Intimacy Anorexia

Intimacy anorexia is a hidden addiction. The way intimacy anorexia presents in relationships and marriages is often not readily apparent and the signs and symptoms can also be confused with other disorders or conditions. Use the characteristics below to help discern if the lack of intimacy you are experiencing in your relationship or marriage is a direct result of intimacy anorexia.

Here are some attributes of an intimately anorexic relationship. The information in this post is under copyright of Dr. Doug Weiss, Heart 2 Heart Ministries.


Intimacy anorexics stay so busy that they have little time for their spouse.


The intimacy anorexic will blame their spouse for the problems in the marriage.

Withholding Love

Intimacy anorexics actively withhold love the way their spouses like to be loved.

Withholding Praise

Intimacy anorexics do not regularly give praise to their spouses privately.

Withholding Sex

Not all intimacy anorexics withhold sex, but most intimacy anorexics withhold intimacy during sex when they do have it.

Withholding Spiritually

Intimacy anorexics can be very religious or a spiritual leader, but they may rarely connect spiritually at home.

Unable to Share Feelings

The intimacy anorexic is someone who is unwilling or unable to share their feelings with their spouse.


Ongoing or ungrounded criticism toward their partner or spouse is another characteristic of intimacy anorexia.

Anger / Silence

An intimacy anorexic can use anger or silence to control their spouse.


This is the least common feature of intimacy anorexia, but when it’s present, it is really strong. The intimacy anorexic will use money to control or shame the spouse.


The spouse of the intimacy anorexic feels as if they are a roommate rather than a spouse. This is common with intimacy anorexics because they avoid connecting emotionally.

In our work as well, we find that a lack of sexual intimacy is prevalent in many marriages. The lack of emotional intimacy will lead to a lack of intimacy in all areas. For further information you may contact Heart 2 Heart at or contact EIS for help in marriage counseling or other issues.

BH/ Article and provided information: © 2019 HEART TO HEART COUNSELING CENTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

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