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Intimate Relationships

Free «Intimate Relationships» Essay Sample


Human interactions are very complex and rather complicated phenomena, especially in the case of intimate relationships. The main reason is that people expect from their partners more than the last can give. Over the span of their intimate relationships, people face various stressors and strains. These irritants can become stumbling blocks and pitfalls that most couples experience. Typically, people have to overcome hurt feelings, jealousy, ostracism, betrayal, lying and deception, and forgiveness. Though every average couple faces them, they still are rather dangerous for the well-being of any relationship. In other words, all the phenomena mentioned above are the basis for most problems and misunderstandings in the intimate relationship and can cause dissolution and a following breakup.

Hurt Feelings

People experience hurt feelings when their belief and deep trust in a partner is broken. No doubt, if a partner is loyal and loving, it will be a great pain for him or her to get to know that his or her beloved betrays and cheats. Naturally, it incredibly hurts when an individual that trusts the partner, opens own world, shares the most intimate things and information, and is sure that he or she will always have a supportive shoulder suddenly learns that this the most trusted person is a betrayer, liar, or cheater. Today, family psychotherapists and counselors are slowly getting a deeper insight into the long-term and traumatic emotional effects of infidelity of a close person (Baumeister & Finkel, 2010). In 2006, a study was held; it showed that women, who had unexpectedly got to know about their beloved men’s betrayals, experienced severe stress symptoms that were characteristic of and similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD (Brown & Amatea, 2011). Besides, a person can hurt beloved’s feelings by simply changing own attitude to him or her or the way of their communication. Hurt feelings are undoubtedly the phenomenon that ruins intimate relationships. First, a hurt person gets depressed and frustrated by the sweetheart’s actions and behavior. However, later, if nothing changes for better, he or she may get disappointed. As a result, the disappointed person is no longer able to see anything good in the partner. Sooner or later, a person is likely to take a thought whether such relationships have sense and whether there is any reason to continue them at all. As a consequence, one may decide that it is much better to break this relationship since it does bring him or her any joy and happiness anymore.


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Ostracism defines a period of time, during which one partner refuses and ignores another (DeMaria & Hannah, 2013). It may occur as a consequence of person’s guilt. For instance, if one partner hurts or abuses another, the last one may feel a need to punish the first one. As a rule, the punishment comprises a refuse to talk, to have intimate relationships, to do something for (cook, iron, and wash up, for example), or to do something together (go out for a dinner or a walk) (Geher & Miller, 2008). If a partner is really guilty, such behavior may be rather fair and justified. However, these actions may be too damaging to a close intimate relationship. An ignoring partner should realize that such behavior and attitude to a guilty one may lead to a betrayal or sudden break-up. The reason is that ostracism is not an innocent punishment for an hour or two. This phenomenon can last for weeks and even months; moreover, some couples let it occur rather often. As a result, from a mere punishment, such behavior becomes a serious estrangement between two people. With time, they lose their intimacy and become more and more indifferent to each other. As a consequence, one partner or even both of them start looking for the bygone feelings and emotions they once had. As a rule, they search for it and expect it not from each other, but from other people. As one can see, ostracism is a phenomenon with reasonable intentions that is supposed to make a guilty person understand his or her fault, make particular conclusions and make reparation for the wrongdoing. Nevertheless, one should remember that such an approach is extremely dangerous to intimate relationships since people rarely know the limits.


Jealousy is a quite specific phenomenon in relationships because it depends mostly on partner’s perception and imagination than on real facts. For instance, when one speaks about betrayal, the situation is clear; one partner betrays another, and their relations cannot be the same anymore. In this case, one has clear evidence of betrayal. Meanwhile, jealousy is not the wrong action but the personal perception of the situation. For instance, one notices that somebody lovely speaks with his or her partner during the party. The person may consider it an act of betrayal though conversation does not mean anything. A person starts experiencing jealousy because his or her ego states that somebody else wants to take something that belong solely to him or her. Hence, jealousy is usually the misunderstanding in viewing the right relationship. Some people want to possess total control over the partner, and when this partner shows attention to somebody else, they experience incredible jealousy because their beloved one does not belong to them at the moment. As a result, jealousy leads to conflicts in a couple because a person who feels jealousy constantly guilt the partner even for a smile or some friendly gesture to the others. Such relationships do not base on trustworthy and respect anymore, and a partner feels that his or her freedom becomes limited by the beloved one. As a result, constant quarrels without any serious reasons and constant limitations of personal freedom destroy the intimate relationships between people.

