“Emotional intimacy is an aspect of interpersonal relationships that varies in intensity from one relationship to another and varies from one time to another, much like physical intimacy.”
Building emotional intimacy can be even more essential than sustaining physical intimacy in a marriage. In reality, a relationship without emotional intimacy is bound to crumble and fade away.
So, why is it that even when emotional intimacy is so relevant for the survival of a marriage, the husband avoids emotional intimacy and finds it so difficult to engage emotionally with their wives.
This article shares some real-life examples of husbands who were unable to find the strength and courage to discuss their emotional inadequacies with their wives, which led to an emotional disconnect in their marriage.
Also watch: The 7 signs he’s afraid of intimacy.
Male emotional intimacy issues
A single male with emotional intimacy issues will have many excuses for why he does not want to commit to a relationship or marriage.
However, a married man is accountable to another person. His issues do not go unnoticed because he has a wife who loves, adores, and observes him. His issues are her issues.
A married man and a single man may have the same emotional issues, but if the married man does not work through his problems, those problems can affect his relationship and eventually, his marriage.
Past relationship baggage, rejection, ambition, and low sex drive are some of the most common emotional intimacy issues in men.
Everyone can look back at a past relationship and experience emotions as if it was just yesterday when, in fact, the experiences happened years ago.
1. Timothy loves his wife, Angela. He’s glad he did not end up with his high school sweetheart that ran off with his best friend.
It seemed as if it was yesterday; he was devastated when his best friend told him that they were now a couple, and they did not mean to hurt him.
He had no clue they were dating. Was he the third wheel on dates he thought was his?
It has now been twenty years for half of which he has been married; Timothy can’t control secretly following his wife, Angela, to make sure she is telling the truth about her whereabouts when she is not with him.
Is she really going to work? Is she really meeting girlfriends for dinner? She looked really good this morning to just go to the grocery store. Is she trying to meet someone else? These are not positive thoughts.
Timothy knows their relationship could be a lot better if he could let himself trust her.
She often tells him that she feels that he hasn’t completely given himself to her after all these years. If he gets caught following Angela, he knows they will have a big fight.
Many marriages have dissolved because of trust issues and jealousy. Timothy does not know why he allows the past to hurt him that way.
He thinks it won’t hurt to see a professional, but over and again, he fails to take the necessary steps to get over his fears.
2. Michael loves his wife, Cindy, but they are having bedroom issues simply because he feels inadequate in pleasing his wife. He fears emotional rejection in marriage.
One day, Cindy off handily made a comment about “size does not matter” because she loves him. Michael never knew Cindy had classified him as a “size does not matter type of guy.”
Michael can’t stomach the idea that he may not be enough for her, so he makes excuses to avoid all intimacy, emotional, and physical.
He felt vulnerable and was wondering when she would hurt him with her thoughts.
He also felt that the trust in their marriage is at stake, and even though many times, he feels like he is making too much of it, but he just can not bring himself to get past his fears that are ruining his marriage.
3. Jimmy is training for the World’s Heavy Weight Boxing Championship. He loves his wife, Sandra.
Over and again, he finds himself avoiding intimacy with her because sex drains his strength when in training.
Sex is forbidden during training for six weeks. He knows she understands but is not happy with it. Once he wins, he knows it will be worth it.
Jimmy realizes his ambition is making him avoid physical intimacy with his wife, and his inability to openly discuss this issue is hampering their emotional connection.
If he does not win, he’s going to get out of the game because his marriage means a lot. On the other hand, if he wins and continues with his pursuits, then they will have to figure out a way to strengthen their emotional connection.
4. Jack, who is married to Vicky, knows he needs to see a doctor about his low sex drive but can’t bring himself to do it.
In the meantime, Vicky is insisting that he gets some help. He makes appointments but cancels when it is time to go. He has never had a high sex drive but did not know it was a problem until he was married.
Vicky is a beautiful woman and deserves to be satisfied by her husband, and Jack is reminded of this fact over and again, which makes him avoid only physical but emotional intimacy with his wife.
Altogether, issues from past relationships, especially trust and jealousy, can affect emotional intimacy in a relationship or marriage.
In addition, ambition and low sex drive are issues that contribute to men avoiding emotional intimacy with their spouses.
So, how to help a man with intimacy issues? It all starts with communication.
Communication is key to resolving emotional intimacy problems in a marriage. Even if it means that sometimes, a couple must go outside the marriage to a confidant or a professional to get the help they need.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.