We sometimes get intimacy confused with something else. That something else is called many things. Maybe you know it as: validation, confirming world views, agreeing on beliefs, seeing eye to eye, echo chamber, on the same page, part of a tribe, or like minded people.
We all love external confirmation of our ideas and beliefs. It feels good.
We like to feel understood and seen and validated.
We think – I must be right if they agree with me on this.
We are justified in our view point.
It feels safe.
However, in seeking external validation we often neglect intimacy. When we neglect intimacy our relationships suffer and we wonder why we feel so disconnected. We think it is our different beliefs. Its not that, it is really the lack of intimacy.
Sometimes church (or work or kids or the house) and all its busyness, creates a familiarity that can feel like intimacy but it is really just another form of external validation.
However couples in this pattern do not often go deep in theirconversations.The familiar and the comfort sometimes keep relationships on the surface.
A faith transition often changes the familiar and challenges everyone’s comfort. At first it may feel terrible and like a huge problem to the relationship. The validation is gone. The agreement is gone. The confirmation of beliefs is gone.
This also opens the door wide for intimacy.
Intimacy is a deep connection based that includes emotional connection, vulnerability and openness.
Real intimacy and real respect – the kind that feeds our soul – is born out of seeing things differently and not making it a problem. Real intimacy means not judging the other person for having a different belief and not getting upset that they are not validating our ideology.
It also creates a safety and a marriage container that are AMAZING. This container is not conditional, it is not circumstantial. It are deep and true and beautiful.
This takes work.
This is a lot of the work I do with my clients. It is not our natural tendency. But to really allow the other person to be who they are is a powerful way to build intimacy. Familiarity creates comfort. Intimacy comes from connecting on a deeper level. When there are differing beliefs AND acceptance AND respect then intimacy is achieved and that is more connectingand fulfillingthan just about anything.
Are you ready to step into intimacy? Are you ready to do the work and create a marriage built on intimacy and not just similarity? It is time we talk.