The things that partners do not talk about or bring to mutual resolution will eventually undermine the romantic bond in any relationship because of the lack of intimacy. All too often romantic partners fail to bring their concerns or fears to each other.
In the first part of this two-part topic we will briefly highlight some of the issues we have heard about over the years for you to see if they are familiar to you:
John and Elaine Leadem are licensed clinical social workers whose combined investment in the field of addiction treatment spans more than sixty years. Their commitment to helping recovering families has provided the core inspiration for the development of a "A Decision to Be IN Love"© which has helped many couples move from the traditional parallel model of recovery to strong united core support group. They are both certified Sex Addiction Therapist and have co-developed a model for treating couples during the crisis stage of recovery. In addition to being the co-directors of Leadem Counseling & Consulting Services, Elaine and John are seasoned therapeutic retreat leaders in working with recovering couples.
Editor: Saad Shaheed
- My husband used to talk to me for hours about the challenges and accomplishments he is experiencing at work. Nowadays, I learn about what is happening to him at work when I overhear his phone conversations with colleagues. I feel unimportant.
- Harry used to drag me into sporting activities with him because he wanted me to enjoy watching football the way he does. He used to say the I made the game more exciting because he got to share it with me. Now I feel like a NFL widow and hate it when the season begins. It used to be something that we shared now it feels like a time of unavoidable abandonment. I don’t want him to give up his love for the game. I want to feel the same love and attention.
- When we first met, Sally seemed so interested in our cuddle time and lately she does not even kiss me when we meet up at the end of the day. I guess I have to settle for what I can get. We are both under a lot of stress but I feel pretty undesirable.
- I can not help but notice that Harry is so much more animated around the children than he is when we are alone. When it is just the two of us he seems bored and disinterested — maybe even a little depressed. I guess I should be grateful that he is such an awesome father, but I miss my best friend and I sometimes get jealous of the way he behaves around the children.
- The only time I feel really close to my partner is when we are making love, or I should say, having sex, because our love making seems pretty detached – as if we are each alone when we are physically intimate. I am starving for attention and want to feel desirable both emotionally and physically.
- We seemed to have so much in common when we were first dating — now what we have in common is our children, our vacations, and our growing sense of uneasiness around each other.
- My romantic partner used to be the first person that I would want to share my successes with but lately I do not think he even knows what I am working on. How did we become so disconnected. I am fearful about what is happening to us but I should leave well enough alone and be grateful for what I have. I guess I need to lower my expectations but I cannot help from feeling fearful about the change. There was a time when our relationship would routinely exceed my expectations. What happened?
More often then not, the snippets of alarm we have provided above represent the tip of the iceberg. The emotional fracture that lies beneath the surface of this iceberg is huge and is more than likely to sink the romance, and perhaps the relationship altogether, if something is not done about it.
Can you see the common thread that has run through each one of the true examples we have presented? Perhaps one or some seem familiar to you. Feel free to let us know some of your own ideas or experiences in similar circumstances. What are the tools that have worked for you? What are the tools that have not?
In part two of this two-part topic we are going to discuss how all seven of the stories above are alike and share some telltale signs for you to know that the time has come to step in and make some serious positive changes in your own relationship.