Sometimes, the reasons for a lack of intimacy in a relationship can run deeper than you might realise, and have many layers. This blog post explores this common couples issue, and the possible reasons, through a case study.
“When did you last relax?”
That’s what I asked Sarah* and Phillip* recently, a couple who were overworked, stressed, and tired.
Their response? They both laughed, wryly.
“We don’t relax” was their simple answer.
Sarah and Phillip had been experiencing a lack of intimacy in their relationship. Sarah blamed the fact that Phillip was constantly late home from work meetings, or thinking about work long after he had come home. Phillip thought it was the pressures of Sarah’s work, and her various school commitments with the children, that got in the way. Both blamed exhaustion for not spending enough time together.
The problem was, neither of them ever seemed to stop! On the face of it, it was no wonder that they weren’t experiencing intimacy, when they weren’t even making time for each other.
But sometimes, the reasons for a lack of intimacy in a relationship can run deeper than you might realise, and have many layers.
For Sarah and Phillip, it seemed there was something else. A deeper problem. Because even when, at my suggestion, they made a conscious effort to make dedicated time for each other, they would inevitably end up talking about work, the children, domestic issues – anything but their relationship.
When I helped them to explore why that might be the case, it transpired that it wasn’t just that they were physically busy – mentally they were extremely busy too. The constant drive to get everything done and multitask during the day meant that by the time they saw each other, they were both tired and wired. They had no idea how to switch off and pay attention to each other.
So I guided them to put in place some mindfulness type exercises to do together at the end of the day. They would either go for a walk in Nature, or do some gardening together, or sit and meditate together with a guided visualisation I had prepared for them.
And this is what unlocked the heart of the problem. As they started to connect with Nature more deeply, as they recognised that they were a part of Nature themselves, they started to connect with themselves, and each other, more deeply. This uncovered something else even more unexpected……….they began to feel upset and afraid of intimacy.
Afraid that by connecting more deeply, they might end up visiting places in their relationship that they hadn’t been to for a very long time. That their old, unhealed wounds might surface. And that they wouldn’t know how to handle it when it happened.
They suddenly realised that, this whole time, their busy, stressful lives had provided them with an ample choice of excuses to avoid intimacy.
To avoid going to the roots of the problem, in case it felt too painful.
It was only with my support and guidance as a Relationship Coach, showing them the healing power of Nature to contain them in a safe space, that they now felt able to go there.
Sarah was carrying resentment towards Phillip for not being very present when their first child was born, feeling as though she had been left to cope alone. She had a brief period of postnatal depression, and had not felt supported by Phillip at the time. Phillip, on the other hand, had found it very difficult to adjust to fatherhood, the new role Sarah suddenly took on as a mother and no longer simply his wife, and the fact that Sarah had become more distant towards him. Neither of them had communicated how they felt at the time, and as the years went by, these feelings had become buried under the day-to-day stresses and demands of parenthood, work, social and family commitments.
By not dealing with the issue at the time, they had found it difficult to simply move on. So, 10 years later, here they were – stuck, not able to truly connect and be vulnerable with each other.
Through gentle exploration, I helped them to learn about and understand each others’ experiences and feelings at the time. They learned to empathise with each other. As a result, they were able to heal their old wounds. They were then able to really make space for each other.
Eventually, intimacy was restored.
Nature contains abundant light. When you shine light on darkness, it dissolves.
By providing Sarah and Phillip with illumination, I helped that dark, deep part of their relationship – their fear of intimacy – to dissolve.
If you would like my guidance to restore the intimacy in your relationship, there are lots of ways that you can work with me, but as a special bonus I have an amazing offer for you right now! For a limited time only, I am giving you one of the last opportunities to download my Four Seasons Relationship Course, absolutely FREE! Designed for couples, this course is perfect for helping you to connect with each other more deeply, using the principles of the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter as a guide, whilst showing you ways to be more creative in your relationship. But hurry – very soon this course will be a paid course and no longer available for free! Click below for more information and to claim your free course NOW!
Deepening your connection through the spirit of Nature. 🙂
*Client confidentiality is always protected. Case studies are therefore fictional and for illustrative purposes only.