The Challenge of Intimate Bonding

Research shows that more than 80% of life’s satisfactions that contributes to one’s happiness derive from a meaningful and intimately close relationship with loved ones. Still, a question remains. If one’s most important aspirations in life are to bond, love and be loved, why are so many of us not attempting to make our relationships all they can be? What is holding most of humanity from fulfilling what seems to be the single most important purpose of our being? Ironically, in reality many people in intimate relationships experience the opposite pulling forces of a wish and fear of a relationship. It causes them to delay experiencing true intimacy with their present mates, by either giving up or passively awaiting a miracle that would rejuvenate their stale or combative relationship. Too many people live a lonely and loveless existence. Many dream of finding their destined soul mate, but in reality their love is delayed or fails to show up.

We rationalize and tell ourselves that as soon as we finish the pressing tasks that consume us, we will devote more time to our intimate relationships whether with our mate, our parents, our children or other significant others. We tell our mate that we will be more passionate and romantic when things slow down. We promise ourselves that at some point in the future, as soon as we find more time, we will listen from the heart, be more mindful and accepting, compassionate and intimate with our relationships. We convince ourselves that our true love will emerge if we wait for it long enough or if we don’t rock the shaky boat of our present relationship. We tell ourselves that soon we will find an opportunity to express love to our partner, our parents or our children but we never do it or it rarely happens.

We postpone intimate closeness, when deep within we know that there will never be a better time to take a leap and risk being vulnerable enough to make that long awaited positive change. We experience an uphill challenge just thinking of the shift we could make in our dysfunctional ways of relating, and become more truthful to ourselves and loving from a heartfelt place. We are reluctant to reach out to the most precious, most delicate and most painfully deprived area in our being that of intimate love. Though we wish and crave love, we paradoxically hesitate to take the step to embrace love because fear of rejection, humiliation and hurt continue to dominate our emotions even if we know that tomorrow may never come.

When we postpone intimate love, days slip into weeks, weeks slip into months and months slip into years. Before we know it, we realize that we spend many precious years of our life avoiding the chance to claim the dearest of our birth right gifts-love! The love bond we give birth to in our dreams transcends us to a higher ground as beings, connecting us to our highest potential. But we tend to fear love’s magnitude since in the process of intimate bonding, our mate becomes our mirror. The joy of our deepening intimate love relationship brings us face to face with our human shadows and imperfections. Thus, even though we wish to fulfill love’s magical promise and re-ignite our present intimate relationship, we remain stagnated, fearing love.

The practice of (ETH) “Ego to Heart”, a couple’s weekend workshop in which we conduct globally, is literally a simple heartfelt communication practice. It centers on helping couples and the individual partners in the relationship transform their bond through authentic listening, making a shift from ego centered “me”, to a heartfelt “we”. According to Zimmerman & McCandless, when partners risk going beyond self-involvement and are able to authentically see, hear and feel each other and the relationship with heightened intuitive awareness, they enter a state of “Third Presence” (the voice of the relationship). It is an entity, a pure witness that allows a more soulful, spontaneous communication between the two. It helps partners become increasingly aware of their infinite capacity to love beyond ordinary secular connectedness. Thus, intimate bonding increasingly deepens as it opens the couple to the mystery of wholeness and the divine. It is then, in a safer and increasingly supportive intimate bond, that partners can break away from past dysfunctional patterns and overcome their fears. It is through this experience that they have the opportunity to transform their shadows into lights that shade a healthier, more in the moment way of being.

Dr. Moti Peleg

For more information on Dr. Moti and Ronit Peleg, Ego to Heart workshops, their Oprah Show appearance and their upcoming book, “Destined Encounter,” go

