Tuesday, October 2, 2012

PART 2 of "To Sex Or Not To Sex With Sex Addiction"

HELLO, I'm back!  I've been away a little longer than I intended to be but things have been really busy for us this past month!  I feel like I have so much to say in my head but I just can't find time to write it all down!

Life can be insane enough as it is ...  it's no wonder that women practically lose their minds with having to cope with their hubby's sex addiction.  I mean it's emotional and exhausting enough to just stay in the relationship (and fight off the overwhelming desire to chop their hubby's penis's off - LOL).

And then to top it off, like you don't work hard enough at just keeping your sanity ... you have people like me, telling you that in recovery you BOTH have to work on yourselves and your relationship!!!!  That just doesn't sound fair, huh?  Like you have the damn energy for that ... it's his problem right?  You didn't do anything to create this klusterfuck of chaos so he should do most of the work, right?

To answer my own silly questions .... no, it isn't fair!  We didn't ask for this and it is wrong that our suffering has to travel so deep into the core of our soul.  AND, unfortunately sitting back and waiting for him to do his recovery work doesn't help create the life, the intimacy and the relationship that WE want.  We have power too, we have a say and we know what we want.  And what we want is Happiness, Trust, Intimacy and AWESOME SEX!!!!!  

Give me a Shout Out if you agree!!!!!  YES .... we deserve GREAT SEX after all of this!!!  And many of us still can't understand if we are married to a sex addict why am I getting absolutely NO SEX???  It just doesn't make much sense.  Intellectually I get it ... and I can talk about it until I am blue in the face ... but in my heart it is hard to understand, and I know that so many women reading this can agree.

So, that brings me to the topic of today's post (I take a damn long time to get to the point, don't I?) .... How to navigate the waters of SEX in sex addiction recovery?  Recovery is unique for each person, for each couple, for me and Ed .... but I am going to share with you the reality of sex for Ed and I and the things that I feel pretty strongly about.

Sex is an important part of a relationship.  To me it felt so important that I would lie in bed and feel like I NEEDED to have sex with my husband, to be wanted and desired so passionately and to just have fun and enjoy the moments of sex.  Not having sex for so long felt so lonely and sad to me!  The truth is that sex is a natural human desire that we can't just ignore and hope it will go away.  It doesn't work that way ... trust me, Ed tried that technique but it was impossible to ignore the HUGE, ENORMOUSelephant in the room.

The reality is that connected and loving sex begins with intimacy.  Intimacy and Sex are two different things.  Intimacy is a connection, a closeness, an amazing spiritual bond.  To develop intimacy you need to create trust, complete honesty and a willingness to be totally vulnerable.  Once these things happen a sense of safety surrounds us.  These things that I am talking about is the root of what is broken in our relationships.  And the root of what needs to be repaired first, before dwelling too much on sex.

We all know that no one in this relationship feels safe ... definitely not the spouse who literally has just gotten the safety ripped out from under her ... and surely not the addict who at the core of his insecurities is often terrified of true intimacy.  And without true intimacy the sex will be just ok and we all risk repeating the patterns that brought us here in the first place.

So, to make a really long story short ....  through our recovery I realized what I really needed, what I truly desired was INTIMACY.  It's the connection and the closeness that actually filled that need for me.  To truly feel loved (there is a difference between knowing our husband's love us and truly to the depth of our hearts feeling the love) was the important piece to make me happy that I stayed, to know that I have worked my ass off to create the happiness that I know I deserve ... a relationship of fun, love and amazing equal respect.

It takes so much work but once you can create intimacy, with an amazing connection where you feel safe and grounded .... well, sex is just the natural next step.  For me, creating the intimacy was FAR more important than having sex.  Sure, sex is still REALLY important to me but I did realize though that sex wasn't actually what I was truly longing for .... 

