The bond between Fuller and his wife, Anne, was strong, so much so that many people commented on how in love they seemed to be. After being left alone for some time with his wife, his children re-entered the room to find Fuller in the same position. Fuller had passed away, and within hours, Anne would join him. The idea that two people, who have loved each other for more than half a century, could transition from this life at the same time especially when one of them is perfectly healthy , is not a coincidence. There are many of these stories. To me, they are the truest and most beautiful examples of intimacy, where two people really have become one.
There is a wonderful scientific principle that demonstrates this idea perfectly. Automaker, Henry Ford, was looking to create a new method to document the measurements for the manufacture of auto parts in a way that was far more precise than anything available in the late 19th century.
These ceramic or metal measuring blocks are precision-ground to such a fine degree that there are absolutely no irregularities on their perfectly straight surfaces. Because of this, they can detect length differences as small as one ten-thousandth of an inch. To measure various lengths, the blocks cannot simply be placed one on top of the other. They have to be slid together. When this happens, there is less than one molecule of atmosphere between their ultra-flat, perfectly smooth surfaces! They are two and yet one at the same time. Measurements with gauge blocks need to be made quickly because the atoms within them are now in critical proximity.
That means in a very short period of time, they will coalesce into one single piece of metal or ceramic. This is what it means to grind off all our misunderstandings, misidentifications and misinterpretations, and coalesce with God by returning to our essence. If we are to achieve this kind of intimacy in our relationships and have less than a molecule of atmosphere between our spirits, we must be able to achieve that on our own first.
Because God is everywhere and in all things, you can choose to coalesce with God consciousness in many ways. We often lose ourselves in a beautiful walk in nature, during meditation, while dancing, or listening to music. As the ancient poet, Rumi said, it is in these moments that we remove all that is not loving about ourselves and converge with God, which is only love. The spiritual work we do on ourselves is the polish we place on the surface of our souls that will allow us to coalesce back into our loving essence, back into God and into the divinely satisfying intimate relationship with each other that we all crave.
Why do these amazing stories about couples like Buckminster Fuller and his wife, Anne, always seem like the exception rather than the rule when it comes to relationships? While writing this article, I was looking through a thesaurus for synonyms for the word intimacy. I found words like understanding, closeness, caring, affection, tenderness, and warmth.
The movie explores questions such as - how far can sex alone can take a relationship; and do words add to or detract from love? Another theme is that of role playing, on the stage and in life. Both Fox and Rylance are superb in their scenes together; and Timothy Spall is excellent as Claire's talkative, down-to-earth husband. Some sequences, particularly those involving Jay's friend Victor Alastair Galbraith and gay French barman Ian Philippe Calvario , seem simply to be padding. Possibly, Chereau felt the need to insert personalities and scenes from Kureishi's books, even though these were not relevant to the central Claire-Jay situation.
Finally, yes, the over-hyped explicit sex is necessary for the movie to work. Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! Share this Rating Title: Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin.
User Polls Best of C. Learn more More Like This. Anatomy of Hell Blanca Lewin, Gonzalo Valenzuela. Don't Look Down Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Susan, Jay's wife Alastair Galbraith Bar owner Robert Addie Bar owner Deborah McLaren Student at the drama school Rebecca Palmer Pam, girl in squat Greg Sheffield Within this framework, couples today must provide for each other more of the emotional needs that a larger community used to furnish.
Compounding the wide-scale deprivation of intimacy we actually experience, our cultural talent for commercialization has separated out sex from intimacy. In fact, intimacy involves both emotional and physical closeness and openness. But we wind up confusing the two and end up feeling betrayed or used when, as often happens, we fail to satisfy our need for closeness in sex. Shifts in our general views about what makes life worth living have also contributed to a new demand for intimacy. For many generations the answer lay in a productive life of work and service in which the reward of happiness would be ours, in Heaven.
That belief has broken down. People want happiness here and now. And they want it most in their intimate relationships. Here, it's clear, we are unlikely to find it easily.
