Those That Won't Allow Themselves To Be Loved...

There’s a theme I see in a lot of these cases. Walls. Barriers. Rules. Contempt. Criticism. Complaints. They are all used to decrease intimacy across the board. It’s all used to push those who want to be close away. ED issues, major weight issues, hobbies that put distance, health and hygiene, physically pushing away, shifting the goal posts, blaming, not managing addictions, picking fights, physical ailments/pain, depression and other conditions they won’t treat, putting children in the marital bed, having affairs of the heart or mind, body dysmorphia, prioritizing children over the relationship that created them, passive aggression, manipulation, excessive use of **** – they all put up barriers and discourage or eliminate the possibility that someone will love them wholly and fully. They block intimacy all over the place. If you were to really look at their other relationships in life, I think you would see they block intimacy in friendships and family relationships as well. They might even love us as much as they possibly can but it does not begin to meet the needs for intimacy sexually or otherwise.

The hardest part of intimacy is the long term feeling safe enough and choosing to keep coming back to the same person and trusting yourself and them enough to just nestle in vulnerably, physically and emotionally being naked and real. It has to be mutual. When one is pushing away or setting up barriers or saying they are too busy, too tired or hurt too much or seeing you as too demanding, time consuming, having expectations that are too high sexually or otherwise… disconnect begins. When one partner starts to push back and try to regain control because the depth of intimacy is uncomfortable while the other one was happy with it or desired more, then the disconnect grows.

As the one who seems to more often than not be on the desiring end of that intimate expression or the waiting end, I know that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when the intimacy seems to feel different. Less real, less honest and less whole. I know when something feels wrong. The process after that if the other partner won’t re-engage is simply painful and sad. It’s almost predictable for me at this point though.

I’m not only going to have to end up with someone emotionally healthy and mature, but they are going to have to be VERY much so. Off the charts. Anything else results in this dance I never asked to learn. But I have seen the choreographed steps often enough now to know it’s not a rhythm I like. I’ve even been uncomfortably led around the dance floor to this dance a time or five. Some of the men doing the leading I really wanted to be dancing with and I tried to match them without losing my own style. In fact, I really wanted to dance with each of them so much that I probably matched them more than I should have. But the rhythm was just at some point no longer right, back and forth.

The bar has just been raised. My expectations may actually be too high this time, unlike when others used to tell me so and I just believed them. That’s ok. I’m not changing them even if they are “too high”. Someone will rise to meet them. I’m just sure of it.
HellHathNoFuryLikeMe HellHathNoFuryLikeMe
36-40, F
19 Responses Sep 10, 2012

Yes, I relate to this. I've never been with a man who could fully reciprocate. Makes me wonder how many exist who are even capable of this level of connection. :(

I like the way you've written this, your right about intimacy and emotional health. I've never had either of these in my relationships because I'v chosen liars. I am now married, I've tried to connect with my husband & his family but end up getting hurt. Now I don't trust him and I'm often alone wondering if he's coming home or not. I believe this man truely loves me but I guess he doesnt know how to be comfortable with me, well to late now we r married, 4 yrs.

Very well expressed. I think you spoke for a lot of us on here, although I am the one who was pushed away, I do acknowledge then...I have put up barriers to anyone new, but I'm slowing learning to let them down....I think...but it can take quite a lot to trust again. I do love the "nestle in" that's how I feel, but those words describe exactly what I would like to do. Great story.

I'm a man and have the same problem my wife push me away from her you doesn't know how to love me and won't try to learn just give up after years of trying

WOW!!! That is the deepest thing I have read on this site (I am a newbie) That was so insightful and so true on so many levels. I can relate to 99 percent of that but the strange thing is, I am usually the one on the "pushing away/avoiding intimacy side. You articulated the scenarios so well. Thank you for the thought provoking insight.

oh, you tell it... that's so right on!

I am definitely one who is afraid of intimacy and I require alot of personal space. Once I get annoyed/angry enough with someone I just can't seem to find my way back to loving and accepting them as fully as I did before. I start to feel loving towards them again and then they do or say something that annoys/angers me all over again.

With my current boyfriend, every time I confront him to talk to him about something that he's doing (or not doing) that bothers me, he just profusely apologizes and acts like such a victim, but doesn't actually change his behaviour at all, and we don't have a real conversation about it.

When we first met I fell really hard for him and he made me all sorts of promises ... many of which he is not keeping. He also started to single out my son with derogatory behaviour and always assuming wrongdoing. I tried to confront him over this mistreatment of my son and he would improve for a day or two and then go right back to mistreating my son. You can't continually attack a child and expect the mother to continue to love you and accept you.

I'm to the point where I just want him to go. I just can't accept him for who he is, nor can I give him the affection he wants because I'm so annoyed/angry with him most of the time. This same behaviour pattern of constant annoyance/anger happened with my ex-husband as well.

