Comfort From the Kindness of Others

 It's interesting how living in a marriage void of any intimacy has caused me to become grateful for any amount of warmth others send my way, even from strangers. Case in point, there is a barista who works at the local coffee shop that I drive through every morning on a fairly regular basis. Very warm person with a pleasant smile, who always asks me how I am doing and then, when the transaction is complete, tells me to have a great day. This always puts a huge smile on my face, because even though she is being this way because it is part of her job, the kind words from this dreadlocked barista with a pierced nose who is probably 20 years my junior is more than I ever receive at home.

There is another experience that comes to mind. On Bosses Day last year my staff went all out. There was a card and gift waiting for me at my desk when I got in, they had coffee delivered (no smiles from the barista that day..) and later on, had lunch delivered. My assistant cancelled all my meetings for the day, and I had the day to just catch up on work. The card was the nicest part -- the well wishes and message of appreciation and support from my employees was very heart-warming. My wife and I don't exchange cards anymore --- Hallmark doesn't make any that seem to fit (perhaps some enterprising member of this group can work with them to start their "sexless marriage" line of cards) --- so this was a rarity for me.

I suspect there are many others in this group who certainly miss the sex in their marriage, but just as equally, miss the feeling of being appreciated. It reminds me of some movie I saw where the main character was asked by someone "How are you doing?" and the main character got choked up by it because he realized how long it had been since someone asked him that question and meant it.

So my question to all of you is:

"How are you doing? How are your REALLY doing?"


runner49 runner49
36-40, M
18 Responses Feb 17, 2009

So many of us singin' the same tune! BIG GROUP HUG!<br />
To reply to Runner49--As each day goes by, I'm doing a tiny bit better, with regard to my failed marriage. I'm expect other battles on other hills are awaiting me...

I had a wife for 13 years that I treated like a queen. She had anything she wanted period. To the point of being spoiled. If we had sex it took forever to get her started but hang on once she got warmed up! A real tiger in the sex department. One of the things that ended our marriage was that very thing. Nobody likes to feel that its not you that is wanted but the just the sex. I sincerly tried to do many many things to bring us closer together. What I found out was it wasnt that she didnt want to initiate it she just had no idea how to go about it. She was a good woman but it just got be be too much effort with what appeared to be no appreciation. She was faithful she was beautiful and she was about 90% fridgid. No emotions at all. no crying no laughing no excitment nothing. Sorry but that in itself just seemed to be a form of rejection. She was not like that when I married her. She was exciting sexy and very much active but it seemed once she made her kill (got her man) that was it. She quit wearing makeup her clothes went in the closet and the sweats came out and that was it. I gave it 13 years and finally ended it after therapy and thousands of dollars to find out she just didnt get it. No matter how much I tried to discuss it with her she just didnt get it. So I finally said bye bye. And I gave it all to her in the end because I did love her I just couldnt live with her anymore. So I guess it doesnt have to be the mans responibility either to keep the fires burning. Should be both period.

honey, why don't you try to get the intimacy back? You know, it is not always the woman who has to initiate things. women view romantic things in a different way. Helping around the house, calling and just letting them know you were thinking about them, watch the kids, so she can have a day to herself. That type of thing. If momma is happy then she will enjoy making daddy happy too. <br />
My hat is off to you for not cheating, that is great. My advice is to look within your marriage and your life to find things that make you happy, not feed off of others to do this for you. Don't get me wrong, being around happy, affectionate people is contagious, but try to make some of your own. Try couple, sex therapy, maybe she has inner fears that need to be resolved. I know it is hard to deal with, because , I too, have to feel appreciated in order to be sexual intimate. Hey, I just thought of a good movie that might help you. Fireproof. With Kirk Cameron. Maybe use some of their advice. <br />
good luck and wishing you love

Hello runner49,<br />
<br />
Well, I had my very being ripped out, throw about, and left bleeding on the floor ( once again - over the weekend ) but, other than that...... pretty good. Thank you.<br />
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I agree with what you conveyed regarding kindness and warmth conveyed to and from others; I have always tried to be friendly ( without strings ) just for the sack of simple human kindness. I have always submitted to the thought, "you get more flys with honey than with vinegar" but, it is most difficult to reciprocate ( at home ) when you are being belittled, befuddled, and rundown..... How is it possible that I am supposed to be kind and gentle, loving and caring, want to cuddle and kiss ( you all know the drill: in order to get access to sex ) when, my ego and self esteem was just kicked to the curb? I feel so numb right now that I can hardly carry on a decent conversation in the simplest of terms.

