Intimacy can mean many things to different people, some relate intimacy with sex and for others with this special nonsexual feelings shared with a partner. Intimacy can be challenging for most people. We all have expectations for what intimacy is, how it looks and feels, but often times this isn’t communicated with partners, leading to frustration, disappointment and sometimes resentment.
It is important to experience intimacy with a partner, it gives a sense of well-being, closeness with a partner and communicates love and desire. But finding the time to be sexually intimate with our busy schedules and timing both partner’s libidos can be difficult. Desire discrepancy is often the most common intimacy issue for couples and it comes from a variety of sources that can be revealed in therapy.
For those who may have suffered past sexual trauma or abuse, intimacy can be particularly challenging. One in four women and one is sex men will experience sexual trauma at some point in their life, often before the age of 18 by someone you know. The memory of trauma can be buried deep within one’s psyche and triggered by things such as sounds, smells and sights that can keep those memories alive. In these cases, it’s essential to find support with a trusted therapist that can guide and process these feelings and emotions to lead a fulfilling and engaging life.
Did you know that every couple experiences desire discrepancy at some point in the relationship (if not throughout its entirety)? Or that intimacy can be accomplished by physical touching like hand holding, kissing and hugging throughout the day? The fear of intimacy is real and can come from deep issues of past abuse, alcohol or drug abuses, body image issues, performance anxiety and low self-esteem.