Intimacy is an essential part of a loving relationship. But what is intimacy, really? It is being present and open to each other. Intimacy starts with being relaxed and comfortable with each other and progresses to sharing thoughts, feelings, kisses and caresses.
Robert and Shelly made a lot of progress in their therapy with me. They were communicating better about important issues such as finances and resolving disputes, but they both felt something was missing. As Shelly put it, “I feel lonely at times even when we are together.” Robert seemed to be working longer and longer hours. Shelly found herself reading spicy romance novels and day dreaming about getting away from it all. Their conversations had become predictable and bland.
Getting the Spice Back
They needed to recapture the intimacy, the spice, the intensity of their early love connection, but on a deeper, more mature level. Surprisingly it begins with simply relaxing. Good lovers know that relaxing is the first step to wonderful sex. What is generally not known is that relaxation is also the doorway to love. Many wise people have said that the secret to fully experiencing life is being in the present. Being present increases intimacy and when intimacy is combined with sexual pleasure love begins to deepen.
I had both of them make an iron-clad agreement not to take any work home on the weekend. This was difficult for Robert, because his supervisor was very demanding. But he made the commitment for the sake of his relationship. Shelly ’s “nervous stomach” calmed down during the first weekend of relaxing and she stopped taking antacids. Robert enjoyed the opportunity to start exercising again and he actually got more done during the week because he had more energy.
The night of their first workless Saturday, they enjoyed making love more than they had for years. Some of the old excitement was returning, but they were surprised that there was a bit of embarrassment as those sexy, tingling feelings came flooding into their bodies. I told them that this is completely normal. We usually keep up a public face that is enforced by a sense of embarrassment. As you open to each other, you move through the barrier of embarrassment and you become more intensely intimate. Then you feel more of those warm tingling feelings and they become a physical reality in your body. This leads to lots of kissing, getting turned on and exploring each other’s bodies.
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