The Pressure of Intimacy Can Trigger Big Reactions

Having worked as a psychotherapist offering couples therapy for years, and having been in a long term, committed relationship for a few decades myself, I know what intimacy can dredge up in us.  Actually, it is fine, so long as it stays healthy.  It is when we can’t reflect and learn and grow from the pressure and reactivity that it can eventually cause a rift that is very difficult to heal.

For myself, I have always sought out support for the conflicts that sharing a life with another person can bring up.  Old family of origin patterns are the basis of our reactivity, combined with the pressure that life puts on us.  Add to that illness, financial challenges, environmental concerns, mental, emotional and physical vulnerability and it is no wonder why at times we react the way we do.

In a recent conversation with someone who does regular Neuroptimal® Neurofeedback brain training sessions, while speaking about the couple process, he shared very eloquently about his personal experience of being in a long term relationship and was able to beautifully express what he noticed since he has been doing this unique form of brain training.

Here it is:

“Since beginning Neuroptimal, the space between first beginning an energy charged interaction with my partner and when a reactive emotion arises has widened. Decades of meditation certainly helps, but Neuroptimal has added a significant factor of increased clarity to this space. In that space, the underlying or initiating emotions have become visible. Before the anger there is often fear or sadness.  Energizing the fear and sadness (there) is always caring. I have yet to see an emotion arise that is related to something that I do not deeply care about. The more deeply I care, the more intense the emotion. This occurs both for positive and negative emotions.
Within the space between the deep caring and the resultant reactive emotion, I can make a choice. I can choose to focus my attention on the underlying or the resultant reactive emotion. When I choose the underlying deep caring, the true causes of my emotional reaction to the situation become clear. This clarity is a game changer. Speaking and interacting from here, opportunities for healing and closer relationship become possible as the truth of why I am emoting is in the foreground not the background.
Further, my heart energy, and the wisdom that comes with it, is now engaged; which brings compassion and love to the interaction. My spouse of forty years sees, hears and feels the difference. We have become closer as the result.  Of course sometimes the reactive emotion has already taken off and all this must be seen in reflection. Even then the follow up with her has become much more authentic, meaningful and helpful.
Thank you for the opportunity to express this and gain clarity in the process. And as always, deep gratitude for Neuroptimal.”