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Couples today are struggling with something new--to build relationships based on genuine feelings of equality. As a result, we are without role models for the very relationships we need. And rare were the parents who modeled intimacy for us; most were too busy struggling with survival requirements. Yet the quality of our closest relationships is often what gives life its primary meaning. Intimacy, I have come to believe, is not just a psychological fad, a rallying cry of contemporary couples.
It is based on a deep biological need. Shortly after I began my career as a family therapist I was working in a residential treatment center where troubled teenage boys were sent by the courts. Through my work I began to discover what had been missing for these kids: They needed support and affection, the opportunity to express the range and intensity of their emotions.
It was remarkable to discover their depth of need, their depth of pain over the lack of empathy from significant people in their lives. It is only in the last 20 years that we recognize that infants need to be held and touched. We know that they cannot grow--they literally fail to thrive--unless they experience physical and emotional closeness with another human being. What we often don't realize is that that need for connection never goes away. It goes on throughout life. And in its absence, symptoms develop--from the angry acting out of the adolescent boys I saw, to depression , addiction , and illness.
In fact, researchers are just at the very beginning of understanding the relationship of widespread depression among women to problems in their marriages. When I brought the boys together with their families, through processes I had not learned about in graduate school, it transformed the therapy. For the adolescent boys, their problems were typically rooted in the often-troubled relationships between their parents.
They lacked the nurturing environment they needed for healthy growth. What I realized was that to help the children I first had to help their parents. So I began to shift my focus to adults. From my work in closely observing the interactions of hundreds of couples, I have come to recognize that most of what goes wrong in a relationship stems from hurt feelings.
The disappointment couples experience is based on misunderstanding and misperception. We choose a partner hoping for a source of affection, love, and support, and, more than ever, a best friend. Finding such a partner is a wonderful and ecstatic experience--the stage of illusion in relationships, it has been called. To use this conceit, there then sets in the state of disillusion.
Intimacy: The Art of Relationships | Psychology Today
We somehow don't get all that we had hoped for. He didn't do it just right. She didn't welcome you home; she was too busy with something else; maybe she didn't even look up. But we don't have the skills to work out the disappointments that occur. The disappointments big and little then determine the future course of the relationship. If first there is illusion, and then disillusion, what follows is confusion. There is a great deal of unhappiness as each partner struggles to get the relationship to be what each of them needs or wants it to be.
One partner will be telling the other what to do. One may be placating in the expectation that he or she will eventually be rewarded by the other. Each partner uses his or her own familiar personal communication style. Over the disappointment, the partners erect defenses against each other. They become guarded with each other. They stop confiding in each other. They wall off parts of themselves and withdraw emotionally from the relationship, often into other activities--or other relationships.
They can't talk without blaming, so they stop listening. They maybe afraid that the relationship will never change but may not even know what they are afraid of There is so much chaos that there is usually despair and depression. One partner may actually leave.
The What and How of True Intimacy
Both may decide to stay with it but can't function. They live together in an emotional divorce. Over the years of working with couples, I have developed an effective way to help them arrive at a relationship they can both be happy with. I may not offer them therapy.
I find that what couples need is part education in a set of skills and part exploration of experience that aims to resolve the difficulties couples trip over in their private lives. Experience has demonstrated to me that the causes of behavior and human experience a complex and include elements that are biological, psychological, social, contextual, and even spiritual.
No single theory explains the intricate dynamics of two individuals interacting over time to meet all their needs as individuals and as a couple. So without respect to theoretical coherence I have drawn from almost every perspective in the realm of psychology--from psychodynamics to family systems, communication theory and social learning theory , from behavior therapy to object relations.
It is taught to small groups of couples in a four-month-long course in various parts of the United States and now in 13 countries. There are no specific theories to explain why the course works. In time that will come, as researchers pinpoint exactly which cognitive , behavioral, and experiential elements and when and for whom are most responsible for which types of change.
