Intimacy Anorexia - Living in Freedom Therapy - Sex Addiction and Infidelity Counselling - Winnipeg, Manitoba



We all have hurts. Life is complicated. Sometimes relationships are the catalyst drawing out these complications. And although the other person might seem to be the epicentre of the problem, have you considered the problem may have begun before you even knew he or she existed and has been percolating ever since? Past hurts have a cruel way of rearing their ugly head to ruin our present relationships. Let us help you live life and life to the full; perhaps for the first time! Contact us today.


About 80% of the clients Gerry counsels have intimacy issues. Dr. Doug Weiss, a clinical psychologist, has defined problematic intimacy issues in his book, "Intimacy Anorexia: Healing the Hidden Addiction in Your Marriage." Intimacy anorexia is the active withholding of mental, emotional, spiritual and/or physical intimacy from one's spouse. In assessing this condition, Dr. Weiss has developed 10 criteria:

  1. 1) The person stays so busy there is little to no time for his/her partner. The busyness includes career, watching TV, spending time on the computer or smartphone, hanging out with friends, pursuing recreation, working in the yard, running errands, volunteering and almost any activity except taking time to connect with his/her spouse.
  2. 2) Instead of owning his/her issues,the person plays the part of "the victim" and expertly shifts blame back to the partner. This drives the partner crazy because it is so obvious that the person (with intimacy issues) is the one with the issue but he/she refuses to fully own it.
  3. 3) The person limits or withholds the actions of love (the five love languages) from his/her spouse.
  4. 4) The person limits or withholds praises from his/her spouse and, instead, focuses on the spouse's weaknesses.
  5. 5) The person limits or withholds sex from his/her partner or, if he/she is being sexual, there is emotional disconnection.
  6. 6) The person limits or withholds spiritual connection from his/her partner.
  7. 7) The person is either unwilling or unable to identify and express feelings.
  8. 8) The person uses anger or the silent treatment (or both) to try to get his/her way within the relationship.
  9. 9) The person criticizes the spouse (verbally and/or non-verbally).
  10. 10) The person controls or shames his/her partner regarding money and spending.

If you have 5 or more of these criteria, you likely have intimacy anorexia.

There are several causes which make people vulnerable to developing this relational problem. Some people have all of these causes and others have just one. It only takes one cause to be strapped with the intimacy issues of anorexia. The first cause is sexual abuse. In many cases of sexual abuse, people automatically put up barriers to intimacy. They do not want to get hurt again so they will not let people into their heart space. A second cause is difficulty in attachment to the cross-gender parent. You might be a woman who had difficulties relating to your father or you might be a man who had difficulties relating to your mother. These problematic intimacy issues with your parents provided the blueprint to follow for doing relationships with members of the opposite sex. A third cause of intimacy anorexia is modelling. The way your parents behaved toward each other trained you on how to do marriage. If there was a lack of emotional, spiritual or physical intimacy modeled by your parents, you may have acquired intimacy issues. A fourth cause of intimacy anorexia is sex addiction. People with sex addiction can become so "glued" to the psychological benefits of the fantasy world that they do not know how to do a real relationship with a real person. For a further explanation of unhealthy sexual gluing, please visit porn addiction. A fifth cause is being married to someone who has intimacy anorexia. If he/she is withholding intimacy from you for many years, you may start to mirror those issues. This is reactive intimacy anorexia.

Gerry Pettyjohn has 8 years experience helping people out of the craziness of intimacy issues. Book your appointment now by calling or texting 204-292-5058.

"I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself" (Exodus 19:4).