Monday, January 9, 2012

Lack of intimacy

I have been trying to write this entry for a long time.  Intimacy is a tough subject to talk about.  When Lane first died I thought about how much I missed his touch, holding his hand and kissing.  All part of an intimate relationship.  I quickly started to try and block out those feelings because they made me sad and so lonely.

Now 5 years later I can finally say out loud that I miss having sex (that wasn't easy to say) and all of the feelings that go with it.  I miss looking into his eyes knowing that he is attracted to me.  I miss the secrets and code words that we shared.  And I definitely long for his embrace, good morning kiss and the way he touched the back of my neck before he fell asleep each night.

It's hard to talk about intimacy or the lack of intimacy with any one.  It is embarrassing for a woman my age to say she misses having sex.  Who wants to hear that?  But I imagine a lot of you feel like I do.

We might learn how to use a power drill or accept the fact that we are solely responsible for our financial future.  But how do we accept that fact that we most likely will never be intimate with any one ever again?

Of course I am talking about a lot more than just having sex.  I am talking about true intimacy which I am sure that many of you shared with your late husbands like I did with mine. 

I worry that my lack of intimacy has made me a colder person over all. 

Do you miss the intimacy?



  1. That is a rough subject Sue, but thanks for bringing it up, I don't think we should resign ourselves to the fact that this type of relationship is never going to occur. Live with a open mind, heart and look up and around instead of down. We may be the ones putting the x on our selves by the way we carry ourselves and relate to others. I no longer in a group of people say I'm never going to date, or go out to supper, you have no idea who is around that may have a interest and will give a call say a year later (this has happened to me) I had no idea this person was interested and it was a friend from the past who knows the history and knew my husband. That is the best part we can talk openly about him and not have to explain so many things. Right now it's in the talking stage as I'm not moving until I know this is right. But I'm going forward with a open mind and heart. And never say never, the reason our husbands loved us will shine thru and hopefully give us joy in the rest of our lives.

  2. Sue-

    Thank you for taking the step to raise this very emotional and tough subject.

    It seems it is very "taboo" in this culture, (sex laden though it is, to the point of almost being pornographic in some ways and I guess that is the point, the intimacy gets left out so often) to speak about the most profound, natural and necessary human need. I too find it hard to bring up while counseling, although I drop "hints". I am not comfortable discussing it with male counselors, and even the female ones seem to skirt the issue although it may be that they won't discuss it unless I am more direct (ie expecting me to take the lead).

    All you have said describes it perfectly. I am just shy of the first anniversary of losing my husband. I am 55 and had expected to have more years of intimacy with him, despite all the changes that come with middle age (ED etc... he would have been 66 this spring). INTIMACY will probably be impossible for me to find again. Sex is not so hard to get if one is still reasonably fit and passably attractive (and it would seem that sometimes even that is not required when you look around or read what you read, LOL). Plus I dislike all the cultural "myths" about widows- i.e. men who hit on us because they think we couldn't possisbly be surviving without sex, other women who think we will put moves on or "steal" their partners, and anyone who thinks we are "too old" and should just be happy "remembering" what deep love and sexual passion was like.

    Yes, I deeply miss it with HIM, and the committed and faithful love we shared over nearly three decades, and I have been surprised over the last months the intensity of the longings and emotions. Ironcially, when we have our guys we sometimes take it for granted (being too tired, just wanting to get "sex" over with so we can sleep, wander in our worries etc.). Believe me, if he walked in the door this second I would take him to bed for a month of Sundays and never want to let go!!!!! I was truly crazy about my dh.

    And yes, it was the TRUE intimacy and love of having sex together, still in love, and all the little flirtations, passing touches throughout the day etc. I so deeply miss goodnight kisses, hand holding, squeezes to the back of the neck, EVERY LITTLE LOVING GESTURE. There is nothing to compare and no way to replace any of it. It was the real deal.

    Yes I most profoundly miss the intimacy. It was the gift between he and I. I lived many years before meeting him in my mid twenties, but the truest and best intimacy and sex is with the one you love for always - nothing compares to that realtionship and the truly sacred sex it provides and the levels it takes one to.

    The hard part is that I feel so alone and isolated in this regard. I am not a "cold" person, maybe just a quite "private" one. My good friend who lost her partner of many years gets it and we talk about it. Others who have been divorced or in and out of many realationships - not so much.

