Emotional intimacy is a sense of closeness, oneness, and a connection with a loved one that goes beyond the physical. Emotional intimacy is fulfilling and enhances other aspects of intimacy including intellectual, spiritual, recreational and physical intimacy. It enables both partners to experience deeper intimacy levels seeing life through the same eyes and same values as their partner, sharing experiences, feeling connected and intimate in the relationship.
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There is no doubt that a sense of shared emotional intimacy is important growth and physiological well being. Where emotional intimacy is absent it is not unusual for partners to lose trust in one another resulting in unnecessary suspicion and poor communication and straining even the healthiest of relationships.
Being emotionally disconnected to a partner will ultimately affect the quality of the relationship. Emotional infidelity does not necessarily involve physical intimacy. Interestingly the individuals justify themselves seeing nothing wrong with the emotional relationship; after all, it is about a few teas, lunches, harmless flirtatious communication with no physically intimacy, what could be wrong with that, they often wonder aloud?
Emotional infidelity occurs when a deep emotional attachment or bond is created with someone other than your partner. Emotional infidelity is a behaviour that a partner engages, which fosters emotional intimacy with another person other than their partner. Usually, they maintain secrecy and choose to be silent about their engagement. While it may have felt innocent in the beginning, emotional intimacy progresses to a full-blown affair which is just as challenging, painful and devastating as a physical one.
Break away now!
It is essential to break away from any level of emotional intimacy, without further delay. Although it does not involve physical expression, it causes similar challenges as physical infidelity; a cycle of guilt, apprehension, fear, anger, and even resentment. It is very important to acknowledge unmet needs of both yourself and your partner. Have an action plan and write down the feelings you are experiencing in this journey. Feelings don’t have to control you; you have the capacity and intellectual ability to be in charge. Nevertheless, their influence is strongest when they are held in secret. The needs that have led you to this emotional affair need to be acknowledged.
Energise and plan
Too much energy is used fantasising, thinking about the particular individual and it is not always easy to switch off; do yourself a favour and get busy, do something to keep you energised and busy, have a good run, go the gym and exercise learn a new skill, travel and have some adventure, volunteer in a needy organisation, find a new hobby or take up a personal development lesson.
Sometimes it may be necessary to seek the support of a trusted friend, mentor, pastor, doctor or professional counsellor. As you displace your attention from the significant other and recharge, you will undoubtedly go through a grief process and eventually heal, time is the best healer. It is not always easy to release oneself from the emotional claws of emotional infidelity however, one thing is certain, as long as you have a goal, a strategy, exercise patience, and unconditional positive regard, it will happen, sooner than later, keep the focus.
Work on rebuilding the relationship
Working on rebuilding your relationship is not an option; it is the only way to restore trust, confidence and intimacy with the love of your life. Keep communication lines open, the discovery of any form of infidelity; text messages, phone conversations, email or face book interactions or any form of secrete contact with the significant other can be an extremely devastating.
Cheating on a partner is one thing, lying to cover up is another, which leads to distrust and suspicion in the betrayed partner and a potential end of intimacy. Be sensible and apply emotional intelligence here.
To continue next week on The Healing Process applied...
The writer is a Relationship Coach and Author, Marriage Built to Last. You can reach her on; www.jenniekarina.co.ke
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