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Betrayal in the relationships is probably the biggest threat that a couple can face. Every partner wonders whether his or her new love will by loyal and save his or her feelings during relationships. Some people are ready to accept anything, for example, lying, jealousy, and ostracism, but not betrayal. If all previous issues can be overcome, and people can restore their relationships to the same level, betrayal always means fundamental changes. Many individuals cannot cope with betrayal; consequently, if such a situation takes place, it often means the end of relationships (Paludi, 2012). However, there are those who cannot break up because they do not imagine their life without a partner even despite betrayal. These couples continue their relationships after betrayal and try to restore them as they used to be before and forgive what was done. Sometimes, it works out, but oftener, such attempts fail and cause new problems. The betrayal will always tell about itself and hang like a burthen. As a rule, a partner cannot trust the beloved one fully as he or she used to do before. Sometimes, such mistrust reflects in suspiciousness and untrustworthy, which leads to conflicts and a following breakup. A betrayed person expects that the situation may repeat and, therefore, tries to avoid it by establishing a full control over the partner’s life and limiting his or her freedom of actions. Under such conditions, any healthy relationships cannot exist anymore, and people face a dilemma whether to break up and start a new life or continue the relationships waiting for new betrayals.

Lying and Deception

When people build their relationships, they expect that they will develop on mutual respect, loyalty, and trustworthiness. Any psychologist will say that a healthy relationship should be based on these principles and epically on trust. People who do not trust each other are not able to create durable and strong relationships. When a partner starts lying to the beloved person, such behavior ruins the intimate contact that exists in the couple. However, lying does not always mean something negative. Nevertheless, lying should be always considered a signal that relationships are not going in the right direction. People lie in the cases, the truth cannot or should not be revealed. One should differentiate the lie and deception (Sullivan & Davila, 2012). Lie, for example, may mean that a partner does not tell about meeting and having dinner with an old school friend of an opposite gender. If he or she tells the truth, it may become a reason for a conflict because the partner is too jealous. Any attempts to explain that there cannot be any intimate relationships with an old school friend will be in vain. Hence, in this case, lying is the only way to keep harmony in the relationships. On the other hand, deception means that a person is not honest with the partner and hides some secrets that may reveal his or her true nature. For instance, deception can refer to some intimate relationships with another person. In any case, good lie or bad deception always indicate that people are not fully honest with each other for some reasons and they need to review some aspects of their life.

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Love and affection are extremely strong feelings that make people forgive their partners. It seems rather easy to forgive a beloved; nonetheless, it is incredibly difficult to forget a bad action or a mistake of a close person. Besides, if an individual has to forgive too much in order to save their couple, sooner or later, this relationship starts being a real burden that is too heavy to carry anymore. Even if love still exists, due to numerous remissions, a relationship cannot be as romantic and trustworthy as it used to be at the very beginning (Sullivan & Davila, 2012). Forgiveness is not destructive to relationships, in general, but it obviously alters it for worse. However, one can analyze this aspect of intimate relationships from another perspective, as well. For instance, one can examine how constant forgiveness influences a partner who is guilty. No matter how polite, kind, and loving a person is, constant forgiveness from his or her beloved may lead to undesired outcomes since it spoils. As a result, a partner starts making mistake by mistake, offending and hurting the sweetheart while being sure that any step, word, or action will be forgiven. As a consequence, numerous hurtful deeds exhaust the partner’s patience. Unexpectedly to a guilty person, the partner may decide to break up. The other possible scenario for the aspect of forgiveness is that a partner will continue to forgive while the guilty one will continue to hurt and offense.

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To conclude, one can state that all the issues analyzed above have a great influence on intimate relationships. While some of them are simply disastrous and destructive, others just contribute to unhealthy relationships, in which one of the partners or even both of them feel unhappy and frustrated. Obviously, some of these aspects are impossible to avoid since they are an essential part of any human interaction. However, there is a strong need to know the limits; otherwise, any of them may lead to a breakup.

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