something as simple and old-fashioned as some good old kissing and non-sexual tender caressing on the couch, fully clothed, would be an example of the kind of intimacy
Ed you sound like my spiritual twin. What you're describing is simple affection. Affection and compassion are what I cru out for daily. It is the #2 on the basic list of Men's needs and yes sex is rolled up in with it. But that 'simple touch' is so much more than that. Jimmy Evans says that when you 'helpmate' touches you, rubs her hand on your back, etc. We men see it as a communication from our wives that says, I'm here for you, I support you, I care about you. And yes, I am resentful that I live my life without that compassion. This is the website for Marriage Today ministries http://www.marriagetoday.org/
. I've made a commitment last night to go through the 'Every Great Marriage' teachings either with or without my wife.
Aside from the abuse you describe, what you and I are experiencing is minor
Most Christians would be in horror at what I'm about to say because they would not get it unless they had gone through what we had. But when folks like us get to heaven and meet Jesus for the first time, this is how I imagine the greeting goes...
Jesus embraces me and says something to the affect of... "Oh my dear, dear brother... I was despised for you. I was truly hated for you. They beat me down and mocked me... for you. They pierced my side, for you. I was crucified, for you. But my dear brother my pain last only a few hours. How were you able to survive 10 years (or in your case 30 years!) being mocked, denied and without love?"
Then I say, not without your help lord. I did it for you. Then he tosses me the keys to his golden Cadillac and we drive off to a hockey game together, devils vs the angels :)