Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

How to Get Close Again Without Using Threats

August 4th, 2015 No Comments

 

 

INSIGHT AND ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

overcoming the fear of emotional intimacy

 

You are longing for your partner to notice that you feel left out and useless in the relationship.

But your partner only sees what they do for you and how little you reciprocate.

You become morose to get your partner to worry, but all you get is words of disapproval that you aren't pulling your weight.

Your partner feels burdened and gets upset at you.

Both of you have hit a wall.

Neither of you can see a way through it or over it.

You both want to hold hands again and remove that wall separating you, but there is no closeness

You can't function properly while you are feeling so unimportant

You keep banging your head against the wall hoping it will bleed and make your partner feel guilty, bash down the wall and tend to you.

Your partner is finding it increasingly challenging to maintain juggle all the balls in the air, fantasizing about being emotionally intimate with you

Both of you get crabby and irritable without the soothing experience of emotional closeness

You can't take the pressure any more and make a threat - "I'm not going to your brother's party this weekend!"

Your partner counters with another threat, " I'm taking the car for a week when I go camping with my parents"

Overwhelmed with a sense of abandonment you and your partner make the wall higher and deeper.

More threats are needed to force one or other to climb over the top, or dig a tunnel underneath.

Because what you are both aching for is the comfort of emotional intimacy without the fear that you are giving up ground, or losing face.

In this video I tell the story of Tasha and Johnie who felt they were up against a wall that just kept getting taller and wider. I describe how I helped them in couples therapy to  take the risk of removing a brick here and there to make a tentative connection through mutual understanding.

They found their way back to an emotionally close place where threats were no longer the weapon of choice.

You can do it too, if you watch and use the same strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 

Author of: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship

" Thanks a million for writing this book. To my knowledge, it is the best book on the market on this subject. No other book I have read gives you an inside into the dynamics both partners apply in a relationship where commitment fear is at play. Anyone in such a relationship knows about the trauma, pain and hopelessness. This book showed me where I go wrong and what I do to trigger my partner’s behaviour. It gave me a real inside in what my partner feels in moments when everything escalates and how I contribute to it. It also gave me extremely good guidance what I can do to break this unhealthy cycle. What I liked most is that this book does not stigmatise people with this problem and it does not tell you to leave your partner – like most books on this subject do. The experience of Dr Raymond really shows – this book was written to help you; and that is exactly what it did for me. I am so glad this book exists. "  Regina E.

 

 

 

 You might also like:

Three ways to control rage when you feel abandoned

Is sex after a fight your way of avoiding emotional intimacy

Pressing the refresh button on a crumbling marriage

 

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Is Your Empathy Style Making You Afraid of Emotional Intimacy?

June 30th, 2015 No Comments

INSIGHT AND ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

 

Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy book

For the last ten minutes 33-year-old Hunter explained his frustration with having to be 31year-old Cloe’s caretaker, but she didn’t get it. No matter how often he shared his discomfort with having to worry about Cloe being on her own without friends or hobbies, she kept responding with the same phrase: “I get it, but I’m fine as I am. You don’t need to worry about me!”

This stock answer infuriated Hunter who found himself in a romantic relationship that seemed more like being a single parent than a partner! Cloe’s constant text’s and calls when he was away on business or playing in tennis tournaments, made it obvious that she wasn’t “fine” and needed constant reassurance that he was thinking of and missing her. One part of him felt guilty that he wasn’t with her while another part of him was glad to escape.

Longing to be his special one, Cloe felt put aside and unwanted. When Hunter spent time away from her and didn’t stay in touch with ongoing text messages and calls to check in she felt he preferred other people. She tried to make him see that her need for closeness was the essence of romantic relationships, and that he was lacking in that respect. Although he said he ‘got it’ and would try harder, she experienced it as paying lip service, just to end the discussion. All too soon he would tell her that he “couldn’t breathe” and that she needed to get a life outside of him. Hurt by his remarks, she felt misunderstood and frustrated.

