Ways to Build Intimacy in Relationships.

Ways to Build Intimacy in Relationships

Couple Holding Hands

Intimacy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Discover the many meanings of intimacy

What do you associate the term, “intimacy” with? Do you picture a candlelit dinner, an impassioned embrace, or a long walk on the beach? Intimacy is so much more than a purely physical or romantic moment. It’s a hard-earned mental, emotional, and physical connection with a partner.

You can be intimate over an ordered-in pizza and movie, a quick kiss goodbye, or silent car rides. It’s most often found in the little moments of comfort and closeness, so it’s important that you don’t put too much pressure on finding intimacy in grand gestures. Instead, look for it in small activities and find ways to work it into your day-to-day in order to enjoy a stronger relationship.

Talk about your physical connection

However, a big aspect of intimacy is, in fact, physical connection: hugging, holding hands, kissing, sex, and simple spatial closeness. It’s crucial that you both feel comfortable and fulfilled in this aspect of your intimate partnership in order to build your sense of intimacy in the relationship.

Be honest and open with your partner: the more you talk about desires or issues you’re having in the bedroom, the easier it will be to address them and enjoy the moment. If you keep thinking of new things you want to try, don’t hide them from your partner. Open communication is key to feeling close with your significant other and it can allow them to better understand your needs.

Ask for help where you need it

It’s also important to keep in mind that experiencing difficulty with physical intimacy is normal, especially for older couples. For example, about half of all men experience erectile dysfunction, and nearly a fifth of women face vaginal dryness. Don’t let these get in your way of physical intimacy; have a simple conversation with your doctor to learn about easy remedies. They can connect you with treatments ranging from an erectile dysfunction medication that improves male performance to a gentle personal lubricant that can make intercourse more comfortable for women.

If your interruptions are more mental, consider meeting with a therapist or discussing different ways to approach sex with your partner. There are several ways to be physically intimate that avoid traditional sex, it often just takes some creativity and understanding from a partner.

 

If you and your partner are having issues feeling emotionally intimate, consider seeking out a couple’s therapist or a marriage counselor. A professional, unbiased party can help open lines of dialogue in a relationship, pinpoint areas in need of attention, and flesh out issues that might be preventing emotional closeness.

Find common connections

It’s also important to find ways to build intimacy in other ways. Connecting with your partner about similar interests is a great way to foster closeness and rediscover your common passions. Whether that means trying out something new to both of you, or investing time in each other’s hobbies, finding these common connections will help you develop more emotional intimacy.

It could also be beneficial to use creative ways to learn more about your partner. Often, couples who are together for years begin to feel that their relationship, or even their partner, has become repetitive and uninteresting. Instead of settling into a comfortable routine with your significant other, challenge them (and yourself) with new activities or thought-provoking conversations. Consider using some interesting questions to guide your dialogue to give you some new, intimate insight into your partner and allow you to feel emotionally closer to them.

If your relationship is lacking intimacy, consider some of these ways to find closeness and rebuild passion between you and your partner.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

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Do you have friends who are fake friends?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Fake Friends?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com’

Some friendships are very conditional.

When things are going well, you’re likely to have many friends, but once things get tough, those friends disappear. When you’re throwing the party, they are there, when it comes time for the cleanup those friends have vanished. When your life is working, these friends want to be associated with you, but when times get hard, they moved on.

One article I read described these folks as “Clear weather friends.” When life is sunny, you see this person, but the first raindrop washes them away. There are many names for these people, fake friends, pretend friends, Fairweather friends, clear weather friends, unreliable friends. Underneath all their pretensions they want something from you, but they’re not willing to reciprocate.

It’s tempting to put up with these fair-weather friends thinking that without them they would have no friends. When you feel lonely, you may be tempted to settle for fair weather friends. The worst form of loneliness is caused by poor quality relationships rather than by having too few relationships. So how can you spot these fair-weather friends?

Fairweather friends are never wrong.

