of meaningfulness and intensity.
It may start with self disclosure of unimportant or impersonal facts.
As the importance of what we are disclosing increases,
intimacy becomes more meaningful
---and anxiety provoking.
How important the listener is to our lives has a similar impact:
the more important the audience,
the more intimate the encounter seems.
Intimacy challenges your sense of self.
Profound adult intimacy isn't like "mother's milk."
---it's the last thing we want when we feel insecure
and, ironically the first thing we seek.
Intimacy is no refuge when
couples are emotionally worn out and hungry.
It is inevitable and necessary that intimacy occur
without trust and affirmation from your partner.
Other-validated intimacy is nice when you can get it.
When you cannot,
you can attempt to rise to the occasion
and validate yourself.
Trying --- and succeeding ---
to validate yourself when your partner doesn't validate you
isn't as improbable as it might seem.
Intimacy involves your relationship with yourself
as well as your relationship with your partner.
If you are strong enough (sufficiently differentiated)
to master your own anxieties
and maintain your position,
you will feel better about yourself.
This is self-validated intimacy
which is part of the process in increasing your differentiation.
In other words, it's a circular process,
differentiation is both the basis for,
and result of, self-validated intimacy.
is the means to two ends:
Becoming more of a person
and developing a
more resilient relationship.
Passionate Marriage - David Schnarch, Ph.D.