We had the privilege of chatting about marital intimacy with Alisa DiLorenzo of One Extraordinary Marriage.
Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo of One Extraordinary Marriage
What I like about her work is that is born out of experience. Just like Rivka and I, Alisa and her husband Tony started helping couples after they experienced their own personal relationship challenges.
They used their success to help others turn their marriage around, showing them first hand that it is doable. There are so many in the helping profession out there who are well meaning and have learned strategies in school or in a training program.
While the techniques may work in theory, it doesn’t compare to someone who has actually applied what they are teaching. Not only do they know it works, they have the conviction to provide hope to others of their future success.
For a struggling couple who is low on hope, instilling hope and believing in them is extremely powerful, and an almost necessary ingredient to show them that they can get through crisis.
Conveying that message is also about simplifying the process.
Couples in crisis are often overwhelmed. They aren’t able to see a way out of their struggle. It can often seem like there are too may obstacles, too much baggage that has accumulated over the years.
We have found that by simplifying and making order out of the chaos is key to providing hope. Couples can see how it is actually doable.
Alisa shared with me her 6 Pillars of Intimacy that she teaches couples. It helps couples examine their relationship and break it down to six essential categories through which they can view their relationship health.
The nice thing is that these six pillars encompass most of the challenges couples experience.
After discovering which pillars have cracks in their foundation, couples focus their energy on those areas in which they need improvement.
The 6 Pillars of Intimacy are:
- Emotional Intimacy– While most people think of intimacy as something physical, the prerequisite is being able to feel close and connected on an emotional level. A large component of this pillar is being able to talk and share one’s thoughts and feelings with each other.
2. Physical Intimacy– Not all physical intimacy need be sexual. In fact, holding hands, cuddling, kissing and hugging are essentials ways to make you feel closer to your spouse.
3. Financial Intimacy– Money is a big obstacle to many couples. Without a plan or transparency, couples can begin to distrust each other and feel distant.
4. Spiritual Intimacy– As spirituality is something deeply personal, it is important that couples can feel free to either have shared experiences together or share their feelings about spirituality with each other.
5. Recreational Intimacy– With all of the heavy important topics we must address in a relationship, we must not forget about having fun. A relationship without this pillar because boring and more like a business partnership than a marriage.
6. Sexual Intimacy– Last but not least, sexual intimacy is crucial for a healthy marriage. If there is dysfunction in the bedroom, it is often symptomatic of a greater relationship problem. It is key not to neglect this important pillar.
Working on all of these pillars, or at least focusing on those which are not so sturdy, provides the couple with a clear path of action to creating an extraordinary marriage. Thanks to Alisa for joining us!