity Model of Marriage.  A solution to this would be for the husband to accompany his wife while she teaches Sunday school.  He doesn’t necessarily need to know the subject matter; he can just sit there and help her manage the children in the classroom.   By doing this, the husband will show his respect for his wife and her choices. 

 

 

By discontinuing these disjunctive behaviors, men will come to discover that they can experience great pleasure from this—they will discover that they actually enjoy trying to become more mentally intimate with their wives.  In turn, wives will feel more fulfilled, knowing that they have helped their husbands discontinue such destructive behaviors.  The wife’s desire for conjunction will be realized and the couple will both experience a level of happiness they have never experienced before.  Eventually, the couple will become soul mates and will be well on their way of achieving conjugial love in eternal union in the immortality of their heaven.

 

 

Bill of Rights

 

            If husbands choose to they can also draft a “Bill or Rights” in which he is choosing to not respect his wife’s choice to teach.  According to Dr. James, this is a form of mental abuse and this mentality and level of moral reasoning stems from the male dominance phase of the Unity Model of Marriage.  A solution to this would be for the husband to accompany his wife while she teaches Sunday school.  He doesn’t necessarily need to know the subject matter; he can just sit there and help her manage the children in the classroom.   By doing this, the husband will show his respect for his wife and her choices. 

 

 

A bill of rights or list of human rights that they owe their wives everyday.  By having this list, it portrays for husbands in specific terms what his ideal is as a practitioner of the unity model of eternal marriage.  In addition, the couple can encourage one another to develop a deeper level of mental intimacy as characterized under the unity phase of the unity model of marriage. 

 

 

For example the Bill of rights could include the following:

 

1.         Placing the wife at the top of the husband’s agenda and daily effort.

2.         Giving the wife total loyalty, taking precedence over children, career, and hobbies.

3.         Husbands preferring to spend time with their wives over time spent with friends.

4.         Husbands showing their wives that they enjoy their wives’ humor and intelligence.

5.         Husbands will show that they enjoy speaking with their wives and will respond to her in a kind and caring manner.

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How to keep your marriage strong

 

Here are some other tips on how to have a more successful and meaningful marriage as stated by Dr. John Gottman from his research on successful marriages:

 

• Express more positives than negatives. In Gottman’s research, he found that those happily married showed a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative statements to each other and about their relationship.

 

• Accept each other’s influence. In strong partnerships neither spouse is too rigid to consider the requests or input of his or her mate.

 

• Maintain high standards. Those who regularly accept disrespectful behavior from a partner are likely to see their relationship deteriorate over time.

 

• Learn how to exit an argument. This can include expressions of humor, compassion or appreciation; a time-out until cooler heads prevail; or even backing off from your position in the disagreement.

 

• Edit your angry thoughts. Just because it’s normal to feel anger doesn’t mean it’s useful to express all of it. Those rated as happier couples learned to manage angry thoughts and share them judiciously.

 

• Consider your opening. Pay attention to your tone and wording. Couples can avoid, soften or de-escalate differences through the manner in which they raise sensitive issues.

 

• Don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Gottman reports that the average couple waits six years before reaching out for help with a troubled marriage. The earlier a couple addresses problems the easier it is to make positive changes.

 

(Source: parenthood.com)

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Section 2 Readings

J. Garcia and A. Valenzuela

 

The Lazy Husband by Joshua Coleman

Chapter 8 For the Husband pages 182-202

Chapter 9 The Lazy Husband Campaign pages 203-206

 

            In Chapter 8 of his book, Coleman addresses the husbands, and gives tips on improvement under the following areas: Housework and Sex, Childhood, Parenting, Daily Appreciations.  In this section I’ll look at his suggestions and see where they fall within the Unity Model. Coleman states “the best way to change your partner is to change yourself.”  I usually think his point of view is Equity, but this comment sounds more Unity to me. Other topics covered in this chapter also places Coleman in both Equity and Unity.

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Housework and Sex

 

            Coleman points out the different views of males and females on the importance of sex in the marriage.  He mentions studies on Marriage by John Gottman,  and gives tips on how to lower a wife’s stress by helping with the housework, in turn increasing her sex drive. 

