Men, Intimacy and Isolation

Couple not talking after a fight on the sofa in living room at home

Men and Intimacy – Part 3 (the prior post: Men, Intimacy and Guilt)

The spouse who lives and breathes next to an emotionally distant man may experience a strong dose of isolation.

If guilt and a sense of undue responsibility are present she may shrink from the world. Her world narrows, her enthusiasm for life dampens and sense of self becomes fragmented and dull. A part of her mind dwells on what is not.

As a couple they may “shrink;” perhaps playing the game of marital life as if nothing is amiss. They attend parties, or socialize and others see a perfectly balanced couple. The ride home; however, is marked by silence or superficial conversation.

Since others around her seldom divulge their marital pain, she lives with the illusion that she is alone. She believes she must suffer alone. Perhaps it’s not that bad. Perhaps things will change when x happens.

Again, in my report “7 Reasons Men have Difficulty Getting Close and Staying Close,” I outline common patterns men (and women also) use to cope and maintain what they believe is their emotional equilibrium.

Comments from many of the readers felt great relief to realize they are not alone. Identifying specifically the patterns that have been exposed over a period of time with thousands of men, ties one to the struggle of others.

As one woman commented: “ Also, it helps me understand that I am not alone in trying to come to terms with how my ex treated me in the past.”

2 thoughts on “Men, Intimacy and Isolation”

  1. This is my life right now, except I’m a man with an emotionally distant wife. She’s been like this since I threw a wrench into her affair last year. I think, ridiculous as it seems to me, she hasn’t forgiven me for discovering her affair. So after a year of struggling to get her to cut off contact, to focus on her family, I find that we’ve reached a point of being sort of “just friends” with not a lot to say to each other, and though she insists that she wants to be in this marriage, she is distant and doesn’t show any of the casual affection she used to show.
    And so I find my self as described in this article. Retracting into myself. Feeling dull and unwanted. More likely to be caught looking at my phone. Unwilling to go out and be social or take care of myself because it will feel like I’m neglecting a marriage that is probably beyond saving. I tried so hard for so long to get her attention and now I’m just out of energy for it.

  2. Brian Persinger

    I know how you feel Kevin, after 26 years of marriage my wife decided to have an affair with her first love that cheated on her 27 years ago, after she got dumped again she decided that I wasn’t so bad after all. But feeling like I only have her because he don’t want her is hard to take, I guess I’m the booby prize.

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