Divorced For One Year & Feeling Touch Deprived

Posted by Delaine - January 22, 2011 - Healing, On being alone, Support & Girlfriends - No Comments

Written by Kathryn Michaels.

I’ve been divorced for about a year.  We had no kids so it was basically a clean break, if that is even possible.  My heart was shattered into a million fragmented pieces, and a lot of those pieces are just now starting to heal. Mostly I feel like I’m in a good place.  I no longer feel hate toward my ex, and I’m no longer idealizing the love we shared to the point where I want to get back together.  I’ve reached that blissful ambivalent state, which in my mind shows tremendous progress. 

What I am missing more than anything is touch.  I am touch deprived.  Please don’t confuse that with sexually deprived; not sure I’m even ready for that.  But the other day, a close friend of mine touched me on my arm and I jumped out of my skin.  He said, “Whoa…relax…just a friendly little caress.”  I was initially embarrassed by my response and felt myself turning beet red.  “Sorry.”  Then he asked me the question I refused to ask myself. “Are you touch deprived?” he asked gently.

Yes.  A resounding yes!  I miss it.  I miss the sweetness and the intimacy of a lover’s gentle touch. And yes, I miss the touch of my ex-husband, but that doesn’t mean I want him back.  Let’s be clear about that.  Touch is imperative for humans, and we all need it and miss it when it’s been taken away from us.  I’ve talked to many of my supportive friends about this.  Hugs from my wonderful female friends just don’t seem to cut the mustard, but they understand.  It’s nice to feel loved, but it’s a specific type of touch I’m talking about.  I’m sure you all know what I mean.  My friends have suggested I might be ready to start dating.  They’ve offered advice, support, recommendations for dating services, online websites, and even professional matchmakers.  I’m not quite there yet.

In the end, I’ve opted for a professional massage.  Not exactly what I wanted because it’s lacking the intimacy I desire.  But let’s face it…a massage can be very therapeutic.  And I do hold a lot of stress in my neck and shoulders, so I have to say, splurging on a massage was the next best thing.  At least I feel a little more relaxed with my current situation.  I’ll probably need to get professional massages on a regular basis for awhile, just to keep me feeling balanced and centered, which they definitely help to do.  Maybe once a month if I can afford it.

When I do decide to take the plunge and start dating, I’m not sure how I will react to the intimate touch of someone new.  I’m excited about the prospect of it, but also know that I am not ready.  I’m certain I will know intuitively when I have reached that point.  In the meantime, I have great friends, both male and female, who are giving me the love and support every divorcee should have and deserves.  My touch deprivation is a bit better since arranging for these massages, but it’s not exactly the perfect alternative to what I truly need and want.  I’m getting closer every day; feeling more and more ready to take the plunge of post-marital dating.  I take a deep breath and a deep gulp, relax my shoulders and move forward.