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What Is Intimacy, Exactly?

Question:

What I ask may seem dumb. However, I am 46 year old. My wife is 53. She says I need to be more intimate??? Not only in the bedroom but also in every aspect of our marriage. What is intimacy and how does one go about achieving it? I love my wife with all my being. But, this is frustrating to me for I know not what it is?????

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Answer:

Your question is not dumb at all. Actually, many people do not really grasp the deeper meaning of intimacy. Why this is so is not the purpose of this response.

To begin with, you need to know what exactly your wife is referring to? In general, when a spouse complains about the lack of intimacy in a relationship they are usually referring to a failure to share who they are on a deeper level. It is not simply a matter of not talking. People can speak with each other while being extremely superficial. This same superficiality can pervade a marriage.

Being intimate with another means being totally visible without any screen to hide behind. Intimate lovers reveal and discuss their deepest secrets, fears, pains, fantasies and wishes regardless of how frightening or irrational they may be. Sexually and in every way, they share in the same way. That sharing is mutual. In that sharing, marriage partners feel safe an secure in the knowledge that their secrets are safe.

With regard to sexuality, the screen is absent, as in every other way. In fact, sexuality feels warm and loving, while, at the same time, lovers are willing to reveal their deepest sexual wishes. Sexuality becomes more than intercourse, alone. There is touching, caressing, kissing, embracing and full body contact with no holds barred.

There are people who find all of this very difficult. The reasons are many and varied. In my opinion, it would be a good idea for you and your wife to enter marriage psychotherapy in order that the two of you find ways to overcome these barriers. It is possible that, at least to some small degree, she makes you uncomfortable about what is already hard for you, revealing yourself. In addition, individual psychotherapy is probably a good idea for you.

Best of Luck

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