Their motto is “I’m right; everyone should be able to see that.” If you’re afraid to disagree with them for fear of losing a friend, that’s a fake friend. When they let you know that you must always agree with them to keep their friendship, what you have is a fake friend, not a BFF.

When problems arise, you can’t tell Fairweather friends.

Fake friends expect you to listen to all their problems, but when your troubles come they don’t want to hear about. They especially don’t want to hear when you have a problem with them. While they expect you to be empathetic toward their issues when you talk about your difficulties, their answer is, “you need to get over it.”

With Fairweather friend’s criticism is a one-way St.

Fairweather friends feel free to criticize you. They may preface the comments with the statement “I’m just being honest.” But their honesty always consists of telling you what’s wrong with you. They have no problem pointing out your every flaw. What a fake friend can’t take is anything remotely like you criticizing them.

You must always agree with fake friends.

Fake friends will tell you that “If you disagree with me about that there’s something wrong with you. I write, I know I’m right.” Rather than sympathy and understanding when challenged, they always attack. With Fairweather friends, it’s not possible to agree to disagree. They will always insist on being right and on your agreeing with as a condition of keeping their friendship.

Fake friends enjoy criticizing you.

Fairweather friends enjoy telling you what’s wrong with you. Rather than building you up, they tear you down to make themselves feel better. If you have a friend, and every time you’re with them, you come away from that visit feeling worse than when it started, good chance you’ve identified a pretend friend.

Fake friends are not empathetic.

Fairweather friends don’t want to hear about how you feel. How you feel is not important to them. They may even tell you that you shouldn’t feel that way. When you’re upset, you’re likely to hear, “Stop being so emotional.” They dismiss your feelings. But these Fairweather friends have no problem burdening you with their miseries. When it comes to conflicts, fair-weather friends will tell you, “If it upsets you, it is your problem.”

Why don’t you believe me, if I said it then it’s true?

Fake friends have the belief that if they say something, that makes it true. They expect you to believe what they say even when all the evidence contradicts their statement. They like to say, “Why don’t you believe me, would I lie to you?”

I don’t want to talk about it.

Pretend friends avoid discussing difficult topics. When problems arise in the friendship, they want to sweep everything under the rug and pretend it’s all your fault. Lack of openness is a characteristic of fake friends.

You will find related posts under – friends, Relationships, and Loneliness.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Ways to build trust.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Word trust

Trust.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

How do you build trust in a relationship?

Some relationships, particularly romantic relationships, start out full of trust and then something happens to damage that trust. If your relationship has been damaged by an affair, substance abuse, or other bad behavior, the first order of business is to repair that damage. In this situation, the reserve of good feelings has been overdrawn, and it may take some work to get the balance in your love account back to positive. For more about affairs and recovery from them from see – affairs.

Other couples may have started their relationship low on the good feelings, towards themselves and towards their partner. If you are low in self-esteem, you may not have positive feelings to give your partner. If the trust issues are issues you brought with you into the relationship working on yourself is the first step.

For couples who would like to build more connection and intimacy here are some suggestions for reducing barriers and increasing trust.

Discussing goals and values increases trust.

Spend some time talking about your values, the things that matter to you. Do this in a non-judging way. Couples can disagree about many things and still have an emotionally close relationship. Deep discussions require time and understanding. Emphasize hearing and understanding what your partner is saying rather than trying to convince them of your point of view.

If you want them to trust, you keep their secrets.

Don’t blab the things that people you are close to have told you. If you want to be trusted, your partner must know that it is safe to share their secrets with you. It may be tempting to confide those secrets to your family or your best friend. Once a secret is shared, it stops being a secret. Passing on that information will destroy trust.

Don’t keep them in the dark if you want their trust.

If things are going on in your life, keep your partner aware of them. Not knowing what’s going on and what you are doing reduces trust. Secrets hide in the dark. If you want a trusting relationship turn on the light of openness.

