Healing The Fear Of Intimacy

By

Healing The Fear Of Intimacy
Are you sick of being afraid of intimacy? Are you ready to have emotional intimacy in your life?

Why would someone be afraid of intimacy? Don't we all want to feel close and connected with someone?

Yes, of course we want that, but there are very real fears that keep us from opening to emotional intimacy in a primary relationship.

 

The Fears

What is the first fearful thought you think when you think of feeling close to someone?

"I'm going to be rejected or I'm going to be abandoned."
"I'm going to be smothered, engulfed, controlled. I will lose myself."
"If I lose the person I love through death, I can't handle the pain."

These are the fears that are behind the fear of intimacy. It's not the intimacy itself, but the bad things that can happen that are sometimes part of an intimate relationship.

These fears come from the pain of having been rejected, or of having lost ourselves in a relationship, or of having too much loss without knowing how to handle grief. These experiences may have been so painful that you are afraid to experience them again.

Is this pain inevitable in an intimate relationship? Yes and no. The pain of rejection or engulfment is NOT inevitable. The pain of losing a loved one through death may happen and is always a huge challenge, but would you really rather live a life without love than face this challenge?

The Healing

The key to healing the fears is developing your loving adult self.

For example, you are in a relationship with someone you really love. One day, out of nowhere, your partner gets angry with you, shuts down to you, or threatens to leave you.

If you are operating from the ego, wounded part of yourself, your reactions might be:

"What did I do wrong?" (Taking it personally and feeling rejected).
"What do I have to do to fix this?" (The beginning of losing yourself).

Then you might also get angry or shut down to avoid feeling rejected, or you might scurry around trying to make things right, taking responsibility for your partner's feelings. Out of your fear, you would try to control your partner.

If you are operating from your loving adult self, your responses might be:

"My partner is closed right now and trying to blame me or punish me for something. My heart hurts from being treated this way, but I know that his or her behavior has nothing to do with me. I cannot cause another person to act this way, nor am I responsible for how he or she chooses to behave. If my partner leaves, I will feel very sad, even heartbroken, but I can manage this feeling with deep compassion and tenderness toward myself. Now, I wonder how I can best take loving care of myself until he or she opens up?"

As a loving adult, you would not take your partner's behavior personally and feel rejected by it, nor would you give yourself up trying to get your partner to open up. You might ask your partner what's wrong with an intention to learn, and if he or she opens up, then you can have a productive conversation. If not, then you would compassionately tend to your own heartache and do something loving for yourself - take a walk, call a friend, read a book, and so on.

Keep reading...

More Juicy Content From YourTango:
YourTango’s Best Relationship Advice
Dating After Divorce? 3 Mistakes To Avoid
Commitment Phobias For Men And Women [EXPERT]

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

What to do When He Expects You to be His Therapist

By

One of the important things I learned in my own marriage and in my work with clients is that a committed relationship is NOT supposed to be a therapeutic relationship. We can help each other to learn, grow and heal, but this is very different than a therapeutic relationship. In a marriage, or close committed relationship or friendship, we can help each other, ... Read more

Control and Resistance Can Ruin Your Sex Life

By

"I just want to feel loved," complained Angie. "Is that too much to ask? I want to be able to count on Richard in bed. I'm tired of feeling like I don't count!" Angie and her husband, Richard, were caught in a power struggle that was having a very negative affect on their sex life. Most of the time, as soon as they started to ... Read more

Dealing With Trust Issues? Why You Need To Trust YOURSELF First

By

"I have a hard time trusting people." "I never feel like I can trust my husband (or wife)." It is very common for me in my work as a counselor to hear the above statements. Trust issues abound in relationships. However, resolving trust issues is not about getting another person to be trustworthy. It's about you become a ... Read more

See More

 
My Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular