Saturday, May 28, 2016
Thoughts on Intimacy
I read something which led me to the internet in search of the source. I found what I was looking for but as I continued to read I saw more from that same source. It spoke to me and I hope it speaks to you as well. Her's what caught my attention:
“Our greatest emotional need is for intimacy. Beyond the primary needs for food, water, sleep, and air to breathe, intimacy is the greatest need of the human person.
Life is a self-revelation. Life expands in direct proportion to our ability to reveal ourselves to others and to the world around us. Yet most people spend most of their lives hiding their true selves and pretending they are somebody that they are not.
We want intimacy. We need intimacy. But we are afraid. We are desperately afraid that if people really knew who we are and what we are capable of, they would reject us. As a result, our fear of rejection (driven by our need for acceptance) and out of need for intimacy are constantly at odds with each other.
All relationships can be measured by our ability to share ourselves with others. We must press beyond the clichés of our common conversation and the facts of our daily lives. If we are to reveal ourselves and enjoy intimacy we must learn to share and discuss our opinions, our hopes and dreams, our deepest feelings, our legitimate needs, and our fears, faults, and failures. The more two people are able to share and accept without judgment, the more intimacy they will enjoy.
Intimacy is measured by self-revelation. The more you share yourself with others the more intimacy you will have. The more you hide yourself from others the shallower your relationships will be.”
The previous post contained an admission of frustrations and feelings I had been feeling for much of the late winter/early spring season. I aired those feelings in a post (but out of guilt, never put that post up until last week and did so for reasons separate from my initial intention). As I noted last week posting thoughts and feelings publicly that were meant only for Katie wasn't the best way to go about forcing a discussion. What I needed to do was to follow the advice stated above. I needed to allow myself to become vulnerable. I needed to open my heart to Katie in a personal way. I needed to let HER know how I really felt. I needed to risk rejection. I needed to get things off my chest; I needed to open my heart; I needed to share openly and honestly.
What I did instead was internalize my feelings. I kept things hidden from my wife. Given the advantage of time and space I can see now there was no way things would ever have ever changed given that path. How was Katie to ever know what I was thinking? She may not have even been aware that I was different because the ‘difference’ was taking place in my mind and heart. The 'difference' revealed itself by me not doing the things I mentioned in that last post – cleaning the cat litter, straightening the bathroom, planning meals, etc. Yes, Katie may have known something was going on but it was my fear that was forcing the issue and placing it on her to address. My hope was she’d sit me down and ask. The question I ask myself now though was why was I so afraid to sit her down instead of hoping she'd do the same?
The reason had to do with my fear of rejection and that fear created an ever larger wedge into the intimacy we shared. I wasn’t able to love her the way I knew I wanted and she probably was wondering why she couldn’t emotionally connect with her husband the way she usually could.
I know this. I’ve been down this road before. I don’t like rejection. I fear it. What I fail to remember is the depth of Katie’s love for me. She’d never reject me, never. Yet my insecurity rears its head every now and again.
I’m writing about me, but I’m writing about you too. I’m sure there are times when you struggle to muster up the courage to talk with your wife about this or that. I’m sure there are things you wish you could do or try but struggle to talk with her because you’re afraid she will say no. I’m sure you wish you could go do things with friends but hesitate to ask your mistress because she thinks your plans are not the best. For those of you that struggle with openness and honesty, I hope you can see the only way to bridge the gap from an ok love relationship to a fantastic one is to bare your soul.