How to Build Emotional Connection in Your Daily Life

How to Build Emotional Connection: Increase Intimacy  by Looking at the Destructive Patterns in Your Relationship   What increases intimacy in the bedroom? The intimacy outside the bedroom. There can be intimacy in your daily life, and there should be to have a healthy relationship. Most people who come to me with relationship problems have this problem. The intimacy is not there daily, which, in return, causes their sex life to suffer. Let’s focus on the importance of changing your approach, with the result being increasing intimacy. A lot of people are in the weeds of their relationship. They’re very focused on the details and daily life routines, and they’re not stepping back and thinking about the destructive patterns that have developed over the years. Almost everyone who comes to see me has these destructive patterns. The arguments aren’t all separate things. If you look closely at a broader angle, you’ll see that the patterns are similar. If you can get ahold of a pattern, all you need to do is change one part of the pattern, and all of the arguments that fall in the pattern change, often for the better, and this is how to build intimacy in your daily life. Take a look now at the patterns that you contribute to the destructive patterns in your relationship to increase emotional connection.  Think about the arguments you’ve had in the past. Are you the one who backs down, let’s things go, doesn’t want to approach anything because it might get ugly or tense? Are you avoiding confrontation? Or are you the go-getter, “I’m not letting that go, I’m going to tackle this, I’m going to prove my point,”- are you that person? Do your arguments tend to start with you making your point? If you’re that person, this is a pattern that may be destructive in your relationship. The key is, people tend to idealize one of these approaches. Typically, one partner idealizes one, and the other partner idealizes the other. Which one are you? If you’re the one who’s the passive one, you must see that, sometimes, passivity isn’t the best choice. Avoiding confrontation and aggression is not the key to a happy relationship. There are times to be passive, but there are also times to be aggressive, constructively. Constructive Aggression Constructive aggression includes going for a gold medal, asking for a raise, swerving to avoid a …

How to Build Intimacy

Three forms of intimacy and how to build intimacy Intimacy outside the bedroom- It’s a whole new frontier for some people. That is kind of sad and important because intimacy outside the bedroom is what makes intimacy in the bedroom better, or there at all. Some people come in, and they complain that they aren’t having intimacy in the bedroom, but there isn’t any intimacy in their relationship, period. I’m going to share with you three forms of intimacy and how to build intimacy.   1. Do things together. This may sound obvious. It’s all over social media, movies, etc…- you see a happy couple, and they’re doing something together. People get busy. You work and your significant other works, you come home, and someone is making dinner and someone watching TV or with the kids. He’s on his phone; she’s watching a movie. And then they wonder where the intimacy is, or they think it’s okay because they’re going to have a date night. Then something happens, the babysitter can’t watch the kids, you’re too tired to go out, so the date night gets canceled.  Doing something together doesn’t have to be sex, or it doesn’t even have to be talking, it can be anything. If you think about things that you do that you can invite your significant other to join you or can you join your significant other. Something as simple as getting ready in the morning, can you go to the bathroom and get ready at the same time? It doesn’t have to be an in-depth conversation to be intimate. It can be just hanging out together. What if your significant other is cooking, and you go in there and offer to be the taste tester or to chop up some vegetables, or sit and have a glass of wine together while she’s cooking.  There’s a lot of different ways you can hang out together to increase intimacy. It doesn’t have to be a big production; it doesn’t have to involve a babysitter — just time hanging out together. You’ll be amazed at how much that can help out, one little change. 2. Are you an avoider of confrontation? Most people divide themselves up into avoiders of confrontation or ones who dive head-on into a confrontation. No one likes confrontation. I’ve never had anyone come to me and say, “I like confrontation.”  If you’re the action avoider …

couple holding hands

What is Intimacy?