Here are the three tips he gives:

·         “Write out a list with her of what she’d like you to do.” I think this could fall under the Unity Stage, as it shows the husband’s desire to understand what the wife wants and needs, and is trying to be that for her.

·         “See if there are bargains that can be made.” This falls back into the Equity Stage, the give and take that isn’t always equal.

·         “Don’t fight with her so much.” This is Unity, putting the wife’s needs first and understanding her rather than fighting with her.

 

 

Examine Your Childhood

 

            This is just a short section on looking at how your childhood affects your marriage.  This portion is in the Equity stage, and states the husband should “assume you are half the problem.”

 

 

Parenting

           

This is also a small section, encouraging fathers to be just as involved as mothers in the parenting process.  I think it is more and more common these days for dads to be involved in the parenting. This is once again in the Equity phase.

 

 

Daily Appreciations

 

            This chapter falls under the Unity Model.  It opens with this sentence:”…appreciate everything that your wife does for you, the kids, or the house. I mean every freaking thing.”  It also encourages the husband to not be defensive and to talk about feelings. The tips in this chapter lead to mental intimacy, and affective conjunction. 

 

            I liked this chapter, and found that none of it falls into the Male Dominance stage.  I think it takes couples in the right direction moving from Equity to Unity.  I also am very interested in Gottman’s research, and think it could be very useful for husbands really trying to improve their marriage.  However, I also think that the husbands most in need of these tips are probably not going to be willing to read this book.   

 

            In Chapter 9 Coleman brings his book to a conclusion in an Equity standpoint.  He encourages men to be willing to change, and women to be patient and let them change in their time.  I think this can lead to a healthy marriage if both are willing to contribute t the change and improvement, however, I also believe it’s okay to walk away if no change is being made where it is truly needed.

 

 

Lecture Notes 16e: Monitoring Disjunctive vs. Conjunctive Discourse

This portion of the lecture notes is a field activity that looks at discourse between couples and then categorizes it as conjunctive or disjunctive based on Table 16d.1.   It covers four ways husbands and boyfriends are disjunctive with their wives and girlfriends.

 

 

 

1. “Negation Denial and Refusal”  

Disjunctive replies in a conversation occur often in the Male Dominance and Equity stages, and less often in the Unity Stage.  Disjunctive replies in a conversation are for example:  “no I don’t want to do that” “I didn’t do/say that” “let’s do this, not that.”  Conjunctive replies, most common in the Unity Stage could be for example: “I would like to do that” “I may have said/did that” “yes, let’s do what you suggested.”

           

            I think a lot of men reply in these negative ways to women’s suggestions. I also think in order to “keep the peace” a lot of women accept these replies rather than argue for what they really want.  It may place me in the Equity phase, but I think compromise is the key to a good relationship. I think sometimes the woman should give up what she wants for the man, just as I think the man should sometimes give up what he wants for the woman. 

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            2. “Disloyalty, Secrecy, Lies” 

            Disjunctive acts in this section included the husband discussing things with others that he had not discussed with his wife, or discussing his wife with others in a manner she would not approve of, keeping things from her and lying to control her.  Conjunctive acts in these situations would be to not discuss things with others without discussing them with her first, speaking about her as though she were listening, being open and honest with her about everything.   These things occur most often in the Male Dominance and Equity stage, and rarely in the Unity stage.

 

            I value honesty above all else in a relationship. In my last relationship my boyfriend and I had an agreement that we would never lie to each other about anything.  It was hard sometimes, but even if the truth hurt, we were honest.  I think without honesty you can never have a real relationship. This would be conjunctive with the Unity stage.

 

 

            3. “Abusiveness, Swearing, Yelling”

            Both physical and verbal violence are disjunctive.  This covers degrading and prejudiced language, swearing, physical abuse, throwing or breaking objects out of anger and yelling or harsh tones rather than speaking respectfully to each other.  Conversation is key in relationships; these practices are most common in the first two stages, Male Dominance and Equity. They should be very rare if you are in the Unity Stage.

