When two people form a relationship or marry, they begin to move towards one another with the expectation of closeness. The emotionality or intensity that accompanies this process, however, may result in fusion followed by a desperate need for space or distance. Intrusive Partners - Elusive Mates is the first book to deal exclusively with the pursuer-distancer interaction, and to focus significant attention on the emerging male pursuer-female distancer dynamic. This book revisits Fogarty's work, traces the concept over time and across different professional fields, and discusses in detail the concepts correlation with gender issues and social change. A detailed, step-by-step model of treatment to aid in de-escalating this potentially problematic style is also offered. The model in and of itself is unique because it integrates psychoanalytic conflict theory and psychodynamic systems theory into one treatment approach. This book is intended to offer the therapist a model for understanding and effectively discussing this dynamic, while at the same time allowing couples to read and explore it on their own.
Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction: Understanding the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. Traits and Tendencies of the Pursuer and the Distancer. Gender Roles and the Pursuer Distancer Dynamic. Biological Determinants. Societal Influences and Changing Gender Roles. Familial Influences. Family of Origin: The Emotional and Psychological. Development of Pursuers and Distancers. Female Pursuers. Male Distancers. Male Pursuers. Female Distancers. Treatment Model. Assessment. Mode and Frequency of Treatment. Joining. Encouraging Individual Responsibility. Constructing the Genogram. Uncovering Conflicts and Faciliatating Differentiation. Labeling. Assigned Readings. Balancing Content and Process. The Question of Intimacy. The Role of Medication. Transference and Countertransference. Termination. Evaluating Sexual Dysfunction in the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. Sex: A Common Context for the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. Integrating Sex and Couples Therapy. Taking a Sexual History: The Sexual Genogram. Male Sexual Disorders and the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. Male Erectile Disorder. Premature Ejaculation. Male Orgasmic Disorder. Female Sexual Disorders and the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. Female Orgasmic Disorder. Vaginismus (Pelvic Floor Muscle Pain) Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. Same-sex Couples and the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. Discrimination and Homophobia. Roles and Relationship Fluidity. Relationship Commitment. Fusion, Sexual Desire, and the So-called 'Lesbian Bed Death' Concept. Therapist Bias. Difficult Cases and Case Failure. Triangulated Children. Death and Distancing. When One Partner has Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In Pursuit of Marriage. The Ultimate Distancer. No Sexual Attraction, No Sexual Desire. Other Contexts and the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. Intimate Partner Violence. Employment (Work). Infidelity (Affairs). Alcohol Dependence and Abuse. Epilogue. References. Index.