Intimacy is an issue that comes up for couples and in couples therapy. How intimate should a couple be with one another? That is not a question that the therapist has an answer to, but rather one that the couple works out, and they may need a therapist to help them work it out. Couples will always work out how intimate they are going to be with each other, just as they will always work out how much time they spend together. But are couples good at figuring out how much intimacy (or time) they need with one another? Often they are not good at working that out. It takes work, hard work, to be in an intimate relationship. There is the issue of conflict and disagreeing, and is the couple willing to face some conflict? Many couples, in working on issues that are important to them (issues that are at least somewhat intimate) have faced difficulties with each other that lead to conflict and have not been very successful with conflict. Some avoid conflict quite often, and that usually builds tension. Some launch right into conflict, but do not know how to get to resolution well, or don’t know how to compromise well, or don’t know how to acceptance divergent opinions well, so they end up having a lot of conflict that is very bothersome and festers, not getting resolved.
You, as a couple, will decide how much intimacy you are going to have. If you are both happy where you are in regard to your intimacy, then that usually works well. If one of you wants more intimacy, then you may have some work to do to figure out how you will be more intimate or how you will deal with the partner that wants more and is not getting it. You may have conflicts about intimacy. You may use conflicts to avoid intimacy also. Can you talk about your intimacy needs? Can you ask your partner about his/her intimacy needs? Can you talk about important issues, even argue about important and intimate issues with each other and reach a resolution most of the time? If not, it might be time to consider seeking out an experienced couples therapist for help.
Dr. Kraft can be found at www.CouplesOmaha.com.