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#408420 - 08/30/12 11:45 AM Finding Intimacy Separately
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
My husband and I have been in individual and couples therapy for the last year. During this last session, the therapist asked me if this relationship was going to be enough for me because of the lack of intimacy and because there is a large age difference between us that adds to our lack of intimacy.

It's been a very difficult question to tackle. Our relationship is very good in all areas that aren't directly influenced by intimacy. It's apparent that it isn't enough as is. I don't blame him for it, I love him like crazy, I don't see him as a "project."

But in order for this to work, I do need to supplement and I don't just mean sex. We've explored the prospect of me having additional partners and I'm just not up for it. Frankly, our town is too small and I'm worried that he's suggesting this while functioning in an emotional place that isn't totally conscious, i.e., he may feel differently later.

I was wondering how other spouses handle this situation. Honestly, I'm lonely, but I want to stay in the relationship because there are so many good, healthy parts, and we bring out the best in each other. The loneliness that comes from being, yet not being with another person is sharp compared to the loneliness that I've felt when single. What helps other people? Is this familiar to anyone?

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#408426 - 08/30/12 12:03 PM Re: Finding Intimacy Separately [Re: aksnowyowl]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Well..... This has been my life for a while now... I felt something was wrong when we didn't have sex on our honeymoon, found about his csa like a month later. We have spent many sexless years together, which have been really hard for me.
I used to beg him and cry to him, why couldn't he be physical with me, he never could.
four years later, the road we ha e traveled has been bumpy, I found friendships but never anything sexual with any other person. To me that's just wrong. I laid off of him and just accepted the fact, there were way too many good things to weed out the bad.

I did things he liked (weird fetishes prob related to csa) and just accepted that was as much "sexual" as I was going to get.. Worst mistake ever. All that did, was continue to let him hide the past and not have to face it and get over it.
I was an enabler by letting him do it, so when your husband suggests different partners I agree, I think in 1. If you do, it will just enable him to not have to work through his stuff and 2. Once he did get through it, that may cause an ugly fight.

I decided that wasn't what I wanted and told him I would never do that again, it would be normal sex or nothing at all. It turned the tables, I was finally in control of the situation.

We have had our up and down moments, as all have had. I refused to stay negative, I refused to let it haunt us.
He as of now is trying so very hard, for HIM. That is the key, he wouldn't change for me, but he is now changing fot him. He wants to have that relationship back and I frankly can't wait.

Good luck! Feel free to pm me.


Edited by shortieg (08/30/12 12:07 PM)

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#408432 - 08/30/12 12:54 PM Re: Finding Intimacy Separately [Re: aksnowyowl]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 261
Loc: us
asknowyowl,

Painful, sucks, takes years. I'm in the same boat. My husband and I can't talk about anything but the weather, and what happened in our day. We do have sex but he generally is not present, he seems to zone out. For me I am very lucky, I have close friends who are CSA survivors as well. With them I can talk about anything, ask questions, have debates. I have had to find connection with my friends and family because my husband currently is not there yet. I hope that you can find people in you life that you can be close to.
The other person I spend time being close with is myself. I try to take time to go running, paint, write, and really nurture my inner self. I heard a quote one that the greatest romance one can have is with themselves. I have learned that the more we love ourselves the more we are able to love others and be patient with them. I hope that you can find meaningful ways to connect with yourself and others during this difficult time. For me it doesn't fill the hole left by my husbands distance but it keeps me strong enough to continue moving forward. My heart goes out to you, I know how hard it is to feel alone.
Peace be with you
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#408446 - 08/30/12 02:01 PM Re: Finding Intimacy Separately [Re: aksnowyowl]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
I.am also in the same boat. I'm not sure your T's question was fair though. If someone asked me this question they would get a different answer one day to the next. I can't predict or guarantee the future. All I know is that I am not ready to give up on our life together yet... not for him and not even for our kids, but for me. I still want this to work. I don't want intimacy with anyone else- I want it with him. If we split, I wohldn't seek intimacy elsewhere. I would remain single until or if I ever found someone I fell in love with again. At my age and place in life, I no longer want or need someone just to fill a gap... For right now, he is everything I want. I do want more, I hope for more and I harbour hope that it is very possible when he commits to recovery, but lack of intimacy alone is not enough to drive me away. He is still the most beautiful man I have ever known and the loving father of my children.

