Intimacy Pact – How Have You Created Yours?

Believe it or not, we all create our own intimacy pact with our most significant partners and INTIMACY PACTwith everyone else in our life.  We allow a certain amount of closeness, a certain degree of allowing the other person to know us, depending upon the specific Intimacy Pact we have created for each relationship.

Some of us appear to be so intimate with everyone, even total strangers.  Notice the apparent amount of self-revelation on Facebook and other social media sites.  Pay attention to what you see posted on social media and what you know about that same person in their actual life.  I have seen, in many cases, an extreme discrepancy.

One of my friends, wanting and longing for a relationship all the time but often struggling and then leaving with a broken heart, has told me she can’t bear to go on Facebook.  Why?  Because everyone seems to be so happy-in-love and they seem to have everything going well in their lives.

My inside view has sometimes been quite different.  The person who brags online about their successful life can be fuming with anger at a failing relationship.  Someone who describes their unique talent at building businesses can be almost destitute financially and allowing others to pay their expenses.

We Are Not What We Appear To Be

This deception and painting a rosy picture (or a grey and black picture) also happens in our offline relationships.  Someone who just found “the love of their life” might be in for a big surprise a few months or a few years later when the relationship becomes real and the intimacy pact reveals itself.

ROMANCE SECTION OF BOOK STOREE

  • We are not what we appear to be in the first few hours or months of a new relationship.  Because we see and hear and feel the interest and attraction in the other person’s eyes, in their body language and in their words, we naturally are able to present our most appealing self.  We are temporarily thrust into a level of comfort that feels so good.
  • We are not usually the totally sensitive, caring victim of a difficult partner that we may appear to be when we talk to our business associates, friends and family.  At work, we are usually dressed for the outward world to see.  We attempt to speak and behave appropriately.  And if we are good at accomplishing our tasks, we can appear to be very special to our co-workers.  The partner at home may see a completely different person.  At home we may be sloppy, speak rudely, or be impatient, rejecting, demanding and intolerant.
  • Our partner is a mirror for us to discover our inner thoughts, attitudes and beliefs – if we are willing to self-reflect.  What upsets us in other people, especially those with whom we have daily contact at work and at home, is exactly the stuff we need to examine within our own consciousness.  And the more emotionally upset we become, the more apparent it usually is that the issue lies within us – not in them.

A wise marriage counselor once told me that my husband and I had made a pact to stop each other.  At that time I did not really believe it.  I thought that “he” was stopping me while “I” was just being there for him, being a good wife.  And my friends and family would certainly have corroborated with me, but then they tended to see the world in the same way I did.  We had expectations of the way another person “should” be within a relationship.  I’m not saying that they were wrong.  Yes, a good relationship requires certain interpersonal skills to function well.  But what they did not realize, and neither did I for quite some time, is that I had specific emotional needs that only “he” could fulfill.

The Right Partner Can Help You Heal
Whether You Want To Or Not

What I mean is that I had certain insecurities that had developed at a very young age but my mother had always told me to be happy.  She did not want me to express negative emotions.  Therefore, it became difficult for me to access those emotions and express them directly. Instead, I would internalize any bad feelings, take the blame and feel bad, and then eventually explode in anger – sometimes at a seemingly inappropriate moment.

I dated many men who were kind and caring but I could not feel that spark of interest and attraction.  What was required to trigger my deep emotional desire was a partner whose level of intimacy matched mine in a complementary way.  My husband’s disposition, temperament and relationship style became a perfect mirror for me to once again feel all those deep insecurities, bring them out to the surface, and finally, finally begins to heal.

That healing was not an instant transformation.  It took many years and literally hundreds of private sessions and group symposiums and trainings in psychotherapy, body therapy, somatic body psychotherapy, consciousness training, as well as spiritual awakening.