So how come Cloe and Hunter are both feeling so frustrated about not getting through to one and other? Why are they both feeling so unseen and unfelt?

cognitive empathy v affective intimacy

It’s all to do with getting empathy, but not the right sort.

When Hunter tells Cloe about not being able to breathe he wants her to sense his experience of being choked, understand it by recalling times when she has felt choked and then understand where he’s coming from. He wants affective (emotional) empathy .

But what he gets is cognitive (intellectual) empathy and that isn’t nearly as satisfying. Yes, Cloe ‘gets it’ – she registers that he is uncomfortable and blames her, but she isn’t validating his pain. He is receiving cognitive empathy which is totally unsatisfying.

Same for Cloe- she wanted Hunter to feel the pain of her longing, by referring back to a time when he longed to be close to someone and couldn’t – she wanted him to know that suffering and put his arms around her, hold and comfort her, while enjoying that intimate moment and creating more. She wanted affective empathy, but what she got was cognitive empathy – very disappointing and demoralizing. He said he ‘understood’ but it was just recognition that she had a need he wasn’t fulfilling. He didn’t really get her pain and suffering.

A recent study published in NeuroImage, 2015, found higher density of grey matter in different brain areas according to the type of empathy that was being felt for another. Those who had higher levels of affective (emotional) empathy, had more grey matter in the insula, found in the middle of the brain. Cognitive empathy high scorers had more grey matter in the midcingulate cortex, an area just above the corpus callosum which connects the left and right hemispheres.

When both partners in a romantic relationship are better at cognitive than affective empathy the result is often deep disappointment, and hopelessness that their will ever be that feeling of true connection, acceptance and union.

 

affective empathy reduces fear of intimacy

 

For empathy to be truly effective, all parts have to work in unison.

There has to be an intellectual recognition of what is going on for the other person, where they are coming from and what they are trying to tell you.

AND there has to be the affective piece – where you identify and emotionally experience similar feelings. It’s a deeper level of understanding and one that is absolutely necessary for relationship satisfaction.

Hunter and Cloe excelled in cognitive empathy because they got by in life that way. It was safe. It meant they could have some connections with important people in their lives, but not be vulnerable to the vagaries of emotions that may be difficult to control. They avoided feeling weak and easy to con. They had grown up with a defense against emotional intimacy by honing their cognitive empathy skills to the detriment of the affective side and were dealing with the consequences in a frustrating and unsatisfying relationship.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. They don’t need to let fear of emotional intimacy control them forever. Both can learn how to tune into their partners and bulk up the grey matter in the insula parts of their brain. They do that in therapy, where they receive affective empathy, grow it in themselves and then offer it to each other. Without the firsthand experience of affective empathy in a safe and nurturing therapeutic setting, the affective empathy parts of their brains are unlikely to be developed to their full potential.

 
 copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 

Author of: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship

 

 You might also like:

 Four ways to share feelings and be empathic

The second secret to being empathic and boosting your relationship

The secret ingredients for empathy in relationships – part 3

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond

 

 

 

 

 

 



Three Ways to Prevent FaceBook from Blocking Emotional Intimacy With Your Partner

June 20th, 2015 No Comments

 

INSIGHT AND ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

nowyouwantmenowyoudont! Fear of Intimacy guide

Checking into Facebook on a Monday morning, 33-year-old Caprice was gutted. There were no photos uploaded onto her 35-year-old partner Dante’s page showing them together at the beach party over the weekend. It felt like Dante was saying that they weren’t a couple, and that he didn’t enjoy being with her.

She always made a point of ‘liking’ stuff that family and friends put up because it made them happy, and only took a second to do. Why couldn’t Dante do the same? It must mean that their relationship was on shaky ground and that she wasn’t good enough to “show off!”