    I am working on ways to keep it all with him. I call it "sacred sex" in which I talk to him and visualize and hear him and go through my memories of our intimacy. It helps but is not a substitute, obviously. He was THE ONE and I can't imagine ever having that kind of caring, closeness and joy with another man again.

    So I guess we just take it one day at a time and paint the picture as we go. Thank you Sue for having the courage to talk about this, because it is so hard living without our partner in every way, and I am certain it is so painful for many other women as well. Has to be if you had that kind of love and marriage.

    1. I Was Married To My Husband For 24 Years And Happily Together For 26 Years. We Were And We Will Always Be High School Sweethearts LOVE At First Sight LOVE. I Had NEVER Been With AnotherMan Intimately. So. What I Am Saying Is I Was A Virgin When I Met My Husband AGAIN Just 5 Years AfterWe Both Had Graduated From The Same High School. The Reason That I Called Us High School Sweethearts Is Becsuse If I Could Have Dated Him In High School I Would Have But At This Time In Both Of Our Lives We Were Both VERY QUIET AND SHY. IFeltThat Meeting Up With Him Again 5 Years After Our VERY QUIET
      AND SHY High School Moments And Also Knowing That We Were Both Virgins I Am Just Calling This FATE. NOW That My Husband Of This Many Years Has Passed Away And Knowing In My HEART That If I Must Label Our Love As Our ONE and ONLY Love at First Love And Again Knowing That We Wete Both Virgins Wgen We Fell In Love This Many Years Ago I Will ALwAYS In My HEART Be Madried To The Love Of My Life FOREVER And For An ETERNItY As Much As I Am Mussing The Intimacy Pary Of Our 26 Year Beautiful Adventure I Dont Ever Want Another Man To EVER This Side Of My LIFE. I Would Feel This To Be In A Sence Of A Form Of Cheating. YOU SURE DONT EVER KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE In LIFEUNTIL SOMEYHING THIS PRESCIOUS IS RIPPED AWAY FROM YOUR VERY LOVING HANDS.
      I Really MISS aLL Of The Daily Kisses That We Used To Shate Also. ALL Of Our Kissrs Wete MY FAVORATE. I MIss aLl Of Our Cuddly Time Our Beautiful Tight Hugs That We Used To Share With Each Other EVERYDAY FOR 26 YEARS.
      I Miss My Husband And I Am Definately Missing The Intimacy That We BOTH Had Shared And YES I Am Incredibly SAD LONELY AND YES I Can Say I Am MISSING Having The Intimate Moments The kisses The Cuddles And The Hugs AND YES I Xan Also Say That I Am Also Missing Having SEX With My Beautuful One Of A Kind Irreplaceable Love Of My Life Husbabd.

    2. I am sitting here crying as I read about the intimacy you had with your husband. I just lost my husband of 35 years. He died after being diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in 2 weeks. I have been stunned by this. He was my road manager for my career and We were together 24/7. He really was my best friend, manager, lover, counselor. I miss exactly what you have described in your blog. I am so happy to know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I have not been able to or felt at ease to talk about this to any of my family or friends. It is always furtive statements along this line. I think they don't know how to listen to this without it becoming uncomfortable for them. I am on the rest of this journey of life and just trying to figure out how to carry on without my soul mate. I miss you EB forever. The talks, the sex the sharing of our selves completely and the sincere love through youth to old age.

  3. i miss back scratches, foot rubs, and, when he got into bed, how he always patted my butt twice and said, "yer a good ol' broad." This from the most liberated guy i knew.

    i miss dancing in the kitchen after dishes, and signing my emails "smoochie,smoochie."

    And most of all, I miss having someone there who laughs before I even tell the joke.

  4. Yes,I miss his arm around me at night and snuggling as well as being intimate.He was the only man I've ever been with and can't imagine being with anyone else.

  5. My husband and I had a great sex life for 35 years! It was such a strong physical attraction and I often had to pinch myself because he was such a gorgeous man!! And I was widowed at 53 and have missed sex and the intimacy it provided intensely. But not as much as I miss him being in my life. And I loved sex before he died....not interested in pursuing it with anyone else. I find men my age to be selfish, unhealthy and unattractive and mostly attracted to women decades younger than me! So I too remember what it was like to be with my darling and that gets me through the long, lonely nights!

