‘Women, Power & Intimacy’ by Dr Matthew Anderson published in Great Health Guide (Sep 2016). The perception of inequality has done enormous damage to quality of marriage & intimate relationships. Read the rest of this great article by Dr Anderson to discover more about the role of women, power & intimacy in relationships.
Read other Relationship articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.
Relationships: Women, Power & Intimacy
written by Dr Matthew Anderson
For at least the last 5000 years, women have been seen as inferior to men by almost all cultures, political systems and religions. This perception has done enormous damage to and placed severe limitations on marriage and all other intimate relationships between men and women. Intimacy, especially the radical intimacy potentially present in romantic love, cannot grow and prosper if one partner is perceived as superior or inferior to the other. Intimacy requires an equality of power, otherwise, safety is diminished and closeness is limited or damaged.
When man and woman fall in love, the love itself is an invitation to deep and transforming relationship between equals. Every romantic experience has offered this gift since the first two lovers fell into each other’s arms. Sadly, only a small percentage have been able to take advantage of the immense blessing of radical intimacy that this particular form of love always promises. Too quickly and too easily, both partners fall prey to the pernicious perception that men are somehow superior.
As soon as this nasty but ubiquitous idea takes hold then both lovers lose access to the deep waters of romantic love and are relegated forever to the baby pool of intimacy. Both partners may be unaware of the subtle shift but both eventually suffer from the shallowness of connection. Instead of continuing on a mystical journey of loving discovery and the realization of the great potentials of romantic love, they settle for mediocrity and even boredom. Then, with no true depth of bonding, the once loving couple become highly vulnerable to the difficulties of life and the dissolution of their relationship becomes a real and present possibility.
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It would be easy to blame men for the persistent perception of inequality between the sexes. That conclusion would, however, be both sophomoric and ultimately a waste of time. The truth is there have been a thousand reasons for this unfortunate concept and men and women alike have subscribed to it for millennia. Solutions to social problems, especially those that involve intimate relationships, are never found in blame. Blame creates victims and victims perceive themselves as powerless. The real solution begins with honesty and vulnerability. Both men and women need to admit to this sad state of perception and then open their hearts to each other in a radical new way.
The great and most effective equalizer between any two individuals and especially in a romantic relationship, is vulnerability. It is the opening of the heart and the exposing of the tenderest, most secret, wounded, most protected, frightened and/or precious and treasured aspects of one’s inner being. It is then the welcoming, compassionate, understanding and non-judgmental receiving gesture of the other that completes the circle and the experience of radical intimacy. Then it must be continued at the same or deeper level of vulnerability by one’s partner. This creates a dynamic flow of intimacy that can then take both partners into what might be called radical intimacy. Love, once fully invited, will do the rest.
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Author of this article:
Reverend Matthew Anderson has a Doctor of Ministry specialising in counselling and has extensive training and experience in Gestalt and Jungian Psychology. He has helped many couples and singles successfully navigate relationship issues. His has a best-selling book, The Resurrection of Romance. Matthew may be contacted through his website.
by Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly
Paperback. Published 2005.