Expanding The Definition of Intimacy   A lot of people come into my office and talk about having no sex. Yes, that is a lack of intimacy, but sex is only a part of intimacy. They fail to see the part before sex, which is super important too. I’ll ask them questions such as, “how are you with conflicts?” “How are you and your significant other with expressing yourselves?” And their response is, “We don’t do any of that.” There’s the problem. Let’s talk about the stage before sex and what that entails. There are three parts to that. A lot of people have confused or oversimplified the stage before sex. Which is communication. You do need to communicate, but there is a specific way to communicate, which I have broken down into three stages. The stage before sex is crucial. Men tend to minimize it, and women tend to overemphasize it. Communication isn’t just sitting down and babbling. There are three parts of the pre-stage of sex that makes it intimate. First, being able to know what you’re feeling. It sounds simple, but it is incredibly hard for some people. They talk about what they’re thinking, but it’s tough for them to name the actual feeling they are feeling. Telling someone what you’re thinking is different than naming the feeling. We can tell anyone what we’re thinking, but we share what we’re feeling with our significant other, this is what makes it intimate. You have to be able to name what you’re feeling. Example: Some people say,  “My wife came home late, and I told her she shouldn’t be late; it’s wrong to be late.” I ask them to name their feelings, and they proceed to say that the wife was wrong to be late, she shouldn’t be late, and they can’t trust her. The issue is, those are all thoughts. I have to stop some people and name feelings; that way, they can pick the feeling. In this case, it is typically anger. Being able to name your feeling is taking the time to think long enough about what you’re feeling and being able to name the feeling.  Second, is being able to express the feeling — any emotion, anger, sadness, joy, frustration, or hopefulness. We want you to be able to express your emotions in an emphatic way. Emphatic means you’re listening to the other person expressing …

couple holding on to each other

Marriage Therapy Success Story

From Rocky Shores to Smooth Sailing: Hannah and Joe’s Story in Marriage Therapy “Joe” and “Hannah” knew their marriage was in serious trouble. “We were at the end of our rope,” Joe said. “It was either go to counseling or separate.” Hannah agreed. “Neither one of us wanted to give up. So we decided that if we weren’t going to give up, we needed to find someone to help us fix whatever we could.” Marriage therapy wasn’t a choice that came quickly for either one of them. Joe had an open aversion to therapy and believed it carried a stigma — asking for help wasn’t a good thing. As for Hannah, she’d been to therapy when she was younger, and it hadn’t proven to be a positive experience. “It made me feel singled out, like the only one with problems,” she said. And yet, they knew neither one of them was happy with the state of the relationship. They described their marriage as disconnected and confusing. “We didn’t know what to do,” said Hannah. “We just weren’t happy with each other.” What they did know was they’d committed themselves to find expert help. So Joe went online, and that’s how he found Dr. Dabney. They both agreed she fit the idea of what they were looking for in a therapist, plus, added Joe, “I liked that she had so many testimonials and so much information available on her website.” Their experiences in Dr. Dabney’s office was almost entirely different than what they expected. “For starters,” said Joe, “you do almost all the talking.” Hannah agreed and added, “It’s great that she’s able to listen to you and pinpoint the things you need to learn about yourself. She asks the right  questions and gets right to the heart of the issue.” Said Joe, “She’s not going to ask you to change. She may ask you to adopt a different perspective, but not change who you are. We never walked out of there confused or feeling like one of us was at fault.” Dr. Dabney was so effective. Hannah and Joe estimated that their counseling lasted only about three months, start to finish. One of the best takeaways for both of them is that they aren’t responsible for each other’s happiness. And they learned to adjust their communication accordingly. As Hannah put it, “We used to feel guilty if we made each …

What Do Sex Dreams Mean?

 Most common intimacy dreams, what do they mean? What do sex dreams mean? A lot of people come in scared to death to admit to them or to talk about them. It’s a shame because they’re so rich. There’s so much information in those dreams that help us better understand you or help you understand you. Dreams are not literal Thinking and doing are oceans apart. There’s a huge difference between thinking something and doing something. If you’re afraid of dreams it’s because you understand the basics. Which we talked about here. The dream is you thinking, usually a wish. The dream is usually a fulfillment, that is true. But the idea is not to take that wish literally. Just thinking about something doesn’t literally mean you’re going to go out and do it or even literally mean that’s what you want. To give an example to make that clear, one of the most common intimacy dreams are people coming in and saying they had a sex dream,  about someone who they real-life aren’t attracted to at all. They don’t want to admit the dream, because they think it means, they want to have sex with that person, they don’t love the person they’re with, or they want to cheat secretly. That’s where I have to stop them and say, “It doesn’t really mean that.” Pay attention to your unconscious. We need to be creative and let our imagination unwind. Pay attention to the unconscious, your imagination, your fantasies, your daydreaming- all of that is telling you what’s going on inside, It’s not taken so literally. Oftentimes, what happens when we start getting into it with a little more detail, we figure out what is it about that person that is attractive to you? It may not be that you are sexually attracted to them but it may be something about their quality, a personality trait,  something they do that you are really super attracted to. For example, what do sex dreams mean when you dream about someone from work? It may be someone who is very comfortable with expressing aggression, and you are not comfortable with expressing aggression, which for men can be very difficult. So the idea of intermingling with somebody who has that personality trait is a secret way of getting that component to himself, an easy quick way. So there’s this wish that he could …