Saturday, October 1, 2011

Beware: The “I”s of Intimacy

The “I” s of intimacy (a.k.a interruptions) abundantly threaten relationships on a regular basis.  Naturally occurring “I”s can’t be avoided no matter how much an individual or couple may try. Such is life.  Many “I”s are obvious to all parties involved while some remain hidden to self as well as others.

* Illness * Injury * Irritation * Immobility * Interference*

Illness and injury top the list of impediments to intimacy. Obviously, when one partner is sick or hurt, it’s plain to see how easily intimacy (physical or otherwise) dissipates.  After all, a serious, painful, or life threatening diagnosis freezes one in their tracks; and all eyes and ears become focused on the circumstances.  Limited mobility, pain, and/or miscellaneous angst all too often declare a silent and insidious war on otherwise loving partners; intimacy is collateral damage.  Short or long term interruptions give way to A New Normal (not necessarily a good one).

When The “I”s of Intimacy strike, there are steps you can take to preserve intimate companionship. Consciously create a New Normal in which there’s always some physical (and verbal) closeness.  Even a tiny bit of intimacy goes a long way. If one partner is in physical pain, for example, and can’t move around in a sexual or sensual way… kissing, cuddling, hand holding, fondling, or stroking…  to the extent it is possible… continually or intermittently… maintains the connection.

Being mindful of intimacy when closeness is compromised-- due to the intricacies of life (IOLs) -- may require nothing more than being a loving presence while watching TV together.  Sometimes the simplest remedies work the best.

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