Later that day she checked into Facebook again. There were still no pictures. Nothing on Instagram either. Hope died completely that Dante was ever going to do what she thought was the proper things for couples in love.  The text she sent Dante from that disappointed place felt to him as if he were being scolded and then controlled. He felt pressure to do as she said or else be labeled as unloving!

When they met after work that night Dante exploded with anger about being forced to do what Caprice wanted in order to prove his loyalty and commitment. What about all the things he did for her at home? How many other men did the cooking and the laundry? Why wasn’t it enough that they had a fantastic time at the beach party and everyone saw them as a great couple?

 

The big fight started! It was always the same one!

 

Beginning:

Why can’t you do this little thing for me?

Why don’ you see all the things I already do?

 

Middle

Why can’t you post on Facebook and Instagram like other couples do?

Why can’t I do it when I feel like it instead of when you force me?

 

End

I post to make you feel special, so why can’ you do that for me?

Why aren’t I good enough the way I am? Okay, if it means that much, I’ll do it.

If you do it now it isn’t the same. You’re just doing it because I asked, not because yu really mean it!

nowyouwantmenowyoudont! Book on fear of intimacy 

Back and forth, back and forth, FaceBook and Instagram posts become the currency of the relationship.

It’s a great way of avoiding emotional intimacy.

It’s a great way of avoiding the vulnerability that came when they had a good time at the beach party – which could otherwise trigger fear of being abandoned.

It’s a great way of making sure good moments are not fed and nurtured with focused attention and appreciation on them.

It’s a wonderful way of souring emotionally intimate experiences so that they don’t come up again.

But best of all, it an expert move to cover up the fear of emotional intimacy that plagues their relationship.

After all, if they got emotionally intimate it meant being exposed –

What if Caprice saw Dante’s ugly bits? Would she get disgusted and walk away?

What if Dante saw Caprice’s ugly and shameful bits? Would she hold her nose and become condemnatory and judgmental?

NOT WORTH THE RISK!

But if Facebook and Instagram posts are the issue then they can condemn, judge, show disgust and punish each other with abandonment threats repeatedly – with no ugly bits showing!

 

How can they lower their fear of emotional intimacy and keep the ugly bits under cover?

  • Hold onto the good moments and replay them whenever Caprice feels unimportant.
  • Savor the moments together whenever Dante feels unappreciated.
  • Look at their photos together and relive their bonding experience

 

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 

Author of: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship

"Dr. Raymond takes us through a case study where we hear from both sides of a couple going through marital issues and counseling. I thought that was an excellent way to illustrate the 10 steps Dr. Raymond introduced. The information contained is raw, gritty, and I became emotionally involved in the outcome of the couple's relationship. Is it all sweetness and light? heck no, but it is fascinating." Reviewer on Net Galley



You might also like:

How to get your partner to see you the way you see yourself

Three ways to conquer the fear of emotional intimacy when the walls are up

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond

 



Is Sex After a Fight Your Way of Avoiding Emotional Intimacy?

May 19th, 2015 No Comments

 

INSIGHT AND ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

 

 

now you want me now you dont ! Fear of Intimacy book

 

Looking forward to spending an evening with her thirty-two year old partner Beau, Miranda opened the door to their apartment to find him slouched in the couch watching TV. He hadn't got dinner ready as he usually did on Wednesday evenings when she worked late. Concerned, she went over and put her arm over his shoulder and asked what was bothering him. Beau didn't respond, staying quiet and treating her as if she didn't exist.

now you want me, now you don't! Fear of intimacy book

Anxious about where she stood with Beau, she tried to engage him with offers of tasty foods, and her listening ear so that she could comfort him and fix whatever was making him sad and withdrawn. The more she asked him how he was doing the more he rejected her overtures. He felt he was being buttered up and manipulated so that he wouldn't demand that she live by his rules.

Suddenly he seemed to erupt and harangued her about her messy place that he had to organize. He accused her of  spending time with her friends and others from her past as if she didn't have a boyfriend. He felt disrespected and unimportant. Worst of all she was so free and easy with them physically that it made him wonder if she knew how to be in a romantic relationship. This was his power – getting her to observe the rules of committed relationships.

