Trust is a fragile flower

Early in a romantic relationship, our emotional and sexual attraction is often strong. We may be baffled about why it fades over time, perhaps concluding that this isn’t the right partner. Our dissatisfaction and confusion may prompt us to end the relationship or stray mindlessly into an affair.

One reason that our attraction may diminish is the loss of emotional safety and connection. Trust is a fragile flower. It takes time to build and is easily damaged. If we receive a steady dose of being blamed or shamed rather than respected and cherished, our tender heart is likely to go into hiding to protect our vulnerable self.

We might think we should be stronger and just let things roll off our backs. And in fact, it may help to explore whether we’re taking things too personally, losing perspective, or feeling overly offended by light-hearted teasing. But hurtful teasing or shaming that poke our partner’s tender spots are likely to push him or her away, thereby frustrating our desire to connect.

An erosion of emotional, sexual, or spiritual intimacy can be caused by many factors. A good starting point for unraveling this mystery may be to explore your possible contribution to the situation. Are you experiencing unmet needs or vulnerable feelings such as hurt, fear, or shame that you are acting-out indirectly rather than expressing in a non-blaming, mature way?