Are You Not Feeling Safe Having Intimacy With Your Partner?
Are you finding hard to build connection with your partner and easily get emotionally triggers from the past that affect your relationship? Maybe there is times when your partner comes closer, your mind and body start to run a fight, flight or freeze response as part of you don’t feel safe with intimacy. These safety behaviour are controlled by part of your mind known as the “subconscious”.
You might have seen relationship therapists or even sex therapists to help resolve your issues, but still it doesn’t seem to work out.
Underlying Causes of Lack of Intimacy in a Relationship
When we start to dig deeper to find out what are the underlying causes of lack of intimacy in a relationship, it’s usually some form of trauma resulting from childhood events. If the child does not receive the care and attention needed, the seed of dissociation is planted.
People who have experienced attachment related trauma often very easily over assess events as dangerous or are triggered into a powerful dysregulated state.
When their partner start to approach, while even just getting closer, their biological responses to threat stimulus is activated, in response to this threat, they might fight or flee(avoid), some people might even shut down(freeze) and not able to move freely. Because their inner children have lived in fearful agitated states so long that the states have become traits.
To resolve this, you need to get in tuned with your body, feel and sense the body when the above survival mechanism kicks in, and not try to avoid it. Then, we have to find out what caused it and work on it on a subconscious level to stop the conditioning pattern of the false alarm.
Does your mind really feel safe?
When in love, our mind finds its end goal to be safety because mind craves for safety upon receiving a stable state. So, how safety can be established?
If you grow up from a family where you didn’t feel safe as children, being neglected on the physical, emotional or psychological level, it changes the landscape of the brain, the neurochemistry of your brain and body. The child’s development is impaired, and that impairment changes the way the child responds to others and influence their adulthood.
For those who were being emotionally neglected, one might have learnt to hide, avoid or repress your emotions as they were associated with feelings of neglect from your childhood.
For those who were being psychologically neglected, one might develop deep-seated anger issues from unresolved childhood trauma, and you might easily have problems sustaining healthy and respectful relationship.
For those who were being physically neglected, lacking food, shelter and protection, one might develop sexual dysfunction or promiscuity, OCD, eating disorder, obesity, etc.
The inner child inside you who contains its innocence and the same essence from childhood, who lives within you but didn’t feel safe, didn’t feel accepted, or even disconnected. While blame and resentment only serves to intensify the pain your inner child may be experiencing. Instead, you need to acknowledge the experience that you have, helps you to grow as a stronger person.
As a grown up, safety has to be established from you internally, not any other people. The notion stands that you need to heal yourself first in order to heal your relationship.
How to Restore Intimacy?
The good news is that, recent years of research on the human brain have shown how the brain is plastic. That is utilising the brain and inputs from additional experiences create changes in the brain.
We can change our brain landscape by upgrading the inner child, giving him or her reassurance and support, so that the inner child can see things differently from the adult perspective.
Work With Your Inner Child
To work with your inner child, you can go through your own history:
Go back in time as a child, how you felt as a child?
Were you happy?
Have you ever felt unsafe as a child?
Was there time you being bullied by family members or other people?
Was there time you were shamed by your family members?
Was there time you were physically punished or sexually abused?
Was there time you feel responsible for your parents and their level of happiness?
Were you able to have your own opinions and speak up?
Were you given physical affection like cuddles, hugs from parents?
Were you being suppressed to be you?
Your inner child is an essential part of the psyche that makes up your identity. When you ignore or deny your inner child, he/she is doomed to wither away within the deep dark vaults of your unconscious mind.
“I am here to love, care for you and protect you.
I want you to feel loved and accepted for who you are.
I want you to know that it’s safe to be heard.
I want you to know that it’s safe to be loved.
I am here help and guide you every step of the way.
I love you and I am always here for you.”
The more you nurture your inner child, the more you can be more open and gradually develop safety again within yourself, and therefore in your relationship.
If you have experienced overwhelming emotions in daily lives, or have gone through child sexual abuse, severe emotional abuse, or have mental illness, seeking help with professional Hypno-psychotherapist is recommended.