The fear of intimacy is often the downfall of a relationship. The seemingly happy marriage could have a partner who is struggling with intimacy issues. The deep-rooted resistance towards intimacy could become a real problem when spouses are unable to communicate or express themselves openly. It could lead to irreconcilable differences and frustration amongst the partners. This can be handled if there is a will to reconcile. Intimacy can be inculcated with intervention by psychologists.
What is intimacy?
Intimacy can be sexual and emotional. Sexual intimacy is also not wholesome without emotional intimacy. Sex is not the same as intimacy as is often thought by lay persons. Physical intimacy is shown by touch that may or may not be sexual. Childhood trauma, fear of being hurt or even mental health issues like Asperger’s syndrome or Autism can be the cause of lack of physical intimacy.
Asperger’s and autism issues can be sorted with a gradual initiation to close contact. Once the person is comfortable with the partner with the help of a psychologist, trust can be built and intimacy can be established over time. It is a little more difficult if the person has had problems with trauma or sexual assault in the early years. Here too counseling can play a significant role in mitigating the trust issues and helping both partners become intimate.
Intimacy issues may also lead to physical problems like erectile dysfunction and loss of libido. These are problems that can be sorted by a skilled psychologist or counselor. Do not hesitate to seek help and resolve the problem to establish a happy conjugal life.
Emotional Intimacy is fostered since childhood
Emotional intimacy may be a byproduct of Avoidant personality disorder or in other words intimacy anxiety disorder. It has been found to run in families and can have its roots in childhood rejection. There is a real fear of abandonment. The issue could have many causes and have serious impact on romantic relationships. If the other partner is not aware of the problem, and it is often well hidden, he or she may feel neglected and unloved. You can resolve these fears by getting in touch with a behavioral therapist or psychiatrist.
Understanding the fear of intimacy
Often the couple is unaware that there is a genuine problem and go through life without a meaningful and loving relationship. The first step is to understand and accept that there is a problem. It is a good idea to be vocal about your feelings with your partner if you feel unwanted or neglected. Talk to your partner about your discomfort and fears if possible.
Once you understand that your problem can be sorted try the following steps:
- Consult a mental health professional. He or she will help you face your issues and understand the origin of your fear of intimacy. Once you accept the same, you will be in a better position to help yourself.
- Your spouse will be able to build bridges and help you through the emotional morass. It is a matter of understanding that you are not reacting to your spouse on a personal level but have a problem.
It is a good idea to seek the help of a professional to create a healthy and intimate relationship. After all intimacy is the basis of a strong marital relationship!