“I miss the intimacy”

by Annie Kaszina on November 22, 2007

Hi Annie,

I am so grateful for your website. I have just been flung out
of a severely abusive relationship and made to feel it was my own doing and with
your 7 step help guide, I hope to evercome this. I just wanted to know if in the
future steps there was anything about missing the intimacy (being touched, sex,
kissing etc)? I ask this because although I was abused along with my children
(his step children) I still miss him touching me and loving me as this was one
thing there were no issues with and became something I clung to. Knowing that he
picked someone out straight away is really hurting me too and I keep imagining
them in bed together and it hurts so deeply. I also have a strong objection to
anyone else touching me, almost like thinking only his hands can make me feel
special. I would love any advice you have to give.

Hi H.,

No there is nothing in
the The Seven Things You Need To Know To Truly Heal about missing the intimacy, specifically the physical
intimacy.

There is actually a reason for this: in my belief, there is
little or no true intimacy in an abusive relationship.  This is something I am
quite ‘hardline’ about and, of course, you are free to disagree with me
totally.

But for me, at least, it goes like this: true intimacy is born
of and nurtured by trust.  An abusive relationship systematically stamps out
trust.

This makes abused women very hungry indeed for any sign of love,
closeness, being cherished.  Touching, sex, kissing etc. apparently
provide this.  Because all these things most commonly occur in a loving
relationship, when they occur it is easy to conclude that the relationship is
loving, at least at that moment and that your partner’s intention
is loving. 

Sadly it tends not to work like that in an
abusive relationship.  An abusive partner will use any and every tool in his
armoury to keep you hooked in.  Sometimes abuse will work and sometimes, when
he’s pushed you a little too hard, sweet talking etc will swing it for him. 
 
Of course you desire intimacy, and miss it.  The
problem is that for as long as you confuse touch and physicality with intimacy
you will be easily manipulated by either your present partner or one of the
reserve army of abusers that wait in the wings.  (Please note that I am not
saying that all men are abusers, they aren’t.  Still, it’s amazing how quickly
those who are sniff out a vulnerable women.)
 
So I would urge you to be very wary.  You write
that his hands made you feel special. 
 
His words did not.
 
It’s not surprising – to me, at least – that he
found someone else very quickly.  He needed that in order to feel good about
himself – and possibly to make you feel worse.  The chances of the new
relationship working well over time are small.  But even if it were to, so
what?  You may not feel it yet, but he has given you back your life, your chance
to grow and your chance to create relationships that will nurture and sustain
you.  Meanwhile, his latest lady love is likely to find herself with the
severely abusive man you well knew a few months or years down the line.  If
anything, she deserves your pity.
 
Warm wishes,
 
Annie

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