Category Archives: intimacy

What Blocks Intimacy?

What Blocks Intimacy?

Intimacy is important in relationships, and I am not just talking about sex. I am talking about the sense of emotional vulnerability and connection to your partner. But when our relationships are struggling, it can be hard to find that connection. You might not even fight often, but you feel yourself drifting apart. And when you try, nothing seems to come as easy for the two of you as it used to. There are certain things in life that just put up walls that block intimacy. So, what are some of the walls and the sacrifices that you have to make to get past them?

You Are Too Busy

Life is hectic. Sometimes I feel like a broken record on this point. It comes up with so many couples that I work with and so many articles I write. Life just does not set us up to have a lot of disposable time. There is a very simple, cliché way to fix this problem. Be intentional with your time. If you just go with the flow of life, there will never be time to connect. That is why it is important to make time for your relationship.

While that cliché is true, it does not play out in a clouds and butterflies type of way in real life. You have to make sacrifices in order to be intentional with your time. This will mean that you have some very difficult decisions. It could mean that you do not get to devote as much time to that hobby that you love. It could also mean that you need to make sacrifices at work, maybe even costing you career advancement opportunities. If your relationship is going to be your number one priority, that means something will have to get moved to number two.

Substances Can Get in the Way

First thing, I am not talking about substance use that rises to the level of addiction. That would be a separate post all together. I am only talking about use which has an effect on your relationship. Second thing, I do not want this to be read as a moral statement against alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs. Live your life, I am just writing about how I have seen this block intimacy in couples.
I have seen this be the biggest hurdle for couples when one uses, drinks, or smokes and the other does not. And research backs that up. I do not want to get too into the weeds (pun intended) about why this is. But in simple terms, intimacy is about vulnerable sharing and responsiveness from your partner. If one partner is in an altered state consistently, they will not be as responsive. Then the other partner will stop sharing, and you start drifting apart.

You Spend Too Much Time with Other People

This goes back to the first point, but intimacy gets blocked when one partner feels they are not important to the other. You might think of affairs and infidelity, but I am really just talking about the relationships in your life that take priority over your partner. Safety is another key part of intimacy. When I fall, do I feel like my partner will catch me no matter what? If I feel like I am the second or third most important person in my partner’s life, the answer is probably “no.”
If you are currently looking for ways to deepen intimacy with your partner The Marriage & Family Clinic can help.

About the Author

Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado.

Low Desire Problems in the Bedroom

Low Desire Problems in the Bedroom

A lot of couples experience difficulties in the bedroom.  And one of the most common problems couples have is mistmatched sexual desire. In other words, when one partner wants sex more and one partner wants sex less. When this happens it can be really frustrating. If you’re the higher desire partner (the partner who wants sex more often), you… Continue Reading

Ways to Invite Intimacy Back Into the Relationship

Ways to Invite Intimacy Back Into the Relationship

You and your spouse are thinking about couples counseling and you find yourself thinking, what’s the point? Neither of you have felt happy in a long time. You don’t spend any time together outside of paying bills and taking care of the kids, and you can’t even remember the last time you’ve had enjoyable sex.… Continue Reading

Bring Back Sex!

Bring Back Sex!

If sex isn’t happening, or if you or your partner are not satisfied with your sex life, there are likely conflicts in the relationship. You’ve heard it before, but being able to be physically intimate and have sex is what distinguishes romantic relationships from other relationships. Considering this, how are you and your partner addressing… Continue Reading

We Have Sex… but No Intimacy

We Have Sex… but No Intimacy

  When I ask people about sex and intimacy the answer often reflects a belief that they are one and the same. We believe both to mean the act of sexual intercourse. It’s true that they go hand in hand within a healthy relationship, but they don’t need each other to exist. If you are in a relationship that has no intimacy it feels… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: Is it My Fault My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex?

He Said/She Said: Is it My Fault My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex?

Dear Aaron & Rachel, This is a little embarrassing to say but I feel like my husband is uninterested in me sexually. We’ve been married for almost ten years and have two kids together. Our sex life has always been pretty good until about a year ago. There wasn’t anything big that happened, it has… Continue Reading

Why You Shouldn’t be Friends with Your Spouse

Why You Shouldn’t be Friends with Your Spouse

If you’ve ever been to a wedding before, you’ve probably heard someone say something like:  “Today I married my best friend”. Shoot, you’ve probably even seen it on your Facebook page when a friend or relative is announcing their anniversary. They say something like “15 years ago today I married my best friend”. Whether it’s… Continue Reading