The Rewards of Emotional Intimacy
By Gary and Barbara Rosberg
America's Family Coaches
(c) 2000 by Dr. Gary and
Used with Permission
The summer before our younger daughter, Missy, was going off the college, I drove her to her favorite place in the world, Kamp Kanakuk. For twenty-six days she would be a camper with significant leadership responsibilities with two hundred young girls from across the nation.
While this trip had very special meaning for our daughter, it also had overwhelming significance for me. I knew this was the beginning of the end for an era. I would soon be facing an empty nest. Our two little girls were all grown up. When Missy returned home, she would immediately leave for college. At the same time we were planning our daughter Sarah's wedding. As a mother I felt as if a lifetime of support, involvement, and commitment was about to vanish over the horizon, and I would wake
up - without our children.
I hung around the camp as long as I could and helped Missy get settled. Then, finally, I knew I had to leave. We were both crying as we hugged each other. Then I pulled myself together momentarily, told her to have a wonderful time, and began my eight-hour drive back home.
I wanted to get home to Gary as soon as I could - I needed to connect with him and the feel his support and
understanding - so I decided to take a shortcut. By cutting across some two-lane country roads, I could knock an hour off the trip. My mind swirled with
thoughts of Missy, our little girl. When did she grow up? I needed her. She brought us such joy. Then I began to weep began when I realized that I was alone driving into the rest of my life without our daughters at home. More and more tears gushed, to the point where I could not see a thing. I pulled off to the side of the road and buried my face in my arms, crying out my pain.
Just then, Gary called on the car phone, and I let loose. We talked, cried, looked to the future, and talk some more. Gary was so connected to me that I was convinced he was in the car with me. Finally we hung up, and I began driving again. I felt sustained and strengthened for the rest of the journey. I just wanted to get home and collapse into the arms of my
husband - my soul mate and my best friend.
My confidence had been restored, but Gary's confidence in me was waning. He was concerned about my driving alone and the distance. He began calling me, checking on how I was doing. He was concerned about my safety and dealt with it by trying to fix the problem.
He pressured me to pull off the road and stay overnight at a motel. Forget his
solution, I thought. The idea made me furious. I needed his presence, his companionship; I needed him, not some motel room. I would gladly have driven to the end of the earth to find him.
Several phone calls later, Gary announced that he had made a hotel reservation in Kansas City, midway between home and the camp. I was pretty angry with him at this point. What he didn't tell me was that he was, even at that moment, driving four hours to meet me at that hotel room. When I arrived, he was waiting there for me! He knew what I needed; I needed his presence. He
met me emotionally, and once again I was confident and flourishing.
The next morning as the sun came up, I opened one eye and heard that wonderful voice say, "baby, baby, baby." I smiled and thought,
hey, maybe having an empty nest won't be all bad! And I was more convinced than ever that as a couple we could go through
anything - as long as we went through it emotionally intimate and always together.
The way Gary set the tone that day by ushering in our empty nesting with such a strong, emotionally supportive posture is the kind of sacrificial love and intimate connection he has demonstrated over and over in our relationship. It is the kind of emotional intimacy that has built a fortress of protection around our marriage.
I encourage you to build walls of protection around your wife by committing yourself to meet her need for emotional intimacy and communication. If you do, she will blossom and move closer to you both emotionally and physically. This is the key to a woman's heart.
By Gary and Barbara Rosberg
(Editor's Note: Dr. Gary and
Barbara Rosberg are America's Family Coaches! As such, their
ministry includes a powerful and yet practical approach to building your
family and marriage. I first heard Gary speak at a Promise Keeper's
event. To this day, his message of "guarding your heart"
and "staying focused on your family" has impacted my life.
Both Gary and Barbara are gifted and powerful speakers. Please take
a moment to consider how your marriage can benefit from their ministry,
whether through visiting their website,
purchasing one of their best-selling books,
listing to their popular radio
program, or attending a life-changing seminar.
You can also reach them toll-free by dialing 1-888-ROSBERG.)