The Secret to Having Healthy Relationships After Experiencing Painful Relationships

Anyone with a traumatic childhood often experiences painful relationships and emotional hurt in adulthood.

This was my experience.

I wanted to live a happy and healthy life, but, at the time, I didn’t know how to move forward. I didn’t know how to manage the pain from my traumatic past that often surfaced in my current relationships.

If this you, then there is a way to have healthy relationships and to heal your hurt. Changing our ways is rarely easy, but it can certainly be done with effective emotional intimacy coaching.

What is relational freedom?

I call this relational freedom… when you experience life and relationships from a healthy alignment and can manage and tolerate uncomfortable emotions while maintaining self-care.

It doesn’t mean that sometimes you won’t get hurt. Or never feel intense emotions again.

It’s about having a choice to stop and acknowledge what you feel and understand where those feelings come from instead of behaving in an old pattern.

It’s about having the freedom to choose taking action that won’t harm you or other people.

How can you achieve relational freedom?

The first step is to pay attention to the actions that you would normally take when different emotions are triggered.

For me, for example, I noticed that my wounds would get activated in situations that weren’t even troubling. I began looking at how I could shift, or pivot, away from that part of myself that was getting activated, towards a healthier action – which I call relational or relationship alignment.

Relational alignment is the process of thinking (good rational thinking), feeling (high level of emotional intelligence) and doing (healthy actions) with congruency. And it is doing these in alignment that leads to healthy actions.

I used this internal process to pivot from my old way of thinking, feeling and behaving to a healthier action.

The most important part of this process for me was learning that even though I got triggered with my abandonment issues that I could still care for and love myself. I didn’t need to make anyone responsible for my pain.

Overcoming Relationship Challenges & Achieving Relational Freedom

I admit, this process isn’t easy. But learning to do this set me free from my old survival patterns.

To use the relational alignment process, start by asking yourself:

  • Do my feelings make logical sense to me?
  • Do my actions align with what I’m feeling?
  • Do my actions align with what I’m thinking?

This will help you think, feel and do in a healthier way, so you can be free to attach to others without feeling like the victim or taking others hostage. The result is a healthy adult.

It’s About Making Healthy Choices

To test if you are moving towards being a healthy adult, ask these questions of yourself:

  • What part of me can make healthier choices in relationship with myself and others?
  • What part of me can say yes or no?
  • What are my healthy choices right now?
  • What emotions am I feeling, and do I take responsibility for them?
  • Can I continue to take care of myself no matter if I’m in an uncomfortable or complicated situation?

These questions are the foundation for living as a healthy adult.

The good news, when you have the foundation for living as a healthy adult, then you can achieve relational alignment and attach securely and healthily to others… no matter what childhood challenges you’ve faced.

As a healthy adult, you choose to make healthy choices even though you may be in a situation that would normally trigger you and activate your survival patterns. It is having the freedom to make these choices that leads to a healthy attachment to others.

Relational Freedom: What It Really Means

Relational freedom comes from relational alignment. It means that if you can think, feel and do in a healthy and congruent way, then you can attach to others in a healthy way.

In other words, you’re free to be who you are and make healthier relationship choices, which is the definition of relational freedom.

With relational freedom, you have a higher level of consciousness. You are more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. This means you can make the best choices for you.

This gives you the safety of connecting in a healthy way and building deep relationships.

And if relationship challenges occur, you can create healthy solutions, instead of running away from situations or being triggered to react.

The result, life becomes more joyful, loving, healthy and easier because you are aware of what you need to do to take care of yourself. And you choose to have healthy connections.

Understand Yourself With #1 Emotional Intimacy Coaching

I know this process may seem like hard work. However, if you take the time to go through the process, then you will have a deep understanding of yourself and what needs to change. The good news is that no matter what childhood experiences you had, you can create healthy relationships with some courage and perhaps some relationship intimacy coaching exercises.

If you want help to move away from old patterns and create relational alignment and freedom, then contact PIVOT. We’re here to help you with all your relationship struggles, whether you’re afraid that your partner doesn’t love you, want to know if love is all a relationship needs, or struggle with being emotionally intimate with your partner.

At PIVOT, we render transformative relationship coaching for individuals and couples and hold intensive couples retreats at The Glass House, our residential facility that provides a comfortable environment for facilitating positive change. Reach out to us today!

Does Love Make The World Go Round?

All you need is love. Whether that is true or not, there’s no denying that most of us need and seek love in order to feel happy and complete. But how much do we really know about love? Is love all we need in a relationship? Do we have any control over who and how much we love?

Whether you wish to learn how to love yourself or find out why you are afraid of love, seeking information from an experienced relationship coach is possibly the best course of action. In this article, we will approach love from a number of angles in order to shed light on its nature and importance in our relationships. Read on!

Can A Relationship Survive On Love Alone?

Most of us are taught to believe in the importance of love, whether from our parents, movies, or literature. How come then that we see so many relationships fall apart even though love is very much still there? Is it possible that love isn’t all we need to make a relationship work?

Unfortunately, it is entirely possible to love someone who isn’t the right person for us. In fact, there are many situations in which love alone may not be enough.

