Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Excerpt -Introduction

Now You Want Me, Now You Don’t! Excerpt -Introduction

July 22nd, 2014 Comments Off
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 Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2014

"I couldn't put the book down! It was such a good read. Dr.Raymond is such an insightful therapist." Dr. Michelle Cohen, LA Talk Radio host of "On the Couch with Dr. Michelle."

"I enjoyed your book very much. I learned a lot about the challenges of emotional intimacy!" Sandy Weiner, host of LastFirstDate radio show!

“For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.” – T. S. Eliot
As a psychologist and psychotherapist, I’ve found that the commonly held notion that “the only thing men want is sex” and “the only thing women want is affection and talking” couldn’t be further from the truth. Men long for emotional connection with their partners as much or even more than women do. In my experience, married men far outnumber women in wanting closeness with their spouses and often make that first call to the therapist’s office when all else has failed. In fact, over the last ten years, ninety percent of the clients who sought me out for relationship problems involving emotional intimacy have been men.
Both men and women want to be the number one person in their partner’s life. Each wants to be the light and heartbeat that excites and energizes their mate. Enjoying that special connection that includes sharing secrets, fears, fantasies and disappointments without fear of judgment is the essence of the emotional intimacy that couples crave. Often, each member tells me that relying on their partner to be emotionally available when they are stressed is at the top of their “relationship satisfaction” list. They want their partners to listen and join them in whatever emotional place they are in – not try to change or fix them. 
When a man wants his partner to tune into his anxiety about work after a long, tough day, but instead gets a wonderful meal on the table, he may appreciate the meal but secretly feel that his stomach is more important to his spouse than his emotional well-being. His partner, on the other hand, may think that she’s being caring when she anticipates his hunger and prepares his favorite food. She wants him to notice her thoughtfulness and desire to please, despite her frantic day, and is equally disappointed when her efforts are not met with enthusiasm. The ritual of perfunctory thanks and small talk that accompany the meal is a poor substitute for the deep emotional connection both were hoping for.
Women want their partners to zoom in on their sense of overwhelm, fear of inadequacy, and the exhaustion of juggling a sick child, a time-sensitive task at work, and preparing for a family birthday celebration. Flowers, eating out, or expensive gifts don’t hit the spot where she needs to be seen, understood and attended to. These gifts are poor proxies for the focus and caring she craves from her partner. Her man, however, may believe he is easing her burden and expects his gifts to be comforting.
Now You Love Me, Now You Don’t tells the story of Rick and Christy who each yearned for emotional connection but failed in their efforts to meet each other’s needs. Having come from family backgrounds where intimacy was shunned, neither had any clue as to how to read the other’s attempts at closeness, and they could not relate intimately without fear getting in the way. Their marriage became lifeless and loveless – until Rick decided to do something about it. His desperation to get close to his wife and save his marriage made him reach out to me for couples therapy, and he was willing to attend counseling by himself when Christy walked out in the middle of the third session.
This book gives you a front row seat in the therapist’s office, where you’ll see first-hand how Rick’s “push/pull” way of relating to me mirrored his marital experience. Again and again, I was challenged and disheartened as he pushed me away and devalued my efforts to nurture and support him, pulling me back in only when he wanted sympathy. Rick’s stormy behavior impacted me personally and professionally, challenging me to remain steady and available, no matter how much/hard he rocked the boat. There were many times when I thought he might sever our frail but hard-won ties as we came up against his rage and fear. But I fought for our relationship so that Rick could break through the barriers that were holding him back from being consistently intimate with his wife. Through our face-to-face interaction I taught him how to recognize, offer and accept intimate overtures that he had previously dismissed.
From Rick’s detailed accounts, week after week, of his uphill struggle to create intimacy with Christy, I identified ten subtle signs of fear that his wife exhibited. Then I offered Rick ten strategies to help him make Christy feel safer, so that they could connect in ways that were mutually rewarding. The journey was hard, frustrating, and often made Rick want to give up. But he persevered, dealing with all the unfinished business of his childhood that got in the way of making a healthy, adult and intimate connection with his wife.
Whether you are a woman like Christy, who longs for emotional intimacy but is too afraid to allow it, or a man like Rick, who is frustrated in his efforts to get it, you will relate to the enormous challenges and struggles that both partners endure when emotional intimacy is missing in a marriage.
Now You Love Me, Now You Don’t will give you a deeper understanding of your partner, whether you are the one seeking more intimacy or the one fending it off due to unbearable fear. As you hear the different tempos and melodies on both sides of these marital music sheets, you can use the strategies I shared with Rick to make your own relationship more equal, intimate and harmonious.
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2014
No form of duplication permitted.

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