Hurt and surprised at Beau's outburst Miranda teared up and tried to defend herself. Beau became more enraged with each of her defensive statements, seeing them as a betrayal of trust. Frustrated and angry that she couldn't convince Beau of her commitment to the relationship Miranda attempted to stop him by getting him in the most sore and tender place – calling him crazy and paranoid. That freaked him out, as he heard echoes of his mother and other women invalidating his experience and telling him what he should think and feel!

addiction to relationships

Consumed with fear that he wasn't "all there" made Beau very insecure and unsafe. He felt disgusted with himself for being with Miranda, justifying his need to withdraw as he heard her lose control and swear at him. It was such a relief to be calm and stable again. But a couple of hours later Beau felt empty and scared. He wanted to fill himself up with something warm and affectionate. Beau tried to make up with Miranda, using foreplay to turn her on. But she couldn't respond, turning cold and rejecting – paying him back for the way he had rejected her and made her feel like trash only a short time ago. Now it was her turn to feel disgusted!

Beau wanted that 'high' of sexual union after a fight – taking possession of her while feeling like she was begging for it. He was coming from a place of desperation to fill the hole he had created by insulting Miranda. But she was still full of all the nastiness he had expelled into her, plus her own fury that made him seem like a nutcase. Why would she want to be intimate with a mad person? Miranda got her power by refusing his sexual advances.

Fear of Intimacy in Romantic Relationships

Neither had any idea what emotional intimacy felt like or how important it could be. They were addicted to the push and pull that is part of a pattern of fear of intimacy. 

When Miranda offered to be of comfort to Beau he pushed her away with nasty comments. He was afraid that surrendering to her would mean giving up control – he would have to give up his mind to her.

When Beau got past his anger and wanted to make up, she rejected him, fearing the intimacy because it would mean her surrendering to his way of depicting her – she would have to give her mind to his will.

These cycles happened every two or three days. Often they would need to live apart in order to find their feet again. And just when they did, they would both feel that magnetic pull again, desperate for union at all costs, just like any other addiction. The pain, insecurity and stress would be forgotten and they would come together in blissful exciting sex. But they didn't have to get emotionally close. They got physically intimate and then went through the same cycle.

When a relationship is an addiction with highs, lows, and withdrawal symptoms- it's a danger sign.

It comes from tragic and traumatic childhoods that require numbing when relationships trigger huge emotions.

Consider your partner choice!

Read the book below and discover the value of therapy to help get you out of this destructive loop.

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 

Author of: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship

"Difficult subject but fascinating read. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because though I was dismayed at times by the subject matter, I was riveted by the real life story playing out in my hands. Dr. Raymond takes us through a case study where we hear from both sides of a couple going through marital issues and counseling. I thought that was an excellent way to illustrate the 10 steps Dr. Raymond introduced. The information contained is raw, gritty, and I became emotionally involved in the outcome of the couple's relationship. Is it all sweetness and light? heck no, but it is fascinating."  Janet Kinsella, book reviewer.


Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Three Ways To Avoid Blowing it With The Partner of Your Dreams

April 20th, 2015 No Comments

INSIGHT AND ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

 

nowyouwantmenowyoudont book on fear of intimacy

Regret of Losing A Chance at Having A Good Partner

 

You never thought it would happen!

You had given up hope that you would find the right person, that perfect match – so that you could relax, feel safe, secure and settled.

 

BUT IT DID!

 

Now you are terrified because it's real and in your face!

You like the sense of knowing that you have got what you wanted in a partner, and everything feels good.

Yet you want space – you want to go really slow – you want to have long intervals between your dates.

It's almost as if you want to wait and see if this ideal person is going to put a foot wrong.

Then you fear that if you pull back you will lose this chance. You are terrified of blowing the best thing that ever happened to you.