When Love Is Not Enough

No matter how much we love, our relationships can still fall apart. While love may conquer all in some situations, here are some relationship struggles that even love may not be able to resolve:

  • You can love the wrong person. Your partner might not be right for you. They may be abusive, your relationship may lack intimacy, or you may just be too similar or too different. No matter the reason, it’s entirely possible to truly love a person who isn’t good for us.
  • It’s possible to love someone at the wrong time. You may love someone to the moon and back, but feel like you should end the relationship because you’re not ready to embrace it at the present moment. Sometimes, the timing is just not right.
  • You and your partner may have conflicting values. While it’s perfectly normal to be with someone who has different beliefs than you do, you may want to consider leaving the relationship if you and your partner keep fighting over your conflicting values.
  • Your partner may not reciprocate. Can true love be one-sided? Certainly, but that doesn’t mean that such a relationship is healthy. If you feel like your partner doesn’t love you as much as you love them, the relationship may not be the one for you.
  • Your friends and family may disapprove. Although it might sound like a Romeo and Juliet scenario, it’s quite common for family members to disapprove of a relationship. Sometimes, they have a good reason to do so, even though love is very much there.

Is Love A Choice Or A Feeling?

Falling in love is easy for most of us. It may even feel effortless, almost like there’s nothing we can do about it. Staying in love, on the other hand, is a different story entirely. In reality, love is more of a choice than a feeling. By this, we mean that we have to consciously decide to stay committed to a single person when the initial butterflies disappear.

Every single day, we have to make conscious choices to love or not to love a person. We may face serious fights or be incredibly annoyed by our partner’s habits, and still choose to love them and stay in the relationship. It is these choices we make on a regular basis that show our love, not the fleeting feelings we have when we start dating. So, while we may not exactly choose who we love, we definitely can choose who we keep loving when the going gets tough.

Can You Love Someone Too Much?

The short answer would be: no, there’s no such thing as loving someone too much. However, it is possible to smother someone with affection. Oftentimes, this is done out of selfish reasons. When we love a person, we wish them to be happy even though their idea of happiness may be different from our own. Smothering, on the other hand, means prioritizing your own needs over your partner’s.

Of course, if you feel like your partner isn’t giving you enough attention or that your relationship is one-sided, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are smothering them if you insist on seeking emotional closeness with them. Here’s what smothering in a relationship typically looks like.

Signs of Emotional Suffocation

If you worry that you may be emotionally suffocating your partner, here are some signs you should look out for:

  • You always wish to know where they are. If you keep texting your partner constantly, wanting to keep track of their whereabouts at all times, it’s quite possible that you’re smothering them.
  • You never leave their side. Sometimes, it’s best to leave the person you love alone. We all have days when we wish to have some time to ourselves or go and see our childhood friends. Insisting on following your partner’s every step is a sure sign of emotional suffocation.
  • You never disagree with your partner. While you may want to show your partner how much you love them by appreciating their ideas, you shouldn’t agree with every single thing they say just to impress them. Most of the time, you’ll achieve the opposite effect.
  • You don’t feel comfortable alone. Most of the time, we seek emotional closeness with others because we feel insecure and need reassurance. If you can’t be on your own, you may have some low self-esteem or abandonment wounds and survival patterns that need your attention.
  • They tell you they feel suffocated. Naturally, if your partner tells you they feel smothered in the relationship, you should take their word for it. The best course of action would be to have a serious discussion about the issue and see what can be done to resolve it.

Visit our effective couples retreat relationship workshop

At PIVOT, we work hard in order to help couples and individuals with their relationship struggles. It is our mission to enable you to heal your past wounds and work on happier, healthier relationships with the ones you love the most.

Our knowledgeable PIVOT Advocates will offer effective and transformative solutions to your relationship problems. We offer both couples and individual coaching for your relationships as well as effective five-day workshops at The Glass House. Give us a call today and start your journey toward a healthier emotional life!

Does Your Relationship Lack Emotional Intimacy?

Being romantically involved with another human being implies intimacy. Most of us place great importance on physical intimacy, and rightfully so, but there is also a whole other aspect of intimacy that is closely linked to the physical one: emotional intimacy. 

At first, it is physical intimacy that we might pay more attention to, especially when we’re infatuated and consumed by a fiery passion for each other. But emotional intimacy is what remains when the honeymoon phase is over and that initial excitement of being madly in love starts to wear out

When partners lack emotional intimacy in their relationship, they cannot face and overcome conflict and life’s challenges together. Are you dealing with emotional intimacy issues in your relationship? Are you seeing or ignoring the red flags? Learn to recognize the telltale signs.

What does emotional intimacy feel like?

When two partners have emotional intimacy, they have a deep emotional connection. They feel close because they feel free to be themselves around each other and express their feelings openly without being afraid to show their vulnerable side. 

What does a lack of intimacy do to a relationship?

Without intimacy at a deeper level, building trust turns into a difficult challenge which could ultimately spell trouble for the future of your whole relationship. Partners who can’t trust each other cannot stay together. 

So what are the signs that there are issues with intimacy between you and your partner?