I should just stick to living on my own with the children and having only lovers. I don't know that I'll ever be able to overcome my pattern of unforgiveness.

good, deep thinking you have

thanx so much. incredibly wise


...In the long run, you must be yourself. If you can't be yourself, you twist yourself into a pretzel. When that happens, it causes pain. That kind of pain makes you leave the scene. Be who you are. Let those who love you, love you for who you are. Not for a fake you. Cheers.

at first she subtly started playing out all thse silly tricks and later made them overt. I maintained my cool mien and pretended not to know what she was upto even when it was plain obvious to me. Having had enough of her stonecold stance I too joined her in the game. She had to be the runaway wife due to her too big ego and bloated pride. The last thing I want is a make up with her.

I am intimacy-averse...not sex-averse, though. <br />
I both crave closeness and fear it, because when you love someone you hand them the power to destroy you in the hopes they won't use it. I *have* pushed my spouse away. <br />
I stuffed anger at the way she was treating me automatically, so that I wasn't even aware of how angry I was.<br />
She shouted at me a lot, she criticized, she ignored me...and then said it was my fault for being angry if I showed anger. This added to my depression and self-hatred. Of course I believed her, I loved her.<br />
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"When one is pushing away or setting up barriers or saying they are too busy, too tired or hurt too much or seeing you as too demanding, time consuming, having expectations that are too high sexually or otherwise… disconnect begins."<br />
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She pushed me away for 10 years, and she is now shocked and horrified at how much she hurt am I. <br />
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I thought everything wrong with this marriage was my fault-because of my depression, PTSD, and physical health. I just thought I was too whiny, too needy, too horny, too moody, too messy, too demanding.<br />
It took my best friend saying "She bullies you, she doesn't do anything a woman in love does, I just don't get it!" for me to be able to see...she's emotionally neglected me very badly.

H, It sounds to me like you both have some intimacy aversion. And you both want intimacy too. You crave it, desire it, want it and yet at the same time fear it. I have lived that way too. Please don't think I am talking down to those who are afraid of intimacy. There have been times in my life I screwed up relationships myself through being averse or fearful about intimacy. Afraid I wasn't good enough, that I'd be found out if I let them any closer... but man, did I want it too. Keep doing the work. It gets better. It is work though.

It's usually me trying to get attention and her pushing me away until I get mad and give up...then she feels all rotten and comes to bother me wherever I've gone off to lick my wounds that point I am really angry and hurt at getting ignored or pushed away, so I tell her to leave me alone and then shut down. I go to sleep. This has been our pattern every weekend for a long time.

Yes. It's interesting how we all want intimacy on some level but due to early traumas, bad relationships in the past and habits ingrained in current relationships we end up in the push-pull. Keep working on you. One day you may push through your history of trauma (I remember your stories well) and find yourself closer to healed.

Wow! Very well written! You just described my relationship and my wife. The excuses are endless. I think your observations are spot on. It seems like there are a lot of people that feel this way. I wish this topic was more approachable in everyday life. It just seems like a big white elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. This is the only place where i feel like people understand what I'm going thru. I hear more people down playing the role of sexual intimacy in a marriage. Maybe they are just trying to justify their lifeless marriage? It started to make me feel guilty like I expected too much. I'm not some sex crazy person. I would like to be with my wife at least once a month. I don't think that is unreasonable. But she always has one of the many excuses that you listed. I haven't explored every last option yet so we'll see what becomes of it. Bottom line tho, if she is not attracted to me sexually and romantically and is not willing to seek help together, then what are we doing being married together? Right?

A truly brilliant analysis. Hope you found these things out before marriage and/or kids. So many people don't figure it out until it's "too late" - if at all! Granted, you can always bail from any relationship, but better to bail before it gets too serious.<br />
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The silver lining in this cloud, in case you didn't realize it, is that you have PLENTY of "dance partners", so do be selective. Seek out someone deserving of your attentions.<br />
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All the best to you.

So many excellent observations. One that particularly resonates with me - "The process after that if the other partner won’t re-engage is simply painful and sad."<br />
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In every partnership I think there are times of "disconnect". It seems to me that inevitably there are going to be circumstances in our daily lives that at times lead to that disconnection. But if that leads to ongoing disconnection - or a refusal to re-engage - then the relationship is truly in strife.<br />
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Disconnection deserves to be treated seriously by both partners - and NOT to be used as a weapon or as the thin end of the wedge. . . . . . Where one partner "maintains the rage" (be it the original disconnector or the one feeling disconnected) there will be ongoing damage to the relationship.<br />
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Escalating the situation by expecting abject apology, compensation (in whatever form!) or explicit promises to "never do it again" are also extremely unhelpful IMO.<br />
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Re-engaging requires you both to honestly desire the reconnection above any need to feel "vindicated".

A lot of what you mentioned in this post can be found on Brene Browns talk on vulnerability.<br />
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You have a keen eye. I wish you good luck. And dont ever go for second best!

Rated up. Such a beautiful summary and great insight.

Nicely put! The best stance to take! I need to re read this post now and then.

Hmmm..."too busy," you say...<br />
Thank you, this was an insightful, helpful post.

Our conversations were part of what brought me to these thoughts. Too busy, yes. :)