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Aubrie posted 5/13/2014 09:03 AM

Weird question, sorta dancing on the TMI line. Apologies in advance. Trying to work something out in my mind without an epic verbal vomit. (Scary eh?)

Eye contact during intimacy.

Do you have it? How much do you have? What's normal?

Is eye contact really that important?

If you don't have it, why? Is it tied to your past? Or something else?

If you didn't have eye contact before and you do now, how did you get from point A to point B?

tired girl posted 5/13/2014 09:16 AM

Minimal on my end. I would guess it is tied to FOO issues, it feels to invasive. I am sure HL would like more. As I deal with my issues, I get a little better at that type of stuff.

FindMyselfAgain posted 5/13/2014 10:28 AM

So...still sorting my own thoughts on this. Let's see what I can share if I just start blurting out what comes to mind.

Yes, we have quite a bit of eye contact now actually. But it is a fairly newish thing for us. We also used to have a lot during our HB after DDay and during the early years of our relationship. However we went for a very long time with minimal to no eye contact.

I have no clue what is "normal". And just like most things, the importance is subjective. Everyone is responsible for setting their own priorities, even in this area.

In my case, I avoided eye contact because of how I felt about myself and how I was afraid he felt about me. My self-esteem was pathetic. What if I looked into his eyes and saw disgust or contempt or some other emotion that made me feel bad? Or worse...what if I saw genuine love and compassion, when I felt so undeserving because I knew exactly how unlovable I could be? See, for me, it was really all tied to fear.

I changed my thinking around this fear as I worked on healing myself of my own self-destructive tendencies. I not really sure if it was conscious at the time, but thinking back on my own journey, I realize there was a shift in my perspective. My fear of what I would see in his eyes diminished as my desire to show him everything in me at our most intimate moments. I wanted him to "see" how very deep my emotions ran in those moments. Whatever I was feeling, I wanted him to experience with me. And I wanted him to show me the same.

You know the expression "the eyes are the windows to the soul" or however it goes (see, you've got me all ). Anyway, his eyes show his feelings. What he's feeling deep down to the very heart of him. As do mine. We're sharing that now, more truly and deeply than ever before. And I like it. Very much.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/13/2014 10:40 AM

Minimal on my end too. I feel too exposed, self conscious. It makes me really uncomfortable.

I made a monumental effort after Dday, during HB and afterwards. I still wasn't 100% comfortable but like TG, I figure the more I sort through my issues, the easier it will become.

SurprisinglyOkay posted 5/13/2014 11:20 AM

Appropriate timing...

It's something I struggle with, as well!

I feel too exposed, self conscious. It makes me really uncomfortable.

This rang true for me.

Now in our situation, one of the things we talked about post dday was that OM didn't even look at me while we had sex. So AFK makes a point to look at me, which I like.
The way I made my statement he felt like I was complaining, I feel like I was emphasizing the lack of intimacy. But it was so long ago, I don't remember the convo.

But something in me feels like BBT said exposed, For some reason it makes me uncomfortable to return the eye contact. I've been practicing, and it's getting more comfortable, I will sometimes get silly and smile, or giggle with it... But I feel like I'm making more eye contact than I have in the past, even if it's a little bit more.
I don't know if AFK would agree, but I feel like I've been making an effort.
(except if he's breathing in my eyes, then they stay shut)


Being more comfortable with myself in our physically intimate moments is something I've been working on. Being ok with my body, my fantasies, etc... I've been SLOWLY getting better.

Sparkle0504 posted 5/13/2014 12:08 PM

BS here, I hope you don't mind?

My SAWH and I had much eye contact in the early days, but as more and more of his behaviours have been uncovered, the eye contact has lessened. When we lie in bed at night, where we used to not be able to stop looking at each other, I now have trouble getting him to look at me at all.

I assumed,I guess, that it's all to do with the intimacy disorder that is SA, shame, reluctance to be vulnerable. It's hard for me to accept - eye contact is something I need - I (eye) am a very intimate person and I think it shows your partner that you are engaged, you are listening and that you trust your partner with what can be seen in/through your eyes.

So, to answer your question Aubrie, from my POV, yes, eye contact is very important.

stunnedin12 posted 5/13/2014 13:21 PM

BS here -

During HB - I 'demanded' wh look at me and see me.

After the third break in no contact? Eh.

