I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

November 17th, 2011

Tripping the Light Fantastic: Flexibility and Intimacy

“The question is, is it really working? Husbands and wives are often comfortable strangers rather than courageous intimates.” Dr. Juliana Slattery, Finding the Hero in Your Husband


My husband and I met during the disco-ball seventies. Fun meant a Friday night dancing non-stop with the BeeGees. We married and the eighties came along. Though we could still point an index finger and jut out a knee at precisely the same moment, the swing became more our style. It took a little more teamwork than Travolta madness, but we mastered it. Clear the dance floor – here come the Z’s.

That dance served us for years, but when the stake offered ballroom classes – why not? We can dance, right? Woah! Waltzin’ and fox-trottin’ were harder than we thought. Making our feet conform to foreign patterns took concentration. It was tempting to revert to our good ole’ swing, but we hung in there and eventually added a few new moves to our Fred and Ginger repertoire.

Only recently, as I’ve been musing about what elevates marriage to the level of true intimacy (“the ‘very within’ place of the relationship…looking beneath the surfaces”, as author Thomas Moore puts it), have I realized how critical it is to be a GOOD DANCER.

We all admire trained dancers — men and women: the way they flow, the way they flex, the way they give and take almost effortlessly. Watching two ballet dancers, or two ballroom dancers, or even pair skaters, move gracefully apart and then together is thrilling: she’s in the air, then he’s in the air; she’s twirling while he’s circling, harmonizing perfectly his strength and action against her beautiful posturing.

A man and a woman combining all their balance and energy into an exquisite dance is a lot like a world-class (or rather, celestial-class) marriage. Both dancers know how to lead and both know how to follow. They are comfortable taking turns in the spotlight; sometimes spinning alone, sometimes spiraling so close, they become one. With fluidity, they meet needs and express needs.

The secret, as my honey and I learned with every new cha-cha-cha, is staying flexible. Rigidity in your relationship or personalities can keep a marriage earth-bound; the partners find it difficult to experience heavenly intimacy: the kind of connection that allows a man to feel so brave, he can lift and lean and leap knowing his wife will be absolutely on her mark; the kind of belonging that allows a woman to trust her husband so fully, he can hold her above his head with one hand.

The question is: is it time you two learned a new dance? Has the music changed so that your current two-step is out-of-step with the new circumstances in your lives? Sure it takes two to Tango, and sure it will require stretching — you may even bruise each other’s toes to start — but the mindset required to learn a new dance is the same one required to achieve real emotional intimacy in marriage…

vulnerability and forgiveness.

Why not give it a whirl?

“A major part of soul-work involves just getting out of the way so that life can go on. We may hang on fiercely to our own interpretations and programs, as if we knew best what we should do, but care of the soul is more a process of listening and following…

It recognizes that we all have old stories, guiding voices, raw emotions, and unfathomable natures that make our lives ultimately inexplicable and rich beyond imagining.”
Thomas Moore, Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship


*In addition to Musings here and on Mona’s Musings on Facebook, check in at MMB each week (posts Monday) through the rest of the year for new and more specific/practical Mona’s Musings about understanding men and marital intimacy!

Hint of Romance

Marriage has to be organic: a living, breathing thing that changes with the seasons even as it remains constant.

What did you think of this musing?

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  1. J. says:

    I’m so glad someone is blogging about this with an LDS twist. It’s one of those topics that just gets too shushed over and treated like it’s anathema. You go girl! :)

    • mona says:

      J. — Thanks for the encouragement! If you like THIS — don’t miss next Monday’s Mona’s Musing at Mormon Mommy Blogs: “The Mystery of Marital Intimacy Part Two: What Your Man Needs You to Know”. I’ll need all the positive feedback I can get from that one!!!!!

  2. Sara Lyn says:

    I loooove this post!!! That quote about hanging onto our interpretations and programs… Excellent. I love the give and take of good relationships. My turn to coddle you. Your turn to coddle me. My turn to listen while you talk. Your turn to listen while I talk. My turn to pick up the slack when you’re tired/sick. Your turn to pick up the slack when I’m tired/sick. I like how you put it – staying flexible. Changing with the seasons while remaining constant. SUCH a great analogy!!!

  3. Bri Z says:

    It’s why marriage is the most powerful tool to make us into the celestial dancers we’re designed to become! You can’t tango while your partner is waltzing, you have to learn to work with another and become the best and maneuvering life’s situations together! You each come to the dance floor with your own skills. If you work together, you can both become masters. Without each other, the dance isn’t as fun to watch! Marriage is beautiful!

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