Nevertheless I, my associates, and increasing numbers of graduate students have gathered, and are gathering, evidence that it powerfully, positively influences marital interaction and satisfaction. Studies of men and women before and after taking the course show that it reduces anger and anxiety, two of the most actively subversive forces in relationships. Once they have taken the course there is a marked reduction in this state of anger and anxiety. What is most notable is that there is also a reduction in the personality trait of anger, which is ordinarily considered resistant to change.
Learning the skills of intimacy--of emotional and physical closeness--has a truly powerful effect on people. We also see change in measurements of marital happiness, such as the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Tests administered before the course show that we are seeing a range of couples from the least to the most distressed. And we are getting significant levels of change among every category of couple. It is no secret that most attempts at therapy produce little or no change among the most distressed couples. Perhaps it's because what we are doing is not in the form of therapy at all, although its effects are therapeutic.
In addition to improvement in many dimensions of the relationship, achieving intimacy bolsters the self-worth of both partners. Love is a feeling. Marriage , on the other hand, is a contract--an invisible contract. Both partners bring to it expectations about what they want and don't want, what they're willing to give and not willing to give.
Most often, those are out of awareness. Most marriage partners don't even know they expected something until they realize that they're not getting it.
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The past is very much present in all relationships. All expectations in relationships are conditioned by our previous experience. It may simply be the nature of learning, but things that happen in the present are assimilated by means of what has happened in the past. This is especially true of our emotions: Emotional memory exists outside of time.
It is obvious that two partners are conditioned by two different pasts. But inside the relationship it is less obvious. And that leads to all kinds of misunderstanding, disagreement, disappointment, and anger that things are not going exactly as expected. The upshot is statements like "I can't understand women," "who knows what a woman wants," and "you can never please a man.
To add insult to injury, when one partner is upset, the other often compounds it unintentionally. When, for example, a woman is unhappy, men often feel they are expected to charge out and fix something. But what she really wants is for her partner to put his arms around her and hold her, to soothe her, to say simply, "I'm sorry you feel bad. But instead of moving toward her, he moves away.
And if when you are upset you don't get what you want from the person you are closest to, then you are not going to feel loved. Men, too, I hasten to say, have the same basic need. But they erect defenses against it for fear it will return them to a state of helplessness such as they experienced as children. At the heart of intimacy, then, is empathy, understanding, and compassion; these are the humanizing feelings. It is bad enough that they are in short supply among distressed couples.
Yet I have observed that certain careers pose substantial roadblocks to intimacy because the training involves education not in humanization but in de-humanization. At the top of the list is law. Built primarily on the adversarial process, it actively discourages understanding and compassion in favor of destroying an opponent. Careers in the military and in engineering also are dismissive of feelings and emotions. Men and women who bring what they learn from such work into a love relationship may find that it can't survive.
An understanding of intimacy has its own logic. But it runs counter to conventional wisdom and most brands of psychology. They hold that to understand the nature of, and to improve, relationships, the proper place to start is the self. The thinking is that you need to understand yourself before you can confide in a partner. But I have found just the opposite to be true. An exploration of the self is indeed absolutely essential to attaining or rebuilding a sense of intimacy.
Most of the disappointments that drive our actions and reactions in relationships are constructed with expectations that are not only hidden from our partners but also ourselves. From our families of origin and past relationship experiences, we acquire systems of belief that direct our behavior outside of our own awareness.
It is not possible to change a relationship without bringing this belief system into our awareness. But a man or a woman exploring their personal history experiences some powerful feelings that, in the absence of a partner to talk to, may make one feel worse rather than better. So the very first step a couple must take to rebuild intimacy is to learn to express their own thoughts and feelings and carefully listen to each other. A partner who knows how to listen to you can then be on hand when you open up your past. Exploration of the self is an activity often relegated to psychotherapy ; in that case a psychotherapist knows how to listen with empathy.
But that is not necessarily the only way and at best is a luxury affordable only by a few. It is not only possible but desirable for couples of all economic strata to choose to confide in each other and build a relationship with a life partner rather than with a paid confidant. Both partners have an ongoing need to open up the past as well as share the present. But there are skills that have to be learned so that such interaction can be safe.