 

Many woman and even men sometimes stay in abusive relationships. I believe being verbally abusive is just as bad as being physically abusive, and think it’s sad so many people put up with it. 

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            4. After Disturbing His Wife, Not Making Up Adequately Enough

            A man must humble himself and make things right after his disjunctive behavior. This is not easy for him, but it shows he is moving toward mental intimacy if he does.  A woman must make her feelings know, so the man can understand how his disjunctive behavior hurts her. If he really cares about her, he will want to make things right.

 

            I think it is equally important for a woman to be conscious of her man’s feelings in regards to her actions. This is usually easier for the woman, but something I think both men and women need to continuously work on.

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C24

Link to: Generational Reports (C24)

 

 

Tracey Nieto presented C24 using two of the provided Generational Reports by previous students Buchner and Montague. Anti-Unity Values (AUV) were discussed in these reports, which consists of values that inhibits a couple from gaining Affective conjunction found in the Unity model of marriage.

 


1) Living together unmarried

2) Having children out of wedlock

3) Making each other jealous on purpose

4) Adultery for various reasons

5) Promiscuity and bi-sexuality

6) Sexy dressing for men other than one's partner

7) Having a same sex best friend who is placed ahead of the partner or in competition for certain things

8) Having a heterosexual best friend who is placed ahead of the partner or in competition for certain things

9) Same sex friends going out as a group for fun and entertainment without their partners

10) Flirting with other gender as retaliation against one's partner (or other reason)

11) Separate interests and activities accepted for partners

12) Manipulating partner through deception

13) Accepting the idea that it's OK to "agree to disagree" about some things

14) Promoting the idea that one should not try to change one's partner but should accept them with their faults, etc.

15) Girls only or boys only entertainment

16) Acceptance of the idea that men are more important

17) Promoting the idea that men are more rational than women

18) Promoting the idea that women are generally frivolous as part of their gender

19) Making it look normal for a man to exploit women

20) Making it look normal for a man to abuse women

21) Making it look normal for a man to have prerogatives or perks that women should accept and honor (e.g., serving men, doing what they want no matter what, being dominant, etc.)

22) Making it look like what women say and think as less important

23) Accepting the idea that a man does not need to "grovel" when he apologizes for something bad he did to her (the minimum is enough and she should not ask for more even if her feelings are still hurt or else she is being "unreasonable" etc.)


 

Examples of Anti-Unity Values can be seen in the media through television shows which we watch in our everyday lives. We adopt these characters to enter into our homes each afternoon or night, and we follow their stories and feel their heartaches or joyous experiences through their shows. We become their friends, their families, their sisters and daughters as we live and share each story line with them. Like our friends and families, these characters go through trying times, in pursuit of finding happiness and structure in their lives. They may have ups and downs which may follow them through these AUV’s that arguably everyone has tried or experienced at least once.

 

Everybody Loves Raymond

                        • Encouragement of Male Dominance

                        • Promotion of women’s servitude and duty to her husband

                                    - Ray’s mother serves dinner and cleans the home, while encouraging the men to rest and relax.

• Husband and wife’s relationship is not exclusively intimate in that Raymond’s family member are always involved

                        AUV # 9, Ray’s golf trips with his male friends

-                                                                                  Exclusion of his family to be with his friends

 

Sex and the City

                        • Living together unmarried (AUV # 1)

                        • Promiscuity and bi-sexuality (AUV # 5)

                                    -All the girls dated and slept with many men to satisfy their emotions and sexuality.

                        • having a child out of wedlock (AUV # 2)

 

Desperate Housewives

                        • Adultery (AUV # 4)

-A wife cheated on her husband purposefully because he was not giving her the attention that she wanted.

                        • Making each other jealous on purpose (AUV # 3)

                                   

 

            Personal Opinion

 

I feel that some of these AUV’s are an understatement of ones relationship. Perhaps if the couple lived together (AUV # 1) they could learn how to deal with problems that they experienced and strengthen their passion for each other, or discover that they are not meant to be together. I feel that it is acceptable for couples to cohabitate before they are serious enough to get married and discover these faults later; it can be a step that they can take to decide if they are right for one another.