Keep your word. Say it, do it, and trust will grow.

To increase trust, your partner needs to know that you will keep your word. Don’t promise things you can’t or won’t do. Don’t say you will do something because that is what you would like to do. When you are not sure, tell them about your uncertainty. Don’t promise things that you can’t make come true.

Admitting that you don’t know increases trust.

If you want to be trusted, you can’t pretend to know things that you don’t. Be honest enough to admit that you don’t know. Making up an answer may seem reassuring at the time, but if that answer turns out to not be true, you have destroyed trust.

Admit when you’re wrong if you want more trust.

When you are wrong, admit it right away. Trying to hide your mistakes creates doubt and makes it harder to trust you in the future. You don’t have to always be right. It’s easier to believe someone who promptly admits it when they are wrong.

Build trust by looking for win-win solutions.

People build trust by making others feel like you’re on the same team. Couples often get caught in the vicious cycle of win or lose arguments. It’s hard to trust someone when you believe that they care more about getting what they want than about making you happy. Look for solutions where both of you benefit.

Agreeing to disagree builds trust.

Endless arguments about who’s right, destroy trust in a relationship. If you can accept that others have the right to their opinion without you feeling insecure, you can come to trust the other person even if they don’t agree with you about everything.

Having appropriate boundaries makes it easier to trust.

Good boundaries help you establish where you end, and others begin. It’s hard to trust others when you don’t feel that your wishes will be respected. Once you feel confident that others know and recognize your limits, you can be more vulnerable and trusting.

Grow your relationship in many situations to grow trust.

The more experiences you had with someone, the more you come to know them. Adding to your inventory of shared experiences helps you understand how that person will act in various situations and help you expand your mutual trust.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Ways to destroy your relationship.

By David Joel Miller.

Couple not talking

Unhappy relationship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Easy ways to destroy any relationship.

Every day, everywhere you go, you’re likely to meet someone who is starting a new relationship. Trouble is a lot of those relationships are destined to fail. Making a relationship succeed is hard work. Creating a troubled relationship, one that is doomed to fail, is more natural than maintaining your relationship. Here are some things you may be doing that are destined to sabotage your relationships.

Expecting perfection sabotages relationships.

If you expect people in your life, particularly your romantic partner to never let you down you’re asking for perfection. Since no one is perfect, that expectation guarantees that your partner will disappoint you. People in healthy relationships accept each other’s imperfections and don’t expect more out of their partner than they expect out of themselves.

Never trusting anyone will sabotage your relationship.

It’s hard to have a close relationship with someone you don’t trust. Continually checking up on your partner is a way to sabotage that relationship. Lack of trust in relationships usually stems from unresolved issues we have before we ever enter those relationships. Trust is something that develops over time in a relationship.

Being disrespectful harms relationships.

Treating your partner disrespectfully drives them away. Contempt, harsh words and criticism are the poisons which destroyed relationships.

Insist they change to be like you.

Healthy relationships create room for people to grow. Constant criticism and the insistence that your partner needs to change conveys the message that the way they are is not okay. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t think they are satisfactory.

Focusing on anything but your relationship starves that relationship.

Many couples have so many outside interests that they never have time to spend together. Relationships require maintenance and to do that maintenance you need to put in the time.

Minimize your time together, and your relationship is out of time.

What couples first get together they want to be together every minute of every day. Troubled relationships are characterized by a lack of shared experiences. If you go out of your way to avoid your partner your relationship is doomed.

Avoid communicating, and your relationship becomes distant.

Stonewalling, avoiding talking about problems, creates distance between the two of you. Two kinds of communication destroy relationships, not communicating about things that require discussion and excessively communicating all the negative thoughts and feelings you have about your partner.

Keeping as many secrets as possible leaves your relationship in the dark.

Relationships are like being on a team. Well-functioning teams communicate. When you are keeping secrets from each other trust, and the good feelings erode. We are not talking about the kind of secrets that come with Christmas and birthdays. Those are secrets that you plan to reveal at the proper time. The harmful secrets, the things you keep from your partner which you know they would not approve of, if they found out will damage the relationship.

