Marriages suffer from intimacy anorexia

COLORADO SPRINGS, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Some marriages end due to a problem many may not be aware of -- intimacy anorexia, the active withholding of intimacy toward a spouse, a U.S. therapist says.

Dr. Douglas Weiss, executive director of the Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs and author of "Intimacy Anorexia: Healing from the Hidden Addiction in Your Marriage," says intimacy anorexia is a relationship style where one spouse actively withholds emotional and sexual intimacy from the other.


The criteria for sexual anorexia are:

-- Staying so busy that you have little time for your spouse.

-- When issues come up your first reflex or response is to blame your spouse.

-- Withholding love from your spouse.

-- Withholding praise from your spouse.

-- Withholding sex from your spouse or not being present during sex.

-- Unwilling or unable to share your authentic feelings with your spouse.

-- Using anger or silence to control your spouse.

-- Having ongoing or ungrounded criticism, spoken or unspoken, towards your spouse.

-- Controlling or shaming your spouse regarding money or spending.

"Intimacy anorexics don't know for the most part they are starving their spouse of intimacy, but most spouses of intimacy anorexics have to beg to be loved, touched or to have sex," Weiss says in a statement.


"The anorexic may or may not be aware until their spouse goes ballistic begging to be loved."

Intimacy anorexia can be caused by sexual abuse, sexual addiction or family of origin issues, Weiss says.

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