In Beyond Betrayal I dedicate a chapter to the subject of intimacy anorexia. Intimacy anorexics are people who fear intimacy so greatly (and the vulnerability they require) that they will sabotage any attempt others make to draw near to them.
After a time they end up alone… what they want. And what they hate. They become trapped in a hell of their own making.
There are women who filled out the 2014/2015 Survey of Wives of Sex Addicts who are living with men (intimacy anorexics) who spend much of their free time surfing porn or engaging in other forms of sexual addiction. These women live daily in isolation and shame – because their husband has chosen a shameful life of isolation.
This is a grievous wrong.
There are other women whose husbands are (truly) engaged in the battle. They are fighting their sin and lust – they are resisting the porn and the prostitutes, the strip clubs and chat rooms. Some days they win – some days they lose (perhaps in their dreams, perhaps in other areas).
These women have been dragged into a battle that revolves around their husband’s sin and selfishness. Every battle he loses… they become a casualty. The pain they suffer, in the present, is usually far greater than anything he suffers (in the present).
They are casualties in a battle they did not choose to be part of. Another horrible wrong.
Many of us entered marriage looking forward to intimacy: knowing and being known on a profound level. Working, loving, and laughing together. Raising a family of happy, healthy people together.
Our dream has given way to a nightmarish reality.
What keeps me going some days is the understanding that while marital intimacy may be elusive (or illusive) – intimacy with God is not.
A Life He Did Choose
Jesus walked in the most intimate relationship with God of anyone before or since. On going to the cross that connection was severed (or at least became imperceptible to Him). He had willingly entered into our battle against sin. A battle not of His making. He had entered into the shame and isolation of sins He hadn’t committed.
He gets it: the emotional pain, shame, and isolation. And the injustice perpetrated on Him was greater than that done to us. He can grieve with us… and us with Him.
He didn’t choose this life for us. But just as what was done to him was redeemed (and brings about our own salvation and redemption) so He can redeem what has been done to us.
The life we didn’t choose… can yet be a life of love, grace, connection and purpose.