It has been a long dark journey into the depths of my own consciousness with the help of some masterful teachers, mentors and spiritual guides.  Is the journey over?  No.  As long as I am living, my quest is to learn more and more about how to love myself, love others and love life – in spite of and maybe even because of – all the apparent evil in the world.

The pact I made with my husband, unconscious or maybe partly conscious, was to keep seeing him as the one who needs to change, keep feeling unappreciated and unloved, and to keep studying and learning about my own emotional makeup.  He would often say that he felt like a guinea pig in my life training.  He would also often express feelings about our relationship that surprised me.  His words and what he felt were often so similar to my own words and what I felt.  Gradually, I began to see that he was having the same type of experience that I was having, being forced to self-reflect because the outward blame no longer worked.

We had made a pact, whether we really wanted to or not.  That pact was to keep being ourselves, keep rubbing up against each other’s resistance, keep learning, with the hope that eventually there will be no more need for resistance.

Some People Suppress Their Feelings

Some people make a pact to just suppress their true feelings.  They live with a partner, being present with each other physically, but emotionally they are living in separate worlds.  Some people actually live completely separate lives but share the same home.  Others turn to their most familiar compulsive behavior or addiction to soothe them when the emotions get stirred.  They are not willing to ride the wave of uncomfortable emotions until they subside.

Some People Over-Express Their Feelings

Some people do not suppress their emotions.  They expect and demand certain behavior in their partner and they rage out of control or sink into uncontrollable depression when their needs are not met.  The relationship becomes all about them, not about their partner.  It is all about their needs being met.  They are not willing to ride the wave of uncomfortable emotions until they subside and can be talked about in a clear and civil manner.

What’s Your Intimacy Pact?

We all create our own intimacy pact and it can be slightly different with different partners.  When someone has not resolved those deep emotional wounds from childhood and they choose a partner who does not seem to trigger the upsetting emotions, very often they will find somebody else who WILL trigger those emotions.  Maybe they have an affair with someone who lies and cheats or gets physically abusive.  Maybe they have a child who is defiant and difficult.  Maybe they have a close friend or a business associate that triggers that intense upset.

What is YOUR intimacy pact with your most intimate partner, with your family, with your friends, with neighbors, teachers, mentors, business associates and others?  Do you allow all the people in your life to really know you?  Do you keep others at a distance, preferring to not get too deeply involved in intimate relationships?  Do you secretly long to be known and understood, cared for, nurtured and loved just for being you?

If you have created an intimacy pact with a partner, your family and your friends that allows you to feel loved and loving and valued, then good for you.  You have created a healing and loving comfort zone all around you.

If you are not so fulfilled in your relationships, if you would like to create more love and you just don’t know how, and if you can’t help feeling that there’s something more in life, please do yourself a favor and reach out to someone who can help.

CONTACT ME. Together we can help you fix what can be fixed in your relationship and bring back that loving feeling or make new decisions and difficult choices.

MAKE LOVE TO EVERY MOMENT – Listen to this discussion about intimacy with America’s Love Guru who helped ABC’s The Bachelor and his date create intimacy.

Attend the PASSION AND ROMANCE SUMMIT in mid-March. Details will be shared in a later post and on my web sites.

Keep checking back to find out more about my upcoming 30 DAY LOVE CHALLENGE.

In the meantime….

READ A HEALING BOOK 

Love Me Touch Me Heal Me Book

 

 

 

 

LISTEN TO HEALING WORDS

Healing_Through_Love_Audio_Package_Images

 

 

 

HEAL THROUGH LOVE AND TOUCH

Love Touch Heal Relationship System

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warmly,

Dr. Erica

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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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20 thoughts on “Intimacy Pact – How Have You Created Yours?

  1. Ah, Facebook, the great facade. As much as I love social media I know we are oft-times presenting an alternate self or reality that does not completely equate with the true realities of our souls. Over the years I have struggled with intimacy and lowering those walls to allow myself to become vulnerable with the people in my life. Most of that due to a childhood that wasn’t very pretty. I loved this post and your words have caused me to rethink my current “Intimacy Pact.” Glad I landed on your site. I look forward to more of your wise words :).

