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Intimacy – Stop Being Self-Absorbed

March 29, 2009

 I was thinking this morning back to the times when my wife and I were struggling in our intimacy during our first 8-10 years of our marriage.  Our counselor yesterday was asking us about our intimacy during our first 6 months of marriage and then how things have been since then. 

One thing I never realized was that my intimacy was driven by and clouded by my lust.  I brought a very lustful mind and emotional makeup into my marriage.  I had no clue how it was affecting my relationship with Marsha. 


Lust is selfish.  It is self-centered.  I want what I want.  I want my desires met.  I want my fantasies fulfilled.  It is not about the needs of my wife, but about me.  I now have a real person to fulfill me and to act out with instead of magazine pictures or computer images.  I traded the pictures for a real person, but changed little about myself. 

Marital intimacy is not about “Me”.  It’s about meeting the other person’s needs.  It’s about serving my wife.  It’s about connecting with her heart, hearing what needs she has, what she’s like, what she would like to do, what she would like us to do together.  How can I help my wife?  How can I meet her needs?

The addict lives a life of self-absorption.  He has spent so much time connecting with things that meet his own wants.  His deep need for relationship has been morphed into pictures, internet sites, foreign women, illicit places… whatever.  He must see the truth about his self-centeredness.  His biggest fight is to begin to pour his life into others, and to receive from others. 

There is greater fulfillment in meeting my spouse’s needs.  I now care about my wife’s soul and emotions.  I enjoy when I get my desire or urge met.  But I have a greater satisfaction knowing that I am meeting my wife’s needs.  I can do things to make her happy.  It’s awesome.


 Another variation of this is when I would do good things for my wife to try and get something for myself.  I thought if I would just push the right buttons, I could get sex.  I was looking for the magic combination to unlock the sexual animal in my wife.  How selfish is this! 

Men, we need to be honest with ourselves.  We really want our own needs met above those of others.  We will do things for others, but expect them to reciprocate.  We want what we want, and can be pretty crafty in making it happen. 



I was so excited when I got married.  I could have sex without guilt, fulfill my fantasies, live with a girl, experience her intimate things, see her dress in the morning.  It was much about the girl that had come into “my life”.  I often thanked God for bringing Marsha into my life.  I had no idea how self-centered, self-absorbed I was.


I was looking forward to sharing my life with her, spending time with her, but I think in the back of my mind it was so that my life would be fulfilled.

As my wife and I have been going though this recovery stuff during our 11th & 12th year of marriage, I have been laying my selfishness at Christ’s feet.  Many of my addictive behaviors, along with their self-centeredness are fading.  I realize that I need other people.  I need real relationships, instead of the false ones I had clung to.  I want to pour my life into others:  my wife, friends, my group, my church, my small group.  For the first time in my life & marriage, I am starting to really put the other person first. 


Dear God,
Empty me of my self.  Help me not to be absorbed in my self.  Help me to serve my wife and others.  Help me to not expect something in return.  Help me to trust that you will take care of me. 


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