Intimacy Isn’t Just a Code Word for Sex
May 1, 2012 Marriage

A post by J at Hot, Holy & Humorous and another by Julie over at Intimacy in Marriage got me to thinking about intimacy in marriage and, no, I don’t just mean sex. This is how I’d like us to define intimacy for this and all our discussions:

Intimacy is the act of allowing someone to truly know the real you.

When we’re talking about sex we’ll say “sex.” We won’t use “code words.” We’ll say what we mean and intimacy isn’t just physical.

I can think of at least three forms of intimacy within each marriage, physical, emotional and spiritual. First let’s apply our definition of intimacy to the first two, physical (yeah baby!) and emotional. Typically there will be a higher drive spouse for each of these in a marriage. Rarely will the one that is high drive for physical intimacy also be the high drive for emotional intimacy though I guess it does happen. Again, typically what will happen in a marriage is that we expect other people to be like us. We expect our spouse to have the same level of desire for physical and emotional intimacy that we have and when they don’t we have a hard time reconciling that with our experience. Likely our spouse is having the same issue with us. They don’t understand why we are not like them.

At some point in my marriage I realized what was happening. I was having a hard time sharing my heart with my wife because she was having a hard time sharing her body with me. At the same time my wife was having a hard time sharing her body with me because I was having a difficult time sharing my heart with her. Do you see the cycle that was playing out in our marriage? Do you see how frustrating this type of situation can be? Do you see how to break the cycle?

The first thing you have to do to break a cycle is to first recognize it. Once it has been identified you are well on your way to breaking the cycle IF you’re both willing to step up and do your part. This is where we talk about growing up. We each had to realize that our experience wasn’t the “truth” we thought it to be. We had to agree that God didn’t mess up in the way that he made either of us. That neither of us was morally superior because of our preference. We each had to grow up and make changes and choose to meet the desires of our spouse. In doing so we each made it easier to be more intimate both emotionally and physically with one another.

Be looking for part two of this discussion in the next few days.

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"3" Comments
  1. I love how you approached this! Indeed, individuals vary in their desire for each form of intimacy. I admit to struggling with my own use of these words. I suppose I sometimes lean toward talking about “physical intimacy” or “marital intimacy” because the word “sex” has been tainted so much by the secular world. Also, I want wives in particular to understand that, for most husbands, it isn’t about sexual release but a deeper connection achieved through physical means. Eager to read what else you have to say on this topic.

  2. I understand breaking the cycle. But understand too that it isn’t always a cycle. Some spouses ARE getting what they need and request but still fail to respond. And that isn’t always from sexual abuse or some sort of trauma. Some don’t see the importance of sex, or they don’t see the importance of sharing their heart etc. They just don’t see the need. Its not important to them so they don’t HEAR it even when their spouse is begging for it. They eyes are closed. Their ears are shut. They are happy, and blind. Blissfully deaf.

  3. We’ve been married 45+ years, some thing I’m not personally proud of!
    The marriage actually ended as far as I’m concerned the day after our wedding. We did have sex on our wedding night, kinda of clumsy but it was sex. My husband hated it and told me it was disgusting, vile gross, messy, smelly and that he never wanted it again. He could not understand why two humans could do something so nasty. On that note he moved to our basement and began working the midnight shift. That really hurt, I went into depression, I wasn’t strong enough to cope and ended up in the hospital. The only one that visited me was an old friend from high school. I was given meds for the depression and I met a shrink that would help me out, she was and still is great. Husband still won’t talk to me and ignores me all the time.

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