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In the last section, we discussed using intimacy to foster intimacy. After initializing the Overcoming Limitations on Intimacy as in the last section, the next three steps are to identify a chronic complaint, isolated the desire, and compose a list of target activities on which to request action.
In this section, we will discuss preserving and protecting friendship within the intimate relationship. We will specifically discuss five roadblocks to friendship in the intimate relationship. These five roadblocks are, there’s no time, "we’re not friends, we’re a couple," "we don’t talk like friends anymore," the ravages of conflict, and reckless words. I find that once couples understand these roadblocks to friendship, they are better able to implement communication strategies that may help preserve friendship, ultimately resulting in a productively intimate relationship.
Charlene and David had been married for eleven years. They began therapy after Charlene realized she had been contemplating divorce due to feelings of loneliness. Charlene stated, "I just feel so isolated and disconnected in our marriage. I need a friend! I feel like I just can’t take the loneliness anymore!" With Charlene and David, failure to nurture their friendship had virtually eliminated intimacy.
5 Roakblocks to Friendship
♦ # 1 - Lack of Time
♦ # 2 - "We’re Not Friends, We’re a Couple."
♦ # 3 - "We Don’t Talk like Friends Anymore."
♦ # 4 - Ravages of Conflict
♦ # 5 - Reckless Words
Clearly, when couples are upset, they may lash out at each other, which undermines their friendship. Would you agree that this leads to partners feeling that it is unsafe to share deep feelings, if these feelings are going to be used against them later in a fight?
♦ 3-Step "Friendship Talks" Technique
♦ The Interview Technique
Are you treating a couple for issues related to a lack of intimacy who might benefit from these techniques?
In this section, we have discussed preserving and protecting friendship within marriage. We also discussed five roadblocks to friendship in marriage. These five roadblocks are, there’s no time, "we’re not friends, we’re married", "we don’t talk like friends anymore", the ravages of conflict, and reckless words.
In the next section, we will discuss techniques of intimacy discipline. There are 2 diverse techniques of intimacy discipline that I have found highly effective in creating the kind of healthy climate in which broken relationships can heal and sound relationships can grow and flourish. In the next section, we will discuss how discipline is control and describe the first of the 2 techniques of intimacy discipline. The technique described in this section is a technique for reserving the sanctity of the marriage bed.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Mackinnon, S. P., Sherry, S. B., Pratt, M. W., & Smith, M. M. (2014). Perfectionism, friendship intimacy, and depressive affect in transitioning university students: A longitudinal study using mixed methods. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 46(1), 49–59.
Olsen, M. R., Schredl, M., & Carlsson, I. (2013). Sharing dreams: Frequency, motivations, and relationship intimacy. Dreaming, 23(4), 245–255.
Quinn-Nilas, C., Goncalves, M. K., Kennett, D. J., & Grant, A. (2018). A thematic analysis of men’s sexual compliance with unwanted, non-coercive sex. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 19(2), 203–211.
Richter, M., & Schoebi, D. (2021). Rejection sensitivity in intimate relationships: Implications for perceived partner responsiveness. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 229(3), 165–170.
Trinh, S. L., & Choukas-Bradley, S. (2018). “No messages needed—Just pats on the back”: Exploring young men’s reports of male and female friends’ sexual communications. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 19(3), 430–438.
Wadlington, W. (2017). Review of Pragmatic existential counseling and psychotherapy: Intimacy, intuition, and the search for meaning [Review of the book Pragmatic existential counseling and psychotherapy: Intimacy, intuition, and the search for meaning, by J. L. Shapiro]. The Humanistic Psychologist, 45(2), 183–185.
What are five roadblocks to friendship in the intimate relationship? To select and enter your answer go to Test.
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