Aren’t sexual intimacy problems everywhere? People who have come in for emotional intimacy issues can be communicating clearly to their partner: “Get lost!” “It’s all YOUR fault!” It’s so very normal to get caught up in these communication pitfalls. It’s a negative loop of hope, desire, rejection, and hope again. I can show you how to get out of this negative loop without being out of your relationship. To begin with, ask yourself if it really is your partner’s responsibility to make you happy. When it is the others job to validate, soothe, and calm YOU down, you set yourself up to be unsupported when they have to back off from taking care of you through everyday life circumstances. This attitude sets you up for a mindset of believing you partner is responsible for your well-being, which we all know is not true for adults.

It’s not the lack of communication, but the quality of the communication, that’s really important in adult emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy. Respecting our partner can be as basic as allowing them to have a different perspective or lens than you do.

The first way to increase your communication is to practice accepting what they have to say, as if you are a big, loving mirror. This takes some active energy on your part, remembering your love for the person, and giving them some slack while appreciating who they are. Repeating back what you heard them say can be an act of acceptance and love, plus they feel heard. Then, you can ask for the same from them, as they practice repeating back what they hear you saying. This can tone down heated communication.

Secondly, practice taking full responsibility for your part of the dialogue, remembering you have been ok in the past and will be ok in the future. Put your energy in to the exchange in ways that make for a “win-win” solution, in ways that remember you are an adult, in ways that help them see you know who they are. When you can remember that you have overall been ok for many, many years, this can take the pressure off of the relationship when the going gets rough.

Thirdly, don’t give up while communicating. This means allowing your partner to have an equal role in the process, with both of you listening and sharing. When you are open and honest, and speak in “I messages”, there tends to be a balance in the interaction, and both of you are not trying to control or manipulate the other. Ask questions to clarify instead of giving in to automatic anger. Be curious even when you think you know the answer!

Love is a choice, and practicing this healthy style of communication can sustain your relationship when there are intimacy problems. When you are practicing, you are loving yourself as an adult in some very real ways, without expecting your partner to give themself up so you feel loved. Equal partners, who choose to communicate consciously, reflects this kind of mature love, which is very accepting, adult, and growth oriented.

At times bumps in the road can happen, in any relationship. That’s when it is important to ask for relationship counseling with a trained third party to guide and teach. Please call or write me with your questions and concerns, so you can individually, or as a couple, learn additional tips and tools to go beyond your old, normal, communication habits! My email is or you may reach me at 303.534.8717. Skype sessions are available. Just email me to set one up! More information is available on my website:

Author's Bio: 

Choosing to heal for relationship
In 1974 I was a freshman at CU in Boulder. I felt I had kept it together pretty well, all things considered. Well, I was fooling myself, because I wasn’t studying and my relationships were not going well. I remember the day I walked in to Wardenburg and talked with a counselor about both my parents dying. Beforehand I felt reactive, on “auto-pilot”, resentful, withdrawn. Walking out of there I felt more free to be myself, more trusting of people, and eager to get on with being myself and relating. Admitting I fall apart may have been the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. I’m so grateful counseling allowed me the safe relationship to let it all go. Counseling taught me how I could put myself back together, that people are resilient, and able to bounce back.
I found a calling or maybe it found me
I can’t really say I enjoyed everything about the whole counseling process, but I can say it saved my life. I learned that the quality of relationships I have WHILE I AM ALIVE are very important to me. My abilities to trust a girlfriend dramatically improved. I discovered that overly leaning on a girlfriend, or withdrawing out of fear, were normal hurdles, and my relationships could get beyond these survival habits. I felt empowered to optimize my time with people, and this has carried over in to my life as a counselor.
Therapy gave me tools to grow
My curiosity about relationship growth led me to study for my counseling degree at CU from 89-92. I also became certified as an Integrative Body Psychotherapist in 1995, which trained me in healthy relationship boundaries, simple breathing techniques for self-soothing, and moving beyond family habits. Enhancing emotional intimacy became an interesting process that I could pass on to clients. One CAN make their relationship work out for the better!
From riding a single bicycle to riding a tandem
Riding bicycles is a favorite solo activity. Now that I am married, we enjoy riding a tandem in addition to single bikes. We work together on the tandem, and communicate effectively, naming shifts, bumps, turns, for a healthy marriage. We try to respect each others autonomous needs, while remembering our bond when we need to talk with each other with differences, whether on a bicycle or not. Marriage and emotional intimacy has brought to me vast experience with a blended family, step-daughters, and now a step-granddaughter!
Now is my time to give back and help
I wouldn’t wish for anyone to have gone through the tragedy I went through. It happened. Now I see it as a gift for helping me see what really matters: making the best of our relationships.
Sexuality, fighting fairly, getting along, listening; I can assist you in being the best person you can be and learn to grow your relationship! I’ve helped numerous individuals and couples move beyond the normal nasty fighting, blaming, controlling, and head games- to a sense of victory, fun, really good sex, and long-term growth in relationship.