In the bedroom Ward and June were sharing, aware of, and meeting each other’s needs. There was an interdependency and some history there.
The same thing was also true of their conversation about the boys. They shared a desire that the boys would not grow up to be Eddie Haskell; they knew things about the boys no one else knew; they had mutually sacrificed for the boys; …..they were intimate.
That work-related conversation was not intimate. June listened out of duty or maybe respect, but not because she was truly interested.
Ward’s work was his world, and she didn’t share it with him. She didn’t know the "players in the game." She couldn’t truly appreciate his worry about small defeats, or really share his thrill over daily victories.
All that happened in a world she only viewed from the outside, as an observer. His work was not an area of intimacy.
Ward tried to look interested in the gossip, but could not have cared less. After all, he didn’t even know the names of those neighbors, much less care about their petty fight.
Another area of non-intimacy.
So the Cleavers were partially intimate, sharing some parts of their lives but not others.
No couple is likely to be completely intimate, but the non-intimate areas are the ones where risk exists.
If Ward was really a Type A, work-driven guy, it would make their relationship more intimate if June better understood how he spent his day and what his challenges were all about. Don’t forget, most of us spend a lot more waking hours at work than any other place, so that can be a dangerous area in which to leave an intimacy void.
Fortunately for the Cleaver household, Ward was not likely to have an affair (even one of those fully clothed intimacies) with a coworker, because work was just something he did to earn a living. It was not his passion.
Ward’s passion was golf! Of course, his time on the links was something June put up with, and could hardly understand, again as an outside observer. The intimacy was with other guys, but it was still an area of intimacy.
The bottom line is that intimacy occurs in an area both people are involved in and share some interdependency. We all seek intimacy, and if you don’t meet someone’s intimacy needs, someone else might, and the one with the most intimacy wins.
Note: The opinions expressedherein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect theposition of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of ahealth or other professional whose expertise you might need to seek.