  6. Thanks Sue,
    I am all over the place on this one. I had a great (no better) then great sex life with Robbie. I have told people I had enough sex with Robbie to last two life times, but as you and others write it is more then just sex. It was the hugs (oh I miss his hugs) the kisses, the grab of my boobs or the rub of my butt. His cute way of saying I ready for some pu--y now. I hear him in my head but as you all know it is not the same.
    I have a part time job at where he worked I clean the offices at night and he worked there during the day. I would leave my fulltime job and speed (I did not tell him I was speeding) to get there before he would get off. I wanted my hug and kiss that was all I wanted. When I could get my hug & kiss I could work that night with no problem.
    I miss the hugs, kisses, touches I would give anything to have them back and yes I did take them for granted I took him for granted I just knew he would be home every day. It has been almost a year since he did not come back home and all I want is a do over, but I don't get one of them.
    I have to wait to get to heaven before I can be back in his arms.
    I have no plans and guess I am closed minded about looking at anyone or for any one else. You watch the news and see what has happen to other women who quote trusted someone else ( not me ) I will stay alone first and have my memories to help keep me going.
    Thanks for this blog Sue we all need it and you.

  7. I do miss the intimacy, and although I'm only seven months in, I cannot imagine ever sharing it with anyone else. Because my husband had prostate cancer our sex life ended abruptly with his surgery over five years ago. We were both sad and upset about that, but were so focused on getting him cured, or at least in remission, that we put sex on the back burner. Then a year ago, after all available treatments had been tried -- prostatectomy, androgen therapies, multiple radiation therapies, multiple chemo therapies, stereotactic radiosurgery -- and all had failed, we were both extremely angry and felt so cheated, not just because we now had confirmation that he had only months left to live, but also because at the rather young age of 55 we had to give up what was so precious to both of us. We were both very bitter when we thought back to all the discussions we had with doctors about trying to restore some sexual function. Each of them said 'oh, that can wait -- we'll get to that stage eventually.' Making love was something that was very special for us, and we had only been married for 20 years when we were forced to give it up. I missed our being able to make love, but now I miss even more all of the intimate gestures and touches, the looks that didn't need words, the secret language, and the connection that only someone who has been in a solid, loving, committed, curl-your-toes, dang-I-love-that-man relationship can appreciate. It took us a long time to find one another, and there will never be anyone else who will fill that void for me.

  8. Welcome back Sue and I appreciate this week's blog. It is difficult to express how much I miss the intimacy we shared. At the age of 61 our sex life had evolved into that tenderly exciting, soothing, enjoyable passion which comes from loving each other for 38 years. During those first months of numbness, I would put pillows on his side of the bed to not feel so alone. We used to cuddle before sleeping,with or without sex, simply becuase he knew how much it meant to me,even if he was tired.

    I applaud those of you who have progressed to new avenues of love. After three years, I am not there yet. I'm not desperate for an emotional nor physical relationship. I do miss the dialogue, hugs, outings, etc., what man would settle for that? I guess I am describing a good male friend. If something more would develop,good. However, those choices haven't come. I know that I will not be the 'other' woman nor will I 'rob the cradle'. It would have to be the whole connection not just a physical arrangement.

    I will admit there is some fear of rejection
    not to mention that unfair feeling that no one could measure up to my husband. But hey, I will move forward with a new attitude of 'looking up and around instead of down'

  9. Yes, I miss the intimacy most of all. Thanks for asking. I've been a widow for 11 months and I miss sex and intimacy with my husband very much. No one can replace him but I am certain that I can love again. I am only 52 years old and do not want to remain single. He died very suddenly of a heart attack, at the age of 54, while we were out cross country skiing with friends. I was very married, our friends are married, I don't even know how to get back into the dating scene. Someday I would like to remarry but for now I would welcome dates, with kisses and hugs and hand holding. Trouble is, most everyone I know is already married. I've checked out a couple online dating sites but I'm very uncomfortable meeting up with a stranger from some other city. I'm sorry that I'm not pining away after my dead husband but he's just not coming back and I'm alive and healthy and have needs. I hate this.

    I'm just staying on topic here. Just because I haven't written about all kinds of other or more deeper thoughts doesn't mean they aren't there.

