Sex and intimacy from a Christian perspective. NOTE: Many topics can only be read by members.
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Empathy and oxytocin reminds me of some comments by Shannon Ethridge in her book of healing identity "The Sexually Confident Wife". She says we must balance the physical/mental with the emotional/spiritual (p.20-21). When they're out of whack, if she feels like a piece of meat, she'll unwittingly starve herself emotionally even though meeting his needs physically, to protect herself and her core from being used. Conversely, he'll feel like a lapdog meeting her needs with time and attention but just getting a pat on the head (physical release) intimately. It's not intentional, it's just functional. Further, Mrs. Etheridge details the importance of oxytocin's continuous build-up and release to get "sticky" through pair-bonding. In her case, promiscuity caused her to stick and re-stick until she wasn't sticky in marriage, plus had internal baggage blocking oxytocin from working its magic. She simply separated sex from intimacy. Her solution is a simple 3 pronged approach, yet very deep journey of self-examination....
Beren wrote:Regarding male/female identity, I remember Gary Smalley, in his "Loving Relationships" videos 20+ years ago, describing how 25% of each gender switches stereotypes, that is the female functions more logically while those 25% of males are more empathetic. Understand, they're no less male, they just have more capacity for understanding feelings and being aware of others than is typical. Your comments remind me of this. I wouldn't fret if you're analyzing the relationship on a deeper level than she seems to be
Beren wrote:After a spouse feels safe enough with enough years of trust built up, they can finally let go and become a mess in order to heal.
Beren wrote:Final thought-Asperger's is a form of autism. The relational challenges for the autistic person stem from not having a clear brain pathway for determining identity. It's as if they can "feel", or "sense" the interpersonal expectation place upon them for interaction with others, and get overloaded and/or shut down. So the secret is to do nothing, and empty the space between you, so they feel no expectation at all, but that doesn't mean ignore them. Here's the marital intimacy connection. If you're really wanting something badly, how the heck do you expect nothing? 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." I used to think self-discipline meant I had help not sinning, which it does. But it also, I think, refers to our mini-trinity in that God gave us a mind, body, and spirit, and if we're afraid, or vexed (or trying to get something from our spouse), our spirit is off center...
You see - I have spent the last few years being obsessed with human physiology. In fact, yesterday, instead of working, I spent hours read complex published studies on variants in gene modulated receptors on Oxytocin and various Oxytocin receptors. They are finding possible correlations between these lack of receptors or down regulated receptors with people on the autistic side of the spectrum....but I digress.
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