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#410532 - 09/18/12 01:24 PM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
right again bob. you keep things much more simple than i do.

i like the attitude that goes with "give me a damn hug before i go postal!" i'll try to keep that in mind during couples today.

i'm glad you had such a good conversation with your wife. encouragement!! and thanks for posting the good stuff. the friends and family forum can ALWAYS use more of the good, heart warmy stuff.

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#410546 - 09/18/12 05:10 PM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Well, good. Thanks. I appreciate that. And you do the same. Post an update. I've been thinking a lot about what you and CdnDW have written. I'll post tomorrow morning. Bob

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#410636 - 09/19/12 02:33 PM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
THANK GOD FOR COUPLES THERAPY!!!

we had a good session. H was very talkative and open. we talked about touching and the things connected to it. i learned something interesting in it. he throws up these very soft barriers, a lot like a kid building a block wall around himself. last week it was all "i'm worried she won't let me go hunting, i'm worried she won't give me time to myself, i'm worried she'll be resentful."

i continued being reassuring, pointing out that i had never discouraged him from hunting. and then he spent the week and weekend bird and moose hunting. and i genuinely enjoyed his time away and the fact that he was doing something good for himself.

almost as soon as he got home it became "we don't have anything in common, you don't want to go hunting with me, you don't like winter camping."

i took it personally at first. but in couples i realized that it's just another soft barrier. or for more analogies, a very gentle form of possession, or a little storm. he throws up this guff and if i don't get attached to it, just ride it out, talk about it in couples, it passes and i get my H back for a little awhile before the next one hits.

on the topic of touch, the couples therapist took a lot of pressure off of me. reiterated advice i've given other people: trust your instincts, tell him what you need.

trouble is telling him what i need is really disruptive for him. any emotional reaction on my part just really...disturbs him...floods him with more emotion than he thinks he can handle. i've thought that by hiding what i feel i'm protecting him. therapist pointed out that this is backwards. show him how i feel, let him be challenged by it. he'll be stronger for it.

for instance, last night he said that he could commit to at least 5 minutes of touch a day with the goal of increasing. we ended up snuggling for 20 minutes, which was amazing.

but i ended up crying anyway. it was so hard for me to let him go. i mean i did, physically, i let him go:) and i didn't get super drama or blame. in fact, i told him i knew it wasn't something he was doing to me, that it wasn't his fault. but it just HURT.

being touched is usually the first thing i think about it in the morning, always the last before bed. it's become like hunger. my brain keeps sending signals to the rest of me saying "you need touch." and i'm working on taking the pressure of H, so he's not my only source and i'm redirecting a lot of my energy into other things: writing more on my poetry blog, reading more often, indulging in friends and social activities, going for massage.

but it still didn't take the edge off when he got up from the couch. 20 minutes is amazing for him, good for us, but i feel like i could spend a whole day and night with him touching and it might fill the touch bucket...maybe. it would really help if i could feel his skin, but we aren't there yet.

and so i cried, because i felt like it. especially since the therapist said that the most important thing i can do for our relationship is to be myself. he said that NOT being myself will just create another storm for my h and i and we got enough storms brewing. i really hadn't thought of it in that context. what a useful, productive use of codependence!:) i'll be more myself for someone else, hilarious.

my crying upset him. he gets anxious and panicky. i think it's a mix of fear and powerlessness and overwhelm. the conversation went like this:
h: i don't want to do the touching if it's going to make you cry, it just makes things worse
me: it doesn't make things worse, it makes things better, it's just difficult
h: well, i don't want to do it if it makes things difficult. i don't understand. i did everything right, you did everything right. i don't like it when you're like this.
me: i spend all day wanting to touch you, looking forward to it, and it's really hard to just let it end.
h: i don't understand. i don't feel like you do. i wish i did. i never think about touch.
me: i know. it's hard for both of us. it's just that sometimes other people touch me, just to give me a hug or something, and i melt. and then i feel bad because i want it to be you. it's not your fault. it's not something you're doing to me.
h: i just don't like it when you cry like this, i don't like it when it makes things worse.
m: i'm hurting enough as it is, don't ask me to hide how i'm feeling too.

and he gave me a great big hug. it lasted for quite a while. then he needed to go to bed. and i smothered the little shit dog with snuggles and attacked my reading list.

and that's a good night in our house.

i think i should also mention that i'm a rape survivor and i'm not excited about a massage therapist. i've been thinking about this a lot, since it's an interesting parallel between my h and i.

i've done emdr and it genuinely freed me up. i spent 10 years hating sex. slowly all the forms of touching i couldn't handle grew and grew. i ended up drinking a lot, barely touching anyone, isolated, and going insane. it ended with a one stand outside of my marriage. my first marriage ended.