Signs that your relationship lacks emotional intimacy:

Feeling distant and isolated from your partner

If you feel that you can never quite pinpoint what the other person is thinking or how they’re feeling, there may be a distance between you. This can turn into a major problem when conflicts arise, especially if your partner is giving you the silent treatment, making conflict resolution all the more difficult.

Lack of transparency and communication about emotions

When we say that communication between partners is key, it may sound like a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Partners who can communicate their feelings to each other have managed to build emotional intimacy. On the other hand, partners who never discuss their emotions but get into petty arguments all the time are probably not looking at a bright future together.

Imbalance in the degree of sharing

If one person is sharing too much and the other is not sharing enough, it might seem that the other partner is simply a good listener. On the other hand, it may mean that there is an imbalance. The partner who shares less might not feel comfortable enough to express their thoughts and feelings openly. 

Inability to listen to each other

Sharing your views, thoughts, and opinions with each other and being able to open up and reveal your feelings and emotions must mean that you have built emotional intimacy, right? Not necessarily. In order to continue to build your emotional intimacy, both partners in a relationship need to practice active listening and show empathy and compassion on an ongoing basis. 

If one partner tends to zone out when the other partner is talking about what they’re going through, this might mean the emotional intimacy between them is starting to fade. At this point, partners might start hurting each other indeliberately by forgetting the little things or showing disregard for the other person’s feelings. Little by little, they may start drifting apart.

Lack of support for each other

People in supportive relationships tend to open up with each other about what’s bothering them. Because their relationship is built on trust and understanding, the partner is their go-to person whenever they’re in need of guidance. They feel comfortable enough to ask their partner for help and advice. But in a relationship that lacks emotional intimacy, partners may lack the emotional security to turn to each other for support.

Leading separate lives could indicate a lack of intimacy

Partners who are private and refuse to share information about their lives with each other might be dealing with an emotional distance. It’s fine to lead separate lives and be independent, but keeping a deliberate distance from each other could be a sign of a deeper problem. After all, patterns like long phone calls, texting or talking face-to-face help us get to know each other, and sharing your daily life is a big part of that. 

You no longer share similar interests and hobbies

The experiences we share with our partners help us grow as a couple. Whether it’s going to the farmers’ market, cooking a meal or watching black-and-white movies together, these activities help build intimacy and deepen your relationship bond. 

When you stop doing the things you used to do with your partner, whether because you no longer care about their likes and interests or because they no longer care about yours, it should really tip you off that emotional intimacy may have started to dissipate and might disappear altogether.

Avoidance of physical closeness

Although a couple that has active sex life is not necessarily in a healthy, supportive relationship, frequent sex is known to benefit couples, both in the emotional and in the physical sense, whereas lack of sex increases the relationship’s vulnerability to detachment. But avoidance of physical touch can happen even to couples who are physically intimate in the bedroom on a regular basis. 

When couples have a strong emotional connection, this is manifested in physical closeness. Partners are comfortable touching each other outside the bedroom, whether it’s by holding hands, hugging or kissing, as this is how they express their emotional intimacy. 

On the other hand, partners who are reserved and have physical connection issues might be dealing with emotional intimacy issues as well.

Can a relationship survive without emotional intimacy?

When you love someone deeply, you might be willing to overlook any emotional intimacy issues, even put the other person’s needs first to keep the romance alive. But sometimes love alone isn’t enough. Your relationship might last even if you lack emotional intimacy and connection, but is that really what you both want? 

You both deserve to have a meaningful relationship that makes you feel loved and fulfilled. Does that mean you are doomed as a couple? Absolutely not. Building emotional intimacy is no easy feat, but it’s not impossible. Some couples may try to work everything out by themselves by working on their communication, while others decide to turn to experts for help.

How to improve intimacy in a relationship? We can help!

Building emotional intimacy is hard work, but that’s just it: you can work on it. If both you and your partner are willing to make it work, we can help you build trust and improve emotional intimacy in one of our workshops that rely on relationship intimacy coaching. 

Would you feel more at ease in our individual coaching program or do you think it’s time you give our intensive workshops at The Glass House a go? It’s up to you but one thing is certain: PIVOT Advocates are here for you. We’re ready to help you patch things up with your partner and learn to deal with the intimacy problems in your relationship before they escalate. We’re your key to building healthier relationships. 

It’s time to turn the page and the PIVOT process is the way to do it!

Common Relationship Problems: How To Resolve Them?

Both new and long-term relationships bring a fair share of challenges. Learning how to identify both relationship problems and solutions is one of the key steps to establishing emotional intimacy with your partner. However, revealing the underlying problem and coping with it in a healthy, constructive way is far from easy.
In fact, some individuals avoid addressing certain issues with their partners because they don’t want to admit that the problem exists in the first place. Others believe that by showing that something bothers them in their partners’ behavior, their vulnerability will be interpreted as a weakness.
However, to maintain a healthy, strong relationship, you need to learn how to recognize a problem and prevent it from causing a conflict with your partner. Only then will you be certain that you’ve found the right person and have a relationship worth fighting for.

What Are The Most Common Problems In A Relationship?

