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The longing for closeness and tenderness led to divorce

Many years ago a neighbor came over to me. Heavy in her mind, she told me that she had made the decision to leave her husband. I asked why. Had she or he met someone new? Has either of them been unfaithful? Had they grown tired after eighteen years together?

The reason, she said, was that she came to the conclusion that he was unable to show her tenderness and closeness. She said: "When you have to ask over and over again the one you live with to caress you, to hold you, to hug you during the day, to put his arm around you at night, to even take the time to massage your feet when he's watching a movie... That's not the kind of relationship I want.” My neighbor lacked closeness and tenderness in the relationship. The sex was good, she said, but appealed: “I don't want to be someone's fucking mattress. And he thinks that just because we have sex, everything is fine between us.

A loneliness that shouldn't exist between two who claim to love each other.

The need for tenderness and closeness came to overpower her. So when all attempts to make her husband understand did not bear fruit, according to her, divorce was the only option left. I think she hoped it would make him change his mind, because I got the feeling she still loved him. Unfortunately, she was right, he was completely incapable of understanding his own behavior and her needs.

We are different and therefore also live in different types of relationships, based on different premises and different tastes. A couple can stay together a whole life without giving to each other, the other can't do without a whole day. Some can get together without feeling the strong feelings that for others are a must. But regardless of the differences and the reasons, I personally believe that we are made for closeness and tenderness. It is therefore my belief that the probability increases that two people both live long and feel good together if they know the art of giving each other closeness and tenderness in everyday life.

I usually sneak up to my wife and kiss a spot on her neck. I never scare her and I know I never bother her. But it has become natural for me to do so. I also feel how much she appreciates the small, simple gesture. In the same way it is natural for us to give each other a hug every morning. In the same way it has become natural for me to massage her foot when she puts it on my thigh (or she mine when I do the same). It doesn't require much and I don't have to do it carefully. But just pressing her foot for a moment I know means a lot to her, and as I love her it means a lot to me.

I also know this: The closeness and tenderness we give and show each other in everyday life strengthens the bonds between us. It strengthens the love between us. As she walks past me and runs her hand softly across my back, she says quietly, "I see you." When she lies down against me on the sofa and I get to massage her scalp for a while, I quietly say: "I see you." That's my interpretation.

I think it is right to live with someone and feel seen. Not doing so easily leads to loneliness in twoness. A loneliness that shouldn't exist between two who claim to love each other.

Do you agree?

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