30 Day Intimacy Project

The last time I cried in front of my husband over our intimacy issues he looked at me and said "If you are that unhappy, do something about it", in his words that meant go file for divorce. What else would you expect from someone to weak to stand up? His response told me everything I need to know about him. Dan has intimacy issues and he will not be working on them anytime soon. I am coming to realize that loving things or objects is my husbands idea of having an intimate relationship, it is what he has that will determine what kind of man he will be. For my husband to understand how to be intimate he must first learn more about who he is, what he wants and what is truly important to him, but that all requires work and introspection and Dan isn't interested in a second job or looking at himself.

“In conflict women swim and men sink.” Men do not do as well as women in the clinches. Women are used to being let down, lied to...we are used to being cheated on and rejected. We are stronger mentally, men are weak and child like. Men are taught to be checked out toward the emotions of others, and keep their true feelings inside, that is why men are usually passionless and numb.

My husband isn't a "bad man" but he is passionless and has CLEAR intimacy issues. He also is so competitive and needs to be right in a fight, he tries to win arguments rather than work them out. To lose in a argument would legitimize his feelings of weakness and inadequacy. My husband usually avoids conflict by avoiding issues all together but occasionally he makes some slight effort to make peace to keep me quiet for awhile. For this reason he does not tend to resolve conflicts well which creates more distance in our marriage. So, for the next 30 days instead of divorcing him, I am going to try to be the man I have always wanted. This means I will depend 100% on myself for love, support, validation, etc. and 0% on him. This is all abut self-love, letting go and having empathy for a man who is LOST and has no desire to be found. My husband is comfortable in just existing, he is not interested in really living, and that is his right to feel that way.

MY 30 DAY PLAN:

First, I will purposely create distance, NOT through "withholding" but through creating a "friendship". I will begin treating and talking to him like a "guy friend" meaning, I will treat him the way I treat the rest of my male friends. I will give less of myself to him emotionally because I have to give to myself. I will be fun and friendly like I usually am BUT, I will not try to form any real connection...I will just be polite, friendly, and fun like a golf buddy. Also, I will NOT engage in any conversations regarding our marriage, there will be no need to if I am becoming the man that I need him to be. Seriously, I can't go to a man for answers when he doesn't even have an opinion.

Men feel like they have to "fix things" and don’t like it when they are made to feel helpless. Typically men see a woman's emotions as a weakness and it makes them feel helpless. When men feel helpless, your emotions are HIS fault, and he has to fix it so the pressure is on him to make you better, men like to band-aid things so it rarely works out. Due to this my husband will not see me be "emotional" over anything, that is what I have been seeing a therapist for...to learn to "manage my own emotions" which is the exact opposite of what he is doing.

Sex will be treated as "just sex" and nothing more and those random texts that consisted of "I love you, and thank you for all you do for us" will now be, "I hope your day is treating you well". I will not stop being nice or "loving him", just simply switching gears. I refuse to abandon myself through my "marital abandonment". I will post daily for the next 30 days.

Thank you!
brenner21 brenner21
36-40, F
2 Responses Jan 22, 2013

Yes. That is one of the most elementary, yet misunderstood lessons of the world. You will get back what you put out there. It is part of being in the world, and yet, so many people, when they think about it at all, feel the need to wrap it in a pseudo-mystical context, make it part of some theological construct. Karma is no more "mystical" than gravity.

And yet, it is ignored because "cause and effect" are rarely instantaneous. Everyone remembers that gravity is something to take seriously every time they trip and fall over. Not so their actions as they affect others or even themselves.

I should probably wait until I've read all your stories before commenting, I write something and then see that you touched on the topic in a later post. I will say this, then keep my fingers off the keyboard until I have read everything.

I said in an earlier response that my heart goes out to your husband because of his difficulties, his work problems, other things, as I read more I saw something I didn't want to see. Myself in my early twenties. All the things, well, not all the things, but many of the things you wrote about your husband were true of me.
The major difference was that I was more than ready to blame myself for everything, which, as I discovered, is the flip side of the coin of taking no responsibility for my life. While they seem the opposite, the result is the same, seeming emotional paralysis.

I say "seeming" because it was just that. My ability to "feel" emotions was perfectly intact, I simply did not wish to deal with them. I wanted "relationships", but nothing too demanding or "messy" You know, stuff like "compassion" or "empathy"

Not surprisingly, I rarely had a relationship that lasted more than seven or eight months. They would not have lasted that long, but I have a wicked, but at that time wickedly self-deprecating, sense of humor, that according to many of my ex-girlfriends, made up for a lot.

The turning point came when one relationship ended in the predictable manner, with me getting dumped,(Oh, cruel, cruel fate! Why me?) but something had happened in between that I didn't expect and didn't realize had happened at all....I had fallen in love with this young woman.

And it was over. Over for good and all. No redemption here! It was at that point that I pushed my life into it's logical, deeply unpleasant conclusion. I stopped taking any responsibility for my life. I was a piece of driftwood, floating on the tide. I felt powerless to stop it because I had no idea what I had lost. I KNEW something was "missing" inside of me, but I couldn't begin to guess what, let alone know how to "get it back"

For three years my life was emotional chaos. And physical chaos as well, I was drinking like a fish and eating only sporadically. Interestingly enough, my eating habits then and now are still what you described for yourself, I eat a bit at a time over the course of the whole day. I stop eating as soon as I am no longer hungry.

I couldn't hold a job, god help the woman who tried to become "involved" with me, it was during this time that I discovered that there are some women who feel a very powerful urge to "save" guys from themselves. It never works, of course, And I have often wondered if that wasn't the outcome they hoped for all along.

But, as with other things in my life that should have been damned hard to give up, but weren't, I decided one day that I was not going to live like that anymore. Something inside of me "clicked" and I told myself, "I'm not going to live like this anymore." and from that day forward, I did not. It wasn't all easy sledding, not at all. It took A LOT of hard work to get my life to the point that most would consider "normal" but I did it.

And reading about your husband, I cannot help but think, given time I would have been able to take enough responsibility to begin functioning in society again, but emotionally...I would be someone very much like him.

What a mess. Good luck with your "30 days"