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About motiandronit

When Oprah Winfrey Show producer Hilary Jane Robe searched for couples for the show’s “Greatest Love Stories” she discovered a story about Dr. Moti and Ronit Peleg in a New Jersey newspaper. Not only are the Pelegs destiny-driven soul mates with an incredible love story, but they’re also humanitarians whose Ego to Heart workshops emphasize heartfelt listening and communication between other couples. It started when a 17-year-old boy became smitten with a magazine cover of the newly crowned Miss Israel of 1964 — Ronit Rinat. Moti said, “There was some kind of spirited glow in her.” He stressed her eyes beckoned to him, and he kept that photo, feeling they would someday marry. Meanwhile, Ronit married a physician from the United States at age 19, and had three children. “I went to college and opened an international store in Beverly Hills,” she said. But Ronit said her husband was neither a communicator nor spiritual. “We went to a workshop for couples called “Flesh & Spirit” and it was just what I was seeking: to be listened to without judgment, to be spoken to from the heart and, most of all, to listen to my own heart before I spoke.” She studied for five years under Dr. Jack Zimmerman and Dr. Jaquelyn McCandless, certified in the couples’ intimacy practice. She brought this counseling method back to Israel in 2002 and became the founder of “Council” in Israel. “Council” helps one openly explore, offer heartfelt expression and learn to listen attentively. It is said to be the gateway to intercultural understanding and the non-violent exploration of conflict. After her husband’s death, Ronit was empowered to continue with a full life. “I have trained, mentored, spread the practice all over the country (Israel),” she said, “it is recognized as a way to reduce violence in schools, empower women, men, and children — to build community and connect through dialogue between Arabs and Jews.” Simultaneously, Moti came to the States in 1970. He received his psychology degree from Queens College, got married and had two children. “Sadly, my wife and I didn’t have communication skills,” he said. “We struggled with fears and insecurities that eventually drew us apart and caused us to divorce.” Peleg completed his Doctorate at Yeshiva University, and has been a psychotherapist and psychologist for more than three decades, specializing in traumatic stress associated with pain and relationship issues. However, his desire to meet the girl with the eyes that seemed to signal him remained constant. So in 2004, a friend called Ronit to say he had someone who wished to meet her. At first, Ronit thought it was a joke, but realized this man’s voice seemed truthful. Moti communicated with Ronit via phone calls, e-mails, love letters and songs. “The lyrics and songs talked to my soul,” Ronit said. She flew to New York and visited Moti. For the first three hours of their visit, Ronit asked Moti to join her in “Council.” Ronit said, “We shared deep stories from our past, our childhood fears and dreams.” After two years, they were married. The “destined” couple combined their counseling methods to form “Ego to Heart”. The workshops enable people to listen to the “voice of the relationship,” thus eliminating the ego of “me,” transforming it to “we”, which diminishes the power of ego that reduces a heart’s connection,” according to the Pelegs. “The results of respect, humility and compassion, allowing a person to be seen as perfect in their imperfections, without judgment … empowers each one of us and the relationship,” Ronit added. They provided workshops in New Hope, but realized the location did not have the karma and warmth they sought. Once more, destiny called the Pelegs to the Hudson Valley, where Moti’s son, a construction engineer, came upon a place in Esopus. The 10,000-square-foot mansion with heart carvings throughout the structure overlooking the Hudson River was called “Heart’s Ease” and served as a labor school for newly arrived immigrants. By working with the Esopus Historical Society, the Pelegs’ research revealed that one of America’s greatest humanitarians, Eleanor Roosevelt served on the board of the labor school. Architectural heart-shaped appointments, the name “Heart’s Ease” and the grand humanitarian connection? This certainly seems like destiny. And if historical renovations and construction go as intended, by August 2011, the couple’s destiny will be fulfilled. For more information on Dr. Moti and Ronit Peleg, Ego to Heart workshops, the Oprah Show video and their upcoming book, “Destined Encounter,” go to or call Moti Peleg’s office at (201) 652-6843.


  1. "If one’s most important aspirations in life are to bond, love and be loved, why are so many of us not attempting to make our relationships all they can be? What is holding most of humanity from fulfilling what seems to be the single most important purpose of our being?"

    our popular culture, driven by the promoted selfishness, conflict and zero-sum game dynamic, conditions most of us to believe life, including personal, intimate relationships, is a battle to be waged, and that "others" are opponents and competitors to be conquered. people thus enter personal relationships not out of the motivation to unconditionally give to one another and share an experience of confluence, balance and harmony, but see one another as opponents with which to struggle for "getting what they want" instead of "giving to one another what they need. and when the culturally-inflated ego feels its not "getting," the conflict escalates, or people are led to infidelities or the breakdown of their relationships. thank you for bringing this discussion to light here. there can never be enough of these invaluable reminders, especially in something so basic yet so crucial as the intimate relationships of Love upon which the material and spiritual growth and perpetuation of our collective being depends.