WATCH THIS VIDEO and learn 3 ways in which you can have the good stuff and keep your fear of emotional intimacy calmed.

 

 

Take the Intimacy Quiz and Find Out How You Regulate Emotional Closeness

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 You might also like:

How to deal with the regret of that "I wish I had………" feeling

Three ways to conquer the fear of emotional intimacy when your walls are up

How to handle the loss of hope that you will be loved the way you want

 

Disclaimer: this video is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Fear of Intimacy Ruined an Engagement and the Hope of a Long Term Relationship

April 10th, 2015 No Comments

 

INSIGHT AND ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

Now You Want Me, Now You Don't!. Fear of Intimacy book.

Tracy, a thirty-three-year-old web designer longed to settle down with a good man, get her family to bond with his, and then have children. She had found decent men in the past, but they didn’t want to settle down in the time frame she had in mind. Other men had been acceptable but had addictions outside the relationship that made them emotionally unavailable to her. So she went in and out of romantic liaisons, hoping to find the right match. They were both safe, because she didn’t have to invest in them and then end up devastated down the road.

 

As Soon As Things Looked Perfect Tracy Became Uncomfortable

But now she was in love with thirty-five-year-old Phil who seemed to want what she wanted – the family life, a faith that was important to both of them, and strong ties to their families of origin. Everything looked good until she stayed with his family while Phil was away on a work assignment. She heard about his ex-girlfriend and how close they had been. In fact she was still a family friend. The idea of it made Tracy uncomfortable. She was also uneasy about the way Phil eased right back into the closeness with his mother on his return. His attempts to resume emotional intimacy with her felt wrong! How could he be close with his mother and her? How could he be good friends with his ex while romantically involved with her?

 

Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy book.

 

Red flags went up and she took note.

Tracy just didn’t feel safe. She stepped away from the relationship to protect herself against what she felt was a betrayal. In her eyes, Phil could only be ‘giving himself’ to one person at any one time. If she was his woman then he couldn’t be close with anyone else for any reason.

But Phil and Tracy had strong feelings for one another. They got engaged and started planning a wedding. Everything was going great, and that made Tracy happy but terrified. She was hurtling along into a union where she was going to be investing her whole being. She felt vulnerable and unsafe again. Focusing her anxiety on investigating Phil’s spending on credit cards she discovered that during a hiatus in their relationship, he had sent flowers and booked a weekend getaway for two! That was all she needed to see ANOTHER RED FLAG.

She broke off the engagement and suffered with many tears of sorrow, feeling let down and unable to trust Phil. But she felt safe.

Closeness and intimacy were existential threats to Tracy. Each time she came to the brink of having to ‘give herself’ completely to another she felt unsafe and found reasons why the guy wasn’t the right one.

Fear of intimacy was the key threat to her personal integrity. She couldn’t invest everything because it would mean living with unpredictability, no guarantees and unknown risks. Better to dig and find something, anything that she could legitimately use as a reason to back off.

But Tracy cried and cried out of loneliness.

She couldn’t trust the world to be solid under her feet.

Tracy is now stepping in and out of therapy because she knows there is a pattern to her behavior where she destroys potential joy in order to hold onto the reins of safety. She feels she gets in her own way, but isn’t sure how to move out of this fearful place.

As she works out her fears in therapy, she will learn to trust the outside world in the same way she trusts her family of origin to keep her safe. But it will come first with a good therapist to mediate that gap.


Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 You might also like:

Why Your Ideal of a Perfect Marriage Causes Your Finance to Break off the Engagement

Is Your Relationship Break up Permanent or Just a Shift in Gears?

Perfectionism Maybe Ruining Your Intimate Relationships

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond

 



Are You at War With Your Partner or With Yourself?

March 2nd, 2015 No Comments

ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

Now You Want Me, Now You Dont! Fear of Intimacy book

 

Do you feel your relationship is like a battle ground where you are constantly having to defend against unjust comments, sneaky twists of your words used against you, and always having to prove your self and your righteousness?

