For god's sake.. both you and blake, put the tools that you learned in Retrouvaille to good use. And not just for the daily routine, practice the key points in everyday. Texting, emailing, etc. You don't have to only use them for the "Daily Retro Routine".
My wife and I started using them right away. If either of you two need a "Retro" ear to listen, either of you PM me.
We are all in both of your corners, one day you two will share the same corner.
I'd cross post this into his thread, but I'm sure he will read this as well.
At this point in time, I AM a "sexless WS." I have almost zero desire. Almost all of the time that sex crosses my mind, I feel repulsed. Not by my XH, but by the idea of having sex itself. This is the first time I have said that so plainly. And considering how sexual I used to be, I'm sure some would consider me to be a "bullshitting WS" but that's fine.
For me it's a combination of a medical condition dx'd 3 years ago, the meds I take for it, and a highly physical, long-hours job. Quite frankly, there are many things I'd rather do with my extremely limited free time than have sex.
Point is, it's a shame that for a former WS, all sexual problems are automatically thought to be "B.S." or not worthy of being considered valid or being taken seriously due to the fact that at a different point in time, we had a sexual affair. (Disclaimer #2: I have not read all of the replies on your H's thread either.)
Married 2.5 years
Reconciled after divorce
"Someday you'll look back on all these days
And all this pain is gonna be invisible." - Hunter Hayes, "Invisible"
Sex without connection led me to feel similarly "used" prior to dday - it was the most difficult part of my and my H's relationship. For me, this was because that emotional connection was missing. Somehow we seem to have found it, and it was largely through reading, talking, being vulnerable, and trial and error. It is still something we are working on every day.
I don't have the magic bullet. . . I wish I did. You guys are a couple so many people are pulling for. It helps me to remember that all the posts here always come from an individual point of view - all we can do is bring our own baggage, experience and viewpoints to other people's issues, that we have an imperfect view on.
I can see where you might be upset that your viewpoint wasn't understood, and was speculated on, and I am glad you decided to chime in rather than just be angry about it. I think you'll find you have a lot of people here hoping to offer assistance and support.
I edit, therefore I am.
So at times I have had to step completely away from SI or limit myself to the Wayward board because I can't take it. He would accuse me of not caring about his thoughts so it has become a delicate balance of showing him I care enough to read his threads and protecting my own feelings by not reading them.
I really don't mind all the praise or "admirers' he gets. He IS a good man. A wonderful, kind and loving husband. He is working so hard and has forgiven me for a lot. I love him and I appreciate the support SI has been for him. In real life, too, people love him and he is the type of friend that anyone would be lucky to have. As far as the women offering him that praise Ė Iím ok with. He does have the rule in place of no messaging women which I greatly appreciate. This happened after one woman was getting a bit too personal with him (which he shared with me). Occasionally even now a woman will message him and ask him to break his rule ďjust for herĒ. Usually for a few weeks after that I have a really big grudge against SI.
What I do mind is telling him what I need and then hearing from him that I must need something else because SI members told him so. And I do mind hearing that he is working so hard but itís on everything except the one thing I need the most, which is to be heard and understood. I donít want him to turn to SI to understand me and I donít want other members trying to interpret my feelings or motivations. I realize I have little choice in this matter though and I try to come to peace with it but sometimes Iíll admit I donít feel too peaceful about it.
SisterMilkshake, Retrouvaille was really wonderful. It helped me own my feelings even more and showed me ways to be able to share them. It is one of the ways I found the courage to talk about this sex-break with my BH. I didnít do the dialoguing well though and should have had this conversation with him using more of those tools. I still have work to do with this. Iím not currently in IC.
Thanks, spond, for the 2x4. I can see now that I expected him to practice his part of listening really well and hearing my emotions. But I didnít start out the right way with sharing my feelings and making sure I expressed them so he could understand them and not feel attacked.
Sadone29, I am praying. I pray to have the wisdom to make the right decisions and to be open and honest. Iím talking to my pastor and a few other trusted friends who are spiritually strong and have grown much more than I when it comes to walking with God. Their advice was to be open, honest, tell your husband what you need. Tell him you love him and want to heal this part of your marriage.