Whether you and your partner argue frequently or almost never get into conflict, you probably still experience certain obstacles in your relationship. While some of these issues may seem irrelevant or temporary, they may be triggered by serious underlying problems. Leaving them unresolved can truly sabotage your relationship and even cause you to become depressed.
So, the first step in overcoming relationship challenges is detecting and understanding the problem.

5 Most Common Problems In A Relationship

If you’re not certain what exactly has come between you and your partner, take a look at some common problems individuals often experience in their relationships:

  • Inability to communicate with each other

Maintaining an open, honest communication can be difficult when you’re emotionally involved with someone. For some people, expressing their feelings or confronting their partner is truly challenging as it puts them in an uncomfortable situation. Additionally, some couples who’ve been in a long relationship may let their previous problems prevent them from truly listening to each other.

  • Feeling bored and stuck 

This is a common problem among long-term partners who feel that their relationship has nothing new to offer. They feel as if they’re stuck in a rut, always doing the same things and knowing almost everything about each other. If you’ve experienced the same problem, you may have wondered whether you’re with the right person.

  • Growing apart from each other

If you’ve been with your partner for years, you’ve probably shared numerous experiences. However, the problem arises when one of you has changed significantly over the years, while the other person remained the same. Whether it comes to gaining new interests, achieving business success, or simply adopting new habits, you or your partner may feel as if the other person has “changed too much”, which can affect your relationship.

  • Experiencing trust issues

Whether because of negative relationship history or a problem that has occurred between you and your partner, you may lose trust in your partner or have a problem establishing it in the first place. This can lead to a great number of other problems as trust is the foundation of every relationship.

  • Having trouble committing

If you or your partner have commitment issues, you may find it hard to maintain or even enter a relationship. This is a common problem among individuals who have an ambivalent or avoidant type of attachment style.

What Causes Problems In Relationships?

These issues are both a problem and a cause. For instance, trust issues can be a cause of jealousy in a relationship. However, you also have to consider what has led to these trust issues in the first place. Have you experienced infidelity in the previous relationship? Do your trust issues stem from your relationship with your parents?
Finding the exact reason behind certain problems will help you overcome them and help you build an even stronger relationship with your partner. If you want to understand yourself and your partner better and find a solution to your relationship obstacles, start by gaining a deeper insight into their cause.

  • Self-abandonment: It’s natural to put your relationship before some personal wishes after carefully considering your unique situation. However, completely neglecting yourself and focusing solely on your partner can result in a range of different problems, including resentment, anger, low self-esteem, and even depression.
  • Intimacy issues: If you and your partner have the fear of intimacy, you may be reluctant to commit fully to each other or experience serious communication problems. You may find it difficult to talk about your feelings or concerns, not wanting to get too close to your partner.
  • Incompatibility: Some people are simply not compatible in one or more aspects. Whether it comes to your sexual relationship, personal goals, personalities, or attachment styles, compatibility problems can sabotage or damage your relationship.
  • Codependency: Being in a codependent relationship is unhealthy for both partners. It leads to completely neglecting yourself, experiencing self-worth issues and self-criticism, and constantly seeking validation from your partner.

However, it’s important to mention that a relationship problem can be a result of multiple causes. It’s not always easy to discern what exactly triggered an issue between you and your partner. This is particularly common among individuals who are in a long-term relationship because numerous factors are in play.

How Do You Know If You Are The Problem In A Relationship?

It’s easy to blame your partner for everything that goes wrong in your relationship and it’s far from easy to take responsibility for certain problems. However, two people are responsible for keeping a relationship healthy, so you have to ask yourself whether you’re causing certain issues.
Of course, if you’re the problem, it doesn’t mean that you’re sabotaging your relationship on purpose. Some behavioral patterns and previous experiences may be affecting your attitude toward your partner and preventing you from resolving certain conflicts.

Signs That You’re The Problem

So, if you’re wondering whether you’re the reason why your relationship has hit the wall, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you often go off topic when arguing with your partner?
  • Do you think you’re superior to your partner in any way?
  • Do you lash out easily regardless of the problem?
  • Do you avoid admitting you’re wrong?
  • Do you have a problem saying sorry?
  • Are you happy with yourself?

How Do You Fix Relationship Problems?

Overcoming relationship challenges requires a lot of effort and work since there’s no single solution you can try. However, if you’ve found a person you truly love and want to see your relationship work, you will work on resolving your issues together and support each other along the way. Here’s how you can start:

  • Work on yourself. To be truly happy with your partner, you need to be happy and satisfied with yourself. From changing negative behavior and habits to working on your personal growth, taking steps to improve yourself will reflect on your relationship.
  • Nurture your communication. Communication is the key to resolving problems and conflicts. Don’t hesitate to speak up when something bothers you and truly listen to your partner. Discuss your issues openly and avoid criticizing your partner.
  • Stay honest, open, and calm. It’s important to stay calm during an argument to resolve a problem. Try to control your anger and express it in a healthy way. Additionally, stick to your promises and be honest – always.
  • Show appreciation. If you notice that your partner is really trying to change and work on your relationship, express your appreciation. Make sure to do the same for other gestures they do for you. If your partner feels unappreciated, this can really affect your relationship and their self-esteem.
  • Be patient. Resolving relationship problems is a process that takes time, especially if you need to change some well-established behaviors.
  • Consider relationship coaching. If you feel that you’re not making any progress or cannot identify the exact problem in your relationship, consider seeking help from a coach or joining an intensive workshop.