    • Tracy,

      I am so happy to hear that my article affected your way of thinking about how you create intimacy and the pact you have made without consciously realizing it.

      Warmly,
      Dr. Erica

  2. You have shared great tips for a great relationship, you are so good at what you do. I agree with you that a lot of people live a different kind of life at work and other places than the life at home. Great insights that I need to look at. Thanks for sharing.

    • Siphosith,

      Each of us has a unique way of getting close or avoiding that closeness with another person, and it may vary depending upon the responses of the other and the emotions triggered within us. Sometimes our needs do not get met because our own way of responding gets in the way of allowing the other to be fully present. The more we know about our own self and our way of thinking and feeling, the more we can allow our partner to relax and be real.

      Warmly,
      Dr. Erica

  3. Dr. Erica you have once again, clarified my belief.

    My consistent evaluation on myself. That is something I have learned to do once a night. To check myself with all interaction done that day. This keeps me grounded and honest about my emotions.

    Hard to display most times. That is all the military background. Mom and Dad both Marines in Nam and me overseas in the Air force. My older and only brother in the Air Force.

    You could only imagine the lack of hugs and false kisses. It did not effect me as much my brother? Yet, I never hold back emotion with anyone. Let it out cold or hot. Then, move on.

    Thanks Dr. Erica for keeping all of us so grounded.

    • William,

      I feel such respect and gratitude for you and your family for serving in the armed forces to protect the rest of us. Years ago I thought that women should also be in the armed forces, as in Israel, because it build strength of character and discipline. I know a few women who have served and their work ethics are impeccable – very success oriented and hard working.

      I like your description of hugs and false kisses. There is so much of that – and also false love, love based on lust when times are good but not sustainable during difficult, challenging or routine times.

      Warmly,

      Dr. Erica

  4. Hi Dr. Erica,

    I had a very unfortunate childhood that involved divorce, neglect and abuse. But, I am very, very fortunate. I met my wife when I was 19 and she was 17. We married young and 22 years later I am an extremely blessed man. She was the right person for me. Her experiences were very, very different as a kid. In every way she was the exact right person for me.

    I’m blessed and I know it and I’ll never take it for granted.

    • Don,

      Your wife is also blessed. You may have started with a difficult childhood but you were able to accept your wife’s love, acceptance and teaching. You were able to love and appreciate her so that she could continue to love you back. It does take 2 people to create a loving relationship, even if one gives more at the start.

      Warmly,

      Dr. Erica

  5. A wonderful post with many valuable insights in the many dynamics in relationships. Self-verification theory suggests that we surround ourselves with people (e.g, romantic partner,s coworkers, friends) who corroborate, “mirror,” what we fundamentally believe to be true about ourselves. Our intimacy pact is on facet in my opinion.

    • Jose,

      That is so true. And as we heal and expand our way of thinking, the people who have been close to us will often resist our changing and try to keep us the way we were. It is important to surround yourself with new people who corroborate your newly acquired beliefs and attitudes. I would like to know more about Self-verification theory. It is certainly apropos.

      Warmly,

      Dr. Erica

  6. Hi Erica,
    This post sure brought back memories when I was repeating behavior pre-therapy and relationships all were doomed! It was not until I went through many different kinds of therapy to find my true self, and break the mold that I was ready for a healthy relationship.

    David and I have been together come 25 years this August. If it wasn’t for the therapies I went through, I would not have chosen him. Our pact has been built on the family unit. He has 3 children and I one. We created a blended family and his ex wife is now my best friend and a second mom to my daughter. I am a second mom to his children.

    When we married, we married our families together and have created much love. We never fight but rather will disagree on some things and have the compassion for each other to listen closely and reach an agreement.

