Intimate Relationship

Is there anything more important than a loving intimate relationship to contribute to your well being? It is such a nourishing experience to feel connected to someone you love deeply. When it works, life can seem easy and flowing. You feel the constant support of the love of your partner. A natural motivation arises to take care of your beloved in the best possible way you can. A level of respect between you means that there is an honoring of each other and what you bring to each other. There is a sense of working together to create something special - to share the joy of your relating with others, so that they too might have a taste of the love you share between you.

And yet, intimate relationships can also be the most challenging of experiences. It is so easy to take each other for granted. It is so easy to slip into judgment of our partners, to blame each other for not being who you think they should be. It is so easy to relate to one another in the same way our parents related to each other. It's so easy to be unconscious in the ways we choose to relate. Often in relationships there is one partner who pursues connection and the other partner uses the strategy of withdrawal. It's a dance of disconnection.

Conflict in Intimate Relationship

Withdrawal of love and attention is a classic strategy to deal with our judgments of our partners, either physically, mentally or emotionally. We shut down our willingness to communicate and set about trying to "punish" the other for their behavior so they will see what harm they have done us. Then they will be contrite and ask for our forgiveness and our well being will be quickly restored. Or not?

The strategy to shut down will usually escalate the conflict from what might have started as something simple, to something that you both just wish would go away. And often-times there is a reluctance to be the first to break the "deadlock". No one wants to admit to being wrong. There is a fierce (and maybe covert or subtle) fight to see who can stand their ground the longest.

Conflict can start with something simple like the dishes not being done according to expectations, but if the focus remains on the dishes as the issue, escalation is almost certain. If it's not dealt with quickly and appropriately it can fester into a full on conflict ... leading to very unpleasant consequences. If you have regular conflict in your relationship you have probably noticed that this is often a theme or thread that is common to most of the conflicts.

Feeling separate from your intimate partner can be very painful. And if you don't have a process for working through those painful feelings it is easy to either turn those feelings of anger and resentment back against yourself or against someone or something else - a child, a work subordinate or the family dog.

The good news is that it is not that difficult to turn it around. In fact it is possible to learn to see that conflict provides you with an extraordinary opportunity to deepen the intimacy between you. Rather than running from conflict you can learn to turn toward it with curiosity and compassion. With some understanding of the principles of effective communication and a few simple strategies you and your partner can re-discover the love that you know in the depths of your heart is there.

If you are experiencing difficulty in your intimate relationship,  maybe finding it just too painful and you don't seem to be able to sort it out by yourselves, give me a call on (+61) 0412 98 88 44 or  click this link and complete the form to set up an appointment with Alistair.


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If you are experiencing difficulty in your intimate relationship,  maybe finding it just too painful and you don't seem to be able to sort it out by yourselves, give me a call on (+61) 0412 98 88 44 or  click this link and complete the form to set up an appointment with Alistair.