“In fact, touch is one of the most forgotten languages.” Osho from “Hammer on the Rock”
A woman that I’ll refer to as Marilyn reached out to me this week and shared her story with me. She was without joy or connection in her life and in her marriage. She and her husband of 12 years have no love for one another and live essentially as roommates.
They have, however, been good co-parents together. They shuffle their three children everywhere they need to be, get their homework done and manage to get dinner on the table in one form or another.
But they – as husband and wife – haven’t been connected. They haven’t been for a while now.
They no longer say, “I love you.”
They haven’t kissed or touched in at least six months and haven’t had sex in six years.
So, Marilyn lies in bed at night feeling lonely, scared and rejected.
And this isn’t like her. She has a great job, a great house and her kids are amazing.
So why can’t she figure this out?
Why can’t she connect with her husband?
And the painful thought that keeps her awake on many nights is, Why doesn’t my husband want to connect with me?
And that has chipped away at her soul over the years.
I speak with a lot of women who are facing essentially the same story as Marilyn. And at first going without affection, intimacy and sex (yes, there is a difference between intimacy and sex) doesn’t seem like a big deal.
You go a few weeks and there are plenty of reasons: You’ve been so busy at work and he’s been travelling and the kids’ schedules have kept you consumed. It’s easy at that point to think, it will get better.
But weeks turns into months. You try to talk about it but then it just feels forced and awkward. You start to wonder if he’s not attracted to you anymore. You start to wonder if he’s cheating? Or gay.
And months turn into years… until you’re so disconnected from one another, you’re living as highly-functioning roommates in a sexless marriage. And even as a strong, confident, successful woman, you find yourself in bed at night feeling lonely, disconnected and rejected.
And eventually those feelings become too painful to ignore. And that discomfort you feel is your life speaking to you. It’s telling you the relationship – as it is – isn’t sustainable. Which means something has to change. You have to find your way back to one another or you may have to gently release it.
We were created from love and connection. We exist for love and connection. So, not having it – particularly for a prolonged period of time – can be incredibly painful. Because that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.
There’s an enormous difference between being good co-parents together and being connected as husband and wife.