when i met my current h, i was desperate to have a different sort of marriage. we had met in AA, so i wasn't drinking and all the layers were unpeeling. so when he encouraged me to do the emdr, i did...with gusto and desperation. and suddenly, sex was all new. still a bit scary, but so much better. it could finally be a source of relief, affection, and trust, AND SO MUCH FUN!

and then my H became emotionally invested in our relationship, distanced himself, and the sex ended. i'm chuckling a little as i write that. what can i do? it's a little funny.

anyways, so in the past massage has been a trigger for anxiety, panic, then disassociating. i've always given away massages that i was gifted. but now i have this ultimate motivation. i'm desperate to improve the relationship with my H. so i'll brave the big scary massage therapist and all her aromatherapies and warm rocks and soothing new age music. shivers.

it might be like the emdr. scary, terrifying, then worth every moment.

i don't know that my H sees this parallel between us. that we are both facing down these fears in our own ways. but for me, the parallel is everything. i can look at how uncomfortable i am and how desperate i am, and good is coming from it, because i'm not avoiding. and i don't think he's avoiding either.

and it isn't most people's definition of a good marriage, but it's the most i have to offer and the best of what i have to offer...to be so present...scared shitless and here and at my edge and from time to time, my H and i are right there with each other.

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#410652 - 09/19/12 04:56 PM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
The only person's definition of a good marriage that you have to care about are yours and your H's. I think you're doing a great job. Thanks for sharing. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and just exhausted today. Some days are like that, I guess. Thanks again. Post more. Bob. And tell your husband hi from me, a survivor on the other side of the country who moved from work and so can no longer go hunting conveniently. I wish I could get out there and shoot a moose. I'm actually more of an elk hunter, and a deer shooter. I hunt elk, and then I go kill some deer. I got the rifles.... I just need to get in the woods! Bob

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#410662 - 09/19/12 07:59 PM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3461
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i hope this isn't crass or insensitive - but i just had to tell someone - and since i'd already revealed something about my struggle on this thread - and others here are in the same situation, i though it might be OK - and even encouraging - to know it is possible to see changes taking place.

blush

we did it last night! yep - went all the way. and it was good.

my wife and i were doing one of our assignments and it was supposed to be open-ended - no expectation of ending in intercourse. but we were both enjoying the touching. and we agreed to go for "extra credit" - and did.

i was a little bit detatched at a couple of points - but only briefly: once thought - i can't believe this is happening - another time - i wonder if i am going to have a trigger reaction - but i didn't!

cool

anyway - not meaning to brag - and sure don't want anyone else to feel worse - but we both feel pretty good about it.

There's hope!
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#410702 - 09/20/12 02:40 AM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
@traveler: GOOD ON YOU!! that's great news. i laughed out loud when i read your post. not at you, just delighted. there's about 100 people who are vicariously living through you RIGHT NOW. i know because this thread says 185 people have checked this out, and i'd place a hefty bet that 100 of them are going "man, it'd be awesome to be traveler today."

and brag away. you earned it. your wife earned it. this is exactly the right place to celebrate.

@bob, i told my h you said hi and he just stopped for a bit and looked at me sideways. then he asked if you lived here too (cautiously, like he was afraid i let anyone know where we live). cautious man. when he's ready, i'm glad your posts will be on this forum. rest yourself and thanks for the encouragement and support. i really appreciate it.

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#410703 - 09/20/12 02:42 AM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
come to think of it, there really should be a thread that is just made up of congratulations and bragging, sex included. it's strange not to be able to celebrate something so important and good and sweet. if i could, i'd send you and your wife a celebratory cake lee:)

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#410704 - 09/20/12 02:51 AM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3461
Loc: somewhere in Africa
WOW - thanks!

grin
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#410725 - 09/20/12 10:01 AM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Congrats Lee!!! It must be a fantastic feeling to have achieved more than your expectations!! Enjoy the "glow" smile
_________________________
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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#410728 - 09/20/12 10:25 AM Re: Touch 101 [Re: aksnowyowl]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3461
Loc: somewhere in Africa
you know, i think one thing that really made a difference - and allowed us both to be more open and trusting with one another, was this - our T was away so we didn't have our usual session at the usual time. we decided to go our for coffee instead and have our own "session." we talked on a really deep and intimate level for over two hours, and i read her some of my journal entries - some pretty vulnerable stuff. i think that set the stage and made it all easier later when we took it into the physical level. i never thought of this kind of talk - it wasn't romantic, by any means - as foreplay, but it sure had that effect.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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