Intimacy – You Have To Love Yourself First

Intimacy – You Have To Love Yourself First.  Intimacy is a state of closeness with another human being.  Our capacity for intimacy determines our ability to participate in a mutually fulfilling and satisfying relationship.  People I work with in Individual Therapy are afraid of getting too close to anyone.  They fear that if they open up and take a risk they’ll be vulnerable to pain.  Yes there are some risks, yet people who are able to achieve intimacy feel that a close relationship is worth the risk of getting hurt.  They can handle the risk because they tend to have high self-esteem, a sense of independence and a healthy respect for others.

Intimacy – You Have To Love Yourself First

Self Esteem

People who succeed in intimate relationships usually start out with a high level of self-esteem.  While they cherish closeness, they already feel complete before they enter a relationship.  They are not looking for someone to complete them or make them feel whole.  They understand they have value whether they are not in or out of a relationship.  The relationship may enhance the way the persons feel about themselves but the person already accepts themselves as an Individual.  They are also able to accept the partner’s individuality and enhance that person’s self-esteem.

Independence

People who are successful with intimacy understand the difference between that state and one of Mutual Dependency. While there is some mutual dependency in every relationship those who constantly rely on someone else are unable to see that there are two unique individuals within each relationship.  There is Oneself and there is the Other Person. Mutually dependent people are able to see themselves only as each is reflected by the other.

Respect

People who succeed in Intimate Relationships understand that Intimacy flourishes in an atmosphere of respect. Respectful partners accept  each other’s individuality but also carry it a step further.  Neither tries to change the other. Discovering what makes one’s partner unique can be one of the prime rewards of an Intimate Relationship

The Couples I see in Couples Counseling typically come in with good self esteem, however, they tend to concentrate on one another and not so much on how they as individuals are contributing to the conflict areas of their particular situation.  In my work in Couples Therapy I help the Individual develop a greater Sense of Self increasing their Self Esteem, encourage Independence within the relationship so that they enhance and not change one another, and learn to love and respect themselves so that they can appreciate the love and respect they receive from their relationship.

Intimacy – You Have To Love Yourself First

Think about whether or not you have the kind of Intimacy you want in your relationship. Are you an Independent person within your relationship where there is Mutual Dependency?  Does your partner have the same Self-Esteem you hold for yourself?

If you would like a deeper level of Intimacy please call me at (858) 735-1139.

Can Obsessing Over An Affair Be Helpful?

Can Obsessing Over An Affair Be Helpful? Recovering from an affair is a very difficult process. The mere disclosure of the affair may set the tone for these kinds of questions:

–  “Are we going to stay together or separate?”

–  “Are we a couple or aren’t we?”

–  “Will I ever be able to trust you again?”

–  “Does the lover know more than I do?”

–  “Did our friends or family members know about this before I did?”

–  “Are you going to continue seeing her/him?”

–  “Where did you two meet”

–  “Where did you have sex?”

– “How many times did you have sex?

–  “How long did it take before you became engaged in the affair?”

Can Obsessing Over An Affair Be Helpful?

A partner obsessing about the details of the Affair can be annoying yet hurtful if you are the Affair Partner (the person who had the affair), you continue to feel the pain you created for the Hurt Partner. Hearing about the Affair over and over again can become tiresome and the Affair Partner can become weary and discouraged that the relationship is unable to move on. While the Affair Partner is remorseful and is willing to do anything to repair the relationship, listening to the details about the Affair over and over again is counterproductive.

When two people date they get to know each other. Some fall in love intensely and decide to become a couple. Others are more thoughtful as they consider differences in culture, age, social class, religion, etc. Whether they decide to marry or live together in a homosexual or heterosexual partnership, the decision puts a boundary around the two of them as a Couple. This decision completes the initial bonding stage of a relationship and paves the way for a healthy growth-promoting process to be able to differentiate (that is, become different from one another). It is this security of their bond that provides the support for each other’s differentiation to become whom they will become as individuals within the relationship.

