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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:50 pm
Posts: 11
Hey everyone,

D-day was 8/15 and he has been working on recovery, he is doing the recovery workshop, etc. We haven't had sex for over a month and a half, and I feel frustrated. He said in couples therapy yesterday what I already knew, but good god did it hurt to hear it out loud:

Sex for him has always been about the act. Not the person.

Gradually over the course of our 3 and a half year relationship, he had sex with me when it had been awhile, and the escalation of questions/concerns from me about what's going on would increase, he essentially would have sex with me to shut me up for a little while to avoid further conflict and negative feelings.

The fact that he has never actually, truly ever made love with me and I was an object during intercourse, not the person he wants to share those intimate moments with....all these years...that is a really tough pill to swallow. He said he didn't realize he was objectifying me and when I shared this with him, he said he did not know how to respond to that, which I understand because he still has alot of maturing to do emotionally.

He said he is scared of sex now because his mind has associated it as bad and sex addiction is what he is trying to recover from.

He has throughout the relationship been affectionate with hugging, cuddling, holding hands, gentle massage, etc, which genuinely have been healthy acts of love and sharing, which he also said is how he feels when engaging in those forms of intimacy.

But when it comes to sex, the switch is flipped for him, and I don't know how to deal with this. Having healthy, loving sex with my guy is something that is important to me. I guess I have felt unwanted in the bedroom for a very long time and it hurts. Partners, how have you dealt with this? What has your experience been? Any insight would be helpful and greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 568
inblue - Yes, we know what you are experiencing. My experience is that as the addiction progresses, there is often complete sexual anorexia (in addition to the emotional anorexia). It seems that SA's can be anorexic in their primary relationship and acting out everywhere else. Most of the women I know in long relationships with SA's have experienced anorexia.

And, yes, I believe after discovery it is really hard for an SA to understand what is healthy sexuality. I think it takes time and hard work to figure this out.

What does this mean for you and each of us? It gets back to what we value. If you value sex and want it with love and intimacy, was that happening with both of you? Would it happen now? How much does it matter? Are you both willing and able to risk trying with each other? If your partner isn't ready, is this a dealbreaker for you? Or does it mean you will seek sex outside of this relationship?

These are all really hard and painful questions. I think your partner is being very honest with you about his feelings and it's very hard. I found I had to think about this and it was very, very painful. How much did I value being faithful? Could I have objectified sex? Distant sex? Angry sex? It certainly wasn't going to be close and loving sex in my situation at this time. It's good that you both feel affection and can cuddle. It's an opportunity to define what sex means for both of you in this moment. None of this is easy.

With compassion,
dnell


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:10 pm
Posts: 30
I'm in the same boat here. After over a decade of marriage to an SA, we finally were getting somewhere. For the past two years he's been in solo therapy, going to SA meetings for nearly a year, and truly making progress. Together we go to couple's therapy; I do still carry around a lot of anger and resentment and know I need to be more willing to tackle the esteem bruises that have come from this relationship. I struggle with depression so taking steps to get myself straightened out has been very difficult for me. It's in-progress, but slow-going.

Our relationship overall though has definitely been moving in the right direction. He's clearly sober (has been for quite a long while now - don't feel like this is even a threat anymore), healthy, and usually pretty present in our family-life. There is no sex though. He's completely stunted when it comes to adult sexuality. He's relied on porn since he was a teen and never really matured beyond. After everything we've been though, I now have my own issues when it comes to sex. We're both stuck and it's truly heartbreaking. Sex outside of our marriage is not something either of us would even consider. We're planning on meeting with an actual sex therapist, but I have to say, I have a hard time not getting angry that this is what our marriage now requires. Will it even help us move forward, or will we forever be stuck? I'm in my mid-40's, haven't had sex in nearly a year, and have had it extremely infrequently over the past 14 years. I'm not getting younger, and it's not mattering less as time goes on.

I know I have to think of this "problem" from a "we" standpoint, but often I still feel like it is his fault and I'm really hurt and mad over what he's "done" to me/us. I feel guilty for not being able to embrace his recovery, and all the work he's doing, more wholeheartedly and from a more consistently positive standpoint.

So tired of feeling so alone...had to re-visit RN (it's been awhile) to feel connected to someone in a similar position. Sending good vibes your way inblue...

~ Kalamazoo


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 496
Kalamazoo, your anger and upset over this is quite understandable. I sense that you may be putting more undue pressure on yourself by thinking you need to 'get over that' by a certain timeframe. In my experience, my feelings have come back to haunt me when I do not give them due consideration and experience them fully.

This issue of sex. It's -- frankly -- heartbreaking. Our partners may mature and become responsible to a certain point, but as to whether they will ever have the capacity to engage in a healthy, open, loving form of sex with us--it's an uncertain arena for most of us here.

inblue, I wish I had a clean and easy answer for you. For us all. I appreciate dnell's questions: what does it mean for you now, what are you willing to tolerate, what values are you willing to stand up for and what are you willing to put lower on the list?

My take is that for a sex addict to embody a healthy, mature sexuality requires him to not only be in ongoing, consistent recovery, but also reach a point where he's stopped seeing the world as all about him, where he has built the capacity for empathy, where he experiences joy and a worldview of growth. That's a lot. it's a tall order.

inblue, if you are to have the kind of sex life you desire, I think your husband will need to make a conscious choice at some point to shift from seeing sex as about an act and instead about a person, about an expression of both of your love and humanity. (it can also be other, more casual values, such as fun, recreation, relaxation. It doesn't always have to be of the highest values, but it sounds like for you, it does need to be about more than the act).

Will he get there? Probably most critically, does he WANT to get there? Does he want to shift how he sees it? What's his motivator? ANd if so, what concrete steps is he taking to move toward that state?

What will you tell him and do in regards to this? Is this is value you are willing to stand up for? How important is it for you? How can you protect this value if it's important to you?

For example, it seems like cuddling and affection are meaningful to my husband, yet the more I examine this, the more I see it's not necessarily a method of connecting with me in a mature way, but rather a means of him soothing himself in a child-like fashion. Meanwhile, my life is void of sex and adult connection. I need to look into how long I'm willing to continue to give/reciprocate affection and cuddling when my other values/needs surrounding intimacy and mature connection are not being met.


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