Love, Self

5 Signs You Have Maaaajor Intimacy Issues In Your Marriage

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How To Recognize Intimacy Issues in Marriage

Intimacy is about feeling close to your partner, especially after the courting period. The courting period is a time when you feel close but you actually merge with your partner and forgot your individuality for a while.

As you rediscover your individuality, you tend to fall out of love (temporarily, hopefully) and now have an opportunity to get to know yourself as an individual in a committed relationship and to get to know your partner as an individual in a committed relationship.  

Now, true closeness can be attained.

This brief article alerts you to the 5 signs and symptoms of intimacy issues in a marriage:

1. You feel negative feelings increasingly more about your partner and keep it to yourself.

The ‘keep it to yourself’ part of the sentence is by far the most problematic part. It is normal and even inevitable that you will have some negative feelings towards your partner from time to time and sometimes more than others.  

Keeping it to yourself may be a habit you picked up growing up. Many people grew up in families where at least emotionally, they were left on their own. No parent was there to help you out of the emotional pain.  

This person can become what I call an emotional soloist, which can lead to significant intimacy problems if not corrected.

RELATED: The Real Reason Your Man Is Emotionally Distant (And Why He Can't Help It)

2. Bickering increases but neither partner feels heard.  

Bickering is a sign of two immature people reacting to each other. Neither partner has the emotional muscle to hear something stressful and stay present and connected to their mate.  

In patterns like this, neither partner feels heard and it often can escalate from bickering into an all-out couple war. By the way, being immature is not bad; it is actually common since many of us had parents who were immature when it came to handling emotional issues.  

The key is to grow up together beyond the emotional age of our parents when under stress.

3. Sex decreases in frequency an/or intensity.

Sex decreases at times such as during pregnancy or with very young children. However, it this pattern continues beyond short periods of time, it could mean that the couple is settling into routines that leave out the "lover" part of their relationship.  

Couples can habituate or get used to this and become more disconnected which can lead to infidelity, divorce, or other emotional symptoms such as anxiety or depression.

4. Your relationship begins to settle into a functional relationship without playfulness and humor.

If you notice that your whole relationship is now revolving around tasks and to-do lists, this can spell disaster in a relationship if not corrected. At least one partner will finally be so hungry for passion and aliveness that a relationship crisis can be close by.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Beat Boredom In A Relationship (And Why It's Important)

5. You feel increasingly misunderstood by your partner.

Probably the most important part of a relationship is to feel that your partner is in tune with you at least a majority of the time. When partners do not feel understood, this can lead to some of the other symptoms already mentioned such as bickering, withdrawal, less sex, and relationship boredom.

If your relationship has one or more of these symptoms, that is not a bad sign!

Creating an intimate relationship takes increasing your self-awareness, opening up to more points of view and developing the emotional muscle to stay connected when in the past you did some fight or flight maneuver with your partner. It is very likely that your relationship has tremendous "intimacy potential".

Be willing to open up and learn new ways of thinking, speaking, and behaving towards your partner and magic can happen!

RELATED: How To Restore Intimacy And Connection In A Struggling Relationship

Todd Creager is an expert in relationships. For over 30 years, he has worked as a relationship therapist, specializing in marriage, sex and couples counseling.

This article was originally published at Todd Creager's website. Reprinted with permission from the author.