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Restoring & Strengthening the Intimacy in Your Relationship -HFC

Restoring & Strengthening the Intimacy in Your Relationship -HFC

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Relationship Intimacy pg 1 of 4

Restoring or Strengthening the Intimacy in Your Relationship
Are you and your partner locked in a pattern of anger where hurtful words and actions dominate your relationship? Do you or your partner make most of your decisions independent of each other, without discussion or seeking their agreement? Do you or your partner seem like their in their own world, just going through the practical responsibilities of your family? Has sex become more of a fantasy or a chor
Relationship Intimacy pg 1 of 4

Restoring or Strengthening the Intimacy in Your Relationship
Are you and your partner locked in a pattern of anger where hurtful words and actions dominate your relationship? Do you or your partner make most of your decisions independent of each other, without discussion or seeking their agreement? Do you or your partner seem like their in their own world, just going through the practical responsibilities of your family? Has sex become more of a fantasy or a chor

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Published by: HelpforFamilies Canada on Apr 08, 2012
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Relationship Intimacy pg 1 of 4
Help for Families Canada 
 –
Counselling & Consulting. For more relationship tips & support, please contact us at 604-562-2080 or help4familesca@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook .
Restoring or Strengthening the Intimacy in YourRelationship
1.
 
 
Recreate together with mutually enjoyed activities.
 
I know that couplesare different and have individual recreational interests, and doing things togetheroften involves compromise. She may go with him to the hockey game, he may gowith her to the chick flick. Or, he may go to the games with the guys and she to themovies with her girlfriends. There is a context in which recreational compromiseand independence is necessary and healthy; however, it is important to not lose thevalue of doing things together you both mutually enjoy. Invest some time togethermaking a list of the things you currently like to do (maybe 12 things), share yourindependent lists and look for 1 or 2 things you have in common. (Note: the aim of 
the exercise is neither to judge each other‟s interests nor to use the length of 
compatibility list to judge your relationship). Remember when you first fell in love,you enjoyed being with each other, doing things together. When you are havingfun, laughing together, experiencing bio-
chemical moments of “happiness” you are
naturally bonded to the people with whom you share these experiences. This is avery simplistic explanation of the science of love but it is a principle which mayapply to your relationship. Go out together and have some fun.
 
2.
 
Focus on the present and the future.
 
In an effort to protect ourselves fromhurt we sometimes feel the need to remind our partner of their past mistakes.(When I speak of past mistakes I am referring to the little irritations ordisappointments that occur in all relationships, not chronic abuse). We justify in our
minds, “If s/he remembers how
much their last actions had hurt me, s/he mayavoid doing
it again”. Yes, that seems
logical, however that produces guilt and aburdensome sense of obligation in the other.
Let‟s consider a similar situation.
Mary owes her friend Lisa $2,000 but recently lost her job and is living on credit
 
Are you and your partner locked in a pattern of anger where hurtful words and actions dominate your relationship? Do you or your partner make most of your decisions independent of each other, without discussion or seeking their agreement? Do you or your partner seem like their in their own world, just going through the practical responsibilities of your family? Has sex become more of a fantasy or a chore than a regular act of shared intimacy? Here are a few practical suggestions that may help to enrich your relationship 
.
 
 
Relationship Intimacy pg 2 of 4
Help for Families Canada 
 –
Counselling & Consulting. For more relationship tips & support, please contact us at 604-562-2080 or help4familesca@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook .
cards and cannot afford to repay, or Frank who promised to help his cousin Gina
remodel her basement but then he realises he doesn‟t have the skills to do the
quality job Gina is demanding. What do you think happens when Lisa or Ginafrequently telephones Mary or Frank reminding them of their debt? Soon, they arechecking the caller-
id‟s on their incoming calls and with embarrassment choosing to
not even take their calls. When Frank gets invited to the family dinner knowing
 
Gina will be there, do you think he will attend? No! He will make some excuse as to
why he can‟t attend. These illustrations are similar to what happens in a
relationship where one person is frequently made aware of their mistakes or theirinability to meet the expectations. My point is that guilt and obligation fostersdistance and it does not promote love and a desire to be close to the other.Forgiveness and the ability to let things go is not easy but if you want a relationshipwhere you and your partner can be freely honest with each other it is crucial tocreate an atmosphere where their weaknesses will not be used against them inyour courts of relational judgement. Practise communicating to your partner thatyou believe in their inherent goodness and their ability to grow (i.e., improve,change towards a better self). Open yourself up to acknowledge the instances of positive efforts you see in the here and now, the present positives of yourrelationship and what you anticipate in the future.
 3.
 
