She is a level-headed woman generally. Objective by nature. But now she asks, “What should I think?” No longer taking birth control because she says she doesn’t need it. They aren’t having sex. Her husband uses porn and now openly gawks at other women walking by. She says she doesn’t really care.
When a couple stops touching, the relationship is virtually over. Few people revive their intimacy after too much time without sex. Not everyone will believe this and may think it is too primitive for a true relationship of love. But that’s the stats folks. What to do if you physically can’t have intercourse? Figure it out. Must touch for intimacy. Sounds like a bumper sticker.
Reminds me of a mighty river that suffers interference of dams and rerouting waterways. Eventually a dry riverbed that once roiled with current and depth is left baking in the sun. Even Paul the Apostle who never married recognized that if you aren’t physically intimate with your spouse, your nonphysical connection is also lost.
Physical intimacy is of course only one paradigm of intimacy. And just about any one can say that, “Sex doth not a love make.” Nor am I talking about finances, floss left in the shower, or how someone squeezes the bottle of toothpaste. But whatever the many reasons are explaining the space on the couch, it ain’t good.
So what did I tell her? I certainly didn’t tell her “What she should think.” I did review that we can’t trust our feelings. “That’s true” she said. “I hadn’t thought of that.” Feelings lie all the time.
Question: What do you think? Agree or disagree.
Self Care Tip #59 – Keep it in the relationship. Be a friend to yourself.
It doesn’t have to be that complicated. “I only go two places. The tattoo parlor to hang out with my buddies or the beach.” He says he doesn’t have a cell phone or a computer. I see him every week with his wife, doing what he can to support her as she teaches a class for my 3-year-old. He smiles and chortles and pokes with satire. He has shown me his skin art several times and it is easy to see what these represent. The people he loves and who love him.
In the film written and directed by Derrick Borte, “The Joneses,” we watch a pseudo-family move into a gorgeous home with intent to market their wares to the unsuspecting towns-folk. As they are instruments in sales, they become infected with purchasing-power-fever. As their own fantasies grow of being the perfect family unit, so does the definition of what it takes to be one. Being happy individually as well as relationally equals easy access to riches and easy life. The glitch is that they are not a family nor does the new this or that belong to any of them. Like making a deal with Ursula the purple octopus-witch, they are ensnared. It becomes a hard choice to regain the rights to their lives. In the end, they barely escape with the understanding of what they can really claim as their own – love.
The other day when our dog was dyeing, at bedtime I was able to debrief with our daughter about her feelings. “I know you love me Mommy but it felt like you loved Maggie more than me. Even though I knew you loved me more, I didn’t feel it Mommy.” For someone who can barely see around her Ego, that’s pretty amazing! From her beautiful child-self, she told us that love is there even when we don’t feel it.
My husband was telling me his “Good News,” quite different from rights of passage like a fraternity. It is that God is already right here with each of us and unrelated to our performance. We all have Love, regardless of lost opportunities, low-character, higher learning, or technology.
It’s not that complicated.
Self Care Tip #51 – Take what is yours. Be a friend to yourself.
Question: Agree or disagree? What do you think? Please tell me your story.
My daughter came out of her room. “I can’t sleep Mommy. I feel lonely.” Part of me wanted to run the shadows down, throttle them and take revenge. Another part of me, stopped at what I saw in her eyes. It was as if she was saying, “Am I ok?” And I felt happy with the question. I knew there was my sunshine.
Am I ok? Am I the only one who feels this way?
My husband and I went to hear Rob Bell talk about suffering. He had us all write down on cards “I am not alone.” Then he asked us questions about suffering. “If you have loved someone who has died, please stand.” “If you or someone you know has had cancer, please stand.” “Who here is struggling with their finances?” “If you…,” and the questions went on. Pretty soon, there wasn’t anyone in the many hundreds of people attendance not standing. We looked at each other, exposed and awkward. Our crusty’s and defenses barely in place. Then Rob Bell asked us to give our card to someone we didn’t know. He did this over and over until we realized materially, that none of us were alone. I don’t know who’s writing is on my card but it reminds me that someone(s) out there share my suffering and I theirs.
For now, my daughter is small. For now, I hold her card. I knew what to say, and it felt like sunshine.
You are not alone. Many people feel that way all the time and feeling that way is normal. But you can’t trust your feelings. When you feel lonely, remember what you know to be true. You are not alone.
My daughter, looked at me and I saw that I got it right for once! We connected through something like a sliver of magic. I was so glad. She nodded, hugged and kissed and went to bed. It was dark outside but there was light in my heart.
Self Care Tip #19 – Share your card and take one – You are not alone! Be a friend to yourself.