I do think it is an intimacy thing. I don't trust wh and eye contact denotes trust in my mind. The other is 'just physical' (and it is REALLY heartbreaking to have that opinion).

For us, eye contact is going to need to be rebuilt and it will take time, trust, honesty, etc.

Darkness Falls posted 5/13/2014 13:52 PM

Minimal for me. It makes me feel uncomfortable and exposed.

XH seems to like eye contact, so I do it so as not to make him wonder if I'm thinking about him during sex or someone else. I'd prefer we both had our eyes closed.

SurprisinglyOkay posted 5/13/2014 13:56 PM

I'm glad intimacy came up.
AFK and were talking about this further, after I posted.
I think it is an intimacy thing too.
We were talking about different ways we get physical
Even talking on the phone about "making love" and sharing intimacy during sex made me uncomfortable.
It's something I think I would love to have, I just never have.

SurprisinglyOkay posted 5/13/2014 13:56 PM

I'm glad intimacy came up.
AFK and were talking about this further, after I posted.
I think it is an intimacy thing too.
We were talking about different ways we get physical
Even talking on the phone about "making love" and sharing intimacy during sex made me uncomfortable.
It's something I think I would love to have, I just never have.

familyfirst posted 5/13/2014 14:33 PM

No to eye contact for me, but I hear there's something to that. A friend was in MC and they suggested this as an 'exercise'. It was supposed to bring them closer together. Personally it sounds like torture to me.

Aubrie posted 5/13/2014 15:12 PM

Personally it sounds like torture to me.
Preach. I remember seeing a thread in JFO way back. The BS was saying how the WS's AP would demand eye contact. It was more intense or something. I remember thinking, "God what a nutball. Who does that!?" It seems strange, foreign, and incredibly uncomfortable.

Ok. Back to my cave to think some more. Thanks for the input y'all.

Being more comfortable with myself in our physically intimate moments is something I've been working on. Being ok with my body, my fantasies, etc... I've been SLOWLY getting better.
Trying to do the same. I wish I was normal. Wonder what being a normal person feels like. Must be nice.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 3:14 PM, May 13th (Tuesday)]

Sparkle0504 posted 5/13/2014 15:56 PM

Aubrie, I used to think it would be great to be "normal" - but it's not actually obligatory I find.

Just be you

rachelc posted 5/13/2014 16:41 PM

Actually, there's a book out there that recommends this.
This thread hit me over the head. I can't do it. I have not been able to orgasm with the thought of he and I together in 2.5 years.
I'll need to look at this further.

Aubrie posted 5/13/2014 17:18 PM

Rachel, do you remember the name of the book?

rachelc posted 5/13/2014 17:33 PM

It MAY be the David Richo book - How to be an Adult in relationships or something else by him. Seems like it was a newer book.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/13/2014 18:12 PM

The BS was saying how the WS's AP would demand eye contact. It was more intense or something. I remember thinking, "God what a nutball. Who does that!?" It seems strange, foreign, and incredibly uncomfortable.

Oh christ, that just triggered me. The AP did that to me too. I completely freaked out, got hysterical and had to leave the room. I feel a bit sick now.

Aubrie posted 5/13/2014 19:05 PM

Thanks Rachel. I'll look into it.

I'm sorry BBT.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/13/2014 19:12 PM

S'alright Aubs, not your fault. Just reminded me what a nutjob he was and how messed up I was!

Actionsoverwords posted 5/13/2014 19:33 PM

SAWH here.

I wasn't going to respond to this thread, not because I found it to be triggering, but because the topic stirs something inside of me that is so uncomfortable. However, as an ongoing part of trying to become healthy, the things that are uncomfortable are things that I am tackling.

I've never been truly intimate with any of the women that I have been with, BW included. It feels too scary for me and I rather be intimate with myself. I can remember closing my eyes during those moments and rarely would I look at my partner. Even with the prostitutes I patronized, I had to work myself up and tell myself that part of the reason that I am "choosing" (not much of a choice, another lie I told myself, I was just taking what was available) this particular woman over that one was because of visual stimulation. I would either close my eyes or look at everywhere else but her face.

Heck, just realized that when I would watch pornography, I would close my eyes at times.

I think eye contact conveys intimacy, vulnerability, and trust. Therefore, extremely important in a relationship.

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