Intimacy

I state on our home page that this is Lynn’s and my blog.  I believe that despite the fact that I do the writing and she probably never will.  She is, however, inextricably entwined in everything I write.  The words are mine but the reality of it all is ours. Until now. I’m still writing but I needed her wisdom and her opinion on this thing called intimacy.  I have come quite a ways in this area in the last three and a half years, but asking me, a man who spent 45+ years in an emotional coma with intimacy issues to write about intimacy, seemed rather like giving the keys to the inmates.  So I asked for Lynn’s help.

In and of itself, most of the women who read this are thinking, “Sure.  Seems right,” while most of the men reading it look like deer in the headlights and are picking their jaws up off the floor.  Why?  Why is that?  Because that, right there, may or may not be the beginning of intimacy but is most certainly is a part – being vulnerable.  Admitting I don’t know it all.  I need help.  And I did need help.  I wanted to get this right because it is so very important to having the deep, beautiful, spiritual marriage God intended for us all.  The closest relationship on Earth that we can have to the relationship with God we lost in the Garden of Eden.

I first asked Lynn to define intimacy.  I jokingly told her to keep it short and sweet.  Remember, she had no warning about this question.  She was getting ready for bed, came into the bedroom and *BAM* I asked her.  It took her maybe 10 seconds, including the time it took to wonder if I was serious, to formulate her definition: “Being fully known and loved anyways.”  You see?  Wisdom personified.  So I pushed a little more.

“How does that look in the physical part of a relationship?”

“Being free to express ones needs and desires honestly and without fear – of rejection.  What you want more of, what you like and what you don’t.”

And then came what Lynn is so, so very good at but not that long ago would have sent me running into my coma – she showed me her definition.  She went deep.  She went past the intellectual, head stuff and cut to where true intimacy lies – the heart.  She reminded me of the last year prior to my being found out.  The emotional distance I had created between us made the physical intimacy really difficult.  She knew I wasn’t ‘all in’ and it was, to put it mildly, tough to do it.

She continued.  Intimacy isn’t casual.  It takes an intentionality that is foreign to most of us.  We have to decide to share.  Choose it.  Be intentional about it.  Prioritize it.  But to be fully satisfying, it must also be reciprocated.  When it isn’t reciprocated it feels like rejection.

And the wheels fall off the wagon.  When I don’t get out of my head and into my heart where Lynn is concerned, when I don’t reciprocate feelings for feelings, it feels as if I’m rejecting her again.  Do we have “head” discussions?  Certainly.  She’s the bottom-line one in our relationship.  I’m the one who gets analysis paralysis weighing all the options.  But when she’s choosing to be intimate and sharing her feelings with me, I, as the one who professes to love her with all my heart, darn well better prove it and check my head at the door, engage my heart and choose intimacy.  It’s love.  It’s tangled up together – love and intimacy.

Intimacy is V-T-H.  Cute, huh?  It’s Vulnerability, Transparency and Honesty. It requires choosing to go there.  Choosing to LIVE there.  Choosing to cast aside societal lies, family of origin lies, Satan’s lies, and practicing intimacy.  Yes, it takes practice.  Intentional practice.  You’ve heard the old adage that “Practice makes perfect?”  Most of us have practiced the wrong lesson our entire life.  Love says it’s time to choose a different outcome.