Relationship Help Quick Tip
The level of emotion intimacy—the emotional closeness you and your partner feel—will fluctuate and change over time. There are many different factors that can contribute to these changes and it’s important for all couples to remember that consistent emotional closeness is an illusion and your expectations should reflect this reality.
So what’s the reality for so many of us when it comes to emotional intimacy and closeness?
Many couples experience periods of emotional closeness intermixed with periods of greater emotional distance—a metaphorical dance of pulling each other closer only to push each other further away at a different moment.
There are many reasons behind what causes distance between spouses/partners: anger, pent up resentments, a break down in communication, a lack of trust, emotional insecurities (insecurities with yourself or about your partner), a natural need for more personal space—it may be as simple as needing to create a little more distance because you feel emotionally more comfortable from a more distant place of relating.
Understanding and addressing your needs for closeness and distance is a discussion too often overlooked by many couples.
While emotional intimacy will naturally wax and wane throughout the life of your relationship, it can also be beneficial if you and your partner monitor the ways in which you each contribute to any blocks to intimacy that may exist—such as struggling with a lack of trust or experiencing pent up resentments.
Relationship Help Action Step
Each day simply observe the ways in which you seek greater emotional intimacy or, the inverse, emotional distance from your spouse/partner. These maybe subtle or overt attempts on your part to regulate emotional closeness.
When you repeatedly observe your own patterns and your fluctuating needs for emotional closeness and emotional distance, you’ll be in a better position to identify and make these patterns more fully conscious. This is an important step in creating a more mindful marriage or relationship and discussing your intimacy needs with your partner.
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Dr. Rich Nicastro