BUILDING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

Human beings not only need feedback to remain sane, we need emotional connectedness to remain human.

Dan McGee

Emotional intimacy is crucial to our well-being. At the simplest level of observation, we know that the cruelest form of punishment in any society is solitary confinement.

A wealth of mental health research has concluded that intimacy plays an important role in a person’s overall physical, emotional and psychological health. A number of studies have found a link between the absence of an intimate relationship and problems of loneliness, physical illness, depression, psychosomatic illness, sexual abuse, and unsurprisingly, marital dissatisfaction .

“The Three A’s of Intimacy” from Dan and Sandra McGee’s book Celebrating Sex in Your Marriage are relevant in all relationships. Here, Dan presents three stages of deepening intimacy in a growing, maturing relationship.

 

  1. Acceptance represents the first level of a relationship, much like tolerance of differences.
  2. Appreciation is the stage where you begin to see the value in your differences.
  3. Affirmation is reached when appreciation actually deepens, and your differences are not just valued but are embraced as cherished attributes of the other.

As the relationship grows and moves through the stages, each member of the couple brings greater breadth and strength to whatever challenges and opportunities they face together.

As a longtime proponent of emotional and sexual intimacy in marriage, Dan has in recent years encouraged Christians individually and collectively to reexamine historic beliefs and behaviors related to diversity in human sexuality through what he calls “commonsense hermeneutics.” For further study, see “Part 1: Diverse Human Sexuality” in the articles section above.

Articles

Click on each article to download.

  • Sexuality and the Church: During his final year as Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Family Psychology Graduate Program at Hardin-Simmons University, Dr. McGee was asked to serve as issue editor for this edition of Review & Expositor.  This issue of the journal became a highly controversial one within the national religious news media, resulting in the withdrawal from the journal’s consortium by one of the journal’s largest sponsoring universities.
  • The Inti-Mate Marriage: At the time of this writing Dr. McGee held the position of Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of the Graduate Program in Family Psychology, Hardin-Simmons University. He was the issue editor of this issue, “Sexuality and the Church,” when he submitted the above article for publication. He later held the position of Director of Counseling & Psychological Services with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) where he supervised psychological services for over a decade.
  • Part 1: Diverse Sexuality: Viewpoint of a Christian Sexologist: Dan McGee, Ph.D., is a licensed marriage and family therapist, has been certified as a sex therapist by two national accrediting associations, is board certified in clinical sexology and was named Founding Clinical Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists. He is a former psychology professor and director of the family psychology graduate program at Hardin-Simmons University.
  • Part 2: The Search for Truth: Commonsense Hermeneutics: Dan McGee, Ph.D., is a licensed marriage and family therapist, has been certified as a sex therapist by two national accrediting associations, is board certified in clinical sexology and was named Founding Clinical Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists. He is a former psychology professor and director of the family psychology graduate program at Hardin-Simmons University.