Meditate on “
things I l
ove about you” and share them with your
partner
.
No relationship is perfect because no partner is perfect; but remember,there were qualities in your partner that attracted you to them in the first place. Ichallenge you to meditate (think deeply upon) yo
ur partner‟s positive attributes
,consider writing them down. What attracted you to them in the beginning? Whatmade them stand out above other potential partners? How has these qualitiesgrown and developed over the years? If you met your partner for the first timetoday what would attract you to them now, are they the same things? Are there
new virtues you‟ve noted in your relationship
over the years? What would his/herfriends say about them? When was the last time you saw your partner expressthese qualities? How
do your partner‟s positive qualities
(e.g. honesty) make apositive impact on you as a person, on your relationship, and on your family?
 
When your mind and heart is full of warmth and genuine appreciation for thelove that you have, share it with your partner. Think of some creative way(s) to tellhim/her
 “two things I love about you” and why. No, don‟t just think it
, say it. We allneed to feel appreciated and by satisfying that basic emotional need in him/her youmay also kindle in them a reciprocal feeling of warmth towards you.
 
Relationship Intimacy pg 3 of 4
Help for Families Canada 
 –
Counselling & Consulting. For more relationship tips & support, please contact us at 604-562-2080 or help4familesca@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook .
4.
 
Believe you are worthy of love and intimacy
.
I once heard someone define
intimacy as “into
-me-see
”, which
means opening up yourself to show another yourtrue feelings, reactions, thoughts, struggles, etc. This type of openness can begenerally difficult but even more so if we believe that our true feelings, reactions,thoughts and struggles are unacceptable and invalid. This may cause us to people-please (onl
 
y being for the other that which pleases them), or defensively reject or
withdraw from others before they can „reject/withdraw‟ from us.
We developrelationships but yet, there continues to be a deep yearning in our hearts, to beseen and loved for who we truly are. Intimacy begins with your courage to look intoyourself and accept yourselves for who you are; only then will you have thecourage to show yourself to others. Accept that your feelings may differ from yourpartner, your reactions to common life events may be different but your
 “
different-ness
” 
does not mean that either of you is better than the other. Think about andidentify what are some of the positive things you bring to your relationship.Consider that the sharing of different perspectives often provides a fuller, moreglobal perspective on issues than a limited one-sided perspective. We are all on a journey but while you travel towards your best self you are worthy of love andacceptance for who you are in the here and now. I believe personally, some may
disagree, that the best relationships are those where partners‟ strengths and
weakness complement each other. Some of my weaknesses are my husba
nd‟s
 strengths and vice versa and, together, we draw from each other to help make theother a better person. When I let my husband see my weaknesses then I gainaccess to the strength he has to offer me in that area, and I allow him theopportunity to feel valuable to me. In overcoming my insecurities, I unlock theinter-dependency that is a key feature of a genuinely intimate relationship.I know life is not so simplistic for everyone and some have experienced realrelational hurts which make vulnerability very challenging; you may need moresupport than this short note can offer. Nevertheless I believe everyone deservesthe freedom to be their true self. If you need it, I hope you will seek the supportyou may need to help you secure the love you deserve.
 5.
 
Have sex more frequently and liberally
.
Women particularly find it hard tofeel sexually attracted to a partner they feel distance towards, however since
intimacy involves the satisfaction of both partners‟ needs it is important toacknowledge the value of your man‟s sexual needs. If he is ex
pected to beromantic, affectionate and loving towards you it is reasonable that you support hisphysical needs. Your man requires sex to feel connected to you. Accept this as a
fact. You don‟t have to understand how they could think this way. It just is s
o. Oneof the key ways to enhance sexual intimacy is to practise have open conversationsabout your own sexual anxieties and needs. What are the insecurities you mayhave about your body, your sexual performance, or your sexual desires? Sexual orphysical insecurities may cause you to hesitate in bed; your partner may interpret

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