If you are like legions of other couples, you understand what terms like “roommate syndrome”, “sexless marriage”, or “desire discrepancy“ mean in a long-term relationship. Altogether, you can lump such relationship trouble into a category called “intimacy issues.”
And no matter how much you avoid or ignore them, they don’t go away on their own. In fact, left to fester, intimacy issues contribute greatly to the demise of otherwise good relationships.
If you and your partner are losing the fight for intimacy, it’s time to take action. Don’t allow denial or avoidance to get out of hand. This just leads to resentment, conflict, or a polite but demoralizing life together that may set you up for a breakup or betrayal. You can reignite the spark and rekindle the flame. With support in couples therapy and a plan, you can overcome obstacles to intimacy together, even if, right now, things feel too far gone.
The path back to desire, excitement, and closeness is not as confusing as you might believe.
Overcome Intimacy Issues: Bringing Back Desire
Come to Terms with Two Very Different Sets of Needs
Individually, we all need to belong with others and we need to excitedly strike out on our own. Both needs are natural and acceptable… until we take a mate. Then, things get murky for a lot of us. Over time, establishing stability and security can war with our need to explore, play, and discover more.
Consider your own marriage or relationship. Does one of you feel more beholden to the obligations in your life while the other insists on more excitement, spice, and spontaneity? This is pretty common. For many, desire seems to wilt in the face of increasing interdependence and responsibility.
Honestly, when was the last time you pushed aside the daily grind for a sexy rendezvous in the back seat of the minivan? Do you remember the last time you dressed to the nines and flirted with your partner in public? Not lately? Never?
Author and relationship expert Esther Perel noted in a TED talk and her book Mating in Captivity that, for emotionally distant couples, therein lies the problem. She notes too, that couples can be both responsible and capable of erotic desire. Just not at the same time.
Try not to create an environment in which your partner’s need to feel more alive and excited is unaddressed. Too often a wedge of boredom, resentment, and resignation results.
In other words, to rekindle desire you must nurture the need for desire and adventure, not the need to be safe and comfortable. How? Turn up attraction and curiosity without judgment. Give each other more permission and more freedom. That’s how excitement and passion thrive.
Nurture Your Natural Need for Novelty
Too often, we see the need for security and the need for novelty as competitors. In truth, relationships need fresh air and fresh eyes. It’s stimulating to see each other through new lenses.
Give your partner a chance to see you differently. Let them see you in action at work, as the charming guest at a party, or as the confident athlete at the gym. Seeing each other at the top of your respective games is a surefire way to stoke interest and desire quickly.
Stoke Desire with Periods of Distance
Another way to see your partner with fresh eyes is to not see them for a while. The mystery and a measure of uncertainty generated by a short time away create a longing for each other. Ultimately, you and your partner experience the desire to reconnect.
Is there more to reigniting the spark in your relationship than rekindling desire and physical intimacy? Yes, it’s also important to devote time and energy to emotional intimacy too.
Overcome Intimacy Issues: Encourage Emotional Connection
Come to Terms with the Ill-effects of Individualism
Life can get in the way of emotional intimacy too, if we let it. Often, individualism and misguided focus play a part. As Terrence Real maintains in his book, US: Getting Past, You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship, couples can make the mistake of leaning into control and individual pursuits instead of continuing to pursue each other. Inattention and incommunicative interaction become the norm.
Honest growing relationships are built to withstand conflict. Healthy partners regulate and stop the drift away from each other when they notice it without damaging the connection. Settling, avoiding, and staying polite is a poor substitute for the “fierce intimacy” Real says couples should strive for.
Speak up and Keep Talking
To foster intimacy, partners must speak up. Without accusation or excuse, share how you feel honestly and with humility. Don’t hold back, it’s okay to deal with each other verbally, even if it is initially upsetting. Again, you want avoidance off the table and honesty front and center. This isn’t a call to be unkind or abusive. You are sharing with care and maintenance of the relationship in mind. As a result, you both feel safer to be authentic and open.
Recognize that Your Feelings are Linked to Understanding
Pay attention to the stories you tell yourself about your interactions. Don’t make yourself the arbiter of objective relationship truth. Intimacy is likely to bloom if you remain focused on the subjectivity of your personal experience.
In other words, think and communicate with “I” statements (“I see things this way” or “I felt this way when you walked away”) and speak only to your own experience in the relationship. Practice sharing your perspective without violating or making assumptions about your partner’s view.
Communicate with Relational Repair in Mind
Terry Real advises that partners ask, “What can I do to help you come through for me?”
Why? This communicates “soft power” or the ability to be strong and loving at once. Love and relational restoration, not authority, is the goal. Dominance doesn’t inspire intimacy and cooperation. By keeping the appreciation of “us” in mind, you can learn together and repair the relationship effectively as a team.
Essentially, intimacy is improved when you attend to each other selflessly. Let each other know that the relationship is paramount. Emotionally connected couples actively pursue reconnection when relationship damage or disconnection occurs.
Overcoming Intimacy Issues: Reignite the Spark with Couples Therapy in Miami, FL, and All Over the State of Florida
Desire and emotional intimacy are meant to be nurtured, appreciated, and cultivated so that they best serve you and your relationship. This isn’t always easy. You and your partner may not even know where to start. That’s okay, couples therapy in Miami, FL is the ideal place to find support and work through your intimacy issues.
Working with a couples counselor can give you tools and ideas to embrace novelty, repair, and new relationship goals. If you’re ready to start your journey toward improved attraction, connection, and intimacy, please read more about couples therapy and contact us. We are here to help.
Ready to Overcome Your Intimacy Issues With Start Couples Therapy in Miami, FL?
Rediscover the passion in your relationship! Take the first step towards a more intimate and fulfilling connection by embracing couples therapy. Our experienced couples therapists at Relationship Experts provide a safe space for open communication and offer practical tools to reignite the spark. Don’t let intimacy issues linger – invest in your relationship for a happier, healthier tomorrow. Your journey to deeper connection starts here! Follow these three simple steps to get started:
- Schedule a free consultation or call our office at 305-507-9955 to ask about scheduling an appointment for couples therapy.
- Meet with a skilled couples therapist for your first session.
- Start working toward improving your relationship’s intimacy!
OTHER SERVICES PROVIDED BY RELATIONSHIP EXPERTS
At Relationship Experts, our team provides a wide range of services to help you and your partner work through your relationship’s struggles. Our Miami, FL-based counseling office offers many different services online throughout Florida. So in addition to helping couples overcome their intimacy issues in Couples Therapy, our services include Affair Counseling, Infidelity Recovery Program, and Communication Counseling. We also offer online therapy sessions for couples looking to heal their relationship conveniently. Check out our blog for more articles like this!