Resolve Your Relationship Problems With Life-Changing PIVOT

Strengthening your relationship through problem and conflict resolution is truly rewarding. However, it requires you and your partner to overcome numerous challenges and face your problems honestly, which can be difficult and emotionally exhausting.
Fortunately, you can find the help and support you need with us. Our experienced PIVOT advocates are here to help you gain a deeper understanding of your relationship, reveal the problems that have been sabotaging it, and finally reach the resolution you need.
The PIVOT process is carefully devised to help you alter the negative behavioral patterns by addressing the underlying issues. By reaching out to us, you’ll have an opportunity to join our high-result intensive coaching retreat at the Glass House or work on your personal growth and self-improvement through our individual PIVOT coaching. Start your personal and relational transformation today!

How Do I Recognize And Enhance Emotional Intimacy in a Relationship?

Are you feeling uncertain about the level of emotional intimacy in your relationship? Are there any indications of emotional intimacy issues that you’re somehow missing? How can you tell if you and your partner have established genuine emotional intimacy? If so, how do you build on it?
Read on to find out whether you have managed to build an intimate connection with your partner and learn how to improve intimacy in a relationship and further enhance the closeness between you and your partner.

What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Intimate With Someone?

First of all, relationships are not easy nor simple. Falling in love with someone may be spontaneous and come natural, but things in a relationship might not go as smoothly. It takes hard work to form a lasting, meaningful connection with someone, develop intimacy and build a relationship that has the potential to last a lifetime.

What Is Considered Intimacy?

Intimacy is manifested through emotional, mental and physical closeness between two people in a relationship. Passion and physical intimacy are certainly exciting. But it is emotional intimacy, closely intertwined with mental intimacy, that is an absolutely necessary part and the basis of a lasting relationship.
Having genuine emotional intimacy with a partner means that you have a relationship built on mutual understanding, support, love, and care. You are always there for each other, but you don’t pressure each other into opening up about things you’re uncomfortable with until you’re ready. Your relationship is built on patience, empathy, and kindness. As a couple, you are in-sync and ready to overcome any challenge you may be facing down the line.
They say couples who laugh together, stay together. Couples who stay together also tend to:

  • Show affection physically,
  • Express loving emotions verbally,
  • Have intellectual discussions,
  • Share experiences with each other.

What Are The Four Types Of Intimacy?

Intimacy comes in four main forms, all of which are important for building a healthy and long-lasting relationship. These are:

  • Emotional intimacy: being emotionally intimate with someone means being able to share your deepest feelings, insecurities, and dreams without fearing judgment. You should feel valued and understood by your partner.
  • Physical intimacy: while most people associate physical intimacy with sexual intercourse, it actually involves much more than that. It is about sensual expression and activity that brings you closer.
  • Intellectual intimacy: discussing your viewpoints and beliefs with your partner without fear can help deepen intellectual or cognitive intimacy. Both of you should feel like your opinions and thoughts are valued in the relationship.
  • Experiential intimacy: this form of intimacy is built by sharing experiences and activities with your partner. Whether it’s traveling together or enjoying a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant, shared experiences can deepen your bond immensely.

Can A Relationship Survive A Lack Of Intimacy?

Love and affection are basic human needs. Lacking intimacy in a relationship can bring about a wide range of problems for you and your partner, especially if you used to be closer or if one of you is more willing to work on building intimacy.
A relationship without intimacy can survive only if both partners are ready to put in some effort to create a deeper bond. If you both decide to work together to rebuild intimacy, then, yes, your relationship will most likely survive and may even transform into something entirely new and beautiful.

How Can I Improve My Partners Intimacy?

If you feel like your partner is no longer as intimate with you, don’t despair. There are numerous ways in which you can rebuild the connection between you two. Here’s how you can build intimacy in your marriage:

  • Provide emotional support
  • Share your thoughts
  • Spend more time together
  • Share exciting experiences
  • Spend less time on your phone/computer
  • Show appreciation with loving gestures

Signs Of Emotional Intimacy

There are several signs of emotional intimacy that you can easily recognize:

  • You’re not trying to change each other: you accept your partner for who they are, and they reciprocate. If this lasts past the honeymoon phase, you can rest assured that the love you have for each other is unconditional, which is a sign of a healthy relationship in which both partners are free to be who they really are.
  • You make each other better humans. You push each other to be better. It’s as if the purity of the love you have for each other is making you kinder.
  • You are compatible with each other in the sense that matters most: the core principles and values you both uphold. If you share a similar life philosophy and moral standards and feel like you’re each other’s intellectual equals, you are on the same wavelength and you have a relationship that’s built to last.
  • You communicate on a deep, meaningful level. You are always having conversations that revolve around expressing and sharing innermost feelings and emotions and it feels natural. Honesty and openness between partners are the cornerstones of a healthy relationship.
  • You are still the same independent individuals as before. Unlike two people in a codependent relationship, you two are in love with each other independently and perfectly comfortable being apart. By being careful not to suffocate each other, you’re giving yourselves the space to breathe and a chance at a happily ever after.

