When Asking for Intimacy is Too Much

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I always had a difficult time trying to get John to be intimate with me.  Physical interactions were far and few between, but what bothered me more than that was the emotional intimacy that seemed to be missing from our relationship.  From really early on I would ask John to share stories of his childhood with me.  He would always respond by saying he couldn’t think of any.  If I persisted and continued to ask him to try and think of just one small memory it would usually end in him getting angry with me (and by now you know how that would end).  I was desperate to get to know more about the man I fell in love with… but it was like trying to penetrate a brick wall.  I would ask him what he loved about me and he would respond by saying, I don’t know … I just love you.  Again, if I tried to pursue this it would end with anger and aggression.   To this day I still don’t know if he just didn’t want to share these things with me or if he was truly incapable of intimacy.  Eventually I stopped asking him to try and think of stories to tell me… and I stopped asking him why he loved me… and I just accepted that those were things I would never get from my husband.

One day I sat down with him to talk about having a baby.  I’m sure he knew it was coming because I have always wanted a large family and hadn’t kept it a secret.  (Before we got married I had told him that at the very least I wanted three children and if this was something he didn’t want from life then we would not be a good match.)  During this conversation John shared that he would “let me have a baby” so long as he was able to still work on his game two nights a week.  (He has a side business where he programs and sells his own computer games).  If I could promise him the baby would not interfere with this, then I would be permitted to have a child.  I didn’t think twice of this request.  At this point my mind had already been altered so much that I did all of the cleaning, cooking and house upkeep by myself.  It made perfect sense to me that a baby shouldn’t disrupt his life at all.  My life mirrored a chessboard.  Every move needed to be calculated and thoroughly thought out to ensure his life was as comfortable as possible so I reduced the chance that he might blow.

We got pregnant on the first attempt that we made.  I was elated.  I couldn’t wait to hold this baby in my arms.  I couldn’t wait to share this experience with my husband.  I would frequently lay in bed next to him at night and ask him to touch my stomach… or to try and feel the baby kick.  He refused.  He acted like my belly was a grenade, and touching it would set off some devastating explosion.  He avoided it at all costs.  When I asked him why he wouldn’t touch my stomach he told me it’s because he was afraid he wouldn’t feel the baby kick.  I explained to him how important it was to me and how I felt I was missing out on an important experience that a woman dreams about and fantasizes about.   My openness and honesty was rewarded with aggressiveness and anger.  One day I did get him to agree to touch my stomach for just one minute.  When that minute passed he pulled his hand back like he was pulling it out of a fire.  That was the last day that I asked him to feel the baby.  To this day I feel like I missed out on an experience that every woman is entitled to.  The lack of intimacy and the rejection that I felt for those nine months and then the nine months of my next pregnancy still haunt me.  I looked at those little lives as the most miraculous gifts that I had been given and I just wanted to share that with the person who helped me create them.  Unfortunately, that was not something that was in the cards for me.  This was not the first sign that I was alone in this relationship … but it was one of the most difficult for me to come to terms with.

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