An article I read recently highlighted the following elements of intimacy.
Each individual will have extensive knowledge about the other person.
Those in an intimate relationship will feel affection and care for each other.
There will be an expectation that the relationship will continue long term.
An intimate relationship may mean that those involved think in terms of us rather than me.
Those involved in such a relationship will be committed to each other.
There is an expectation that the other partner will treat them fairly.
They share many beliefs, experiences, and opinions
Mr So and I have been together a LONG time. We met in our first term at university and have been together ever since. That’s 25 years, of which we have been married for 18. Like most couples, we have been through a lot together including my severe post natal depression after the birth of our first daughter which left Mr So looking after our baby, the house and working full time whilst also visiting me in hospital and caring for me when I returned home.
More recently, we have had to deal with both sets of parents experiencing serious health problems and the passing of Mr So’s Mum after a brave struggle with a particularly aggressive cancer. We have had job losses and redundancies and all the usual things which come with being parents. Through it all we have been strong. Its corny but we really do fit together like two pieces of a puzzle – we think the same way, we share the same values. At the same time we balance each other out. Its hard to describe but it just feels right.
Alcohol changed all that. In the two or three years leading up to my decision to stop drinking, my relationship with Mr So was being usurped by my love affair with wine. At first I was happy to be with Mr So as long as I had my wine as well. We were drinking buddies except he could take it or leave it and I couldn’t. I needed to drink. As time went on Mr So made the occasional comment about how much I was drinking. I would make light of what was happening and tell him he didn’t need to worry. Sometimes I would get cross and see his comments as criticism. My response to that would be to drink more just to “show him” – I not sure what exactly I thought I was showing him – I was like a stroppy teenager set on rebellion. The truth was it was all far too close for comfort. I was not ready to face up to reality so I kept right on drinking – “I’ll show you Mr So !”
The bottom line was that I got to a point where if I was completely honest, wine meant more to me than anything else. Including Mr So.
I started drinking earlier in the day so that by the time Mr So got back from work I would have had at least half a bottle of wine. He always noticed. “Have you had a glass of wine?” he would ask or as time went on, “How much have you had to drink?” He would present me with a glass of water which I would pretend to drink, pouring it away when he wasn’t looking. I would ask him to do this job or that – putting out the rubbish or getting me something from upstairs and take the opportunity to have a quick top up while he was gone.
Now my affair with alcohol is over, just being around Mr So feels good. When I was drinking we didn’t really hug, kiss or hold hands and as for anything more, well, I had to be really drunk. When I stopped drinking the thought of sober “bedroom antics” was really scary. How could I ever do that sober ? Lets just say its working out better than I thought (blush blush)..