“So what exactly is this elusive quality called intimacy?  Why is it so difficult to find?  Why is our longing for it so mixed with fear?  My guru shrink Jim long ago gave me the best explanation of intimacy I’ve ever heard.  If I’d actually paid attention to what he said, I never would have married Zeke, but I was desperate for a mate, and that trumped common sense.  Basically, according to Jim, intimacy in marriage means nothing more than good, direct communication in the context of a sexual relationship.  This sounds almost simplistic, but the problems in maintaining such communication can be formidable. ‘Intimacy is possible only between two people who have a strongly felt and accurate sense of who they are – people who intuitively feel okay about themselves,’ Jim told me.

“A real commitment based on intimacy involves an emotional bond rather than a legal one.  Jim explains it as ‘a bond you don’t wish to dissolve because it’s simply too precious.  That means being self-aware enough to know when you’re in a real relationship.  It also means knowing that the next thing shared by people who have already shared a lot is much more precious than the first, even though that first thing seems precious always.’ 

“Did you ever have this kind of intimacy with your husband?  I know I didn’t.  A marriage can limp along for a long time without intimacy, but there will always be a sense of emptiness to it, a feeling that something important is missing.  You can cover up the lack of intimacy by focusing on other things, like the kids, work, or even mutual interests, but eventually it will catch up with you.”

 From  “He’s History, You’re Not – Surviving Divorce After 40”  by Erica Manfred.

This entry was posted in covert abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Intimacy

  1. I was married for 13 years and we dated for 2 1/2 before that. During our divorce I was faced with the realization that we barely even knew one another. We had spent many years supposedly getting along but it was so superficial. He didn’t accept who I was or my lifestyle before I had met him and basically shushed me for talking about it. (He was a hardcore Christian and preacher’s kid and I came from a completely different background). Talking about my past was “giving glory to the devil” and we weren’t to do that because he feared I might miss the days of old and my wild youth. So it was all shoved under the rug and we put on our happy faces to the world but inside I was incredibly lonely.

    I learned just how dangerous it can be to live in denial like that when during our divorce it came out (through a family member of his, he never told me himself) that he had been sexually abused as a child by his gay older brother. Wow. It would have made so much difference in our lives and especially our sex lives if I had known that and we had been able to work through it. As it was I was totally bewildered and hurt by his seeming lack of interest in sex with me. I couldn’t believe that for 15 years and even after having worked together in a home for behavioral disordered boys and discussing OFTEN how so many had been sexually abused and how that affected their lives, that he never told me.

    Its truly amazing the secrets we were able to keep from one another while going about our daily routines and living in the fishbowl that comes with being involved in ministry. Lack of intimacy sucks and is death to a relationship, a slow death at that and those are the worst kind.

    • “Lack of intimacy sucks and is death to a relationship, a slow death at that and those are the worst kind.” You are so right. And for the longest time, I didn’t know why I felt so drained of life. :{ That IS really sad to be married so long to someone and not know something so vital about them. I often wonder what my husband hasn’t told me. He says he had a good childhood, but something must not have been right for him to have some of the issues that he does. Thank you for your comment. I hope you are doing o.k. after your divorce.

      • I am doing much better! It was a huge relief to get divorced, but its not without its own problems. My almost 13 year old son is really struggling with the absence of his father, who has kind of drifted off into apathy towards the kids, though he does see them still. I have to wonder if that would have happened even with our marriage staying together though. I’ve come to terms with the fact I was in denial about a lot of things the whole time. I wanted to believe we had this great family life but in reality there were some really important things missing, like intimacy.

        My ex also said he had a great home life. I didn’t learn until the divorce about all the deep family secrets, like the incest and that his father had some similar things happen to him. It really creeped me out. His dad was a preacher and everyone thought they were this perfect family but they were apparently really good at covering stuff up.

  2. childofthetruth says:

    This one is good. It really hits the nail on the head. I’ve “limped” along for 25 years with no intimacy and I can’t take it anymore.

  3. tt says:

    So Im curious I see the word “Superficial”…. This too, is how my relationship with him seems…. Is this the case with most PA’s….the relationship remains superficial, we are expected and do divulged everything and they do not particpate in it at all….

  4. Woman Friend says:

    We are all in a relationship with the same sick man! And, I find real, solid comfort in knowing I am not Alone but rather al-one meaning all one together! Oh I am so tired of thinking it might get better … Today I had a little extra energy, must have slept well. I decided to change his sheets and blankets on his bed (mine is in the trailer on his land). Sommething nice. He has slept in the same sheets 4 months (gross). Another one of his ways to keep me out of his bed wanting intimacy! When he got home he told me, “How would you like it if someone came into YOUR house and changed YOUR sheets”. I have been with him 8 years, but I am just a nobody to him? A stranger who came into HIS house, the house I have the keys to? OMG, this is so NUTS. I just want to LEAVE already and have my own house!!! I keep looking, but oh the money, the kids, the pets, etc… it will happen please great spirit help me find my real home soon. Please.

    • Yes, the money, the kids, the pets… I understand that too well!!! But it crosses my mind to just get into my van and drive away and see where the road takes me. Of course, I won’t actually do that, but I am trying to live more deliberately, thinking more carefully about how I spend my time.

  5. driving a way I have threaten to load me and my kids in my truck take the little bit of money I get every month put it in my pocket fill the truck up and just start driving when half of it is spent on gas stop and that is where we will start a new life just me and them. I have thought about this many times and even more lately. Figure I can take the other half and get a room for a couple weeks and hopefully by then figure something out for shelter and a job. If I didn’t have my kids I would have already done it. If it is just me by myself I am not scared to do anything because I the only person it is going to effect is me. If I have to sleep in my car ok if I can’t buy food a night not a big deal. but now with the kids I can’t just do that. temping as it is.

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