What is Q4 intimacy? Quadrant four of the Dynamic Marriage Map speaks to the possibilities and fulfillment of a marriage in which two people have worked through enough of their developmental issues to reach a higher level of maturity and have also nurtured a high level of connection. This stage is characterized by interdependence, co-commitment to the wholeness of each other, high intimacy, and spiritual connection. It is hard to consistently live at this level and it requires ongoing learning and growth. Making the commitment of a lifetime journey opens up new depths of possibilities.
One practice my wife and I have done over the years to strengthen our relationship is to schedule get away weekends at least a couple of times a year. These are weekends with no commitments other than to be with each other, typically at a nice hotel or bed and breakfast. Our only agenda is quiet time and connection.
This weekend was one of those retreats that pulled us into new heights. Lying together, seeing complete love and acceptance in one another’s eyes, heart to heart, soul to soul. Emotion swelled as I became aware of the young boy within me who has longed always to be fully known and loved, yet who learned to hide himself because of experiences of being hurt, misunderstood, and frightened. Joy filled my heart in the presence of vulnerability and love, and the little girl within her with her own fears stripped away in this moment. Now in reflection I simply feel gratitude.
These times of closeness can be wonderful and scary at the same time. I remember times in the past when weekends of intimacy were followed by an argument that restored a more comfortable distance. Quadrant four is characterized not by always being in ecstatic closeness, for that is unrealistic. Rather it is shown through the ability to enjoy the closeness and not push away, and to be equally comfortable knowing we also need our separateness and space at other times. These are hallmarks of growth. Take it from me, it is worth the journey.