Say these words aloud with me: “It’s not my fault.” Take these words in. Really take them in. Then, take the deepest sigh of relief you’ve ever taken. You are not in any way responsible for the fact that your spouse chose to be an intimacy anorexic.
For as long as you can remember, you have been desperately trying to please your anorexic spouse. You have bent yourself this way and that, trying to do the impossible: evoke love from someone who does not choose to give love. You have dieted, read self-help books, hemmed and hawed. But you have gotten nowhere. Well, it is time to stop your efforts and realize that you are amazing as you are.
Your spouse’s choice to withhold love is not a reflection of your worthiness; it is actually not about you at all, not about your height, your weight, your income, your housekeeping skills. If it was your fault then your efforts would have led you to be loved for more than just a couple weeks after a herculean effort or huge argument.
I understand the pain and experiences you have had as a spouse of an intimacy anorexic. I see, whether you are a man or a woman, you have been blamed, ignored, untouched and disconnected from for years or even decades. I understand that previous attempts at counseling have failed you and at times you have felt hopeless and even as if you’ve gone insane.
I realize for some of you have just been introduction to intimacy anorexia. For others, you have been healing for years from the wounds as the spouse of an intimacy anorexic. Either way, by seeing intimacy anorexia for what it is, you will start to be able to understand it. And by understanding what intimacy anorexia is, I hope you will come to agree with me that your spouse’s intimacy anorexia is not your fault. Some information in this chapter is from the book Intimacy Anorexia: Healing the Hidden Addiction in Your Marriage (Discovery Press, 2010).
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