Can A Relationship Coach Help Me Build Emotional Intimacy?

If you have decided to work on your emotional intimacy issues, speaking with a relationship coach would be the best course of action. Here’s how an intimacy coach can help:

  • They will encourage you to share positive feelings with your partner. This may include telling your partner you love them more frequently, or simply showing appreciation for the actions that your partner does. No matter what exact words you use, sharing these positive feelings will help deepen the bond between you and your partner.
  • An intimacy coach will teach you to speak about your fears. If you want to deepen intimacy with your partner, they should be allowed to see the parts of you that you deem unacceptable or shameful. By showing these aspects of yourself and sitting with your vulnerability, you will find it much easier to feel relaxed and accepted.
  • They will teach you how to accept and acknowledge your shortcomings. In order to create closer bonds with people, you will have to learn how not to be defensive about the parts of you that may be seen as weaknesses. An intimacy coach will encourage you to admit your faults and help you be more direct and honest when sharing with others.

How To Build Emotional Intimacy With A Partner?

Spicing things up in the bedroom is relationship 101. But working on building emotional intimacy with someone takes a more subtle approach. Now gorging on spicy baby back ribs while watching a Conan McGreggor fight may not be your ideal way to spend date night, but if your partner’s into it, rest assured it’s one way to spice things up at a deeper level.
Remember that it’s the little things that count. You’re showing that you care enough for your partner to listen and remember the things they like and care about.
Both you and your partner should make a conscious effort to do the following:

  • Take part in meaningful, connection-deepening activities together.
  • Discuss issues that you disagree on to boost empathy and understanding.
  • Boost intimacy with meaningful gestures that will make your partner happy.
  • Compliment each other and remind each other of all the things you love and appreciate about each other.
  • Work on yourself individually and your relationship will thrive.
  • Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable: avoidance is the archenemy of intimacy.
  • Create an atmosphere of emotional safety.

7 Ways To Build Intimacy In Your Relationship

Both you and your partner should make a conscious effort to do the following:

1. Share experiences

Take part in meaningful, connection-deepening activities with your partner. Trying something new can bring you closer together and help you create new memories that you will cherish for years to come.

2. Don’t fear conflict

Discuss issues that you disagree on to boost empathy and understanding instead of avoiding all forms of conflict. Both you and your partner should strive to create healthy boundaries and feel free to talk about your concerns and fears.

3. Express yourself

Boost intimacy with meaningful gestures that will make your partner happy. Showing your love and appreciation without fear will make your partner feel safe and loved, as well as deepen your connection.

4. Give compliments

As time goes by, many couples stop giving compliments to each other because they feel like everything has been said. Make sure to remind your partner of all the things you love and appreciate about them.

5. Love yourself

Work on yourself individually and your relationship will thrive. Self-care can come in many forms, whether it’s taking up a new hobby, achieving career goals, or simply finding more time to spend with your friends.

6. Be vulnerable

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. In fact, avoidance is the archenemy of intimacy. Guarding your feelings will only distance you from your partner instead of bringing you closer together. Make sure to speak up about your fears and insecurities.

7. Provide support

Let your partner know that they can rely on you for love and support. Create an atmosphere of emotional safety and try to be a good listener. If your partner feels cared for, they will surely reciprocate.

Restoring And Improving Emotional Intimacy

Building emotional intimacy with a partner requires ongoing work from both partners. Trying to rebuild and restore emotional intimacy takes even more hard work, patience and dedication. Whether you’re attempting to save a relationship that lost its spark or start a healing process after a critical period, difficult times may lie ahead. But to quote Elvis Presley: Let’s not let a good thing die.
So what can you do to restore and improve emotional intimacy?

  • Focus on your personal growth,
  • Improve your communication and practise active listening,
  • Spend quality time with your significant other,
  • Romance isn’t dead: even the smallest romantic gestures can go a long way in helping you rebuild intimacy.

How To Build Emotional Intimacy In A New Relationship?

Maybe your partner is just having a bad day, but you’ve already started seeing red flags and having terrifying visions of the worst-case scenario where you have drifted apart and damaged your relationship beyond repair.
Sometimes when you’re in a new relationship, things can get really awkward really fast. We’ve all been there. The ebb and flow of relationships is frightening, especially if you’re just starting to get emotionally intimate with someone. You may start to feel that you’re growing distant from your partner. On the other hand, you’re afraid to address the topic because you don’t want to put a strain on your partner or come off as overbearing or paranoid.
But instead of fearing what the future may bring, be proactive. Just because you’re in a new relationship doesn’t mean you have to walk on eggshells. In fact, if you want to make a relationship work, you have to have an honest approach from day one and feel free to express any concerns, fears or suspicions you may have. This is as important as taking affirmative action and expressing the love and appreciation you have for each other.

