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Depression and the Absence of Intimacy

Depression is not confined to the mind alone. It affects every single aspect of your lives. Prolonged depression takes its toll on your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. This sometimes leads to problems in personal relationships and the one that takes the worse hit is your relationship with your partner/spouse.

Depression can cause a perfectly healthy relationship between partners to go sour. This only adds further trouble in the lives of people going through a rough patch (depression in this case), because let’s face it – a strong relationship between partners/spouses is therapeutic. It is a source of love, comfort, support, and closeness.

When a person is depressed, they tend to become withdrawn. They feel lethargic and are often unable to find the energy or motivation to do even the most normal things in life – this includes sex too!

Loss of appetite, sleeplessness, loss of intimacy, mood swings, and inattentiveness are common in people with depression. Most of the times these acts make the other partner feel unloved and/or unwanted – this is where the problem begins – this is where relationships begin crumbling.

Depression and Intimacy

Depression tends to upset the routine systems and functions of your body, either slowing them down or displacing them. This impact is most vivid in the case of sleep. You might have noticed how a person with depression has trouble with sleep – either they sleep too less or too much – in each case, sleep is invariably disrupted.

Similar is the case with intimacy and sex. Having sex requires good co-ordination, spontaneity, and most importantly – it requires energy – lots and lots of energy. Unfortunately, people suffering from depression aren’t really up for things that require “too much effort”, which is why intimacy between couples is the first thing hit by adversity.

Depressed men experience a loss of libido and may even face problems with getting an erection. Women on the other hand, lose their interest in sex and have trouble reaching an orgasm.

The good thing is that these problems disappear when one starts improving their condition. As depression wears off, people may find their interest in sex renewed, which happens to be one of the first signs of recovery.

Through couples’ therapy, we at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling can help you overcome depression and bring back intimacy to your relationship. After all, everyone deserves to be happy in life.

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3 Elements of Trust: Marriage Advice for a Healthy and Fulfilling Relationship

An intimate relationship should be based on trust. In a healthy marriage, the couple makes the deliberate effort to cherish and adore each other on an ongoing basis. Each partner makes the other feel they are “the special one” by physical and verbal affection. However, for this dynamic of mutual cherishing and nurturing to be possible, the intimate relationship should be a sanctuary with trust and respect as its base and foundation.

There are 3 main types of roadblocks couples often face when trying to create long-term intimacy. Many couples have difficulties with these and seek marriage help/counseling and couples therapy when they find themselves having a hard time trusting each other despite good intentions.

  1. Reflexive Mistrust: If you often have a hard time trusting others, “mistrust” is a recurring theme in your life. Most likely, it has something to do with you and your life experiences. Mistrust could be a generational theme passed down from grandparents or parents, or ill treatment you may have received in your childhood. Our body and our mind remember the pain and the hurt. When in love, all these memories of other close relationships are triggered and it can strongly impact how you see and treat your partner.
  2. Healthy Judgment: In order to trust others we first need to have trust in our own ability to form a healthy sense of judgment. We need to be able to trust our gut and feel our inner body messages. To have a healthy sense of trust, we can’t just rely on our mind and our thoughts. We need both the inner and outer messages. We need both: gut and heart messages and our analytical mind that together, can accurately assess the facts and the realities we are in.
  3. Patience and Effort: Trust grows and therefore requires time to build. In order to trust we need to get to know one another in different settings and situations. We need time to observe not only our partner but also our own reactions and behavior related to our partner in various situations. It is vitally important that during times of conflict we approach our partner with the intention to resolve fights and misunderstandings instead of blaming, hurting, and finger pointing. It is important to see the positive intent of our partners despite their missteps and mistakes. You must keep in mind that no matter how hurt you may feel, your partner is worthy of trust rather than calling their integrity in question whenever you are upset.

 

Trust and intimacy are key for lasting, fulfilling relationships. The process of building trust requires frequent self-reflection, self-assessment, and nurturing in order to grow and sustain, and couples who put in the effort reap great rewards as the relationship grows and deepens.

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