In relationships there is a constant balancing of the needs of each individual with the needs of the relationship. This push for independence while at the same time wanting to be connected is what makes relationships such a challenge. Additionally, each person brings a rich history of life experiences with expectations of how life together should work.

You can see here how important communication is in order to make a couple relationship work. We have been in many different relationships all our life. Especially significant have been the relationships we had growing up. From the adults in our lives we learned about what mothers and fathers, wives and husbands are like. We also learned which feelings we could openly acknowledge and which had to be kept to ourselves.

I have found that most people as adults have to revisit the conclusions they formed. For instance, a person who learned to avoid conflict will avoid speaking up when he/she really disagrees. The result is that the partner does not know the real feelings of the conflict adverse spouse. Consequently, as a couple, they can not talk about the disagreement and come up with solutions that truly reflect each person’s feelings and thinking.

I would like to see people unlearn patterns of communication that get in their way of being able to relate authentically. The freedom that comes from being able to speak honestly and listen in order to really hear is what creates intimacy. Fortunately as adults we can learn effective ways of communicating that will enhance our relationships. Intimacy grows when each person is in charge of self and both feel that their lives are enriched by growing together.