Relationships can break your connection to your family. Relationships can be the ultimate symbol of growing up. They represent starting our own lives as independent, autonomous individuals. This development can also represent a parting from our family. Much like breaking from an old identity, this separation isn’t physical. It doesn’t mean literally giving up our family, but rather letting go on an emotional level – no longer feeling like a kid and differentiating from the more negative dynamics that plagued our early relationships and shaped our identity. Love stirs up existential fears. The more we have, the more we have to lose. The more someone means to us, the more afraid we are of losing that person. When we fall in love, we not only face the fear of losing our partner, but we become more aware of our mortality. Our life now holds more value and meaning, so the thought of losing it becomes more frightening. In an attempt to cover over this fear, we may focus on more superficial concerns, pick fights with our partner or, in extreme cases, completely give up the relationship. We are rarely fully aware of how we defend against these existential fears. We may even try to rationalize to ourselves a million reasons we shouldn’t be in the relationship. However, the reasons we give may have workable solutions, and what’s really driving us are those deeper fears of loss. Most relationships bring up an onslaught of challenges. Getting to know our fears of intimacy and how they inform our behavior is an important step to having a fulfilling, long-term relationship. These fears can be masked by various justifications for why things aren’t working out—but we may be surprised to learn about all of the ways that we self-sabotage when we get close to someone else. By getting to know ourselves, we give ourselves the best chance of finding and maintaining lasting love. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201401/7-reasons-most-people-are-afraid-love Read more from Dr. Lisa Firestone at http://www.psychalive.org/author/dr-lisa-firestone/
In the arithmetic of love,
one plus one equals everything,
and two minus one equals nothing.
To experience spiritual intimacy, take time being naked. I don’t just mean taking your clothes off to make love. I mean actually be naked together. Hold each other. Take a bath together. Even pray naked together! Redo that exercise where you just take time touching each others’ bodies. Really feel as if you completely know the other person. It’s actually more vulnerable to be naked while someone touches you than just to be naked while you “have sex”. And so take that time to explore! Take time to be spiritually naked. This may sound weird, but trust me on it: pray before sex. When we unite together spiritually first, it’s as if our souls are drawn together. And when our souls are drawn together, we want to draw together in a deeper way. If you’re uncomfortable with free-form prayer, buy a book of prayers… The words don’t matter; the heart does. When you mean it, and you bow before God together, you really are drawn towards each other in a much more intense way. Look into each others’ eyes. The eyes are windows, and yet how often do we close our eyes, as if we’re trying to shut the other person out, and concentrate on ourselves? I know sometimes you have to close your eyes to feel everything, but sometimes open up and look into his eyes. To actually see him–and to let him see into you–is very intimate, especially at the height of passion. Say “I love you”. It’s such a little thing, but while you’re making love–or even when you orgasm, say “I love you”. Make sex about not just feeling good, but expressing love. http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/02/29-days-to-great-sex-day-27-experiencing-spiritual-intimacy-while-you-make-love/
There are only two
guidelines in good sex.
Don’t do anything
you don’t really enjoy
and find out what
are your partner needs
and don’t balk them
if you can help it.
No matter the quality or quantity of sex, some people remain hungry for more and more sex. It’s as though they are sexually insatiable. Most often, their insatiable sexual hunger is related to deep-rooted psychological factors. Toxic early childhood relationships can influence their sexual hunger in adulthood. Although sex addicts can be male or female, for discussion purposes, I will use the female pronouns here. Insatiable sexual hunger is not really a desire ─an act of will─ but rather a desperate need, a compulsion that is experienced as a craving. The need is pursued like a drug. Although sex addicts are enslaved to sex, it is far from their goal. Rather, the pursuit of sex is in service of a different goal─ to dispel feelings of inadequacy, depression, anxiety, rage or other feelings that the sex addict experiences as unbearable. Like a drug addict or alcoholic, the sex addict relentlessly seeks satisfaction from an external source to palliate an internal pain. Here’s a little of what goes on in the brain of sex addicts. The brain’s dopamine receptors ─ the pleasure-reward system─ is activated during sex, drugs, alcohol, or gambling. In the case of sex addicts who quickly slide down into despair after the sex act, their dopamine receptors are left hungry for more sex. These primed dopamine receptor, thus, crave more sex. A craving is, thus, set up biologically and psychologically. Fixes provide a state of ecstasy, calm, nirvana. Alas the shot of nirvana during the sex act lasts only as long as the magic of sex wears off. Result? The sex addict is rendered emptier, distressed, and fragmented. To quell these painful feelings, she is compelled to resume her pursuit for her next fix. As you can see, the sex act is not borne out of love, but performs the function of a drug to satisfy the primed dopamine receptors. Of no consequence other than to provide the sex addict with a fix, the sex object is indispensable. Rather than desiring a sexual partner, the sex addict craves the sexual object─ her fix. She is constantly seeking to repair early deprivations and to palliate depression, anxiety, self-esteem blows. How do sex addicts recover? Twelve step programs work for some people. For others, I recommend deep analytic therapy that focuses on visiting the past, but living in the moment, learning coping skills, finding internal satisfaction, pursuing healthy passions that fulfill the emptiness. From an article by Frances Cohen Praver, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-doc/200910/what-drives-sex-addict
that you dated
somebody is just
a polite way
of saying we banged
a couple of times.