For everyone that has dealt with porn/MB in their marriage, thank you. I so appreciate hearing Iím not alone with this. I have been so confused for so many years and have struggled silently with it. Iíll look into the SA recovery programs since it sounds like some of that may apply and be useful. I guess I just havenít really looked at how subtly or deeply it could have damaged things and so I donít know how to fix things. Iím really at a loss of what to do or where to turn next. Iíll also PM a few of you that offered Ė thank you for reaching out.
It seems that there has been something not conveyed in the analyzation. It is hard to be able to portray the whole story; both sides. This came out clearly in your post. You so want, need AND deserve to be heard. I hope he reads your post and sees things from your POV. What you say makes perfect sense from the outside, I hope he can take a step back and look at what you are saying so that he can work towards making you feel like you have been heard by him. You have certainly been heard by us here now. There are a few issues here; one seems to be how one perceives intimacy; the act of sex itself being the "thing" which creates the feeling of intimacy vs the need for intimacy (emotional) prior to the act of sex in order for the act of sex to feel intimate. Not much was shared in your post regarding his reaction when you shared why no O during actual intercourse was so hurtful. (Of course you are entitled to keep that for yourself!) But did that realization and your vulnerable confession of this hurt cause him to change it to help create that sense of intimacy for you? The other issue relates to the dynamics in your marriage with a variety of issues; when you voice your feelings, they are being addressed in a manner which makes you feel like you need to pull them back and protect them from your Husband. I am sure this is NOT the effect he wants to have on your sharing; it seems very apparent that he wants to have intimacy with you that comes from sharing and being vulnerable with each other. Here may be where the counselor can help the two of you move forward. Maybe you can bring both posts in to the session and have him/her help you get through it.
I, and I think we all, want so much for the two of you to heal and be happy. If love and desire to stay together alone were enough, you two would be a sure thing. Please don't lose sight of the fact that his desire to heal keeps him motivated to seek help here, as misguided and one-sided as it may be. I may have oversimplified things; I certainly do not know your marriage at all and do not want to offend you by pretending to know that has happened between you, but I do feel like I know enough to say that it is so clear that you are both so hurt, and BOTH want to make this work. HUGS to you.
[This message edited by Neverwudaguessed at 2:47 PM, March 6th (Thursday)]
the one thing I need the most, which is to be heard and understood
Occasionally even now a woman will message him and ask him to break his rule ďjust for herĒ. Usually for a few weeks after that I have a really big grudge against SI.
People will push boundaries everywhere. That's why it's so important to stay firm with your own.
I didnít do the dialoguing well though and should have had this conversation with him using more of those tools.
Grace, dialoguing takes practice (and lots of it). It's not something that people easily grasp, especially if they've had problems distinguishing between feelings and thoughts in the past.
When my husband and I don't find time to dialogue I find I will easily fall back into not being able to identify feelings, detach and not be able to express them. And then it's hard to get back into the practice of it again. Keep at it.
Definitely look into how the porn use affected you, not just what it did to him.
I know I am labeled as a BGF here on SI. But in all honesty, I am not here as one. I'm here because I've been affected by adultery, and all the pain that comes with it. I just want help and at times support. I look at all of us as in this together. Yep, there are times where I want to lash out at a wayward...but that's my personal pain coming through. My head reminds me that we can all learn from each other, and how horrible this is for everyone involved.
Your post really hit home for me. The few times my WBF has posted, he's received replies that made me want to scream. I wanted to go to those people and "tattle" on how he was FOS, and give them the real scoop.
Instead, I went to him and reminded HIM of what he left out. The way I look at it...if he really wants honest help, he will think before he starts typing. And when people respond, I hope he looks at their response as possibly jaded to their own experiences.
When I read you H's posts, you ran through my mind quite often. One in particular, about the Every Man's Battle book. I've suffered through a number of relationships where porn was a painful issue. And today, after my WBF's lies and his porn issues, I feel almost dead inside when it comes to sex. I did read your H's recent post about sex, and what you were considering. I didn't respond because I have no advice. I'm at as much of a loss as you are.
And today, reading what you wrote, all I can say is your position is absolutely in my mind. And while I know many have responded to what he has written, please know there are many who rooting for the two of you. And most of us realize there are two sides to every story.
I really do wish you luck, and encourage you to keep posting.
True Love: What I have for my beautiful children.
