Why is it that the relationships we care about most – those with our intimate partners – often seem doomed to fail? Why do we feel compelled to punish those closest to us who love and appreciate our real qualities? In Fear of Intimacy, the authors bring almost 40 years of clinical experience to bear in challenging the usual ways of thinking about couples and families.
The ultimate source of happiness or misery
Interpersonal relationships are the ultimate source of happiness or misery; love has the potential to generate intense pleasure and fullfillment or produce considerable pain and suffering. Our basic sense of self is formed originally in a relationship constellation that predisposes our attitudes toward ourselves, others, and the world at large. Our feelings about life are developed in the context of a close attachment with a parent, parents, or other significant people in the early years.
Learning how to love
The ideal combination of loving companionship and sexual contact in a long lasting relationship is conducive to good mental and physical health and is an essential goal for most people. In our opinion, love is the one force that is capable of easing existential despair and the endemic pain of the human condition.
We feel that to develop emotionally as well as spiritually, one needs to learn how to love, to continue to search for love throughout life, and to remain positive, not become cynical or despairing when love fails.
Having ‘a fear of intimacy’ is considered a great sin, but it’s a very natural one, which deserves sympathy and understanding. Watch this movie of The School of Life: