Overall, I would say intimacy is one of my biggest struggles in our marriage. Even before last year I felt as if I had a whole separate part of me, deep inside, that John knew nothing about. I would share my feelings, as long as they didn’t bring up conflict (or even if I thought they had the smallest chance of causing conflict). It was easier for me to put on a happy face, than to pour out my heart—it still is. Intimacy is something that’s great to talk about, but it’s hard to do.
Couples choose to marry because we want a heart-connection with one other person for life. That’s why I married John. But it’s hard to make a connection when my heart is surrounded by a solid, brick wall.
One definition of intimacy that I’ve heard, and I have used in my writing, is: “In-To-Me-See.” But this is only possible when there is transparency between spouses—including sharing the truth about past conflicts, pain from former relationships, and personal struggles (both past and present).
I resisted transparency, even after sixteen years of marriage, in part because I was afraid to let John know how sinful I really am. I was sure he’d hate me (although I don’t know why I thought that) if he knew all my wild high school years involved. Or if he knew my current day-by-day struggles.
Over the years, it was easier to keep things to myself than to risk seeing disappointment or pain in my husband’s gaze. And, I realize now, even though I’ve been in a committed relationship from the time I was eighteen, I feared love. (Or every example I saw love to be.) I witnessed what it did to my own parents. I felt what it did with every other past relationship.
And over time I’ve worked to reveal myself to John, layer by layer. It’s a process, but I’m seeing the difference it makes on our level of intimacy. I feel loved after I bear all, and as I witness love in my husband’s gaze.
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SOURCE: Charisma News