5. Finding yourself feeling excessively critical and judgmental of your partner.
6. A pervasive sense of grievance and an unwillingness to express your concerns to your partner.
7. Frequently finding reasons and justifications to excuse disrespectful words or actions on the part of your partner.
8. Feeling increasingly disinclined to give affection and care to your partner.
9. Withholding feelings that are relevant to the relationship such as disappointment, resentment, appreciation, or gratitude.
10. Frequently talking to others about relationship problems rather than expressing them directly to your partner.
The earlier you detect and respond to these indicators, the sooner you can restore a higher level of goodwill and good faith back into your relationship.
Part two of this blog will identify the steps that couples can take to repair the damage that may have been caused by IDD and describe how this crisis can ultimately be the source of motivation and intentionality to co-create a relationship that exceeds each partner’s initial hopes and expectations. Stay tuned!
Six steps to reverse IDD.
IDD (Intimacy Deficiency Disorder) is an insidious relationship-threatening condition that if unaddressed can undermine and severely damage even the most loving partnerships. In part one we identified the most prevalent symptoms of IDD that manifest themselves in relationships. In this blog, we will offer six steps that you can take to neutralize the damaging effects of IDD and restore love, trust, and goodwill to your relationship.
Create agreement with your partner to find a good time and place (without distractions and interruptions) to have a conversation in which you can talk about some concerns that you have regarding your relationship. (Hint: It’s a good idea NOT to begin with the words: “We need to talk.”). If your partner resists or states that he or she doesn’t have the time, reassure them that this really means a lot to you, that you consider it a high priority, and that you’ll do whatever needs to be done to make it possible for both of you to find the time. Let your partner know that you want to talk about ways in which you can both take steps to enhance the quality of your connection. The emphasis here is on the “both” part. Make sure that you minimize or avoid use of the “Y” word (“you”).
Note: A few minutes obviously will not be enough time for most couples to completely come to terms with unresolved issues, but if things go well in this conversation, there will be more opportunities for future talks.
Express, without judgment or blame, the nature of your desire to bring greater closeness and intimacy into your relationship and acknowledge that you have played a part in the diminishment of closeness between the two of you.
Get honest about how you have not been clear and truthful about your concerns, desires, or grievances and acknowledge why you haven’t been more direct, if this is the case. Again, express this without blame or accusation.
Affirm your love for your partner and your desire to do whatever you can do to support them in joining you in this commitment.
Encourage your partner to express their point of view and listen respectfully without interrupting them or “clarifying” what they have said. If you don’t agree with their perspective, don’t argue, but thank them for sharing their thoughts and feelings and express a desire to find some common ground in which you can both feel understood and respected.