After my divorce, the idea of being close to another person, made me quite reluctant.
I was afraid to trust… afraid to care too much… afraid to let my heart go “that far” again and end up being hurt.
Therefore, I had to do the spiritual footwork necessary to open myself up to the possibility of giving and receiving love once again.
After awhile, when my pain had healed and my heart grew strong enough to chance the feelings that would come with this step, I walked bravely forward.
It wasn’t easy… but the more I allowed others in… the more I recovered from my painful past.
Today… I still struggle with intimacy. I still sometimes create walls to hide behind or push those I love away… believing that I can protect myself from being hurt.
But I know, that to live life on a surface level… has never worked for me and never will.
It is hard to feel safe when sharing yourself with another human being… to trust that they will accept you as you are… and that they will love you flaws and all, but life is meant to be experienced through powerful and intimate connections to other human beings and not meant to be lived in fear.
“Dear God, help me receive the gift of intimacy. Help me to see the joy and all of the benefits of truly sharing who I am with another loving human being.”
Thank you. This is helpful for me today.
I love what you wrote. I have never been with another man and recently left my husband after 31 years of marriage. I was lonely and had no intimacy with him for most of our marriage. I accepted it, and one day decided I preferred to be alone. His negativity was dragging me into a pit of sadness. Still, it has been a challenge to stay positive even though this was my choice. Your writing touched me because I’m terrified of opening myself up to anyone. I hate being clouded by fear. Thank you for sharing.
Judy I totally understand… in my marriage…. my husband often used his addiction to keep me at a distance… it was very hard to trust again after so many years of emotional barriers and walls… over time I have learned to be be brave but of course… I still sometimes feel the fear that comes with that vulnerability. I’m here! : ) D.
In reading this today, I realized that my “new life” is barely even starting in this area. All you mentioned – afraid to care too much, afraid to be open, will I be accepted, will someone ever care about me again — I’m definitely in that zone. My male and female friends are here for me and I feel very comfortable, but moving into intimacy and having a partner again seems far, far away.
I often put up walls in the beginning and actually at times it was good because I would let some people in too quickly…. before I was completely healed… and end up in the same relationship dynamics I had with my husband… but now… if I catch myself putting up walls or purposely starting a verbal fight… I know that it is fear of intimacy and something I have to look at!
I love this how can a man love me when my husband made me feel so unloveable… the walls go up. To be free again…someday
Oh…. my heart hurts reading your words. I felt the same way… so unloveable… like I was too much for him. Now I realize that he was not enough for me. My ex and I worked our way through to a place of grace but I see now that his core values did not match mine and that I would have spent a lifetime trying to make it work. The man I am with now… loves me as I am… flaws and all and I see now that true intimacy comes when we find someone we are allowed to be vulnerable with and not chastised for it. I’ve learned I am loveable… and that I don’t have to be perfect to be considered loveable. I still put up walls every now and then… old habit… but I catch myself quickly… and tend to go there less and less… you will get there too! I’m here for you. D.
Hello and thank you for sharing this lovely post. Also separated, I’m noticing all the ways I avoid intimacy. The way those 3 little words seem congested in my throat when he says he loves me. The ways I judge the people when I love the people so dearly. Seeing it all fuelled by the stories I tell myself. But also seeing how in the moment of yielding to myself from this humble place of self acceptance, how an opening for grace and love opens up.
Dodie, it is so true. It takes time… and I remember that “hedge” in my own voice so well. I promise you will get to a place through your self-acceptance and grace that will create a desire for intimacy once again. I’m here for you! D.