18
Jan


Apologies are offered and accepted regularly in successful relationships. The question is, what are you —or your partner—apologizing for?

Meaningful apologies can have several different goals:

  • Acknowledging a partner’s pain
  • Acknowledging your role in that pain
  • Implying you’ll try hard to avoid doing the hurtful thing again
  • Requesting a resumption of warm feelings

Not every apology, however, is meaningful. When people say “I’m sorry,” and don’t know what they’re sorry for, the apology is a mere formality. It neither examines the present nor addresses the future. But people do it because they feel uncomfortable with a partner’s resentment or hurt, or they’re eager to resume friendly relations. An apology seems like the entry fee.

Similarly, people often say “I’m sorry,” but then explain why you’re wrong to be upset, or why they aren’t responsible for your pain. They make excuses: “I was really tired” or “things happen.” Such an apology acknowledges your discomfort, but does nothing to assure you that things will go differently next time. There isn’t much solace in this apology.

We should hesitate to accept such apologies. If the apologizer doesn’t know why you’re upset, and can’t give you confidence that he probably won’t do the same upsetting thing again in similar circumstances, why should you comfort the apologizer? By accepting an apology, you’re saying that he’s taken responsibility and you’re ready for reconciliation to begin. This removes the healthy pressure for him to examine what he’s done, the nature of the relationship and your respective needs.

On the other hand, some people take advantage of their status as the wronged party. They drag out the process of describing their wound: “If you don’t know, I’m not saying.” Sometimes they even deny they’re upset: “What’s the matter?” “Nothing.” These strategic moves are part of a power struggle, typically played by people who feel powerless.

Couples need terms of reconciliation, sanction and surrender for the myriad of conflicts, hurt feelings, passive hostilities and thoughtlessness that litter a relationship. People need to see these structures and routines as tools to make life smoother, not as things to use against each other.

Apologizing is an ongoing, normal activity in healthy relationships. Sometimes it’s an event, sometimes a process. Used in perspective, with an appropriate dose of humor, it can deepen intimacy.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
4
Jan


What is intimacy and why are some of us so uncomfortable with it?

No single definition of intimacy can satisfy everyone, but here’s one that works for many people: intimacy is the feeling of being known. It’s a feeling that someone else knows your true self, and the trust that there’s a joint commitment to maintaining your connection even when it’s difficult.

Intimacy takes many forms: verbal, physical, sexual, spiritual. A relationship is all the more powerful — and intimate — when it features more than one of these forms.

Unfortunately, people may focus on different aspects of intimacy. I often hear couples complain that one is only interested in sex while the other is only interested in talking.

Everyone needs intimacy. It is so stressful for people to feel isolated that they inevitably find ways of connecting with others — even if it’s only over whiskey with strangers in a bar.

Not everyone is aware that they need intimacy. Some people are so defended against their fear of dependence, exposure or loss, that they truly believe they need no one. Sadly, they are just fooling themselves.

When relationships are troubled by serious problems with sex, affection, nagging or chronic conflict, the cause is frequently a power struggle about intimacy.

What forms will it take? What are acceptable limits? What will people have to pay in order to get what they need? In healthy relationships, people discuss these questions in various ways, and they are flexible enough to accommodate each other’s needs.

In unhealthy relationships, people attack, criticize and blame each other for the mess they’re in, rather than seeing their mess as a joint creation.

People face a fundamental dilemma: we need intimacy, but we’re afraid of it. The way in which we handle this internal struggle defines our personality and relationship style.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
18
Aug


Everyone from Oprah to your Aunt Mabel talks about intimacy. And much of what’s said is misinformation or myth. Here are some of the most common examples of intimacy myths:

Myth #1: Women are better at intimacy and want it more than men

This myth hurts both women and men. It dishonors the genuine desires for connection that many men feel, and confuses and isolates them. It also forces responsibility for good relationships onto women, creating resentment and depression.

It’s more accurate to say that many women relate to styles of intimacy that are different from the styles that are comfortable for many men. This is not a problem — it’s an exciting opportunity to synthesize two hearts.

Myth #2: Intimacy equals love

Many people who love each other lack the tools or desire to create intimacy. Sadly, some people use love to manipulate, bully, and hurt each other and then feel surprised when they don’t feel close to each other. In many ways, intimacy is more about people liking each other than it is about them loving each other.

Myth #3: Intimacy equals sex

Most of us have had sex that was not intimate, and many of us have had intimate relationships that had little or no sex. This is not surprising. Sexuality is one vehicle for intimacy, but not the only one. And intimacy is one aspect of sexuality, but not the only one.

Some people like to use sex to get close to a partner, while others can’t really enjoy sex unless they already feel close. It’s important for people to discuss how they feel about this rather than struggling with anger and hurt about it.

Myth #4: Intimacy means losing your self

Intimacy can only occur between two individuals with two selves. Intimacy occupies a very special place between two separate lives, acting as a spark that connects and excites. When one person demands that the other submerge him or herself in the relationship, that person is asking for a kind of immature safety that is the opposite of intimacy. And while people in the first blush of passion often lose themselves, they must disentangle from each other if the relationship is to grow and become intimate.

Myth #5: Intimacy has no room for conflict

Since true intimacy involves the ongoing exposure of two individual selves, combined with a commitment to maintain a connection despite discomfort, intimacy involves conflict. It must be a special kind of conflict, however: cooperative, productive, conscious.

Myth #6: Intimacy is easy

Intimacy involves self-awareness, honesty, courage, trust and communication. How could it possibly be easy?

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
G Spot | About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Sitemap