Disclaimer: I love sex BUT I am not an exhibitionist. I am practical. I am mature and thoughtful and respectful. My husband is a sex addict. That complicates things. Also, I am having a very weird and unbalanced week so I will probably share things in this post that I don’t normally delve into, eh, I need to get it out.
I have mentioned a couple times over the past months that I was thinking a period of celibacy might help with Blue Eyes’ recovery. This concept of celibacy as it relates to marriage seems to be a sex addiction “thing.” Most relationships broken by betrayal don’t need a period of celibacy for healing unless a betrayed spouse needs time to figure out if they can truly love and enjoy their partner’s body after the partner has cruelly and carelessly shared it with another. That I get. Or the cheater has trouble performing due to their overwhelming guilt associated with their acts of betrayal. That I also get. I was just not one of those betrayed spouses and my husband was not one of those cheaters. As I have written, I wanted an intimate relationship with my husband almost from the moment he divulged his horrifying secret life. I wanted to hold him and bond with him and maybe I even wanted to re-claim him as my own, which is silly since he hadn’t had sex with the other woman for months and we had never stopped having sex and he was always mine. Even during the years he was sporadically (as Blue Eyes likes to say “intermittently”) having sex with her, he was having sex with me regularly, just like any loving husband would want to have sex with his loving wife. He never had performance issues with me. He was truly able to compartmentalize both relationships and perform in both, so, no obvious signs that anything was wrong in the sex department. For the better part of the 12 or 13 months post dday, excluding the days Blue Eyes was sick or in his intensive therapy program, we had sex 1-3 times per day. I will even admit that I attempted to add up all the times he had sexual relations with all the other women (over a period of 15 years and then I padded it with even more potential times) and then I made sure we passed by that number as quickly as possible. By my calculation, we did pass that number of times sometime in April, 2014. A little more than three months post dday. I know, I know, people do not need to comment how crazy that is, hey, I can admit my own weakness, I am “CrazyKat” after all. Trauma really does a number on a betrayed spouse. On many days, I think the sex was the only way we were connecting and the only thing that kept both of us moderately sane and connected to our marriage. I will admit, me on top did cause me pause the first time post dday as that is the main fantasy he conjured up for her as something I wouldn’t do and something he desperately wanted, and “needed.” She, of course, ate up the attention and assumed he was telling the truth. How do I know this, well technically I don’t because my husband is the consummate liar, but when I asked him early on if she seemed to enjoy the ritualistic nature of their sex life, he commented, oh yes, she had the most amazing orgasms and she told me how much I deserved to have the sex life I wanted and I deserved to have it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Please give me a moment while I go throw up. Okay, I’m back. That dialogue between me and my husband was so weird and incredibly ironic. He also had her tie him up, blind fold him, etc… Basically he wanted to be dominated and didn’t want to have to do any work. Typical Blue Eyes. The really ironic thing about this whole fantasy scenario he supposedly conjured up for her to please him, and one they played out for years, is that I created it.
Here’s a little story. For many years, many many years, I think 21 of our 25 married years together, I did our joint tax return myself. A few years ago we handed it over to our accountants. Yippee. How strange that I am talking about this on U.S. Tax Day, that is a total coincidence. Anyway, years ago, maybe 16 or 17 years ago or more, I decided I would try and make preparing the taxes a little more fun for me. I really did hate doing them (who doesn’t). That one year, I gathered up everything I needed to do the return, coerced my parents into watching the kiddos (just kidding, they loved taking care of the boys) and I booked a bed & breakfast for me and my husband at the coast over Valentine’s Day weekend. I headed to Victoria’s Secret and purchased tons of silky and frilly items in red & pink to take along with us. I still have the long red negligee with a lace bodice that ties at the shoulders with silky red bows. When we arrived at the room with our box of tax related documents and weekender bag of sexy goodies (as I have mentioned, work before play) I laid out all the tax documents and got to work completing the tax return so I could play the rest of the weekend without a care. Thinking about the items in the bag and my husband waiting patiently for me, I tore through that tax return (probably missed a few charitable donations along the way, too, c’est la vie) and then we set about having some fun. Let’s just say, I am big on role play and fantasy. Blue Eyes likes this about me. At some point during that weekend, I blind folded Blue Eyes, stripped him naked, tied him to the old brass bed, and created a little fantasy story for him. He was a high school boy with a crush on his gorgeous, sexy, slutty teacher. She may have worn a mini skirt and a soft sweater that revealed her ample chest (hey, it’s a sex fantasy set in the late 70’s in Southern California–the porn capital of the world). I climbed on top of him and rode him. Yep. He went nuts over that fantasy. I played out a variation of that fantasy for years, then I got bored with it. I have so many other fantasies that I can’t just get all caught up in one. I am not that ritualistic or monotonous. Well, guess who is (besides Blue Eyes, obviously). Yep, a whore who will do absolutely anything to try and keep the attention of a man she had to know, deep down, didn’t really care about her. That’s why they always did what he wanted and she pretended to really get off on it. I’m sure she thought she was so special, playing out a fantasy I created for me and my husband. I know he never told her that I had created that fantasy and that it had become an obsession for him and she was merely a prop.