Funny i ran into this topic. i have been in that situation for 6 years with the gal I'm living with and just broke up with for that exact reason. i simly told her we need to move on there was nothing left and we were just feeding each others depression. I also explained how lonely it is to live with someone and be so damned lonley. We didnt even touch each other in bed anymore the rare occasions we were there together. And i'm not refering to sex. I mean we literally didnt touch each other. When the occasional bump happened it was like we were in each others space. it wasnt that we didnt get along we just werent atracted to each other and to be honest i never was except for online before we met face to face. It was all down hill from there and that was 8 years ago. Ask me why so long? all i can say to explain it is plain old laziness and just plain tired. We both had some medical issues also that we ended up being each others nursemaid. What a waste tho of all those years. Damn i kick myself! i should have learned I ended a marriage for the same damn reason altho we did love each other for many years. It just went away. And to be honest I think we do that. Just let it go away. We dont try to keep those home fires burning. We except that an ember is enough. Its not! Take your lady to dinner Woo her from time to time keep it exciting!

Better Now Becuse Of You. Thank U 4 Just Being U.

Kindness......well I finally get to reveal my favorite saying:<br />
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."<br />
I guess that it is true. I try to live by that idea.<br />
Hope you all enjoy some act of kindness today.<br />

sober, medicated (legally), and mending, thanks for asking.<br />
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i'm fascinated by the other part of your message -- the possibility of passive aggressive cards for those loved ones in our lives that seem to hurt us. what would one look like?

Oh yes. When you aren't getting kindness where you'd expect it, what you do get takes on more importance. I noted ruefully in my journal once a few years ago, before I had given up hope, that it was odd to me that I had more physical interaction with my first skating coach in a typical lesson (who was a hugger in addition to the necessary level of professional contact needed to position one properly on the ice) than I had with my wife in a month. My second coach's awareness of my mood (a survival skill in that line of work) led to conversations that ended up unjamming my situation. I also have a regular coffee shop and a favorite barista...

Hey, Runner. Yes, I think that Starbucks knows all about the repeat customer value of cute young things. <br />
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Over the period of my marriage, I have been in the position to miss being appreciated, and even had come to the conclusion that she'd lost all faith in my ability to get anything right. Things are better now, but it does have lasting consequences.<br />
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How do I feel now? I appreciate being asked, even with all the sincerity that can be mustered from a broadcast message, but the answer is complex and I doubt that the answering would help either of us.

Your question is the fire that ignites our flame of darkness in our marriages, and so well written in ChaoticLove72 above!<br />
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Bless you for caring about all of us lonely souls searching for the peace of mind that can be enjoyed in a sincere, marriage union. I am seeing life clearly now that I have shared my hopes and fears here on EP. <br />
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Today, I am in a good place. <br />
God Grant Me The Serenity<br />
To Accept the Things I Cannot Change<br />
The Courage to Change the Things I Can<br />
The Wisdom to Know the Difference<br />
<br />
May all the care you share come back to you multiplied.

I have to agree with regard to kindness shown to us from others. <br />
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To answer your question---despite the fact/reasons that I'm here I am doing well and thank you for caring enough to ask.

Awww how sweet :) I am doing well, and you? ;-)

With the help of all the GREAT PEOPLE on EP I can say I am 100% better than I was 6 months ago !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Runner49..I hadn't ever really thought of the little kindnesses from others that can make your day. I have always gone out of my way to greet and meet others kindly even while personally feeling low, but having have spent a lifetime in sales I have always been a chameleon of sorts . After reading your comments I can see how very important this can be. Thanks. <br />
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The thing about the Hallmark cards really struck a chord with me as well.

So true R49! When you crave something, you almost find it accidentally. 99.9% of the people that young lady encounters likely dont even appreciate her kindness, good on you for recognising it with everything you are going through!<br />
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In answer to your question, that is an easy one, I will be fine :)

Thank you for asking. I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do, albeit unsuccessfully the last few weeks. Sometimes the answer is crystal clear; sometimes I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I wish God (or aliens or somebody!) would open the Heavens and say something like: "Hey you, yes you, this message is for you: __________________________________" and I'd understand.<br />
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The other day I was trying to figure out if something was making me feel this way and I realized that before this something happened, I already felt this way. I think I need to make a list of what and when and how I felt so that in my moments when I lack clarity, there will be some message from myself to myself.

Im new to all of this....have been swallowing all of it and trying my best of pass as happy to my friends, co-workers and family...mainly because i dont know what else to do. I cant really confide in any of them about this...because i just dont know how to. I live day to day....mostly on the love, devotion and warmth i get from my two small girls who call me pop-pop. I work long hours, work-out and go on my treadmill...and sleep on the couch every night daydreaming about what it felt like to have a womans touch on my soul. There are days when i dont think about it as much....when the world demands on my time are enough to push it behind the curtain. Then there are times when my lonely soul aches for what it hasnt had in too long. A fire to light it ablaze in the darkness that is my married life. Its as if me and my wife are just roomates who just happen to have children. We exist on the mundania that is a 50's style of life...where everything is perfect...just as long as we dont talk about it. The only time we ever exchange emotional in the presence of we are putting on some form of performance....though no roses are thrown, and when the show closes for the accolades are given, and the reviews are very sketchy on the plays future....and the actors goto bed alone.