Emotional Intimacy Does Not Equal Perfect Harmony

As with any relationship, conflicts are inevitable, especially once partners in a budding relationship have taken off their rose-colored glasses. But partners who want to make their relationship work and who are putting their time and energy into building emotional intimacy may avoid getting into conflict with each other for the first time for fear of losing their partner.
Surprisingly enough, conflicts in a relationship can prove useful: they can help clear the air and help you and your partner reach a higher level of mutual understanding and intimacy.

Learn How To Improve Intimacy In A Relationship At PIVOT

Here at PIVOT, we are all about helping you grow as a person and providing you with the support and guidance you need to form relationships that will last. Whether you decide to attend emotional intimacy coaching sessions by yourself or together with your partner, our PIVOT Advocates are here to promote your personal growth.
You may also benefit greatly from a retreat or building intimacy in a marriage workshop at The Glass House. Consult PIVOT Advocates to get a comprehensive overview of the PIVOT process and all that it has to offer. Contact us today!

Are You Repeating the Abandonment Cycle?

Healthy, loving relationships are a haven for love, happiness, joy, and security. But what if you find yourself moving from one relationship to another, or feel dissatisfied in your current relationship?
Maybe you’re asking what’s the point of being in a relationship, especially when it seems one-sided or too much like hard work.
Before you decide if relationships are for you or not, consider if you’re caught in a cycle of abandonment anxiety in the relationship. If so, there’s a solution.
But first…

What Is Abandonment?

Feelings of abandonment in a relationship are often thought of as being physically left. It also relates to emotional neglect, brought by not having our needs met in a relationship – including our relationship with ourselves.
But what is abandonment fear exactly and where does it originate? In a nutshell, abandonment feelings can start in our childhood because of the way we were raised. This is often referred to as the abandoned child syndrome.

What causes fear of abandonment?

As children, we are entirely dependent on our parents and caregivers for food, safety, love, and boundaries. Most importantly, we need to feel loved and accepted by both parents.
However, if you didn’t have your basic needs met because you were raised by a workaholic, alcoholic, divorced or absent parent, then you may have suffered neglect and abandonment trauma. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy in relationships, as well as a range of other issues, including severe anxiety symptoms and problems committing to a single partner.

How Does Abandonment Affect a Person?

A story about a recent client of mine perfectly illustrates abandonment issues in relationships.
He’d left his wife and children to pursue a relationship with an old high school crush; however, it didn’t end well.
The new relationship started by sending Facebook messages because he felt abandoned by his wife. This led to him “falling in love” and leaving his family. The hole he felt inside from untreated trauma, was in need of being fulfilled by the attention and feeling of belonging that a new relationship can give temporarily.
The relationship was brief. When it fell apart, he felt abandoned by the woman who he thought was his “soul mate.”
On a deeper level, after the relationship ended, he felt lost and destabilized. After all, he’d flipped his life around to be with this new woman, but once it ended, he still felt the same feelings he had before he started the new relationship… abandoned.
We discussed his childhood, and he revealed that his father left him when he was a little boy. He’d felt abandoned for decades.
Unfortunately, he unrealistically expected another person to heal his deep abandonment wound. When his wife couldn’t, he left her for a new relationship, hoping this would fix him.

The Abandonment Cycle

As adults that have experienced abandonment in childhood, we become scared of intimacy.
To deal with this, we create distance by avoiding being close to others (abandon relationships), or we get into a relationship with someone who avoids intimacy (and feel abandonment).
Either way, we distance ourselves from our partners, which leads to feeling unloved, hopeless or creates perceptions that you are not enough in the relationship. The strange thing about this is – it is familiar and we are drawn to what is familiar regardless of merit.

An endless cycle of fear

When the relationship ends, we feel alone and rejected, which creates more fears of abandonment and intimacy.
This creates a cycle of loneliness, fear of intimacy and abandonment.
If this sounds like the relationships you have, then you may also be experiencing anger, guilt, grief, fear, and shame.
The good news is that you can break the abandonment cycle.

Breaking the Abandonment Cycle

While healing abandonment issues is definitely not easy, it can be done with a bit of courage and a lot of patience. The best way to break the abandonment cycle and release the pattern from childhood is by exploring childhood issues and focus on healing your wounds. Remember, these wounds are deep and often remain hidden, so be patient.

Heal Your Abandonment Wounds with PIVOT

We recommend that you seek support from professionals to help you examine the abandonment pain so you can heal from the impact of the parenting you received.
Break the cycle by being a good parent to yourself. Remember, you are worthy of love, happiness, and a healthy relationship. You don’t need to look outside yourself for happiness and self-worth. You can attach to others securely, without feelings of abandonment, anxiety and depression.
If you are ready to create meaningful connections and break the abandonment cycle, then contact PIVOT. Apart from our individual and personalized coaching that can effectively tackle issues such as abandonment anxiety and codependent relational behaviors, we also provide intensive workshops at our relationship coaching retreat, The Glass House. We’re here to help.

