Identifying Barriers to Intimacy
The greatest barriers to intimacy in a family start with the barriers in your marriage. It would be unreasonable to expect our children to know how to relate to each other and to us if we have difficulty relating to our spouse. (If you’re single or divorced, don’t tune out – keep reading to learn and prepare for a future marriage or second marriage.)
Start by thinking about any barriers between you and your spouse. Then address the barriers that exist with your children. Ask yourself the following questions. The answers may not come to you right away, but think about them as you move through your day. Analyze any anger, frustration, or fear that you may feel from or observe in another family member. These questions may help you to identify some existing barriers.
- Are your thoughts about your spouse often negative? If so, when and why?
(For example: “I don’t know why I ask him to do anything, he never does it.”)
- What about your thoughts toward your children?
- Do you wish your husband were different?
(For example: “My husband is so lazy, if only he were more like her husband.”)
- What about your children?
- Do you and your spouse have empathy for one another? Can you see the world through his eyes and can he through yours?
- What about empathy for your children?
- Do you and your husband enjoy sexual interaction?
- Do you and your spouse express your emotions in appropriate ways?
- What about you and your children?
- Are you waiting for or expecting your spouse to change?
- What about your children.