Lack of intimacy named the number one cause of couples seeking therapy
One of the painful and frequent paradoxes of romantic life is that the more we get to know and love someone, does always result in more intimacy and sex. There has been much research surrounding the dichotomy between love and desire over the past century. Find a balance between the two is neither a sign of the times nor a problem that affects only particular couples at certain times. If we ask ourselves honestly why we decided to be with our partner in the first place, it most likely came from either a place of emotional support or physical attraction. However, as the relationship evolves, we begin to see that intimacy comes in different shapes and forms and understanding how to express your expectations becomes vital for not only your mental health but your partner’s mental health as well.
Newsweek magazine estimates that 15 to 20 percent of couples are in a sexless relationship. Studies show that 10% or less of the married population below age 50 have not had sex in the past year.
Because intimacy changes over time, being receptive to these adjustments can take some time and communication to understand and work around truly. A survey carried out by Relate reports, only 22% of respondents said they would get help if their relationship were ‘under strain’. And interestingly more than half (54%) said if they did get professional advice, they would not want anyone else to know about it. There is a greater public acknowledgement of the dynamic between partners nowadays, and the private pain many couples have felt in the past is starting to reveal how similar relationship problems are. Most couples who come to see our Efficacy therapists express their frustration where the physical aspects are not being met by their significant other. It can be embarrassing and painful to open up about things we want our partners to do with us again, but being physically acknowledged is integral to knowing when we are loved, and when we are not.
Couples therapy may still be a taboo topic to talk about, even though many have tried it, and the results show just how beneficial it can be to saving marriages and strengthening relationships. Left unchecked, feelings of bitterness and sarcasm can bring out the worst behaviour in ourselves as we desperately seek out the validation that we crave. Avoiding or being unsupportive of our partner’s basic emotional and physical needs can lead to a reaction of explosive anger or finding someone else who will meet them. Before it gets to this stage, we need to find the authority and legitimacy to take charge, say something to our partner and own our sexual expectations in a safe and supportive environment.
Willingness to initiate physical contact, and return the touch are the foundations on which a stable relationship unit exists. You and your partner in crime are stronger when both of you are free to express yourselves in more ways than one; this can change over time, or stop altogether, but bringing the conversation back to what you want is where the change can move in a more positive direction.
At Efficacy, we understand that every relationship is different. We are here to support the conversation you need to have to grow into a stronger and healthier couple who can take on the world together.
It is easy to make an appointment with one of our therapists; please give us a call now at our London head office on 0207 929 7911, request a call back here or send us a message here.