    I asked my therapist once if we had a dysfunctional relationship because of our symbiotic relationship. But it ends up it was for the good. Our Pact is to love each other no matter what. It is quite easy! I am blessed.

    -Donna

    • Donna and David,

      You are both certainly blessed – and – you have both done what it takes to create a special, loving family unit that is inclusive, not exclusive, and lets everyone involved feel like an intrinsic part of the family.

      And now you are together expanding from your small family to your family of mentees. They are lucky to have found you.

      Warmly,

      Dr. Erica

  7. Thanks for sharing such powerful relationship building insights Dr.Erica!

    Your excellent post really (for me anyway) reinforces why, we
    really need to know as best you can, who you truly are first, before you can realistically expect to find a spouse and or significant other that can and is able to give them/us the proper emotional support that we all need.

    I’m almost curious to know if more people really bothered to explore and discover the extremely valuable insights that you’re sharing here, how many of them would wisely decide to be merely friends and nothing more!

    Thanks for shedding some much needed light on such a vitally important issue!

    • Mark,

      I love your last comment. Yes, many people would choose not to marry, and perhaps not to date more than a few times, if they took the time to explore and discover their own needs, desires, interests and values first. Those first few meetings with a new person would then be more like a job interview but not in a rigidly testing way but instead as an exploration, an attempt to learn about this other person.

      Most of us make a big effort to create a good first impression and that can last for several months, sometimes even a year or longer, But if we question our partner, ask about previous relationships, observe their interactions with family, friends, co-workers and others, we can begin to know so much more than if we just allow our hormones to guide us or our belief that we have these special powers so that we will be the one to change that other person.

      Warmly,

      Dr. Erica

  8. Hi Erica,

    Thanks for sharing this article. You gave me a lot to think about. I will return to add another comment. I totally agree, that the right partner can help you to heal.

    Cheers
    Vivette

    • Vivette,

      I was actually saying that we don’t need “the right partner” to heal. We need to learn from whatever partner we have. Each person we meet, not just our most intimate partner, becomes a mirror for our desires, interests, attitudes and behaviors. When we pay attention to the way others respond to us, we can shift and change and create a strong and centered foundation from which to interact with the world.

      Warmly,
      Dr. Erica

  9. Hi Erica,
    Beautiful article, I am so lucky when it comes to relationship with my husband and my boys. We’ve been through alot together but never stop loving and supporting each other. Coming from broken family, the only thing that I ever wanted since I was a little girl was to have loving husband and strong family.
    For me my family is everything and is everything else.

    Thank you for the great post,
    Have a fantastic day!
    Emi

    • Emi,
      When both people feel that the family is the most important thing and when they attempt to put each other first, love grows and it gets easier to deal with life stresses and unforeseen problems (e.g., illness, job loss, flirtations). When I work with couples I often see a power struggle and a sense that one person is already halfway out of the relationship, the trust has been broken and they are not putting each other first.

      I am so happy to hear that you have created a beautiful bond with your family.

      Warmly,

      Dr. Erica

  10. Hello Dr. Erica Goodstone!
    I love this post! You are very good at what you do. I can totally understand where you are coming from. It’s so strange how we are very different at first in a relationship with someone. I even noticed that there is some sort of pull that the other person does if they are the ones interested in you first.
    I do like to have lots of space even with my intimacy pact, but I do also feel the need to know that they are still there for me. As in the people I am closest to.

    Again thank you for sharing! I would like to hear more on this topic 🙂

    • Victoria,
      We all keep a certain distance that is comfortable for us. And then we get into a committed relationship and spend a lot of time with a person who may have a different style or level of intimacy that is comfortable for him or her. That’s when the conflicts begin, conflicts that may not have been too obvious while dating and having fun times together. Our minds and logical thought processes kick into play and take over where originally we were led by emotions and hormones and curiosity about this new and interesting person.

      Warmly,

      Dr. Erica

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