intimacy in a relationship

Intimacy vs Sex Quiz

The Intimacy vs Sex Quiz Which force drives your relationships? How much do you know about these two powerful forces? And which one is in the driver’s seat when it comes to your relationships? Question One: If your partner says (s)he wants to increase the intimacy in your relationship, how are you most likely to try doing that? A. Give her/him more gifts and initiate sex more often. B. Agree with her/him more. C. Make an attempt to connect with her/him emotionally, even when you sense you’re not on the same page about an issue. Question Two: In your experience, what’s the most prominent warning signal that your relationship may be on the rocks? A. You hardly have sex anymore. B. You may have sex as much as you used to, but you’re fighting more often. C. You seem to be living on two different planets and hardly spend any time together, let alone have sex with each other. Question Three: It’s often said that make-up sex is the best sex. Which of the following best matches your thoughts on why? A. The physical rush of sex takes care of all the pent-up energy from the fight and makes me feel better. B. Arguments can be mentally draining. Sex is a way of saying, “We’re still a couple”; it brings us together, instead of seeing each other as the enemy as we do when we fight. C. Sex can be just as emotional as it is physical. Make-up sex is great because if you’ve just resolved an argument together, you’re connecting on the most intimate level possible. Question Four: Foreplay and sex go hand-in-hand. Which of the following best matches your thoughts on how to ensure one follows the other? A. It’s all about getting her/him into the bedroom. If you spend enough time getting the mood right physically, sex is pretty much a certainty. B. It’s about finding the right moment. If either one of us is exhausted or distracted, there’s not much hope of sex. But when we’re both game, it’s a pretty sure thing. C. It’s all about connecting emotionally. If we waited until we were both in the mood or the kids weren’t sick, or neither one of us were stressed at work, we’d never have sex. Making a dedicated effort to connect leads to way more sex than jumping into bed together. How did you …

Lack of Intimacy in Relationship or Marriage

Lack of intimacy in relationship or marriage can be from the husband or wife’s viewpoint. Lack of intimacy could be verbal or sexual. Are you trying to figure out what to do about your marriage with no intimacy, and where does it come from? Let’s focus on what I hear the most, which is an internal struggle people have with feelings. They feel as though something is wrong with them or something is wrong with their spouse. The internal sense of feeling, “am I outside of the norm? Is the norm having this trouble?” The external struggle of what is going on is, “is my partner having an affair? Should we be going on more trips? Should I take more time off work?” They’re focusing on what to do about it as opposed to the feelings about it all.  The three things to focus on when dealing with a lack of intimacy: Where does intimacy come from? How does it make men and women different? What to do about it? We must understand first and foremost that sexuality develops in different stages as a psychological development in men and women. Women’s sexuality develops at a different stage from men, and therefore, there is some reason why women tend to focus more on verbal intimacy, and men tend to focus more on sexual intimacy. Women develop their sexuality in the oral phase of development. That’s the very first psychological stage we go through. Think about a newborn baby; they’re consumed with putting things in their mouths, consuming orally. It’s all dependent on the sites, smells, sounds that go along with that.  Men develop their sexuality in the anal phase of development. That’s when babies are focused on elimination, where to eliminate, how to eliminate, the relief upon elimination. That is why women tend to focus more on the setting of sexuality and men on the sexual act itself. What to do about it? The vital thing to remember whenever you’re dealing with your significant other is to understand that both verbal intimacy and sexual intimacy are important. What do we hear all of the time? That women tend to value more the verbal side; it’s more important to them. But they downplay the sexual act. We’ve all heard this; how women say, “all he wants is sex; all he wants is a piece, that’s all he cares about.” As if there’s …

spice up your sex life

3 Tips on How to Spice Up Your Sex Life

Spice Up Your Sex Life and Get What You Want in the Bedroom   Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong with what you’re doing, or want to do in the bedroom. As long as both you and your partner are committed to the relationship and open to experimentation. There does not need to be any shame in the bedroom. Period. But how, you ask? How can I ask my partner for what I want? Here are 3 tips to a happier bedroom experience and to make it easier to spice up your sex life. One: Take advantage of the mood and the moment. Most of my patients find it most comfortable to talk about sex when they’re already having sex. In other words, use the moment to demonstrate what you like, to ask for more of it and to suggest something entirely new. Mood has a way of opening people up to new experiences. For example, try the following the next time you and your partner find yourselves between the sheets. I like it when you do that … You seem to like it when I do this … Remember the time we … Want to try it again? I’ve always had a fantasy about … are you willing to try it with me? Of course, you’ll want to build your experimental boundaries gradually, so be careful not to ask too much of your partner all at once. No matter how romantic the mood, dramatic changes can kill a moment. Two: Explore your physical/emotional connection Nothing will ever progress in your sex life unless your relationship stands on a solid emotional foundation. Experimentation requires trust. Trust that you won’t hurt or betray or shame each other, trust that you’ll respect each other’s boundaries and trust that you will keep your commitments to each other. I counsel couples and individuals alike to spend as much time reinforcing the emotional core of their relationship as they do the physical core. There are many exercises and conversations that a coach or therapist can facilitate for you. But there are an equal number of conversations that you can and should be having within the privacy or your walls. Before launching into new sexual frontiers to spice up your sex life, take some time to ensure you’re both ready and willing. Start with one or more of the following: Discuss and agree on …

