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My husband finally told me that he has a "fear of intimacy". This explains his behavior to a 't". It has taken him 23 years to admit this, now, where do I go from here?
If he has spoken the truth he has taken a huge step forward.
He now is able to embrace the issue that has led to conflict. The best way to proceed is to find a relationship counselor who can work on exactly what this means and how it relates to you as a couple. A fear of intimacy can be overcome and couples can be quite successful once this has been resolved. You can also work on communication through self help so that he can begin to verbalize his needs rather than keep them bottled up. My favorite is the Mars and Venus series. If you both are able to work this can improve. He has to identify what his fears are and what he is willing to do about them. Don't push too hard until he can figure out how to slowly express himself to you. You can find mental health professionals by logging onto the American Psychological Association.
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