Dr. Doug Weiss, licensed psychologist and author, has helped thousands of couples deal with intimacy anorexia for over 30 years. In this video, the doctor discusses the defensive but controlling strategy known as D.A.R.V.O.
D.A.R.V.O is not only used in sex addiction, but also with intimacy anorexia. When you try to confront your significant other about their distance and withholding of intimacy (emotionally, spiritually, and sexually), it triggers a defensive response. They will deny their behavior and the issue all together. Instead, they attack you and accuse you of being critical and controlling. This causes the situation to be switched to where they are the victim and you are the offender. They make you seem like you’re the problem in the relationship and that they are good.
Being married or in a relationship with an intimacy anorexic isn’t easy. The intimacy anorexic is often emotionally immature and it is difficult for them to take responsibility, especially when they are flawed, when it wasn’t their best day or choice. Even if your partner is aware of the issue, it can be hard for them to deal with it.
When this blaming strategy comes up, stop talking to them immediately. They’re in an emotional state and they won’t listen. If you try to continue, you will be trapped in the quagmire and eaten up. Instead, get out of the situation and have them talk to someone else of the same gender.
Also, get support for yourself by making a phone call or connecting with a support group/individual for encouragement. People who can understand you, connect with you, and give you a moment of clarity.
Stay in reality. People who are intimacy anorexic can be healed. If they’re in recovery already, they will eventually come to their senses.
Don’t engage DARVO, take care of yourself, and get support.
Visit https://intimacyanorexia.com/ for more information.
Also, we have a test you can take to determine if Intimacy Anorexia® is the issue in your marriage. Take the test here:
If you’re the partner of an Intimacy Anorexic®, we call that Married and Alone. You can check out the series of books Dr. Weiss has written on that subject here:
Married & Alone support group for female partners of male Intimacy Anorexics:
Married & Alone support group for male partners of female Intimacy Anorexics:
Buy the Pain for Love DVD here: https://www.drdougweiss.com/product/pain-for-love-dvd/
For more information on Partner Betrayal Trauma®, go to https://partnerbetrayaltrauma.org/
For the Partner Betrayal Trauma DVD, visit: https://www.drdougweiss.com/product/partner-betrayal-trauma-dvd/
For the Partner Betrayal Trauma book, visit:
You can join the PBT Facebook recovery groups as well:
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Partner Betrayal Trauma ™.
For information on marriage counseling and intensives, go to https://www.drdougweiss.com/counseling/
For a full list of Dr. Doug’s products, go to https://www.drdougweiss.com/store/