I’m going to talk about the fear of intimacy. Now many of us have been hurt in a relationship, so being in a relationship can be scary business, which can be completely normal.

For some of us, though, we’ve been hurt to such an extent that we could even be in a healthy marriage and we end up pushing people away at some point and time, whether it’s six months, a year, or every two years.

And deep down inside, the root of this is oftentimes fear of betrayal, fear of abandonment or fear of rejection. And somewhere along the line, we have been hurt. Maybe when we were children, there was a divorce or a parent abandoned us at some level. As adults, we’ve been betrayed; we’ve been hurt – and sometimes to such an extent that it makes it very difficult for us to have our hearts opened to another person.

Now, this is something that can be healed and it requires a couple of things. One is that you need to be vulnerable. You need to have your heart opened with somebody in order to get to know them.

However, the part that most of us have a difficult time doing is learning how to take care of ourselves in the process of doing that. For instance, if you’re dating, you need to be more discerning. Figure out what is healthy, what isn’t healthy; what is safe, what isn’t safe and be more careful when you meet somebody. Be willing to say no to somebody, even if a lot of other things look really good.

You might be in a long-term marriage and perhaps someone isn’t treating you respectfully or treating you well. Do something about that. Make a boundary. Not only ask the person to treat you well, but if they don’t, do something about it. This is you taking care of yourself.

And when you do this and you also open your heart, you’re willing to take risks in a relationship. But not the kind of risks where you just open your heart and hope someone doesn’t hurt you. You actually get to know somebody slowly over time. And each time that they earn your trust, you get to deepen and open your heart further. And this is called having a healthy relationship.

This is also what leads you to having a long, lasting, loving relationship, which deep down inside we’re all really wanting to have. I wish this for you. And I hope this helps. Thank you so much

By Sevin Philips MFT