Hide your spending, lie about finances and the relationship will go broke.

Your partner’s future depends on both the emotional and financial health of your relationship. Hiding your spending or misleading your partner about the state of your finances put you on opposing sides in life struggle. Eventually, your partner will find out about your spending or the state of your finances. If your withholding information jeopardizes their financial security, your behavior has put the relationship in jeopardy. Dishonesty is not only the things you tell people which are false but also includes the things you had a duty to tell them but didn’t.

Don’t plan for a future together and your relationship won’t have a future.

Couples with healthy relationships have planned a future together. Those plans may change over time when couples revise them jointly. But if you are planning for a future after your relationship, you are already planning for the end of your relationship.

Thinking your love is so solid you will not have problems.

The things you don’t talk about at the beginning of a relationship go on to become the major problems later. Believing that you don’t have to discuss things because you’re in love sets up significant misunderstandings. Relationships require maintenance. That initial amount of love you have for each other will not take you very far if you don’t continue to communicate and resolve issues.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

What loneliness is trying to tell you?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Lonely person

Loneliness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

There is more than one type of loneliness.

As many as one in five people may be experiencing harmful Loneliness. Like other emotions, loneliness can sometimes be a good thing and other times be a significant emotional disturbance. Recently researchers examined harmful loneliness, its impact on psychological health and its connection with early childhood trauma.

Loneliness is not one of those disorders for which we have a test. The only way to measure loneliness is by personal report. While loneliness can cause significant mental health issues, the way the professional knows the client is lonely is when the client says they are lonely.

People who are low in loneliness.

Some people report little or no Loneliness. These people are generally satisfied with both the quality of their relationships and the quantitative of relationships they have. In a survey of the general population, close to 60% of people reported that they rarely felt lonely.

Social loneliness is a result of not enough personal contact.

Approximately 8% of people report having social loneliness. They are satisfied with the quality of the relationships they do have but feel they don’t have enough close relationships. Social loneliness is sometimes seen as a helpful thing. It tells you that you don’t have enough contact with other people and you need to expand your social circle.

Emotional loneliness is the result of poor-quality relationships.

Approximately 25% of people report being emotionally lonely.  They have enough friendships and other social relationships but are frequently dissatisfied with the quality of their close relationships. How supportive your close relationships are, determines whether feelings of loneliness may result in emotional issues.

Some people are both socially and emotionally lonely.

About one in eight people report that they are unhappy with their close relationships and that they also do not have enough friendships and other social relations. People with both types of loneliness are also more likely to have been the victims of trauma and to report Trust issues.

Who suffers the most from loneliness?

A little more than half the people in one survey reported that they were rarely lonely. They were neither socially nor emotionally isolated and lonely. Loneliness had the least impact on these people.

People who had good close relationships, but not enough social contact were slightly bothered by their loneliness. People who had social relationships but were unhappy with their close personal friendship were more likely to suffer from the ill effects of loneliness. Those people who were most likely to report suffering because of their loneliness were those who are both socially and emotionally lonely.

People who were either emotionally lonely or both socially and emotionally lonely are much more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and were more likely to have another emotional disorder. People who had been the victim of an early childhood trauma were far more likely to report poor quality personal relationships and resulting emotional loneliness.

Having high quality close emotional relationships is most likely to buffer someone from the ill effects of loneliness. Not feeling close to your romantic partner or your family is most likely to create the kind of negative loneliness that is harmful to your mental health.

If you are bothered by loneliness, ask yourself whether it is the result of too few friendships or not feeling close to your partner or family. Improving the quality of the relationships you do have is most likely to reduce your loneliness. If loneliness is dragging you down, consider getting professional help. Professional counseling can help you improve your part of the relationship and couples, or family counseling may help improve your close relationships.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Are you having an Emotional Affair?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Emotional Affair

Emotional Affair.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Emotional affairs may be more common than we realized.