So, if you are still wondering what the hell am I talking about ... should you have sex or not have sex in recovery with a sex addict???   Well, my answer is this .... everyone is different.  I think it is really important to take a "time out" in the sex department for a while.  How long is a while?  Well, that is different for everyone ... and for some it is a LONG while (sorry, that does suck to hear ... trust me, I get it).  For Ed, he couldn't even begin to think about sex until we created intimacy and I know that is also true for many others out there.  There are so many wounds that need to be healed and these wounds do not heal over night.  And once you create the foundation of your relationship, the intimacy, well then the sex will be that much better .... and it will have been worth the wait!!!!

So, let's start with small baby steps .... small steps to create intimacy ... small steps to begin simple touch ... small steps to learn to love each other again .... to learn to trust each other again .... to learn to feel safe with each other .... let's start small and keep moving forward.  Because I firmly believe that we can all heal from this and end up having the INTIMACY AND AMAZING SEX that we have been longing for!!!!!!


  1. I love this post. It speaks to me a lot - to where I have been , to where I am, to where I want to be. I would Reblog this if I had any idea how to do that between blogspot and Wordpress.

    1. Hey my friend!!!! Thanks so much!!!! I love hearing how you connect with it! So many women have trouble with this and I went through a really tough time when I was just focused on the fact that I wasn't getting any that it actually put a strain on our our relationship. So, this is where it is so important to focus and it was what really worked!!!!

      I love that you like it enough to want to share it ... I have no idea how to reblog either (can you do that within wordpress?) ...another idea is that you can link to it from your blog ... or you can cut and paste the parts that you like too! I am honored that you even thought about that!

      How are you doing btw?

    2. Hi! I recently discovered your blog and can relate to so much. I found out my husband was a sex addict in Dec after 11 years of marriage and found out in a very traumatic way (by the police) These past nine months have been a crazy whirlwind but I am proud to say we have both come so far. As hard as it is, and as much as I have been hurt, as long as he is committed to recovery I am here to support him. Before finding out I thought we we had a great marriage, we have two beautiful girls, we were happy, life was good. Then the rug gets pulled out from under you. The blessing is that it forced him to get help and brought to the surface all of the pain he had been burying for so long. I now have my husband in his entirety, no more secrets, no more shame. Two months after I found out about his addiction I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer (totally agree with your post about stress and the effects on the body...I'm 34, in good health, ate well, exercised, no family history) Together we've been fighting our battles side by side, me against my disease and him in his recovery and also the legal system. As I tell my friends, my life is like a really crazy Lifetime movie....The good news is that the legal matter is over. It is only by the grace of God that he is not in jail. He is on the sex offender registry so the consequeces of his addiction will affect our family for the rest of our lives. It's so nice to be able to connect with other women who feel the same pain and can understand in ways that only the wife of a sex addict can. Thank you for your blog!

    3. Wow... thank you so much for sharing your story!!! And what a story it is .... it definitely sounds like a "Lifetime" movie. It's funny, I always say the same thing, it's amazing when we look back how insane parts of our lives have been!!! ANd my heart goes out to you sweetie ... dealing with the reality of your hubby's sex addiction and then finding out you have cancer soon after. Two months is just enough to stop having regular panic attacks ... let alone deal with such a serious health issue. I just want to send you a BIG, HUGE, YOU ARE FABULOUS HUG!!!! You deserve it!!!!

      My question for you is how did your hubby react when you found out about the cancer? 2 months isn't a long time into recovery and that serious diagnosis can be a really hard thing for our men. How are you feeling now? I would love to hear more about your own journey through EVERYTHING you are going through!!!

      Connecting with other women who "get it" is why I started my blog and the reason I do the work that I do. It is really hard to truly understand unless you have been there yourself so it is so fulfilling to allow women to be "HEARD". I find that us spouse's want to be understood, heard and given some loving compassion ..... and not to feel like we are being judged or labeled.

