Forgiveness and the Key to Intimacy

 

There are many ways we can open opportunity to intimacy.  One very commonly overlooked opportunity is forgiveness.  Misunderstandings, unmet expectations and hurt feelings are unavoidable in long-term relationships.  The key to unlocking the intimacy in these situations is how it is handled, and forgiveness.

Trust and forgiveness go hand in hand.  However, how often do we feel hurt or wronged and bury forgiveness until it is forgotten and unused,  only to let it decay the relationship like rust on an old car?  How many times have you replayed a scenario in your head wishing for a time machine to go back and make a different decision?

Your partner should trust you without controlling you and vice versa.  However, we are human and we make mistakes from time to time.  Your partner should trust that they can be forgiven for mishaps big and small.  Just as importantly, you should trust that you can forgive yourself.  No one benefits from the blame game, whether its blaming someone else, or yourself.  You remain stuck in the past, unable to move forward in your relationship.  The bridge from hurt to intimacy and a better understanding of one another is forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not always easy and its okay to ask for help and understanding.  Here are some easy to follow tips to follow on your road to forgiveness:

  1. Forgiveness can never be withheld as a tool to control another person.  Using a mistake they have made in the past and using their shame to control them is never okay and will never lead to increased intimacy.
  2. Forgiveness is just as beneficial for you as it is for your partner.  When you can let go and release them of their mistake the weight is lifted from you both.  Each of you gets to relax and move forward having earned trust and deeper intimacy.
  3. Obstacles, mistakes, mountains…whatever you want to call them, makes a relationship stronger when they are overcome.  You can’t bury a mountain and pretend it isn’t there.  It must be climbed step by step!  The final ascent before you get to journey down the mountain is forgiveness.

In life, we face many trials. Some much more difficult to manage by ourselves than others.  Our counselors are ready and open to helping you on your path to forgiveness and intimacy either with your partner, yourself, a family member or friend.

 

 

 

Are you and your partner in need of a vacation?  A vacation without kids or distractions?  A vacation where you learn how to communicate and build genuine intimacy? Vacation Counseling is your next vacation.   Accepting applications for Summer 2020

Financial Intimacy

Financial Intimacy  101

Money is not a four letter word.  Then why do some couples fight about it or even refuse to discuss it altogether?

You may have heard the statistic that money is the #1 cause of divorce, but that’s only partly true.  Whether you have it or not isn’t the root of the problem, its typically what each person in the relationship thinks should be done with it that is the issue.

Some people grew up in a home where money was a taboo subject.  They experience anxiety or shame when they discuss finances.  Some grew up in a household where there simply wasn’t an abundance so they often heard the adults around them complaining about money.  Still others experienced a life with financially savvy adults who were not afraid to discuss money, no matter how much or how little there was, it was simply a fact of life.

No matter your background, you can change your outlook on money and finances at any time you choose.  Its never too late to begin discussions with your significant other about the finances you share.  Here are some quick tips to get the conversation started:

-Start the discussion at a mutually convenient, calm time of day.  Maybe skip that evening TV and sit down to look over the bank account together.

-Start small. Keep the conversations brief in the beginning.  Have a goal for the conversation, accomplish it and move on.  If talking about finances stresses one partner out, taking baby steps can keep them from getting turned off to the idea altogether.

-Keep the emotions at bay.  Money and finances can make people very emotional.  If you feel sadness, despair, anger or frustration start to emerge it’s time to take a break.  Admit that you need a break and will come back to the topic once you have had a chance to wrap your head around things.

-Decide on regular budget meetings (or whatever you choose to call them) that you and your partner can sit down together and see that you are on the same page with your money  management.  This is especially important if you are working on specific financial goals like saving for a house, new car, vacation or paying off debt.

-If one person making all of the financial decisions works for your situation, then go for it.  If it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to speak up.  Even if one person is making all of the decisions on where the money should/could be spent, it is crucial both parties stay informed of the current financial status of the household.

I hope these quick tips help get the conversation started.   We are committed to your success as a couple, if you or your partner need mediation or counseling to help you through please don’t hesitate to call for an appointment.

 

Are you wanting a vacation in paradise, one that will re-kindle the passion that has been lost? A vacation without kids. A vacation where you learn how to communicate. A vacation where your partner actually hears you and gains insight – Vacation Counseling is Your Next Vacation.

Creative Intimacy

 

Creative intimacy is a relaxing, passive way to bring couples together. Sharing activities that bring us joy, stimulate the mind and spirit and help keep stress under control have immeasurable benefits for couples.  

 

Some immediate health benefits of being creative are:

  • Boosts mood
  • Boosts brain function
  • Increases immune health and defense

 

Creative intimacy doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.  You can write a letter, play a board game or draw pictures with your eyes closed! Be silly and try new things often.  

 

Cultivating intimacy doesn’t happen overnight.  It is the daily effort we make to see more deeply into our significant other’s mind and soul. 

 

At Cape Coral and Fort Myers Therapists we see couples every day whose lives are forever changed by exploring conflict and intimacy and how to fight fair.  We want to help you too. We are currently accepting new clients at both locations for quality counseling services.

 

 

 

If you are not a resident of Florida, and find your relationship in turmoil we are excited to announce we are now accepting applications for Vacation Counseling for the 2020 season.  Are you in need of a vacation where the intimate connection can be found? Where your partner listens and gains valuable insight? A vacation with out kids? A vacation in paradise? Vacation Counseling is your next vacation.

Tuesday Tip: Aesthetic Intimacy

 

Join us as we start our fall series “Bringing Basics Back”.  This series will have a new Tuesday Tip every week with simple ways to open the door to intimacy  every day. 

Aesthetic Intimacy

 

For our first step in “Bringing Basics Back” we take a look at aesthetic intimacy.  Sharing experiences of beauty can relax and calm the body leading to opening up about deeper authentic feelings.   

Taking a stroll through the botanical gardens, enjoying the evening sunset together or perusing an art museum are all forms of sharing aesthetic intimacy.  

According to the University of Utah, there are seven health benefits to nurturing loving, intimate relationships: 

  1. We live longer.
  2. We heal quicker.
  3. We have lower blood pressure
  4. We are more physically fit. 
  5. We enjoy good heart health
  6. We feel less pain.  

 

When you take the dog for a walk tonight, invite your partner and enjoy the tall trees, gaze at the flowers in their last bloom of summer, or stop and watch the birds play and sing.  Your heart will thank you for years to come.

 

If you would like to discuss intimacy, or any other mental health topic with Dr. Brown or any member of her team, please visit Dr.April Brown