Do you hold back emotionally with your wife? Do you have a difficult time being really open with her? Do feel uncomfortable if you spend too much time together? Do you like sex, but dislike lying together awake after sex? All of these are signs of a fear of intimacy.
If this is you, I’d say that on some level you fear what would happen if you did these things. The possibilities are nearly endless. Some reasons don’t make rational sense – and those are the most difficult to deal with. A few to get you thinking:
- If you do these things you’re weak
- If you do these things, she “wins”
- If you do more, she’ll do less
- She might come to expect it
- She might appreciate it and do something nice for you
- She might want to be more intimate (in general)
- If you need her, she has control over you
- There are parts of yourself you don’t want to share or don’t want her to know about
It seems to me that when we marry we are promising to become one, which requires us to be intimate in every way possible. If you’re holding back, if you’re fighting intimacy, you’re failing to fulfil your promise to be her husband. If you see yourself in this, I suggest you fess up to her. Tell her you know you’re holding back, and if you have any idea why you do it, share that too. Be clear that you know this is about you, not her, and is a result of your fear or past, not anything she has or hasn’t done. Ask for her prayers, patience and support as you work to change.