Does it feel like a never ending war that you can't win, but that you can't give up either?

Then it's likely you are at war with yourself to try and be a person you are not!

When the pressure gets too much, you can't be the enemy and the besieged, so you give the enemy hat over to your partner -

Hey presto the relationship is full of tension, conflict and attempts to score points!

No hope of emotional intimacy.

No chance of understanding or support. Just stress and destruction of the bonds between you and your partner.

So watch this video and get some insight into how your war with yourself becomes a war with your partner that destroys emotional intimacy.

Then learn how you can get a handle on the conflicts you have raging inside you, and learn how to soothe your wounds.


 

 

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 You might also like:

Relationship rules can harm a marriage

How to stop the cycle of love turning into anger and hate

How to stop a conversation turning into a fight

 

 

Disclaimer: this video is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Twenty-one Ways Your Partner Declines To Be Emotionally Intimate

February 13th, 2015 No Comments

ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

 

Now You Want Me, Now You Don't. Fear of Intimacy book

 

DURING AN INTERACTION YOU MIGHT NOTICE YOURSELF GETTING IRRITATED.

You may find yourself trying harder to get noticed and actually have a dialogue.

You may find yourself getting very frustrated, feeling invisible and then just giving up.

 

IT'S PROBABLY BECAUSE YOUR PARTNER IS PUTTING UP A WALL SO YOU CANNOT CONNECT IN AN EMOTIONALLY INTIMATE WAY.

 

HERE ARE THE 21 ways your partner will deflect you.

Your partner will:

 

1.       Change the subject

 

2.       Won't respond to what you have said, just talk on…………..

 

3.       Will not pause between topics, just run on

 

Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy Book

 

4.       Talk over you

5.       Talk at you

6.       Say ‘you’ not ‘I’

7.       Cut you off before you finish saying what you feel in relation to them

8.       Begin a response to you by saying, “no…”

9.      Take the opposing point of view (you are sympathetic, they are critical of the same issue)

10.    Divert you from the point you are trying to make

11.    Say “I know what you are going to say.’’

12.    Use ‘explanations’ as a distraction from the emotional connection

 

 

Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy Book

 

13.    Look away while you are talking

14.   Avoid eye contact when they are talking

15.   Play with hands, hair, nails, clothing, phone

16.   Brush off compliments and praise

17.   Breathe heavily and sigh when it’s your turn to talk

18.   Pretend to listen or make room for you, but not taking any notice of your information

19.   Say "yes" to things robotically without even listening to what you asked or said

20.   Get busy with an activity while interacting with you

21.   Finish your sentence before you

 


So what can you do with your irritation and frustration?

  • Be open about your frustration by using "I" words, so your partner doesn't put the wall up even higher.
  • Be clear in your words that you want to connect and you feel blocked.
  • Tell them you feel blocked or pushed away each time it happens.
  • Ask your partner what they feel uncomfortable about to open up the channels of communication.

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 You might also like:

How to deal with the regret of the "I wish I had said……….." feeling!

Four ways to reconnect when your partner snubs you

Five ways to shift from the "I" body language to the "we" body language in your intimate relationships

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Valentine 8 Point Relationship Health Checklist

January 30th, 2015 No Comments

ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

 

west los angeles relationship counseling


How can you use Valentine's Day to ensure that your relationship has healthy emotional intimacy that will still be there next year?

Giving chocolates, flowers, cards, wining and dining are rituals that don't have connection with the emotional health of your relationship.

All it does is pay lip service to the 'day' and make you feel you have done your duty!

If you really care about the emotional connection with your valentine partner, use this 8 point relationship checklist to take stock and boost the health of your liaison.


Fear of Emotional Intimacy

 

1. We are Curious:

How often are you curious about your partner's views, beliefs, needs, fears, doubts and intentions? Do you hunger to know what's going on inside or do you not have any interest or room?