So, on that one uncomfortable day after dday when I climbed on top, and I started to get that feeling that it wasn’t right playing out that fantasy, I decided to try out my acting skills. I cannot actually orgasm in the cowgirl position. I hear some women can. I’m not saying it doesn’t feel good, it does and it can be a fine appetizer, or dessert, if you will, but it is not the main attraction for me. (Oh, and as with all blogs, if you don’t like the content here, you can always change the channel. Gee, I told you I was in a weird mood.) Anyway, I have never (until that moment) faked an orgasm. Why would I? That’s crazy. I want my orgasm. But that day, I decided to show Blue Eyes exactly how easy it is to fool him. The whole thing worked for him. I was sweating and gasping for breath when it was all “done.” He looked at me and I looked at him and he asked me what was wrong. I asked him if he thought my orgasm was real. He said, yeah, of course. You don’t fake your orgasms, do you? I said I had never in my life, but I told him that time, I did. See how easy it was to fool him. I burst another of his bubbles. I asked how much foreplay had gone into the fantasy for Camilla. He said not a lot as he was so driven by the secret fantasy sexual encounter that he never lasted long and he never touched her erotically before the act, and most of the time not after. I asked if she seemed satisfied and he said, yeah, he thought so. I asked him if he noticed, or cared? He kind of sheepishly said, not really. So weird. Why would I care if he cared about this whore. Anyway, now he believes most of the time she was faking it and that is fine with me. I think now, when he actually pays attention, he knows what is real.
The truth is, unlike many spouses, although images of him having sex with the other women, especially the last and most horrifying one, haunted me for days, weeks, months, I never thought about it while we were having sex, except that one time. It never hindered my sexual relationship with him. The mind is a powerful thing and for some reason, mine would not allow me to go there when we were being intimate. But you know what, none of that silliness matters. That is all just me getting out some of my frustrations over the patterns Blue Eyes created while giving in to his addiction. The honest truth is that sex addiction is not about sex and a period of sexual celibacy is also not really about sex.
The period of celibacy for a sex addict is about taking away sex as a method of coping with difficult or uncomfortable emotions. Blue Eyes struggles with anger, resentment, and entitlement stemming from the abuse his parents perpetrated on him as a child, and then as an adult. His feelings of inadequacy as a son, as a human being, were medicated through sexual self gratification from an early age. The secret behavior that was shameful to him, was also the secret behavior that he developed, nurtured, and that grew into full blown sex addiction. When he was feeling stressed, or particularly entitled, or overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, porn and masturbation were his methods of coping, of balancing his life out again. Eventually, porn and masturbation weren’t enough and grooming women started to fill the void. Eventually, most likely due to the availability of the other women, he started acting out with partners. He had a regular old sex life with me, his wife. The sex he had with acting out partners was a drug, a sick and twisted drug.
Now, however, that he is not acting out, he still goes through horrifying mood swings. He still struggles with managing his emotions. He still feels like he is unlovable. He still feels like he isn’t good enough. He still feels anger at situations he finds himself in. He still resents the abuse that was perpetrated on him and he still feels entitled to live inside his head and I am positive somewhere in there, he longs for his secret sex life. He is often ungrounded, unbalanced. As he reprograms his frontal lobe with positive stimuli he desires the secret life less, but he still longs for his coping drug. Enter me, Kat, his wife. Sex with me does not fulfill his fantasy. It is not secret. Instead, it is a somewhat less effective coping mechanism. He can still get a little taste of a much lesser drug from me. He is not necessarily feeding the deepest darkest part of him anymore, but he is still medicating himself with sex. I can acknowledge this. This is not what our sex life is predominantly about, but it is about this some of the time. Blue Eyes needs to live without the drug for a period of time so that he knows he can and so he learns to master his emotions versus medicating them.
All of last year, I was a hindrance to this process. I needed him to help with my trauma, and to help me heal. I used him to make me feel better and to help heal our marriage. It is time for me to step aside and give Blue Eyes what he really needs, not what he wants (because he wants sex).
We met with Blue Eyes’ therapist about a week ago. We agreed to a period of celibacy for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days we will check in and see if we need to re-up for another 30. I kept thinking as a 50-something man sat across from me (who was not my husband) talking about me and my partner of 30+ years having a sexless marriage, and as he kept saying 30 days, 30 days, 30 days it felt like I was being punished in numerous ways in 30-day increments. The Whole30 (no grains, legumes, sugar, dairy, etc… ), no sex, no this, no that. I know it is all good and necessary, but the immature Kat feels like she is being punished. Just like with eating healthy, however, it’s all good for me, good for my health, good for my marriage.
