I need to come out. I am sick. And I think I am inflicted with A.I.D.S. Yes, A.I.D.S.! Not the deadly and incurable disease emerging from a full-blown HIV, though. I am talking about Affection and Intimacy Deprived Syndrome! Yup, that’s what it is. Literally and figuratively put.
It is not a disease per se. Simply put, it’s a subconscious defense to the absence of intimacy that most “familiar” couples forget to acknowledge for the reason that they are very much comfortable with their relationship not seeing it as a threat to what they think is already a strong bond. Complacency contributes greatly yet silently to the dawdling deterioration of that bond which, like corrosion, imperceptibly damaging them from within. Saying that “it’s just an itch that one needs to scratch” is clearly an understatement for someone who doesn’t see the importance of intimacy to a relationship. It’s the flavor, the spice, the stuff that gives a partnership the “zing”!
I, as most husbands and wives – and partners even – whose hurdling the latter part of their marriage or togetherness would agree, that at one point of our lives, experience the weakening of our resolve and immunity to deflect and counteract innuendos and sexual advances of the opposite sex because of the fact that we are no longer having the same intimate experience we once had with our very own partners and/or lovers when we started off.
Is this really an acceptable, justifiable and “socially” valid disease or are we just giving ourselves reasons to find justification to our actions particularly that which concerns our looking for means to alleviate the pains of being “taken for granted”, “sidetracked”, “missed out” and/or “friend zoned” after years of familiarity and companionship? Is it really fair to just put aside intimacy when all else are taken into the “unconditional love” context? Is it just really an “itch” that we need to “scratch” or something deeper and more damaging than that?
I have been married for more than 21 years and confess to have veered away four times from what-supposed-to-be an exclusive partnership. Yup, I did it because I am yearning for “something” that my spouse has ceased to share with me ever since we had our third child. Indeed, the “death” of intimacy brought out the other side of me – the one that I never thought I was capable of: CHEATING! And quite frankly, (not that I’m proud of it) I’m good at it! However, no matter how good it feels and no matter how exhilarating it is to live “dangerously”, I still felt that void within. Been there, done the unimaginable for the sake of intimacy and yet the “symptoms” never left me. That actually left me with the question, “what am I really yearning for?”
INTIMACY is part and parcel of marital and committed relationships. It’s the continuity of courtship, and that which strengthens and affirms the attraction that each has of the other – physically and emotionally. It should never be taken for granted, missed out or sidetracked. It’s what COMPLETES the relationship, most especially marriages. It’s like the rhythm in a song, the groove in every melody. For males, it’s the affirmation of his machismo, his manhood. For females it’s a confirmation of their beauty, charm and physical magnetism. Both egos are fed by the sustained presence and intensity of such. And, only through their inextinguishable passion, that those aforesaid A.I.D.S. symptoms can completely be averted and/or prevented.