The bottom line: Precise, insightful and actionable advice aimed at healing this hidden threat.
Intimacy anorexia is the active withholding of emotional, spiritual, and sexual intimacy from a spouse. It is a form of sex addiction that primarily manifests in marriage, and because intimacy anorexia can have devastating effects on the relationship and individuals, it is imperative to identify it and subsequently take action to rectify it. Intimacy Anorexia equips you to do both.
The book begins by identifying what intimacy anorexia is and then clarifies what causes it and how it manifests in a relationship. As Weiss explains, it is a form of sex addiction that lies on a continuum and can vary in its presentation but the core principles of the addiction remain the same. What the book will demonstrate is that an intimacy anorexic seeks control, and therefore they “starve” their spouse of intimacy and treat them like a roommate as opposed to a husband or wife. This not only harms the anorexic, who often seeks external outlets to satisfy their biological sex drive (e.g. pornography or adultery), but inflicts emotional abuse on the spouse as well. The latter half of the book describes strategies an intimacy anorexic uses to create and maintain distance, and then devotes a healthy amount of time to detail specific tools of healing an intimacy anorexic and the relationship using simple, easy-to-follow steps.
I purchased Intimacy Anorexia as a follow up to Dr. Weiss other book, Addicted to Adultery. What applied to that book also applies to this one in that Intimacy Anorexia is at least in part a marketing tool for you to purchase more of Dr. Weiss’s books or to enroll in a personal counseling session. This doesn’t take away from the value of the content already in the book, but it does leave the reader with the sense that more comprehensive information and healing strategies only exist in other paid resources (i.e., Intimacy Anorexia: The Workbook).
In my mind, the greatest benefit from this book is its wide range of applicability. If you are an intimacy anorexic, it will enable you to become more self-aware, clarify specific deficiencies that require growth, and guide you toward other outlets to assist you in repairing yourself and your relationship. If you are the offended spouse, it will open your eyes to the unique variables that persuade the anorexic so that you will have a clear idea on how to assist in restoration. If you are a non-professional friend, accountability partner or church leader, Intimacy Anorexia will equip you with some basic tools to assist, comfort and direct those under your care.