      I am also glad to hear that you are supporting each other. The recovery process can be wonderful when we re-build our relationships based on an equal partnership, support, love and compassion. I guess your diagnosis forced you both to do that. Life's hardest lessons are often learned in our darkest times .... and it is up to us to embrace the lesson and open our minds. You sound amazing!!! Keep in touch and I am sending positive energy your way!!!!!!

    4. Anon,

      I just want to send my love.


  2. How did you know I've been needing this?? Goodness I've blogged about this very topic several times this week. The confusion surrounding it. The respect I want to show him about his recovery and triggers, yet my insane urge to feel connected to him, through sex in addition to everything else and feeling "rejected" even though I logically KNOW he isn't rejecting me at all. We even discussed it in therapy this week. My logical brain is not communicating with my irrational heart. His desire to reassure me and show me love is in conflict with his overwhelming fear of triggering, using me or spiraling into a cycle and acting out.

    The good thing is, we ARE communicating. We are communicating SO well. Neither of us are holding back and we are trying so hard to understand and respect each other. We are clinging to each other. It's bringing us closer and our emotional intimacy is growing so much.

    Now, if only I could get out of the padded room in my brain...

    Love you guys and you help me so much.

    1. Hi my friend! Thank you SOOOO much for your fabulous words! And we love you too .... it is so awesome how you share your story with others and give support to all the fabulous ladies that need it! You are pretty fabulous yourself!!!!

      I am sooo happy that you guys are communicating! That is HUGE!!!! YEAH!!! THat is such a huge step in feeling safe, feeling connected and creating safety. It is beautiful to hear. You can't move forward until you create that open place to communicate. So, way to go for working your asses off!!!!! BIUG HUGS to both of you and remember that the process takes a painfully long time .... but one that can truly be worth it!

      I think the goal is to create a real, true, fun, present and fabulous sex life. A healthy sex life. Sex is such a natural human need .... which I feel is why it is so easy for our guys to fall into addictive sexual patterns .... because sex feels good, we need it and it soothes us. You also feel a need to feel connected to him through sex. You have been rejected over and over (OMG ... the rejection is one of the worst parts. Intellectually we get it but that just puts a band-aid on the wound we feel inside). So, that need for connection through sex is natural and also a way for you to soothe your own wounds.

      So, sex in our lives is so jacked up and confused!!!!! SO .... now that you are communicating it opens the doorway to the next step. Simple touching. There are so many exercises that you can do that helps to take that closeness you feel to the next step without the fear of it being tainted by sex.

      One incredible exercise that we use is in the power of hugging. First stand face to face and just look into each other's eyes. Really look at each other and try to match each other's breath, in together and out together. Once you can do that comfortably do that while holding hands and once you do that then you do that while hugging. THat is my favorite .... you hug and you feel your hearts together. Then you breathe together and match the in breath and the out breath. You FEEL it ... and there is power in that feeling, there is safety in that feeling, there is connectedness in that feeling. First it forces you to be present and not have a wandering mind. If your mind wanders just gently guide it back to the breathing. WHile you are hugging really concentrate on how you physically feel. Really FEEL it .... do that for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Once you are done talk about how you feel, mentally, emotionally, physically. If he feels triggered or uncomfortable he should talk about it.

      That is just one exercise that Ed and I use (I have a whole bunch that I have clients use too).

      It isn't about stuffing down those triggering feelings or your feeling aroused. It's about learning how to let that energy flow in a healthy and useful way. When you feel that feeling like you want or need to have sex ... accept that feeling and let the energy flow through you, don't stuff it away, enjoy it. If you stuff it it will drive you full force into that padded room in your brain. I have been stuck there myself! And hopefully he can learn the same thing.

      He needs to go slowly to create safety around his fear and triggers. And you need him to work harder at the physical touching. Just start being physical in a really small way, small steps add up!!!! And it will build safety in the end! You guys are doing great! Remember to let your sexual energy flow through your body .... don't create a block for it .... enjoy it, embrace it and remember it will happen! It just takes time!!!!

      BIG BIG BIG HUGS TO YOU and keep me updated!!!!!

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