Intimacy is the foundation to our relationships. When it’s burning bright, everything flows with ease, patience, forgiveness, light-heartedness and safety.
Sharing a feeling of intimacy with our partner gives us that much needed sense of security. Security that we belong, that someone has our back, that we are doing something right in our relationship, and feeling the positive effects of it.
What I want every couple to understand is that the flame of intimacy can and will dim, and that’s to be expected in any long-term relationship.
Loving couples can nurture their connection and reignite that spark. But how do we bridge the intimacy gap between partners and restore closeness when life’s big and small challenges pull us apart?
Maintaining intimacy in a long-term relationship is not easy. Any couple in a successful relationship will tell you that.
Every day we are faced with demands that compete for our time and attention. Work and family obligations take their toll, leaving little room for moments of connection and physical affection.
Add in the day-to-day demands, and our reluctance to talk about long-standing issues or resentments, and you end up with a stalemate between partners that lacks the momentum to create change.
One such couple (we’ll call them Andy and Sharon) came to me complaining that something important was missing in their 10 year relationship. They described it as a lack of closeness, tenderness, and presence.
After having children, and both working full-time jobs, they found themselves struggling to make time to be alone together in a meaningful way. The conversations had become mundane, and superficial. Even the sex was feeling devoid of the kind of connection they used to feel. They were suffering a downhill slide and it scared them.
Making the decision to seek outside help was their first hurdle.
To Andy, coaching felt like admitting that their relationship was falling apart. He was afraid that coaching was admitting defeat. He wanted to try to figure it out themselves. After 6 months, he admitted that they were unable to make any meaningful, long lasting changes on their own.
When they agreed to reach out for coaching with me, they set aside an hour a week to talk about their relationship. That’s when tangible changes started to take place.
They also decided to set aside dedicated time each week for date nights, where they could share meaningful conversations and reconnect emotionally. These date nights reintroduced the feelings of intimacy they were both missing, which in turn opened them up to affection and physical intimacy again.
In addition to coaching and date nights, Andy and Sharon also learned that small daily actions can have a huge impact.
They started saying “I love you” more often, and with meaning, rather than the throw off ‘love ya’s’ they had become numb to.
They also experimented with sharing some new activities, like planning and cooking a new dish they were both excited to try, and venturing out, just the two of them, on new hiking trails in places they loved to visit.
These may sound like simple gestures, but for Andy and Sharon, it was exactly what they needed to break out of their emotional slumber, and they were able to reignite their flame of intimacy.
Making changes in your relationship is easier than it sounds. Andy and Sharon aren’t unique. They are just a typical couple who found themselves stuck in patterns that weren’t fanning the flames.
They weren’t broken. They weren’t in crisis. But they were taking intimacy for granted. Gradually they stopped nurturing the relationship with meaningful gestures.
Intimacy is the foundation of happy. long-term relationships, AND shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Relationship coaching isn’t the last resort, it’s the first step in acknowledging that modern love is not easy in a busy life.
Reach out and let’s talk about how to make your relationship not just survive, but thrive and grow for decades to come.
I love my couples. They reach out for sex coaching, wanting to create a fulfilling sexual and intimate life. The number one obstacle to achieving their goals is sometimes an unhealthy relationship dynamic. For most of us, opening ourselves to sexuality with our partners requires trust, connection and a sense of emotional safety. If our relationships are being impacted by unhealthy dynamics that leave us triggered and harboring conscious or unconscious resentment, sexuality will be impacted or, at worst no longer exist.
Sexual Trauma and PTSD keep painful memories from our past alive and present in our day to day lives. Hypnotherapy uses the power of your own mind to unlock the hold these memories have on you, by helping your brain process them in a gentle and effective way. If you suffer from trauma, you’re well aware that some memories trigger feelings of present-time fear, keeping you anxious, and on high alert, even though consciously you know you’re no longer in danger. If some of those memories have created Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that means your brain is ‘matching’ those past memories to present day experiences, or what is referred to as ‘pattern matching’ in Hypnotherapy.
When two people get together to form a relationship, there are two sets of wounds merging and intertwining, our partner’s and our own. We know when our old wounds are being dragged into a conflict because our pain and defensiveness will suddenly spike. If our partner is speaking the same words as our inner abuser, the armor will go up, and disagreements will escalate into shouting, tearful battles.
When I hear a woman make such a resounding statement as ‘I’m done with sex’, I imagine a long road of frustration, obligation, unmet desires and unspoken words, leading up to that absolute declaration. Sex is not about obligation, although women have been told it was their obligation for eons of time. Relatively speaking, it wasn’t all that long ago that women were considered the property of a man, and their role in life was having a family and pleasing her husband. (and in many parts of the world still are).