Couples Therapy – The Fear of Intimacy
For couples, intimacy means emotional and physical closeness; knowing and understanding one another deeply. The path towards being intimate with others, also includes becoming intimate and authentic with ourselves.
From infancy, people can become distant from their true nature due to expectations for them to play roles within their families and for their parents. This is a necessary function of socialization.
As a result, there can be a loss of the deepest connection with one another, and this connection is replaced by the act of taking care of another, which becomes what many people believe is ‘loving’ one another.
Becoming intimate and revealed to another helps each of us rediscover ourselves, and to become truly connected to our partner.
Some people believe that if they reveal their true selves to their partner, that they will be judged, rejected and abandoned. It is difficult to believe that anyone else could ever accept our hurts, anger, vulnerabilities, jealousies, and spitefulness. If our own parents wouldn’t accept these things in us, then we learned to keep these parts of ourselves hidden.
Instead, we try to become perfect partners; try harder to please and repress our own difficult natures, all the more. As a result, some of us become depressed, anxious, more addicted to drugs, alcohol or work, or develop physical illnesses. Without knowing it, our fear of intimacy (or our fear of being truly known), distances us from who we really are (our authentic self), and we can become emotionally and physically ill.
Our love relationships give us the opportunity to be truly known by ourselves and our partners. We can discover our defences, and lower them, thus opening a pathway to a more authentic self that can be more intimate with a partner.
An intimate relationship is a garden within which both partners can grow. However, sometimes relationships can get caught in the weeds.
When partners become distant from each other and get caught up in a repetitive negative cycle, we can introduce new ways of being to change the way both of you relate to yourselves, and to eachother.
This year, you can soften the fear of intimacy, get closer to one another and chart a new course together as a couple.
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