  10. Yes, I to miss the itimacy when you are married a good few years (51) you develope a closness and another person can't fill the void, So there are a lot of us in the same boat sort to speak, we know its a lonely road to travel, a day at a time. I love this site

  11. To the last commenter, I feel the very same. I was 53 when my husband died 18 months ago. I've really grieved losing this physical part of my life with my sweet husband. I pray that God will answer the prayers for new partners for those of us who want to remarry. There is nothing wrong with this desire for intimacy. It was God who created this in us.

  12. Oh, how I miss everything about my husband... Intimacy was so special between us. It took me a while to comment on this one because I just felt like crying. Everyday we were together, there was always winks, touching, kissing, compliments, sex, dancing, singing, laughter and etc... The list is endless... He truely was my "soul-mate." Time with him was amazing. There will never be another like him, I would be very surprised. ha! I've been doing some remodleing in the house, needed to make some changes. I'm keeping busy, but yes, sexually frustrated and feel alone. I have plenty of people around me, but no fun and loving intimacy, yet! ha! Just putting that out there. I will see what happens in 2012. Feb. 18th, one year marker. I'll see what happens after that. Moving forward, I don't like running solo. I liked being married. Almost at my 1 yr. Trish...

  13. Yes, I miss the intimacy and the affection so much that it hurts.
    My husband of 30 years passed away about eight months ago. It is frightening to think that I'll never have such an intimate relationship again and that the person who loved me most in the world is gone. At this point, I can't imagine being with any other man, nor can I imagine being alone for the rest of my life. I"m 58.

  14. Thank you for expressing that so perfectly. As I awoke
    this morning, I flashed back to a morning neck kiss,
    normal for my late husband to kiss me from behind
    and I cherish that memory, but it certainly is
    bittersweet. I probably will never experience that again
    and that is tough to admit. Thanks for listening !

  15. So good to know that others are feeling the same thing. I just passed the one year mark of my husband dying. We all know that for a while there is just nothing but pure, raw grief and then numbness and of course, the business in just taking over the care of family and household by yourself. but in the last month or two i have begun to notice that I am just missing his physical closeness. I long so bad for someone just to hug me. In the middle of the night, I look over to his side of the bed and sometimes think i see his outline. but when you reach over, you know there is nothing there. Sorry, if I am being too down. today is his birthday and I am just missing him so bad.

  16. I'm 55 and two months along on the widowhood trail. My husband and I were together 25 years (2 dating, 23 married). For the past seven years, he battled an incurable fatal immune system disorder that caused all kinds of physical symptoms. Sex was not part of our life during this time, but we were never closer. Intimate? We finished each other's sentences. Saw the same thing while traveling down the road. Had nearly parallel values. Rarely argued. Lived in the present.
    What else do you have, when you get down to it?

    Every Christmas, he would buy me fancy lingerie. I was never a girly girl, but would wear it, as a gift for him. The day he died, two weeks before Christmas, he asked to have me open my presents, and of course there was the lingerie gift...leopard print this year. I couldn't put the set on fast enough for him. He died a happy man.

    Beware of self fulfilling prophesies...if you say I will will likely unfold in that direction.

    Live each day as your last, with an open, but cautious heart. We did, and it gave us a wonderful 25 year run.

    I miss him terribly, and I'm sure I am going to feel the loss for the rest of my life. But I know he would want me to carry on, in fact, at one point he said to me: you'll have no problem finding company after I'm gone. It helped to have some time before he left to prepare for life afterwards. I know I have his blessing to move on to the next phase when I am ready.

  17. I am so surprised to find so many widows around this age..I became a widow at 55, after 25 years of a great partnership and marriage.
    MY HUSBAND AND BEST FRIEND passed away 3 years ago (60 yrs) of cancer of the head and neck.

    Well, like all of you , I grieved a lot but now, have a few good friends from the Hospice group. Yet, at times ..I still cannot get over it and still miss him terribly. My comfort zone is gone . I do think a lot of our intimacy, closeness and physical love and it is something I find difficult to even imagine with another man again.My husband was always so athletic, well toned and had the body of a much younger, how did that happen.??
    He was always witty and cracking me up..I just miss all of him including some idiotic things that he would do or say..till today.