Marriage and Intimacy

I was asked to write about marriage and intimacy. What a topic of so much divergence and complicated to the human nature. When I see marriages that survived WWII, Korea and Vietnam I can’t avoid thinking “wow, how they made that happened”, but the more I speak with more experienced couples the more I see a common theme among them, values and commitment. I remember seeing my grandparents’ growing old and still saying “I love you” like it was part of their daily language. “What have we forgotten or when did we disconnect?” “There is no intimacy, there is no marriage”. These question and statement are so common and have been brought to my attention by spouses of wounded warriors. One afternoon I am sitting at home and I am reflecting in all the comments that I have heard and the pain and sorrow that these situations bring to these spouses. Are you the spouse of a wounded warrior? Life is not over, like my husband will say, “It is a new beginning”. The problem is that sometimes we are young and full of life and in a minute we feel that life as we know it is gone. In 2009 when my husband was wounded and medically evacuated I was uncertain about our future but I was certain I would work hard to make it a better one and I was determine to bring color to our life. At first all the colors I saw could have painted a rainy gloomy day, however I knew my palate of colors had to expand to be able to paint that beautiful clear rainbow that comes after the rain, and so I did. When I think of intimacy I do not think it can be interchangeably and uniquely seen from the perspective that usually society defines it: a sexual encounter. My first question was “How elderly couples or even severely wounded couples achieve intimacy?” Well it came to mind that intimacy is what you make of it, it is how you define it and “Oh how happy I am”, that means I am in control of it. Many times with a spouse that has been wounded, the physical scars (if any) may heal but the emotional scars are sometimes the most devastating. Expectations is a meaningful factor when it comes to intimacy so let me describe it this way: If I expect my husband and I, to have intimacy as many times described by society and it is not achieved, then I could feel disappointed, discourage and unhappy, only because I haven’t reach my expectations, it is part of human nature. Do you know what that means? it means you have control of your expectations. If you set your expectations so hi that with your partner’s conditions makes them unrealistic, then you are in trouble because you will be unhappy, disappointed and discouraged. On the other hand if we define intimacy as our own we could describe it as a nice afternoon in the park holding hands exchanging words of affirmation of love, then it may be more a reach. For me intimacy is my husband brewing coffee, serving it and having a nice conversation. In winter would be having hot cocoa in front of the fireplace and embedded in a dialogue and laughs. I never expect more or less than a good time and that is what helped me achieve intimacy, strengthen the marriage and achieve happiness in the phase we are. You may say that it sounds easier than what reality is and I completely agree but if I found my formula to reach that point of contempt then I encourage you to create your own formula to success, each one of us is different and I know you can do it. I am a very positive person so I tend to identify good attributes of every so-called bad circumstance. I describe marriage as a journey of various scenarios and adventures but more than that, it is the ultimate sacrifice of love, holding to one another and never let go when the hike gets steep and rocky. In marriage communication is an attribute and skill that needs refinement and perfection with time. Communication is not just talking: it is about expressing a thought in the various ways possible; it is how you look at each other, the way you pass the plate for dinner, a gentle touch, and the last words you say when starting a busy day or what is said before going to sleep. In reality, couples sometimes think that communication is a formal way of taking time to discuss issues and resolve problems. Communication should be the way you utilize various mechanisms possible to express a feeling, idea or message. A daily positive communication can safe a marriage from devastating consequences, and it should be practiced in a daily basis. It never hurts to provide kind words, to smile, to look in the eyes and say it all. I encourage you to take the next week and think about that person you married, who she/he was, How you first met and how you both knew you were in love? What is a good anecdote or story that made you laugh so hard that you cried. When did you decide to get married and why? What was that special connection you had that made you decide you really wanted to spend the rest of your life with that significant human being in your life? And I would say, ask yourself this final question: How can we both start a new beginning and a new normal in our lives, one that would be better than what we ever imagined?

Comments

  1. I met you at BAMC on Friday and you inspired me to start my own blog...

    www.woundedwifelife.blogspot.com


    thanks for the inspiration and thanks for sharing your story.

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    Replies
    1. Amy, this is wonderful. I wills hare your blog with others and will add a link in our website, www.tbiwarrior.com. Many blessings and I am looking froward to follow your journey :) Hugs!

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  2. Hello,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Doug

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  3. Hi Doug,thanks for you interest. Please send me your email address to rdelgado@tbiwarrior.com. Thanks do much and I'm looking forward to connect :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Doug,thanks for you interest. Please send me your email address to rdelgado@tbiwarrior.com. Thanks do much and I'm looking forward to connect :)

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  5. I cant even understand this concept anymore. I dont even know the man I'm married to, when hes mad. He gets mad anytime I ask hime to do something share with him how I feel or anything that gets in his way. He calls me names throws things at me and when I try to calm him down and talk to him about he says its not because of his PTSD its because im a stupid or a bit** and I do this to him. I always thought of my self as a perfect millitery and cant understand why he blames this on me. It feels like my husband died in Iraq and I'm stuck living with this other person. As much as I love him and dont blame him for this,he keeps blaming me and its slowley killing me I dont even know who I am anymore. How long do I have hope. I dont know why I'm writing this i guess I have nowhere else to go

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    Replies
    1. Hi, there. Is your husband in any sort of treatment program? Are you involved in any form of support group? My fiance is deployed fir the third time, and finally had a full ptsd meltdown. I pushed to get the Army to put him in treatment over there, and today discovered an undiagnosed TBI from the first deployment. I know the challenges, too, as ptsd has definitely impacted my life through him. If you wanna vent, email me at gunnarsmama84@gmail.com.

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  6. Marriage and intimacy, what an awesome topic. Coming from someone that has suffered with severe PTSD for over forty years I can truly state intimacy is very hard to come by, but not impossible. I could tell you of many years of how to live and deal with PTSD, which did not work very well; it's called avoidance. It will also cause other avoidance's, too, one being intimacy. However, I came across a book that has helped me and my wife tremendously, and I wish that I had this type of information revealed years ago. But I guess that my eyes were blinded to it like many other things due to my PTSD. I wish that I could afford to buy copies of this book to give to everyone that I know as a married couple that has a partner that suffers with PTSD or a TBI to help with their relationship, it's "SEXPERIMENT 7 DAYS TO LASTING INTIMACY WITH YOUR SPOUSE" by Ed and Lisa Young.

    I think that you will be surprised with what you will find out about this book. You can get a sample of it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sexperiment+7+days+to+lasting+intimacy+with+your+spouse&sprefix=Sexperiment%2Caps%2C150

    I hope that this will help some of our young Veterans and their families.
    http://ptsdawareness.org
    The Unknown Veteran of PTSD Awareness

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  7. Thank you very much for your email and for sharing your website. I had the opportunity to read your information and I cannot tell you enough how proud I am of you. A friend of mine lost her husband to PTSD and she lives everyday with a memory she says will never fade away.

    Thanks for all you do in creating awareness.

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