Many couples I see daily come expressing their sadness and disappointment in losing the emotional and physical intimacy they once enjoyed. Life in general, as well as family, work, other commitments and unresolved issues can crowd in and take the focus.
It may seem simple but the first step in regaining the intimacy is to take time out where there will be no distractions, be vulnerable and sit facing each other and take time to speak one at a time and actively LISTEN to what's going on in each other's world. If as the listener you can 'mirror' back what you hear your partner say, it will show you are listening actively and present for them.
Be curious about your partner's world and show interest. Blaming, defensiveness and other ineffective behaviours need to be avoided if your partner is to feel emotionally safe.
When you show genuine interest in each other's struggles and demonstrate some thoughtfulness and empathy, and a willingness to support each other, you can expect to take a step closer to experiencing the intimacy you once enjoyed. In general, people are looking for emotional safety if they are to begin downloading their private thoughts and feelings, they need to feel they will be listened to, understood and validated for their deepest needs, and certainly not ignored. JAC
Julie is a certified and registered Newcastle Counsellor, Relationship Therapist and Life Coach, specialising in working with individual people and couples in the area of relationships and general needs.