Do you remember that first kiss? The first time your partner’s skin touched yours?
It was overwhelming, wasn’t it?
When I was dating, I met a handful of great men, but their kisses and touches never jolted my soul the way my forever-husband’s did. Even when his hand touched my arm in a non-intimate way, it was like a surge of energy coursed through my entire body. I had never, ever felt that before—not even in either of my first two marriages.
Here I am, two months away from a decade with this man, and how do I feel?
I don’t think this is a normal feeling for most, so I am in awe of the whole thing. How is it possible that these feelings never lasted (or even came close) with any other partner? I don’t have the answer, but maybe he is the Yin to my Yang.
Putting my addiction towards my husband aside, on to today’s real topic—the importance of intimacy in a monogamous relationship.
You’ve made the commitment to merge your life with another, and the days and years are passing with the usual routines, challenges, and responsibilities. Gone are the selfish days of saying, “Let’s just spend the day in bed!” You no longer throw each other around the house like a scene out of Nine and Half Weeks, you don’t run and jump into his arms when he comes home every day, he doesn’t kiss the nape of your neck as you prepare dinner, you don’t have a TGIF-quicky as you’re walking out the door to work.
Real life has set in. It’s set in hard.
You come home each night mentally and/or physically drained from your day to the safety and security of the one person who has seen every side of you. You begin to take that person for granted—thinking that they will always stand by you no matter what.
What you didn’t think about is that we are human, and we have been programmed with certain fundamental needs. Just like any creature on this planet, we are wired a certain way.
Arguments over the infrequency of your “adult time” are happening far too often. Rolling over has replaced cuddling, and bedtime talks have been replaced by each of you staring at a screen in different parts of the house. It happens to almost everyone at some point.
Men right now are smirking and wondering how they can get their women to read this. Well, gents, don’t be so smug, there are more women with this same complaint than you realize. Let me tell you a story about an acquaintance of mine—Shelly.
I have had many emotional conversations with this frustrated (and heartbroken) woman. Shelly claims to be in love with her husband and also claims to put herself out there for him all the time. She tries to look nice for him (even if she’s in sweats at home), tries to initiate intimacy, and even tries to do things with him, but he has completely shut down. He’s definitely not being unfaithful, but she has cried many times over the fact that he’ll choose to drink too much on a Friday or Saturday night rather than go to bed with her. She’s begged, shouted, cried, and pleaded for him to come back to her in the way they used to connect, but he makes no strides whatsoever. She further stated that she feels completely humiliated when she asks him to make love to her and he turns her down. Time and time again, he’s always too tired or had too much to drink. There’s always an excuse. Sometimes a month or so will pass between encounters. Recently, Shelly told me that she made a mental note of the date they last made love. She has forced herself NOT to initiate anything, nor nag at him. She informed me that it’s been more than two months now, and he’s still keeping her at arms’ length.
What’s more is that she insists that it’s not just about sex—she attests that she would be content to simply lay in his arms for a few minutes before they went to sleep each night. Just to feel the warmth of his body, the touch of his skin… to breathe him in.
Is there hope for Shelly and her husband? I really don’t know. Quite honestly, I’m not very optimistic. Knowing her personality though, she’ll probably just carry that weight on her shoulders and stick it out—in misery—for years to come. How sad is that? Shelly is such a loving, sexual, and passionate woman, but it’s being wasted on a man who sold himself to her as being the same.
When asked if she has had thoughts of straying, Shelly vehemently denies it; stating that she still only wants to be with him. She is further confused because when they are actually intimate, he seems to thoroughly enjoy it. She feels as though she’s married to the only man on the planet who doesn’t like sex… but who is really good at faking enjoyment when it actually happens. She is a completely tortured soul, and I just don’t know what to say to her anymore, seeing as he refuses to make any effort or go to a counsellor with her.
I’m sure there are a ton of men who would hear something like this and think, “I only WISH my wife would be interested in sex, never mind INITIATING it!”
I wish a situation like Shelly’s were few and far between, but they are not. Somehow, everyone seems to forget how important it is to nurture a partnership like this.
The average person puts their best foot forward for their coworkers. They spend most of the day together and grow close as colleagues. Then, get home, take off their fancy adornments, throw on week-old sweats and hunker down for the evening. Ladies, you take more care with your relationship with the photocopy repairman than you do with your husband. Men, you smile and laugh more with the lady in accounting than you do with the woman you claim to love.
So what separates the copy repairman and accounting lady from your significant other?
Your intimacy as a couple is what separates you from any other person who passes through your daily life.
If there is no intimacy between you and your partner, then why are you even together? If it is about sharing the chores and expenses, you could have easily found a roommate.
Money and intimacy are two of the biggest killers of relationships, so I cannot stress how seriously couples should take this. If you are struggling with this same issues, I urge you to have some tough conversations with each other and make a plan to re-unify.