We had already backed off of sex earlier that week. I felt it was necessary. Blue Eyes was counting on it too much to regulate his feelings. He was connecting really well with me and opening up and doing a fine job of understanding and communicating, but he was also using sex to help him balance it all out. I knew he needed to stop doing that. His therapist talked with us a lot about non-genital touching. He showed Blue Eyes ways of being intimate without it being sexual. I think, instinctively The Shrink knew, I can already do this. I do already do this. I gently touch Blue Eyes in non-sexual ways. Blue Eyes has always been incredibly needy. I touch and embrace him gently and give him little pecks on the cheek or the neck or the ear. I always have. I could go into one of my tirades about how he told Camilla I wasn’t loving, nurturing, or intimate with him, but that is just very self-serving. I need to stop doing it. It hurts. So, I know Blue Eyes can do it, he can learn to love gently without all paths leading to sex, but there will be a transition period. Nine days in, we are still very much in transition.
To be continued…
7 thoughts on “Sex IS optional, part one”
Kat. Can you expand on the statement ” the cheater has trouble performing due to the guilt of the betrayal”? You said you get it. I don’t. I’d like to email you confidentially to ask you about this if you wouldn’t mind.
Absolutely. If you would like to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would be happy to explain/discuss what I meant.
I didn’t mean my post above in a creepy way. I’ve just been up since 2:30am intermittently crying again and I am so tired. I don’t have the words to share just yet how I feel about your post making me feel so much less alone.
I am so sorry you were up so early and in pain. I’m glad my post could help you feel less alone. Sometimes when I am writing, I have no idea what will strike a cord. We never truly know what goes on in other people’s lives, so I just tell my own truth and I read other blogs and I hope some of my words help others like their words help me. Marital intimacy is so much more than sexual intimacy. I have read your blog, and I know you suffer physical pain due to your illness. I hope you and your husband are connecting on that intimate level and he is connecting with his own desire to be intimate, not just sexual. My husband and I are struggling, but it is so very important for both of us. Hugs to you bugs, I hope you are feeling better now. ❤
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A definite thank you for sharing .
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I loved this post, Kat. It wasn’t inappropriate at all – at least not to me (maybe I set the bar too low myslef, lol). I GET all of this, and no, I can’t “get there” cowgirl either, but it is heaps of fun nonetheless. Yeah, the “reclaiming” when they were never not claimed, OH YEAH. Silly, huh?
The parts of the journey that are most difficult, and most interesting, are the nuanced ones, like your exploration of intimacy, in a non-sexual way. When I first started struggling with the sex – about three years in – we did embark on some sex therapy. I was pretty mortified, don’t frigid women go to sex therapy? That wasn’t me!! We did a lot of this kind of stuff for a while, no sex allowed. The stupid thing for us was that we had both done a lot of this over the years, we were a very affectionate couple, touches, brushes againt body parts, a hand grazing an arm, a nuzzle into a neck – and all of the above maybe while “just” cooking dinner. We could “get it on” in raunchy, or fantasy, or gentle, or whatever style too. I will be interested to hear about your journey over the 30 day period, and how you both cope, but of course, especially the sex addict in the marriage. Thank you for sharing :-0.
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It sounds like your ability to ignore or block out the betrayal in order to continue to enjoy an amazing sex/love life with your partner just frankly ran out over time. The mind is a powerful thing and that goes both ways. Sometimes we can block out the pain in order to give in to the trauma, and then maybe some of us get to the point where we’re over the trauma, but not over the betrayal and we can no longer pretend. It is what it is. No amount of goodness in the past can make the reality of the current situation tolerable. There’s a lot of talk about living in the present, not the past or the future… okay, but the present can be pretty damn shitty sometimes.
There is quite a bit more to tell even at this point in the saga of our celibacy period. I frankly just ran out of energy and time yesterday. Also, my guess is our celibacy period is going to last more than 30 days… I mean, it would be nice if a sex addict could learn how to get in touch with his emotions and figure out how to be truly intimate all in 30 days, but it sounds like a bad infomercial even as I type this. The reality of life is much more complicated than “society/the media” wants to make it out to be. When will we learn, there is no quick fix for anything really. That is all an illusion created so some people can hawk more product, and make more money, and be more screwed up because most of the time, more money doesn’t give you anything but more troubles.
Yeah, I’ve tried numerous times to make cowgirl and reverse cowgirl work for me, ha, but those positions have always been just a step in a process. Keep being your amazing self, Paula. I always love your comments!
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