Poor Parenting and The Dynamics Behind it

Poor Parenting and The Dynamics Behind it If you think the scariest hood to be in is Parenthood, then you’re right, but there’s a way to make Parenthood a little less scary. A lot of people ask for parenting advice or have parenting questions and poor parenting concerns. This is not just me as a psychiatrist, talking to you, I’m also a parent, and I really believe that parents help parents. Parenting isn’t about a checklist of how to do something right. It’s hard to know when you’ve gone off course, and, if you’re off course, it’s hard to know how to get back on course. If parents help each other out, then we’re helping our whole community and our entire society. I do have adult kids, and I can empathize greatly. I have been through a lot of the struggles that you’ve been through with my patients, my clients, and in my personal life. What are the dynamics behind poor parenting? We hear different names such as a helicopter parent, snowplow parent, and I have a phrase I’ve used for a long time called tractor-trailer parents.  There is a lot of people who are afraid they are one of those parents or worried they’re going to become one of those parents. I always start any session or any treatment by stating, if you understand why poor parenting is happening, then you can stop it. It’s important to understand what’s going on, to see the patterns behind the poor parenting, and to come to realize it’s not what you want to be doing. If you don’t understand the patterns, the dynamics,  and what’s going on underneath; it’s a lot less likely you’re going to figure out what’s wrong and where to go that’s better. The dynamics of the controlling parent The dynamics of the controlling parent, in general, this is the issue here. It’d be easy to say controlling parents are control freaks. That’s part of it because nobody likes to feel out of control and certainly parents don’t want to feel out of control. Parents may fear if they’re losing control, that’s making them a bad parent. Parents are, by definition in control when their kids are not. So it makes sense that control plays a role in all these different parenting issues or problems. It’s not just a lack of loss of control that parents are fighting when …

Common Problems with Blended Families

The Three Biggest Parenting Mistakes in Blended Families Divorce and remarriage are significant life events, and when those changes also involve kids, the stakes multiply for everyone. Many couples, of course, create happy blended families with lasting bonds, while others face challenges their marriage cannot withstand. What’s the difference? Learn about the three most common and biggest mistakes parents make when blending their new families, and what it takes to avoid them. Mistake #1: Allowing step-parents to discipline their step-kids Overstepping disciplinary boundaries is, by far, one of the most common problems with blended families that I see. In some cases, parents want the blended family to function just as the original family did. In others, biological parents feel overwhelmed by the demands of parenting and want a partner to share the responsibility. Some others worry that if a parent does not discipline a child, the child will not respect them. But here’s the bottom line: Disciplinary decisions are the sole responsibility of the child’s biological parents. Step-parents have no disciplinary role. Here’s why: By the time we start disciplining our biological kids, we’ve had years to develop a relationship with them. Over the years, that closeness helps balance the inevitable distancing that follows discipline. In other words, a healthy relationship helps cushion the blow of discipline. When a step-parent disciplines a step-child without that relationship cushion, they are bound to alienate that child forever. The parent-child relationship required for healthy and effective discipline takes years to develop and cannot be rushed. Mistake #2: “Pushing” relationships It’s a natural instinct to try and force the new family members to like each other. A divorced mother wants her kids to like her new husband. A divorced dad wants his kids to like their new step-siblings. A new step-father wants his wife’s kids to like him. However, parents must remember they cannot force their kids to like anyone, including a step-parent, step-sibling, or an ex-spouse. After all, this change in family circumstance was not the child’s choice. Instead of pushing relationships, maintain as many of the old family routines as possible while everyone learns to adjust. Emphasize respect and allow relationships to grow at their own speed. Blending new families can be a long process. It is filled with trial and error. The more parents can maintain stability for their kids, the better it is for everyone to adjust in both the …