Can Obsessing Over An Affair Be Helpful?

In this culture, marriage/committed relationships come with an expectation of Sexual Monogamy, unless otherwise agreed upon. When one partner discovers that the other has had a sexual encounter with another person it is an assault on this security. An affair can be defined as one person secretly violating an actual or implied expectation of the other’s Primacy. The secrecy is more disturbing than the actual sex. The Affair Partner has disrupted the commitment with the Hurt Partner, therefore, this disruption violates this boundary around them as a Couple.

Because the commitment and boundary have been disrupted and violated, everything is open again and the inevitable questions get asked. All the questions that existed before becoming a couple are back on the table again. This time it’s more challenging because there are more dependencies (other people), like children involved. Each partner must re-decide whether he or she wants to start over and reinvest in their previous relationship. This decision can come with soul searching dialogue and self-confrontation of issues with the help of a trained counselor specializing in working with Infidelity.  It is important to seek the help of a trained Counselor to effectively direct the process as continual questioning can become hostile and persecutory and stagnate therapy, which may turn it into “beat up” sessions.  Confusion surrounds how to handle the persistent search for more facts and answering of questions.

Can Obsessing Over An Affair Be Helpful?

Is it valuable for someone to obsess over details of the Affair? It’s a way of working through the trauma of the affair. It is through this process that each partner decides whether to recommit to the partnership. When the Affair Partner answers the questions truthfully without being defensive or belligerent, it helps the Hurt Partner put an end to the “crazy” feeling since he or she is left fantasizing or sensationalizing answers to the questions themselves. When the evasiveness continues, it signals that the feelings leading to the Affair still exist and the Primacy of the committed partnership does not. Being honest about the details of the Affair helps put the blown up fantasies about the “other” woman or man into perspective and they are seen as being human, and not perfect or better.

As the Primary Couple deals with the betrayal of secrecy and deception created by the Affair they may create shared meaning by talking about these questions in detail. This process is essential to rebuilding trust and commitment.  Developing a New Monogamy Agreement also helps with generating a new relationship preventing similar situations from occurring again.  (See my article on The New Monogamy and look for How To Develop New Monogamy Agreements).

 

No Time For Weekly Therapy, Try A Couples Intensive

No Time For Weekly Therapy, Try A Couples Intensive. An Intensive is an in-depth intervention to create dramatic and long lasting shifts in your relationship where you acquire valuable tools needed to help make you move forward creating the life you want with your partner. In this one session counseling venue couples will learn to make implicit assumptions and agreements explicit so that each partner knows exactly what is expected from one another. Couples intensives are designed for those who can’t attend weekly sessions, have childcare challenges, and busy schedules receiving results sooner rather than later.

No Time For Weekly Therapy, Try A Couples Intensive

A Couples Intensive can focus on special issues and problem areas such as:

  • Communication and Conflict Repair
  • Intimacy and Connection
  • Emotional Closeness and Passion
  • Affair Recovery
  • Infidelity Disclosure

  • Sexual Desire Issues
  • Pornography and Internet Abuse
  • Sexual Addiction or Compulsion
  • Open Marriage or Polyamory Issues
  • Separation and Divorce Coaching
  • New Monogamy Visions

Everyone has their own concept of what “monogamy” means—and most people assume their partners and spouses are on the same page. Couples may assume that they are monogamous, but never discuss exactly what the monogamy agreement means to them. What happens when this implicit agreement is broken? After infidelity, relationships can become strained as both partners lose trust and faith in each other.  Having a dialogue about what monogamy means to you and what you want it to look like moving forward offers a way out of these difficulties for couples struggling to stay together, especially after infidelity. Counseling helps regain the trust, romance, and intimacy after infidelity by redefining their marital contract. 

