Saturday, August 10, 2013

Moving Beyond Fears of Intimacy

“I wonder if this is how people always get close: They heal each other's wounds; they repair the broken skin.” ― Lauren OliverPandemonium
Defining your own self worth is one of the most important factors when getting over a fear of intimacy with other people.  There are so many causes of to why there is that legitimate fear.  Sharing love, passion and joy with another person is one of the deepest connections you as a human being will ever encounter.
What would cause you to be afraid of intimacy?  Ask yourself if it's really the act itself you fear or something else; ask yourself if you fear being hurt.

Why do I avoid intimate situations with my partner?

The Fear of Rejection- Eventually when being rejected too many times, you might have decided that the pain that goes along with love and being with someone else is too great for you to handle. We fear losing the other person, fear engulfment, and of course being invaded.  Causing you to avoid intimacy altogether, when you avoid relationships all together it can cause severe depression and loneliness for those who really want to be in a steady and committed partnership.  Also resulting in stunted spiritual growth.

Feeling a Little Out of Control?- Your whole life media, teachers, self help articles and books express and put an imprint on our thoughts about being in total control.  This is wonderful when it comes to your life and direction, but what about allowing someone else to love you?  We learn to act on our rejection with fear, compliance, withdraw and  of course resisting and taking away our love, sex and even finances to 'teach the other person a lesson'.
If one person gets angry or rejects a request of the other or simply does not respect boundaries from their partner, they could be later met with the all to familiar, "I'm tired.  I have a headache."  etc... They may feel as if they need to shut down or become angry in order to keep themselves from being hurt.  This may trigger the fear of engulfment.

What Can Move you Beyond this Fear?

The fear is not a caused from the act or experience itself, but because we feel out of control or simply do not know how to handle the situation we're put in.  Setting healthy boundaries and engulfment in order to develop a loving adult relationship with that special person.  Learning not to make rejection personally and allowing ourselves to be loved unconditionally despite what media and fashion tell us what and how love should really be.

Working on these issues as a couple can be the most rewarding coupling exercise you and your partner could do together.  Talking about your fears and how to over come and what could make your relationship even stronger.

Before erupting into a fight ask yourself:

1. Is it possible that your partner didn't understand exactly what you wanted?

2. Could your partner be stressed about other things, or have a lot on his mind?

3. Is this issue more important to your partner than you realize?

4. Is it possible that your partner doesn't have all the facts that you have?

5. Are you reading between the lines things that your partner doesn't intend to be saying?

6. Are your partner's actions driven by a deeper need that's legitimate and important to him?

7. Is your partner afraid he's going to lose something crucial if he does things the way you want?

8. Would your partner be as angry as you are if the roles were reversed? 

9. Is it possible that this situation is about legitimately different needs or expectations? 

10. Keeping in mind that 96 percent of the time the likelihood that your partner will respond in a positive or negative way depends on the attitude that you have in the beginning moments of a conversation, how would you like to open this discussion with your partner? 

Questions by: Brent Atkinson, PhD, is the author of Emotional Intelligence in Couples Therapy: Advances from Neurobiology and the Science of Intimate Relationships (Norton). He practices at the Couples Clinic, in Geneva, Illinois. For more information, visit 
I found this question online and have decided to answer it for all the women out there struggling with intimacy with your partner:

How can I make my husband understand that I don’t want to have sex as often as he does? When I respond that I’m not in the mood, he gets angry and tells me that there are all kinds of things that he does for me when he’s “not in the mood” — like going to work, washing the dishes, helping with the housework. I’ve tried to explain that it’s not the same thing, but either he isn’t listening or he doesn’t believe me. Is there something wrong with me?

There are one too many ways to answer this question and I see the issues on both sides of the coin.  While she is correct about daily chores being different then having sex or any acts of intimacy, we all have responsibilities and sharing our bodies with another human being is not one of them.  A woman's cycle of hormones go in stages throughout the month and may not co-inside with her husbands requests of physical intimacy.  Not only does this have to do with hormonal changes it also has to do with a woman being able to feel vulnerable (this may take even more care if she's been sexually abused, raped or has been mistreated by men) enough to allow someone to see her fully.  Not to mention the average woman arousal state can take up to 45 minutes so if this intimate moment only takes an average 10-15 minutes (or less) this doesn't even allow her enough time to get going, let alone time to enjoy herself or help you fully enjoy yours.  This being a common reason why some women feel cheap after the act even if in a committed relationship.  
The bottom line is your partner might be pushing you into doing things you don't want to do and squashing your openness and vulnerability to him.  In results you develop a defensive attitude when he makes advances.  This may also result in him wreaking your trust and you feel backed into a corner.  
PLEASE realize your intimacy in marriage is important and isn't something that can fall by the way-side, 

The best source for fixing this issue would be to talk to your partner and tell them where you stand with your feelings on the subject!


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