It strikes me from the posts you have received that whether you are the BS or the WS, we are responding to our spouse in ways that our harmful to the relationship. As a result we feel lonely, used up, disconnected, rejected, and the list goes on.
I read all of the posts on blakes's site and all of these. I can see how some of the posts would hurt, however, people are really only speculating based on what they know. Their intentions (check hormones for low sex drive) are good. Please know this.
I will end this the same way I ended one of my last posts to blake and that is that I wish both of you peace. I really do.
Thanks for sharing your story.
ps: Also, I would say the same thing to you as I would say to any BS and any WS and that is IC is extremely important following an A. It sounds like you have many good friends and clergy to talk with but what about a professional - a total stranger - someone you can lay it all out with/have your say.
[This message edited by LA44 at 3:06 PM, March 6th (Thursday)]
We are seeing one side - I would LOVE my BS/WH to post on here. But it isn't for him. His growth is in his head and from his actions as he's not a big talker. And that hinders the advice we give on SI.
I understand how and why you're hurt. You both explained your feelings so eloquently. I wonder if there is a way to harness this communication skill into your marriage? There have been many times where I get into it with my husband and then come here to run it by everyone. It should really only matter to me what HE says, even if I don't agree. It's him I'm in the relationship with. I get what you are saying about needing to be heard.
Prayers your way.
[This message edited by rachelc at 3:12 PM, March 6th (Thursday)]
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...
Feel free to pm me any time!
I'm sure you guys will get better as you practice it and put it to use. I personally am not that very good with it either, my wife is a lot better then I.
You guys will get it, just remember to always communicate and don't stop practicing.
He does have the rule in place of no messaging women which I greatly appreciate. This happened after one woman was getting a bit too personal with him (which he shared with me). Occasionally even now a woman will message him and ask him to break his rule ďjust for herĒ. Usually for a few weeks after that I have a really big grudge against SI.
I agree that you both need to take a break from sex and learn to develop true emotional intimacy. recoverynation.com has a road map, of sorts, and it's free. Check it out.
[This message edited by ThoughtIKnewYa at 5:35 PM, March 6th (Thursday)]
You both explained your feelings so eloquently. I wonder if there is a way to harness this communication skill into your marriage?
I said in an earlier post, that you guys should start a notebook and communicate a little bit that way together. I KNOW that this sounds really corny but I think it might be worth a shot. Maybe instead of SI on a certain day of the week, it should be "notebook" day. I've read a lot of blake's posts and he likes to write, you can't deny that. He can express his feelings through writing in a way that a lot of people can't. The man loves you. You love him. You just need to connect the dots.
IMO--YOU WERE SPOT ON TO FORGET ABOUT THE DAMN SEX FOR A LITTLE WHILE! IT'S MESSING BOTH OF YOU UP RIGHT NOW. FORGET ABOUT IT! Fix the emotional bonding and the communication problem and the sex will come naturally because the love is already there.
"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth." -Unknown Wise Person
Not too long ago, I suggested that blakesteele try to just be still for a moment. He is moving at a neck-breaking pace at times, trying so very hard to understand and heal. I know what that's like - to be almost frantic in all my efforts to recover. But in the long run, all it did for me was make me exhausted and it kept me from giving my fWH my full attention. If you have told him about your needs during sex, if you have told him you don't think he is really listening and responding to you, and he doesn't address those things, then no amount of therapy, reading, retreats, SI conversations will make that much of a difference in your efforts to R.
I was the person who wrote "posting, and posting, and posting," and needing to "fix your sh_t." My opening statement, "...the result of a healthy relationship maintained by two emotionally healthy people." was purposefully written as neutral.
You might hate me more now, for what I'm going to say, and Blake too....
I wanted you to respond. I hoped for it. I intended for it. I had difficulty writing that post and pondered what to say because I totally agree with your concerns. (and here's when Blake starts hating me more too.) I've tried to reach out and balance it because doesn't feel right. IMO, the discussions have been obsessive and lopsided, and support has been embraced with bias, and I believe somewhere below this extreme, or any extreme, lies the truth, always.
Please understand, I only wish you and Blake the very best. I truly, truly do.
I will respectfully bow out unless re-invited by you Grace.
Recovery is building a pyramid of inference from which to climb and see clearer, and heavy usage of the reflexive loop.