A Couples Intensive can help you and your partner increase the passion in your relationship and maintain the Erotic Connection you truly deserve and desire. By learning to communicate with your partner you become motivated to stay connected. A vital and healthy interest in sex and a passionate curiosity in life is the way to keep a relationship alive for a long, long time.

Whether you are looking for marriage counseling, want to work on relationship issues, or want an Intensive to resolve conflict or improve your Sex life please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

How To Affair Proof Your Relationship

How To Affair Proof Your Relationship.  It seems everywhere you turn someone you know is having an affair. I bet you claimed you would never cheat on your partner, right? Who intentionally gets into a relationship and then decides to cheat? It’s devastating to be on either end of that situation as the guilt and betrayal can be overwhelming. It can take up to two years or more for a couple to repair the effects of an affair so wouldn’t it be in everybody’s best interest to prevent one?

How To Affair Proof Your Relationship

Putting the following into practice could prevent the downfall of any relationship:

  • Be the Mature Person you need to be –  A person who is independent within an interdependent relationship makes for a less needy individual.  A less needy individual makes for a more attractive partner.
  • Don’t ignore your spouse’s complaints – Listen to and acknowledge their discomfort about housework, money, in-laws, etc., whether you agree or disagree.  It’s important they feel heard.
  • Be Honest – I’m talking about when you feel an attraction for someone else share that with your partner and talk about the feelings around it.  It’s perfectly normal to fantasize about other people but can be dangerous if acted out.  Telling your partner before something actually happens is less disastrous and painful than having to deal with the consequences of an actual betrayal (affair).
  • Show Appreciation – Telling your partner every day that you appreciate something they have done for you or how they look in appearance is very endearing contrary to any criticisms.
  • Tell your partner what you want – Women tend to think men can read their minds, well they can’t.  You need to tell each other what you want.  How you want your coffee in the morning or what you’d like in bed.  Being open is part of being communicative.
  • Have lots of Sex – (or an agreed upon amount between the two of you); when there is a physical connection often times there is an emotional connection.  When you make the space for your sex you hold your relationship in high regard and validate your partnership in a loving way.  It is during these encounters where sharing honesty and being communicative about your wants and desires that protect you from other people who can come between you and your partner.
  • Develop a Monogamy Agreement that is ideal for your relationship.  (see http://erelationshipadvicecafe.com/the-new-monogamy)

Continue talking to each other about what works in your relationship and what doesn’t.  Every relationship is unique to its own developed agreement.  If you put into practice what you agree upon your relationship should be safe from others trying to infiltrate it.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 for more information about preventing an affair.

 

The New School Year and Your Relationship

The New School Year and Your Relationship. School has started. Summer vacation is over and you’re back to your normal routine. That fabulous family vacation was wonderful except you felt no connection with your husband/wife. The kids had fun but what about you? Just thinking about that same old routine is making you feel really desperate and lonely. Do you think your spouse is thinking the same way? Do you and your spouse go through the motions but don’t really feel that spark any longer?

The New School Year and Your Relationship

As a Marriage Counselor, I work with couples who after so many years of being together have lost their individual selves in their relationship. They have concentrated on meeting everybody’s needs but their own. Does this sound like you? Did you know that in every relationship their exists a “ME?”  The “WE” in a relationship can never be quite satisfied until that “ME” has fulfilled certain stages throughout their  life span. My book entitled Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationships details just that.

I work within a Developmental Model and I help couples understand that the first step to finding a healthy relationship is to first develop a healthy Sense of Self. In other words, there is a starting point to being with your soul mate. You need to find YOURSELF first and determine what you are all about. I can help you go through the process in finding out just who you are and what kind of “ME”  you are bringing into your relationship.

If too much time goes by where your run of the mill routine is taking over your ability to be romantic you most likely will turn into roommates not feeling the emotional connection desired. The worst part is you role model for your children a lack of connectedness as the household is more transactional than relational.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 for more information about learning something new.

 

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