Aksnowyowl, everyone needs deep human connections and these don't have to be with a single person. But you can have this without betraying him. If you feel there is nothing to gain and only something to lose by leaving the relationship, then follow your heart. You don't need to answer the question for yourself for all of time right now. If it's enough today, then stay... and if a year from now you know you need more right the, then make that decision then. A year from now he may have made tremendous progress and you may have more of what you need from him... and then again, he may not have. Live in the present and celebrate all that is good today. Deal with tomorrow when it becomes your today.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#408464 - 08/30/12 05:00 PM Re: Finding Intimacy Separately [Re: aksnowyowl]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Good thoughts, CdnDW. One day at a time. From the point of view of a survivor, I'd just say that confronting true emotions is the hardest, most painful thing in the world.... The only thing worse is living with and hiding those emotions, those memories and the terrible coping mechanisms we have created to help ourselves keep up the facade.

I used to swear to myself that I'd carry my terrible secrets to the grave. And I kept those secrets until I betrayed my wife, and only then did I realize that keeping the secrets was more painful and worse than letting them out.

But until a person reaches that moment, until they realize that they have NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE... I don't think they'd give up the full extent of those terrible secrets. Why not? I know I didn't want to. I was desperate to keep some stuff in hiding. And the truth is that I have a knee-jerk impulse to constantly shut my wife out of serious and emotionally true stuff in my wife. I constantly have to work to keep letting her in.

It's hard. It's a day by day thing.

Good luck. I'm a little scattered today. I hope my comments made sense and have been a help.

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#408469 - 08/30/12 05:42 PM Re: Finding Intimacy Separately [Re: aksnowyowl]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Well Robert1000- you certainly have helped me. Thank you.

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#408540 - 08/31/12 12:15 PM Re: Finding Intimacy Separately [Re: aksnowyowl]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
wow. i am so impressed with this forum. these replies truly help. i often feel like my husband and i have tension below the surface even though so many other aspects of our relationship are wonderful. and it's the day in, day out tension that has been wearing me down.

i went through a period where i felt like if i became super toned, super fit, if i made better meals, or kept the house in better shape, he would relax and be more affectionate. then i looked at a codependent checklist and realized i'd fallen back in that hole.

after that stage passed, i just tried to find "enough" within the relationship, to find attachment really. but without sex, i began to seek more attachment from shared activities and conversation. but this created more tension because conversation that delves into "why" questions, questions about the past, motivations, etc. drive him crazy.

it's good to do projects with him but i am afraid of the rules that keep our sex life walled in will jump the fence into other areas of life. i just don't thrive in a relationship governed by rules. one area is fine, but not the whole thing.

i read these posts and my husband and i talked again. it was a good conversation and i was capable of being more clear and direct (which is so helpful for him)because of the feedback on this thread. i don't think it's necessarily healthy to remove sexuality from life entirely, but i know he is working on it, that he is pursuing change at a pace he can handle. but for me and our relationship, i cannot be fulfilled in a relationship where conversation is off limits.

we talked about it honestly and we concluded that conversation are a good place to develop trust. he doesn't like "why" questions because he's afraid that i will disrespect his boundaries and ask about the abuse or make judgments on what he has done, is feeling, is thinking.

but because we could have that conversation calmly, because i've been reading threads on here and have developed a broader picture of what he is experiencing and so importantly, that its good for me to have boundaries as well, we were able to see that we have a long history of acceptance and affection. acceptance and affection are strengths that we can work with, they are the perfect foundation for us.

thank you so much for the insight from spouses and survivors. my husband and i were at the edge and you guys helped bring us back.

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#408563 - 08/31/12 04:46 PM Re: Finding Intimacy Separately [Re: aksnowyowl]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
I'm glad I've been able to help. This forum helps me, too. It helps me practice talking about things that matter to me. Feelings. Situations. And reading what you guys have to say helps me to understand my wife. We're in a complicated mess. But... what isn't complicated in life? At least we're here... living it... with each other... and able to move forward with those we love, right?

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