Many couples who come for relationship or marriage counseling have been arguing about the nature of one of the partner’s interactions with another person. Almost every client I’ve worked with who was in a relationship would agree that engaging in sex with someone other than their partner qualifies as an affair. What they don’t always agree about is whether a relationship with a third party has crossed the line and become an emotional affair.

It’s probably more common for women to become concerned that their partner’s friendship with another woman has become an emotional affair. Men are likely to dismiss these relationships as simply friendships and not having been an affair, so long as actual intercourse has not taken place.

Developing an overly close friendship with someone other than your romantic partner can damage a relationship. Here are some of the signs that your friendship has turned into an emotional affair.

Do you sometimes think about the “other” when talking to your spouse?

Having become so close to another person that during conversations with your spouse you are imagining what that other person would say or feel. This is a strong indication that they have him become more important to you and your spouse.

Do you, even a bit, wish your mate was more like someone else?

If you come to idealize the “other.” If you are thinking they are preferable to your mate or that they would be a better partner, this is likely to damage your relationship with your mate. Comparing your partner to others and wishing they were more like someone else is an early sign of an emotional affair in the making.

Do you imagine what you’d do if free to pursue someone else?

Daydreaming about what it would be like to be with that “other” suggests you’re already establishing an emotional relationship with them. The more you fantasize about being with the other, romanticize the possibility of starting a new relationship, the more you’re likely to withdraw from your current relationship. Even if you don’t leave your partner, imagining being with somebody else distances you from your partner.

Does your present lover know the stranger exists?

One key characteristic of emotional affairs is the need to hide your relationship with this other person from your primary partner. If you must keep secrets, those secrets are reducing your emotional closeness with your current partner.

What do you imagine your mate would think if he/she overheard you talking with this special person or read your email?

Having secrets that you share with the “other” and then being concerned about what your partner would think if they knew about this conversation suggest your relationship with this other person is inappropriate. Having to keep secrets from your partner is damaging to a relationship.

Does the arrival of a new message give you a rush?

You remember the rush of excitement you used to feel when you were first starting your relationship with your current partner? If messages from your “friend” start to give you that same rush of excitement, you are moving dangerously close to turning that friendship into an affair.

Can you sense the “sex of things” even if you haven’t acted on it?

Have you ever felt a craving for something? Remember how hard it is to say no to that temptation? If you are starting to feel those sexual attractions when you’re around your friend you’ve moved into a high-risk area. Even if you never actually engage in physical sex your friendship has become a source of mental and sexual stimulation and is becoming an emotional affair.

Do you lie to disguise any aspect of the new relationship?

If you have to tell your partner lies to facilitate or maintain your relationship with the “other,” this is a clear sign that relationship is turning into an emotional affair.

Is the mental and emotional space devoted to the stranger enlarging?

The larger a role this stranger plays in your life, the riskier the relationship is becoming. When the mental and emotional space the “other” occupies begins to exceed the space in your life taken up by your current partner, you’ve arrived at an emotional affair.

Do you engage in secret phone calls with the other?

Engaging in secret communications, phone calls, texts or emails, which you don’t want your partner to find out about, says this is an affair.

Have you arranged meetings in a park, coffee shop, restaurant or the like?

Do you and this “friend” have to arrange secret meetings away from other people? Do you have to be dishonest with your partner about when and where you’re meeting this other? It sounds like your friend has become more than a friend.

Do you share confidences not offered to your spouse?

One of the most damaging aspects of an emotional affair is when you begin to share confidences with your friend which should have been reserved only for your partner. Lack of loyalty to your spouse or making your friend your primary loyalty, are incredibly damaging to your current relationship.

Is your sexual desire for your mate now smaller than before you became preoccupied?