No, No, No, I Don’t Think So!!! Intimate activity intricately entwines the energies between two people. Sex creates a powerful exchange of energy between those involved. These connections, imprints and debris are left upon the mind, soul and spirit for a long time because they are not easily purged or cleansed. ‘Casual sex’ with multiple partners can intertwine the energies and spirits of a lot of people into your own aura if they are not severed and cleansed. You become joined to every person with whom your partner has slept, as well as all the partners those people had. This type of “soul clutter” can be felt by your partner’s subconscious. Even if they are not completely in tune or aware of the extra-curricular sexual activities, they still are able to sense the subtle disturbances of multiple energies and/or familiar spirits that have entered causing restlessness and inner turmoil. The longer and more intimate the contact with another person, the more powerful the reinforcement and the interaction of the bond becomes, and all the more difficult it is for them to untangle and leave. Soul stains, transference of odors, perceptive connections and even mutually formed habits are now left to burden the psyche long after that relationship has ended. There is no such thing as “Casual” Sex or “Friends with Benefits”. http://sylvancruickshank.com/there-is-no-such-thing-as-casual-sex-or-friends-with-benefits/
The secret of acquiring
is to practice it!
It is like a muscle.
The more you use it
the stronger it becomes.
Each time we give in
to a bad habit,
we help to strengthen it.
Dr Edwin Flatto
When we’re incomplete, we’re always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we’re still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on–series polygamy–until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter. Tom Robbins
Humility is not
of yourself less.
C. S. Lewis
While men make up about 10 percent of patients with anorexia and bulimia, both sexes struggle almost equally with binge eating. According to the Binge Eating Disorder Association, 40 percent of the estimated 10 million Americans who binge eat are men. Binge eating is defined as consuming large amounts of food within a two-hour period at least twice per week, combined with loss of control. Those struggling with this disorder often consume thousands of calories in one sitting, followed by an overwhelming sense of shame and self-loathing, which leads to further binging. The causes and underlying mechanisms of binge eating are similar to other eating disorders. Binge eaters may suffer from low self-esteem, past trauma or weight-related bullying, or use food to numb emotions and cope with stress. One factor that differentiates binge eating in men and women is that it is more likely to go unnoticed in men. Even if they are overweight or obese, as an estimated 70 percent of people with binge disorder are, eating more and carrying more weight are more socially acceptable for men than women. Heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other weight-related health conditions are common, as are mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Binge eating, like other eating disorders, can impact a man’s career, relationships and every area of his life. Compounding the problem is the reality that many men do not seek treatment for fear of appearing weak, strange or like less of a man. Although men may not reach out for help as often, treatment is equally effective for men as it is for women. There are also support groups and eating disorder treatment programs, some of which have specialized tracks for men. From an article by Carolyn C. Ross, M.D., M.P.H http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/real-healing/201210/binge-eating-in-men-0
We have it in our head
that if we fill our stomachs,
we’ll fill our hearts.
To resist the temptations of a sexual involvement with someone other than your beloved, beware of letting yourself enjoy the early titillation phase of getting to know someone new. A minor sexual flirtation outside of your marriage or other monogamous relationship can feel good. The problem is that sexuality is a slippery slope phenomenon. Initially the activity seems neither too slippery nor sloped… until one more step, and the swoosh… you’re hooked. The remedy? Plan ahead with your spouse your will do’s and won’t do’s by agreeing on prevention policies. Take early exits from potentially sexual situations. Sexual arousal is addictive. Extrication from temptation becomes increasingly difficulty the longer you stay in a sexually energized interaction. Plan ahead how you will keep your distance from situations in which the magnetism could prove to be stronger even than your potent desire to protect your marriage. That plan, plus an agreement that you and your loved ones will talk openly about any temptations that do arise so you can confront them as a unified team, is your vaccination. Susan Heitler, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201110/resisting-the-3-main-temptations-destroy-marriages
The most formidable attribute of temptation is its increasing power,
its accelerating ratio of velocity. Every act of repetition increases power,
diminishes resistance. It is like the letting out of waters
where a drop can go, a river can go. Whoever yields to temptation,
subjects himself to the law of falling bodies.
