Full Participation in Relationships

Whenever I counsel people in relationships, either because they are trying to repair a relationship that has been fractured or because they are trying to move forward after the end of a relationship, the most common destructive behavior I find is the refusal of one or both partners to fully engage the relationship on some significant level. Most common is the avoidance of intimacy. It matters little whether what kind of intimacy is being avoided, that withholding with eventually destroy a relationship. Couples who sleep apart, couples who don’t see and treat each other as equals, couples who avoid sexual or emotional intimacy, and couples who withhold intimacy either as punishment for behavior they don’t like or who use intimacy as a reward for behavior they do like are – perhaps unintentionally – destroying their relationship with every day that passes. If you can’t share you thoughts, feelings, dreams, fears, and bodies with one another, it is imperative that you get help right away. If you choose not to get help, you forfeit the right to be surprised when your partner leaves.

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