Intimacy - not just a physical thing


#1

I don’t know where to start:

I grew up Catholic, at least in name. I don’t remember ever doubting God’s great love for us, for me. God’s “rules” however, I was so ignorant as to the wisdom and love within them. At one time in my life, I didn’t take much about the destiny of my soul very seriously. Before my re-conversion, I failed miserably in the areas of modesty, chastity, and purity. Within the last couple of months, I realized I haven’t really become any stronger or more faithful in these areas, over the years. I was just married, so it was easier, if you know what I mean. One obvious area of weakness for me, was masturbation. Even though I knew “some Catholics” saw masturbation as wrong, I didn’t give it much thought, until recently. Once, I acknowledge this behavior for the sin it was, God’s grace has held me free from any lapse, so far. (Praise be to God!)

I mostly need support in what is a difficult time for me. My husband and I have had a strained relationship, for many reasons. We are still committed to remaining married and all, that isn’t a problem. However, my husband has been extremely distant and unavailable, both mentally and physically. I know some of it revolves around stressors that have nothing to do with me. If my husband and I were at the same place in our faith journey, I could address the problem from that perspective. It saddens me to admit, it seems as I have grown closer and more secure, my husband has grown more evasive and distant, endangered by my faith. This fact, itself, has been some of the strain. I continually try to adjust my heart and behavior, to ensure I am being humble, but I admit at times it is difficult. I am aware a condescending attitude does not endure my husband to me, nor Christ.

Here is my issue, I am lonely. I know that God meant for us to give ourselves to one another in love. At times, I want to forget what my heart now knows to be true. Until about 3 weeks ago, I totally focused on what my husband wasn’t giving to me. I realized I was also not giving to my husband. I hadn’t even stopped to consider what HIS emotional and physical needs and wants were. I had expected him to fall down with gratitude at what I wanted to give him, not even considering what he wanted to receive from me. I was taking his lack of interest in me, personally. I gave no thought to what he might be going through. As I changed my perspective, I noticed he may, indeed, have a real emotional or physical issues going on that makes being close with me frightening and threatening for him. I don’t know how or even if to approach him.

I need assistance to know how to proceed from here. I need support in my struggle to stay chaste, not only in act, but in thought. I need practical advice on how to keep my heart loving, and not take my hubby’s struggle as a personal rejection. I am not trying to remove my husbands “speck” but rather my own “log”. And as always, I need help to remain humble, and not presumptuous.

Thanks, for any and all feed back.


#2

Hi cimbie;

Marriage is a tough thing. It’s filled with wonderful beautiful moments…that you pray will never end. And, then it has these confusing, frustrating times, when you feel like you might want to throw in the towel. My husband and I had a distant relationship about 8 years ago…then we decided to separate. For us, a separation worked, but I wouldn’t advocate it. It doesn’t draw you closer, but we did find a way back to one another through God’s grace.

It’s possible that your husband has had something in his childhood, so supressed, that he doesn’t even relate it to today. I lost my parents as a kid, and it truly plagued me, because I never grieved over it–when it came to men. I would always end relationships first…had a hard time saying I love you for a long time in the dating process with my now husband…and it all boiled down to that I didn’t want to get too close to anyone I might love again–for fear of loss. Now, your husband’s fear could be that your newfound confidence, albeit in the Lord, has him fearing that you don’t need him. Men like to feel needed. It’s how they interpret love. It’s not necessarily your isse, but because you’re both married to one another–it becomes your issue.

I would simply ask him one night…when he’s not stressed…when it’s the right moment if everything is ok. If he says yes, which he most likely will…you could say…I don’t feel like everything is ok. I want you to be happy, and I don’t sense that you are. One of two things happens with those statements…either he will become defensive, or he will open up. But, doing nothing, and coexisting doesn’t get you anywhere either.

I would try to talk with him. Share your feelings. Share how you feel lonely. And then say…what can we do to change this, do you think? If he days…I dunno, say…well, we need to figure it out together.

Marriage takes work at times. You sound willing to do your part…I hope it works out for you.


#3

Cimbie,

First of all, welcome to the forums! :wave:

I agree with whatevergirl and wanted to offer just a few more pieces of advice. First of all, you are correct in saying that intimacy is not just physical, there is an emotional and spiritual aspect to it as well. The spiritual can be helped through prayer. Pray the rosary, go to adoration, anything to increase your prayer life. Emotional can be helped by your husband knowing that you care. That can be accomplished in several ways, doing something extra for him, paying more attention to him, his needs, making his favorite meal, spending more “quality” time with him.

Lastly, I would tell him that you love him, you are committed to him and your marriage, you have become one and if he ever needs to talk that you are there, ready to listen, free of judgement. Leave it at that. It is hard not to be able to console or help him, but in time, he will come to you searching for your love and support.

:signofcross:


#4

Time for a Marriage Encounter.


#5

Marriage Encounter would be great… If only my husband was willing to admit there was a problem at all. I know he knows, he just isn’t willing to face it right now. That is why I need to work on keeping ME loving and humble, and to wait on God’s timing rather than mine to resolve the issues between us. I can only do what I can do.

Our daughter’s Confirmation was yesterday. My DH was tense and on edge the whole time he was in church. There is something at work, I’m not sure what. I really don’t believe it is even any of my business. It is between God and my husband. I just keep praying for him to be open to God’s love, grace and mercy. Making my husband willing to work on our relationship is beyond my control, thus why I have placed it in God’s hand’s and pray for the patients and fortitude to accept His will and timing. There in lies **my ** issue. My own struggle to remain Christ-like and chaste, both in thought and in action, during my wait.

Thanks for all your advice and support.


#6

If you look at marriage encounter’s website it is not a weekend for troubled marriages. You husband wouldn’t have to admit their was a problem in order to go.
wwme.org/new.html

It’s a great way to learn how to communicate better, the sharing goes on between husband and wife in private. Try to get him to take a look at the site.


#7

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