Commitment Issues In Relationships: How To Overcome Them

Many individuals fear commitment and will struggle with situations that require them to establish a long-term connection or obligation to another person.
People with commitment issues or commitment phobia experience great levels of anxiety in relationships. The commitment challenges they face can take a great toll on both parties in the relationship and often the only way to overcome these obstacles is to seek external help, whether it’s in the form of individual coaching or a dating problems workshop.
Read on to learn what commitment issues are, how they occur, and how you can deal with them.

What Are Relationship Commitment Issues?

In order to understand why you or your partner have commitment issues, you first need to know what commitment actually means. In the most basic sense, it can be defined as an obligation or bond to a single person, goal, or cause. Commitment phobia can affect all areas of one’s life, including their romantic relationships, friendships, and professional life.
It’s important to understand here that a person struggling with commitment issues probably craves to establish emotional intimacy and maintain a long-term relationship. However, the intense feelings they experience in the relationship may be more scary to them than to most people, making it hard for them to stay in the situation for long.

What Causes Commitment Issues In Relationships?

The roots of commitment issues tend to go back to a person’s early childhood. Oftentimes, an individual with commitment issues will have an avoidant or ambivalent attachment style. This means that the relationships the person experienced in early childhood, particularly with parents or caregivers, impacted their adult relationships in a way that makes commitment such a challenge.
Avoidant individuals tend to be wary of being vulnerable in a relationship and showing genuine emotion. This may be because they were hurt in a previous romantic relationship or the issue may go further back to potentially unresponsive or unavailable parents. Either way, a person with an avoidant style will likely perceive most people as unreliable and will go out of their way to avoid pain in their relationships.

Causes Of Commitment Phobia

Naturally, the exact causes of commitment issues will differ from one person to another. Nevertheless, there are certain factors that can influence a person’s commitment phobia. Here are some of them:

  • Unhealthy relationships with abusive, unfaithful or controlling partners
  • Neglectful or unresponsive parental figures
  • Parents’ marital problems or divorce
  • Deeply rooted trust issues
  • Traumatic events in formative years
  • Intense fear of being hurt in a relationship, etc.

Of course, no two individuals will have the exact same background. As a result, commitment issues can manifest in a variety of different ways. While some individuals may struggle with even starting a long-term relationship, others will try to maintain long-term relationships only to sabotage it once their fears become more intense.

Dating Someone With Commitment Issues

Being in a relationship with an individual with commitment phobia can be incredibly stressful. If your partner has trouble committing and showing their true feelings, it’s only natural that you’d feel lost and confused in the relationship.
However, confusion and resentment may not always stem from commitment phobia. Determining if your partner has underlying commitment issues would require them to share their thoughts and feelings and that’s a tough deal for most commitment-phobes.

How To Tell If Your Partner Has Commitment Issues

If you aren’t sure whether your partner struggles with commitment, ask the following questions:

  • What were their previous relationships like? Typically, commitment-phobes tend to have a history of unstable and short-lived relationships. Also, if your partner has never been in a long-term relationship, they may struggle with commitment.
  • Have you met their parents and friends? A person with commitment issues may refrain from including you in their family life. If they aren’t sure that you are here to stay, they may not want you to meet their family and close friends.
  • Are they willing to plan ahead? If your partner only plans for a couple of weeks or months ahead but refuses to make any long-term plans with you, they may be dealing with underlying commitment issues.
  • Do they tell you how they truly feel? An unwillingness to open up and talk about how they feel about you and the relationships is a common characteristic of commitment-phobes, so look out for that.

What Do You Do If Your Partner Has Commitment Issues?

Dealing with commitment phobia is no small feat. If you‘re in a relationship with a person struggling with commitment anxiety, it’s understandable that you may doubt the relationship and contemplate leaving it.
While breaking up may be the best course of action in some cases, you should keep in mind that a commitment-phobe probably desires emotional intimacy but has no idea how to change their ways. Here’s how you can try to deal with commitment issues in your relationship:

  • Give them some space. While you may be afraid of losing your partner, pressuring a commitment-phobe is never a good idea.
  • Be patient. If they truly love you, they will realize that they want to work on the relationship, even if it may take some time.
  • Be honest and show them that they can trust you. Many individuals who struggle with commitment are simply afraid of being hurt.
  • Try to understand why they are the way they are. If you make an effort to be understanding and attentive to your partner’s needs, they will probably appreciate it.
  • Don’t forget to care about yourself. All of this doesn’t mean that you should put your partner’s needs before your own. If your partner doesn’t want to work on themselves, don’t waste all of your energy on trying to change them.
  • Seek professional help. Commitment issues can be hard to deal with. Sometimes, the best course of action is to reach out to experienced relationship coaches for guidance.

Let The PIVOT Advocates Help!

Reaching out to seasoned relationship specialists is often the best path to take if you’re dealing with relationship problems. Our knowledgeable PIVOT Advocates rely on a curriculum built over 15 years that we call the PIVOT process, employing effective methods and techniques to help individuals struggling with personal and relational challenges.
Whether you want to try out couples or individual coaching for your relationship struggles or want to visit a relationship problems and solutions retreat that we offer at The Glass House, you’ve come to the right place. Reach out to us today and change your relationships for the better!