A married couple who stays passionately in love is indeed fortunate and has the best of all worlds. But those are the minority (according to some research, less than 10% of cases). There are marriages in which there is neither passionate love nor companion love and the two people suffer a lot while being with each other. For these people, there is no doubt that they should not continue being together while mentally torturing each other. Life is too short to allow such kind of living. The dilemma is more profound for couples who are, on one hand, not madly in love with their partners but who, on the other hand, are having a reasonably comfortable life together. Given that the odds of passionately loving each other for a long time are low, there are several available alternatives: (a) keep searching for passionate love and not get or stay married without it, (b) settle from the beginning for companion love with some traces of passionate love as well, or (c) completely separate the two and have passionate affairs to compensate for the lack of passion in the relationships. There can also be some combinations of these alternatives. In all the above alternatives there is some kind of compromise, and the question is which of them is the least painful. Choice (a), above, emphasizes the Romantic Ideology which assumes that “there is no mountain high enough and no ocean deep enough” to stop our love, and there is nothing “our love couldn’t rise above.” In opposition to this ideology external circumstances play a role in our life and should be taken into consideration, especially in light of the risk of the disappearance of passionate love. Indeed, many people in many traditions assume that raising children (and not love) should be the primary factor underlying a successful marriage. Passionate love may also be absent in arranged marriages when the two do not know each other before the marriage. Giving up passionate love altogether is giving up the sweetness of life. In contrast, completely disregarding reality is also not wise, as after all we do live with day-to-day realities. By Professor of Philosophy Aaron Ben-Zeév http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/201105/i-married-because-external-circumstances
It’s true that nothing in this world
makes us so necessary to others
as the affection we have for them.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I have a confession to make. I don’t want to hug you. It’s not that I don’t like you. I do, probably. I just really don’t enjoy hugging in any form. I know this probably makes me sound cold or like I suffer from some Monk level OCD contamination fears. Neither is true. Nor did I spend my formative years in a creepy Soviet orphanage where I had no physical contact. Hugging to me just doesn’t feel natural. It is never my instinct to hug someone. The worst is when I run into some random acquaintance I haven’t seen in a while and the first thing they do is try to hug me. In a way though, I’m jealous of these natural huggers. They certainly come off as much warmer and friendlier than me even if it might not be wholly genuine. Since I don’t want to come off as unapproachable or snobby, I’ve gotten pretty good at faking enjoying hugs over the years. I am now able to hug someone without doing the creepy straight armed Dr. Evil style hug. Progress. So I normally let other people dictate the terms of first contact. If they go in for a hug, I will return it warmly. But I will never be the “hug initiator.” Maybe someday I’ll be able to proudly own my non-hugging status and have t-shirts made that say “You seem like an awesome person and I’d like to get to know you better, but please don’t touch me.” From a post by Amanda Fox http://hellogiggles.com/confessions-of-a-non-hugger
We were not a hugging people.
In terms of emotional comfort
it was our belief that no amount
of physical contact could match
the healing powers of a well made cocktail.
From “Naked” by David Sedaris
Loving too much can be problematic when it hurts the lover, which typically occurs in the long-term. The lover’s intense love might be excessive in the sense that it prevents her from realizing the true nature of their relationship. Lovers may also feel that they love too much when they believe that their beloveds do not love them to the same extent. When a lover feels that she gives more than she gets, she will feel that she loves her partner too much. People who love too much often keep investing in a relationship that has no chance of surviving as their beloved does not love them to the same extent. Loving too much may also hurt the beloved. A typical example of this is when the lover does not allow the beloved to enjoy sufficient private space. It should be noted that the wish to be with each other as much as possible is a main characteristic of love and not an external feature of it. The nature of the private space is determined by the given personalities and by other factors, such as the stage in which the relationship is currently. Thus, this wish may be more pronounced in the infatuation stage, when it makes little sense to accuse lovers of loving too much. Profound romantic love is not in its nature excessively wrong; but some cases of such love has a greater chance of being so. From “ Loving Too Much” by Aaron Ben-Zeév http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/200908/loving-too-much
To fall in love is
but to fall out of love
is simply awful.