An element of FIML practice that will no doubt receive further emphasis is this: At the outset, both partners must agree to be honest with one another.
Perhaps if we were totally honest with ourselves, we’d admit that this sounds kind of scary. Perhaps it conjures up images of tear-soaked confessional outpourings, during which you disclose all your deep, dark, embarrassing secrets on demand. But this is not the kind of honesty we’re talking about.
Say you feel a slight twinge of irritation at not being able to get your meaning across as quickly or easily as you’d like during an exchange with your partner about some mundane topic. If you were to assign a percentage to this irritation, perhaps it would only be 4% of everything that’s in your mind at that moment, but nevertheless you feel it. Say your partner, detecting this slight twinge of irritation in your voice, initiates a FIML discussion and asks, “Did you feel at all irritated just now? The last thing you said sounded a little short,” you must admit to it, rather than saying, “No, I wasn’t irritated at all. I wasn’t being short.” The fact that the irritation was slight, that it only represented a very small percentage of what was in your mind, does not mean it’s too trivial to bring up. Quite the contrary! As far as FIML is concerned, the more trivial the better.