If your relationship with your friend has resulted in less sexual desire for your mate, it’s damaging the relationship. If your new friend reduces your desire to be emotionally close to your partner, or if your interest in spending time with your partner has declined, then your friend is taking on an increasingly more significant role in your life.

Are photo exchanges part of your new, hidden life?

Exchanging photos, particularly those which make you look attractive, or sexually explicit photos is often the last stop on the trail which turns an emotional affair into an actual physical one.

So, what do you think? How many of the signs of an emotional affair do you see in your friendship? How many of these signs of an emotional affair do you see, or suspect, are part of your spouse’s relationship with a “friend?”

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

When should you stop trusting?

By David Joel Miller MS Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Trust sign.

Trust.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Have you continued to trust when you shouldn’t?

Trust issues commonly are of two types, being afraid to trust anyone when you really need to or continuing to trust people even when you shouldn’t. Not being able to trust when you should, can damage your relationships and leave you isolated and lonely. Trusting the wrong people, trusting too much, or continuing to trust someone who has harmed you in the past can cause you a lot of pain and suffering.

Every relationship whether it’s romantic, work related, or a casual social interaction begins with an initial level of trust. How high your trust is, initially depends on your personality and your past experiences. Based on your experiences with a person you begin to either trust them more or less.

Many people with trust issues confuse trust with power and control. It’s not trust if you control what they do or if you watch them constantly. If you must check up on them, that’s not trust.

What are the warning signs that you are trusting too much? When are the times you should stop trusting?

When the risks are high, you should trust less.

Lending someone a pen, is probably no big deal. If they don’t return it, you can buy another one pretty inexpensive. Lending that same person $20 is a little riskier. When them a thousand dollars and it could destroy your friendship. When a friend owes you something and can’t repay it, you lose not only the money but a friend, who is now embarrassed to see you and have to say they can’t afford to pay you back.

When your gut tells you, something is wrong.

Feelings are valuable sources of information. If you have this uneasy feeling, you shouldn’t trust some listen to your intuition. Feelings are not always right. Just because something scares you does not make it dangerous. When something doesn’t feel right, you need to proceed cautiously.

Trust weakens when their behavior changes.

Trust usually develops over time in a relationship. You trust someone you know more than you should trust someone you have just met. Someone you have known for a while begins to act differently pay attention.

Trust less when they are hiding something.

Whether it’s a romantic relationship or friendship when you discover a person is hiding things from you, be cautious about trusting them. People who are behaving honestly, don’t need to hide anything.

When they are unreliable at the small things, do not trust them with big things.

If someone is habitually late, says they will do something but doesn’t, be very careful trusting them. It’s easy to make excuses for people who let you down in small ways. Don’t make the mistake of trusting someone who is unreliable in small things with something that is important to you in a big way.

When they have been untrustworthy before, trust less.

People commonly behave consistently. When someone has hurt you before, anticipate they are likely to do it again.

When they are evasive and withhold information do not trust them.

Being evasive suggests this person doesn’t trust you or that they have something to hide. If they are leaving out part of the story, you should not trust them.

You ask for something they can’t or won’t do.

When you ask someone to do something for you, think for a minute about the nature of your request. If you’ve asked for something they can’t do, and you expect them to do it, that unreasonable request is creating your trust issues. When someone has told you no, pay attention.

The longer you have known someone, the more you expect from them.

To increase trust, you need to know more about them. It’s unreasonable to put a lot of trust in someone you have just met.

When they have mixed motives, trust less. It’s easier to trust in win-win situations. You should be more careful about trusting when their interests and yours do not coincide.

When their main goal is to get something from you, trust sparingly.

You should reduce your level of trust for someone if you find out that their main interest is in selling you something. In romantic relationships, it is important to identify when that other person is only interested in sex or wants you to pay for something, after which they don’t show interest in continuing to see you.

Look here more on the topic of trust.

David Joel Miller MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.)  Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Sasquatch.

Wandering through a hole in time they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time but the Sasquatch wants to kill them.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.