"Why Does My Partner Make Me Act Like This ?"
Updated: Jan 10
At its most basic level, emotional intimacy is the purpose of any close relationship. Emotional intimacy allows you to be vulnerable, to share your true self, and to heal core issues and wounds. But this is why emotional intimacy is so difficult for most of us to achieve, rebuild, and maintain.
All relationships go through a natural and continual cycle of harmony, disharmony, and repair. When we are in the initial stage of harmony as we get close to someone things can seem perfect and the relationship can feel ideal. But this is not true intimacy. It's a pseudo-intimacy based on the beliefs, hopes, and fantasies that you have about each other.
True intimacy develops when the relationship runs into conflict and difficulty and you both are able to come back together to share a more vulnerable and flawed part of yourselves while developing a deeper understanding of each other. Ideally, over time as these natural disruptions arise, every time you reconnect as a couple you get to know each other on a deeper level while finding healthier ways to manage the inevitable differences between you. As a result, this process will help you to face and resolve your own deepest emotional issues. In this way, a healthy relationship that addresses issues and conflicts honestly and promptly serves as a laboratory for us to become the healthiest, most connected, and strongest versions of ourselves.
Unfortunately, few of us come into our relationships knowing how to do this. Most of us ride the wave of our emotions and reactions, allowing the rawest parts of ourselves to take control during difficult and sensitive moments. Over time, these reactions make certain topics and issues feel impossibly loaded, leaving couples in a state where they either avoid an issue entirely or blow up about it. Either way, these behaviors foster disconnection, resentment, turmoil, and pain in the relationship instead of authenticity, intimacy, understanding, and growth.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. By learning how to recognize our own deep hurts and sensitivities that lead us to reactive and emotional responses we can heal ourselves and stop these immature and wounded parts of ourselves from taking over in times of stress and upset. If both partners are able to recognize and calm their own initial emotional and counterproductive responses and instead use relational skills to address and respond to issues with their partners, and repair after times of disconnection they will be able to achieve true emotional intimacy, relational joy, and personal growth together.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nikki Loscalzo, Ed. M. is an RLT Certified Therapeutic Coach who helps couples and individuals learn to get past surface issues and heal the damage that gets in the way of intimate connection. Nikki first discovered the tremendous power of Relational Life Therapy when the RLT creator, Terry Real, transformed her own marriage.
Inspired by her personal experience with RLT, Nikki trained directly with Terry Real through his Relational Life Institute to learn how to empower couples to transform their relationships. Through his intensive certification program, she learned the skills that she employs every day in private practice at Savvy Strategies Relational Life Therapy, where she works with couples to quickly diagnose the problems in their relationships, uncover why these issues exist, and repair damage to shift unhelpful relationship dynamics and rebuild a truly intimate relationship.