The amount of curiosity you have is in direct proportion to making your partner feel that you want to know them, see and hear them and that you take time with it.

Watch this video to learn more about dealing with conflict using curiosity

 

2. We avoid making assumptions:

How often do you assume what your partner will say, do, not do, react, and respond to you and the situations in which you regularly get into?

The frequency of making assumptions and then having an expectation of how your partner will behave is the most contentious issue that embroils a couple and puts them into a cycle of resentment and conflict.

 

Now You Want Me Now You Don't. Fear Of Intimacy.

3. We speak our hurts, not blame:

It's natural to want to blame your partner for your hurts, but when you do you forget that it's a two-way street and that it's the dynamics between you that cause you to feel wounded. Putting all the responsibility for your hurt on your partner is denying your 'couplehood' and leads to defensive postures. On the other hand, if you recognize that your hurt came from unmet expectations, you can start to speak clearly about those wishes and help your partner understand how they let you down. Then things can shift to a place of mutual reflection and emotional intimacy.

4. We ask for what we want, not imagine it will be known:

So many of my clients tell me how deeply wounded they are when their partners don't 'know' what they want, and can't anticipate their needs. They don't want to have to speak about their needs, preferences or wishes, because that would take away the pleasure of having it magically known. They would rather suffer and complain than share! The relationship has no chance  of being mutually rewarding if one partner or the other shows nothing outwardly, and says nothing, merely giving the cold shoulder when they feel unattended to,

So a healthy love relationship includes openness about your needs, wants and desires – showing it in your body language and talking about it in words. Emotional intimacy is now possible.

A  rewarding  and satisfying relationship involves both partners educating one another about their needs and wishes on a regular basis. Then each one learns to tune in and anticipate. But it is an evolving process because needs change over time. Emotional intimacy has a safe place to develop and grow.

5. We acknowledge that we are both hurtful, and loving:

When you feel hurt, let down, ignored or dismissed by your partner, it's hard to feel anything for them but anger, hate and resentment. In that moment they are 'bad'; 'selfish' and ' insensitive.'

You want them to own up to hurting you, apologize and make amends.

Your partner feels the same way when they are on the receiving end of pain, and hurt. They ache and get sore too.

One of the most common problems that couples have is understanding that both are human, have feelings and hurt as much as you.

In a healthy, loving relationship partners will make room both parties to have feelings of fear, anger, pain, and unfulfilled needs. Emotional intimacy has a place to take roots and offer security to both parties.

Conquering the fear of intimacy

6. We are grateful for the love we get:

It can be disappointing when you don't get loved the way you want.

You may feel unloved if you are looking for specific signs of love from your partner.

You may not see or want to acknowledge that there are others ways to love, and that your partner is doing it their way!

Even if you don't feel like you are being loved, it's likely that there are a million ways your partner is showing love. Being grateful for their efforts, for doing their version of love is vital if you are to sustain the relationship.

Be observant and inclusive rather than narrow and exclusive. You will find treasure that will expand your vision of love, promoting emotional intimacy that lasts.

 

7. We mourn the loss of being loved the way we dreamed of:

When you entered your relationship you may have had dreams of being 'a queen,' 'being #1'; 'being taken care of financially'; "having a non-alcoholic partner' and many more. Your dreams may be dashed and you feel deprived and angry. You may try to make what you dreamed of happen, and keep trying before you give up. Your relationship becomes tense, full of punishment and revenge, making each other feel guilty and ashamed. The ONLY way to get past this is to mourn the loss of what you didn't get in the relationship, and what you didn't get as a child that you brought into the relationship. Then you have room for the relationship. You have a chance to create exactly what you need NOW, not what you are carrying over from your past.  Then the seeds of emotional intimacy sprout.