 

However, in the lecture notes, it describes it being harder for the couple to move from Equity to Unity since it would be difficult for the woman to change or motivate her man to agree with her wishes. Other AUV’s such as #4 and 5, adultery and promiscuity can not be acceptable to either partner because it is morally wrong and threatens their union of reaching Unity. Being exposed to hurtful attacks at one another by lying in bed with another partner can only push the man and woman further apart from each other- widening the gap for which their relationship may fall through.

 

 I believe that couples should follow the “Golden Rule” do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. If you cheat, or don’t treat your significant other well, then expect them to do the same- to cheat and treat you poorly as well. This is because if you disregard someone else’s feelings, how can you expect them to give you love and care, they should not because it will only enforce Male Dominance, not Equity or Unity: which are what is needed to reach spiritual Unity in marriage.

 

Section 3: Presentation on Exercises

A. Valenzuela

a) Summarize the main ideas of the team.

In this weeks exercise presentations, Josie Garcia, Lisa Ha, Angela Washington, and Sumiyo Ishikawa presented Exercise 10.2.They analyzed and compared the views given from the website of Achieving Intimacy In Life Learning to Develop Lasting Relationships and the Unity Model of Marriage.  The main concepts given were separated into Spiritual Intimacy, Emotional Intimacy Mental Intimacy, and Physical Intimacy.

 

 

b) Describe what they did and how they interpreted it.      

I don’t know why, but the presentations were given on separate day. However, Sumiyo and Josie presented on the communication portion of the exercises, being the 5 secrets to a healthy marriage according to Gary Smalley, and the 5 A’s of Relationships, respectively.  Angela and Lisa presented on the 4 intimacies. The first presenter I will summarize is Lisa Ha. Lisa reported on physical and mental intimacy as provided by the previously mentioned website. According to the website:

Angela presented on spiritual intimacy and emotional intimacy.

 

Spiritual Intimacy

 

According to spiritual intimacy, the partners have the deepest level of bonding, comparable to the unity phase in the Unity Model of Marriage.  Similarly in both models, this phase is where the partners are no longer individually a “me” but are one together as a “we”.  In this spiritual intimacy each has to make the commitment to each other, as well as the commitment to God.  The commitment to God helps to develop the spiritual intimacy between partners

 

Emotional Intimacy

 

She described emotional intimacy as where both partners put themselves "out there" for each other.  They share their thoughts, feelings and experiences openly and place themselves in vulnerable positions. Reaching the levels prior to this one permits for emotional intimacy to rule.  She also named “vital signs” from the web site that keep LOVE alive.

 

  • Love is kept alive by how we say it.
  • Love is kept alive by caring enough to listen.
  • Love is kept alive when two people realize they do not always have to be right.
  • Love is kept alive in patience.
  • Love is kept alive in an atmosphere of constructive and positive reinforcement.
  • Love is kept alive by demonstrating common courtesy.
  • Love is kept alive in a mutual give and take!
  • Love is kept alive when we seek to eliminate angry episodes.
  • Love is kept alive with short memories of evil and long memories of good.

 

Mental Intimacy

 

Lisa Ha described mental intimacy as the development of two minds working together as one. It can also be described by the acronym L.O.V.E. Listen, Overlook and forgive, Value each other, and Express love.  This intimacy grows through communication, creating an understanding of each other. Lisa proposes that these two concepts must be reached to arrive at the unity phase. She also included in her presentation 4 situations that we engage in during sexual activity.

Phase (0) Sex without mental intimacy, not trying to achieve marital unity,

Phase (1) Sensorimotor system of partners is the central feature. They each think of their own thoughts and feelings. (DOMINANCE PHASE)

Phase (2) Cognitive and Sensorimotor phases of conjunction occur. Becomes more intimate, knowing of each others attitudes, values and being familiar with each other’s sense of humor and understand each other. (EQUITY PHASE)

Phase (3) Affective, cognitive, and Sensorimotor intimacies all occur. Sexual pleasure is more personal, more meaning and satisfying. (UNITY PHASE)

Sumiyo presented on Gary Smalley’s 5 secrets to a healthy marriage:

 

1. Get rid of anger and keep it at the lowest possible level.

 

2. Strive to shed bad habits you learned as a child.

 

3. Do not set unrealistic expectations for your marriage.

 

4. Accept your spouse as a flawed human being, the same as yourself.

 

5. Commitment

 

 

c)  Describe some of the ideas that needed a better justification or greater amplification.

These ladies did a great job on presenting the material.  They helped me understand it because they broke down the material and explained it piece by piece.

 

d)  What was the success of the approach they used?

           

I think their success in presenting was how they split the information between the four so they weren’t overly burdened with the material and bale to pick out the more important points to present.

 

e)  What improvements are needed in the procedures or in the instructions?

I have absolutely no complaints, I was very impressed. 

 

 

 

f)  What are the limitations of these types of exercises?

I see no limitations to the presentations other than the time limit.  It was a lot of material to cover in just 10 minutes for each.

 

g)  Describe what happened when you did some of the steps of the exercises. 

I tried to discuss the subject matter of the exercises with my partner without actually mentioning it was material I examined in class, and my partner agreed with them.  I didn’t mention it was from class because I don’t think my partner would want to have a relationship according to what my class says it should be.  Even though he is open-minded, I don’t think he would take the material with the positive bias and that’s why I approached it covertly while I discussed it with him. 

However, because he had no disagreements with the material I chatted about with him, when this course is over, I can point out how all the concepts we had conversations about were presented in this class.  Then he can’t argue how valuable the information really is.  I found that these exercises bear concepts similar to the Unity Model of Marriage, showing that other people find taking steps comparable to the Unity Model of Marriage are beneficial to making relationships work.

 

Section 4: Annotated Web Links

N. Salviejo

 

Chris Rock: View on Love & Relationships

Comedian, Chris Rock, shares a comical perspective on love and relationships that relate towards Dr. Swedenborg’s description of men and their refusal to have conjoined intimacy with their female partners.  In order to transcend to the next level of unity, a man must be more open and more flexible towards his partner.

 

Emotional Effects of Marital Abuse  

This website provides a story from a woman who has experienced physical abuse from her husband and how it has affected her throughout her life. As she stays and attempts unity with him, he forever stays in the male dominance stage.

 

How to get a man to open up

Author, Kara Oh, talks about how to get a man to open up and share from his heart, creating more intimacy and love.  This video can serve as an example of the male dominance model where women want intimacy from their male partners, but men are unlikely to give the women what they want during this phase of the Unity model.

 

Marriage Jokes

The following is a video of jokes that make fun of the type of disjunctive behaviors displayed by husbands in marriage that often times displeases their wives. 

 

Mental Abuse-The 7 Most Important Things To Know 

This website provides the 7 different ways that men mentally abuse their wives and gives advice to women who are going through it.

 

Nagging Wife

The “Nagging Wife” is a commercial that serves as an example of the first two levels of conjunction as described by Dr. Emanuel Swedenborg, in which the husband displays cognitive disjunction by ignoring his wife and her needs.  The husband in the commercial doesn’t wish to be bothered by his wife while he is working on his laptop, so he presses a button on his computer to get “rid” of her. 

 

Soulmates 

A musical poem about Soulmates.  This video can serve as an example of the last phase of the Unity model, where husband and wife have conjugial love for one another even in the afterlife.

 

Successful Marriage Secrets Revealed

Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz reveal the seven secrets of successful marriage as discusses in their new book entitled Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage.

 

The Secret to a Successful Marriage: For Men

A youtube video blogger shares his perspective on marriage by providing viewers a secret to a successful marriage that every man needs to know.

 

The Secret to a Successful Marriage: For Woman

In response to his first video, “The Secret to a Successful Marriage: For Men”, A youtube video blogger creates a second video providing women viewers a secret to a successful marriage.