Guidelines For Dialogue

Return to Dialogue Helps...

W.E.D.S.
Write your love letter to an already chosen question for 10 minutes. As you write, keep in mind the person to whom you are writing – your spouse. Write for the full 10 minutes. First, answer the question in two or three sentences sharing your thoughts. Then, reflecting on your answer, get in touch with your feelings. Write your feelings honestly, openly, and sincerely. Describe your feelings in a way that your spouse can relate.

Write...

Exchange...

Silently and lovingly, exchange your love letter when you get together as a gift of yourselves to one another. Silently read each other’s love letter twice - once for the head and once for the heart.
Dialogue after you have read the letters twice. Decide which of you expressed the strongest feeling. Dialogue on that feeling for 10 minutes. Sit close to each other and give each other your full attention. Once you have exhausted all the ways to describe the feeling or 10 minutes is up, the dialogue should be brought to closure.

Dialogue...

Select...

Select a question for the next day’s dialogue now. Do not wait or it may not happen. Choose a question about things that are pertinent to your relationship. Take turns choosing questions.
 
Keys for Successful Dialogue
Write and dialogue in "prime time" when you are alert and responsive.
Concentrate on your spouse by eliminating distractions when you write and when you dialogue.
Dialogue is for the sharing of feelings.  Avoid the temptation to solve problems or reach a decision during dialogue.
Don't worry about your grammar or spelling.  Just share yourself!
Share your now feelings.  Avoid "garbage dumping" (bringing up old hurts).
Share about yourself using "I" or "me" messages, and avoid "you" messages.
What your spouse wrote, not how much they wrote, is what is important.
Dialogue is the time for loving acceptance, not for critical judgments or blaming (i.e. "you made me..." or "you didn’t...").
Listen actively while your spouse is sharing.  Pay attention to their non-verbal signals.
Sharing your feelings is a gift to your spouse. Don't expect your spouse to change because you shared your feelings.
Spending the full dialogue time talking about and continuing to draw out and explore the feeling about which you have written.
 

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