 

 

 

Recognizing the signs of fear of emotional intimacy

8. We forgive, and try to understand:

A healthy, vibrant and satisfying relationship will always have partners that put understanding one another on top of their priority list. They want to be understood by one another, not vilified, demonized and depersonalized. So EMPATHY is the name of the game. It doesn't mean that your hurt disappears, or that you excuse a behavior that you don't feel is acceptable. But you can tune into where they were coming from, sense their intentions, empathize and forgive. If there is no forgiveness you sever the relationship and end up insecure, angry, lonely and in permanent conflict. Understanding and forgiveness is the lifeblood of a healthy alive relationship where emotional intimacy gets anchored.


AUTHOR OF 'Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationships."

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 You might also like:

How to turn a volatile, conflictual marriage into a happy validating union

To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question?

Five ways to breach a misunderstanding with your partner

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Five Ways Date Nights Promote Emotional Intimacy In Your Relationship

January 14th, 2015 1 Comment

 

ADVICE ON THE FEAR OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

 

therapy for couples with emotinal intimacy problems

Do you have a 'date night' set aside each week?

Do you look forward to it, or is it just an evening away from the usual routine?

Are you and your partner going on date nights just because it gives the appearance of a good relationship, but don't enjoy the experience?

 I work with so many couples who either have no date nights or who pay lip service to the purpose it serves.

Some couples go out to a movie and or restaurant, but barely speak a word to each other.

Other couples find a connection by using the shared time to create mutual enemies within their extended families.

 

Rarely do couples maximize the opportunity to use date night to get closer to each other and strengthen their bonds.

Here are 5 ways couples could capitalize on their chance to be emotionally intimate through date nights:

1. Recapture the thrill of hanging out together with no particular agenda or activity.

When you get out of the roles you play in everyday life, you get to see and experience the essence of each other. That authentic and genuine aspects of yourselves reappear. You get to tap into those vital parts of the person you fell in love with, and recharge the batteries of attachment.


2. Give yourself a chance to dress up and feel attractive and desirable again.

When you live with your partner it's hard to feel physically and emotionally attractive when you are dealing with chores and work demands.  Conflict and tension don't inspire you to keep yourself fit and looking good. When you don't feel close emotionally, you have no incentive to make yourself desirable physically.

Date night gives you a regular weekly opportunity to press the reset button and refresh the process. Making the effort to look good for yourself and your partner boosts the value of the investment you are making in the time you spend together alone together.

When you dress up and feel sexy and attractive you approach your partner in a different way. Instead of seeing someone who arrived late or forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, you see, smell and touch someone who excites you and makes you feel wanted.

relationshsip advice for fear of emotional intimacy

3. Committing to a specific time together each week boosts confidence that you are wanted, valued and important to your partner.

Being chosen as 'the one' your partner wants to spend time with is a special feeling. It can get lost when your routine takes over and your relationship needs get sidelined or put on hold. Feeling sought after is a huge turn on both sexually and emotionally. Each of you feel confident and have a good sense of self. When you feel good about yourself you become a more solid person that your partner can relate to and enjoy.


4. Space and time to share your deepest fantasies, fears and hopes.


One of the most important aspects of emotional intimacy is feeling safe enough to share fantasies about your life together – or some of your disappointments. It's letting your partner see your inner self that creates trust, empathy, and mutual comforting despite hearing things that may not be too pretty. The delicate nature of exposing your inner fantasies and be accepted is the core of emotional intimacy.

 

therapy for fear of emotional intimacy

5. Provides an atmosphere of togetherness where you have the incentive to jointly work on entrenched and thorny family, life style and other issues.

When you are  struggling with daily life it's hard to find room for listening to each others point of view when you just want to get the problems solved. But date night gives you the incentive to check in with each other, see where you are both coming from and TOGETHER solve the issues, rather than berate each other for dropping the ball.

 

AUTHOR OF 'Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationships."

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 You might also like:

Three ways to conquer the fear of emotional intimacy when the walls are up.

Five reasons why being perfect kills emotional intimacy

Complimenting your partner can cause relationship problems

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond