Some Revelations In Sex Therapy...Therapy session was interesting last week. As a recovered/recovering addict, it was interesting to hear him talk about love and sex as part of the addiction process. The therapist got him talking about past relationships, and he stated he usually just fell out of interest and became the refuser in most relationships. Some he didn't but these didn't appear to last long enough for the cycle to complete. He never was in a relationship where he was refused. I could strangle him because on numerous occassions he painted a picture where our situation was a new scenario for him, and the other relationships didn't suffer these type of issues. The tactics that he used in the past to keep me distanced sexually were mean and looking back, I can't believe I put up with it for so long.
It was really interesting to hear him state that he would prefer to be more dominant, and that I moved to fast for him. All this time I have been trying to focus on keeping him aroused and doing all the work and he feels he can't keep up and never tells me anything. It is kind of hard to know what to do when the other person gives no feedback! For the longest time, I have felt sex was something I inflicted on him and I eventually stopped initiating because it just became to anxiety ridden and embarrassing. I told them that I would be thrilled for some initiation and guidance from him, but the parameters he kept setting to reduce his anxiety were too crazy for me to be able to garner any enjoyment. First, I need to be open to him and keep trying while he rebuffs all my advances. Then, he states that he wants to take the lead and go slower but he didn't want me to show too much arousal or move to fast. I told him there is no way I can initiate at this stage because it skyrockets his anxiety level to high and he shuts down. I told him that he needed to do let me know what felt right and set the pace and I would stay with it and not push for more. But, I told him that if he doesn't initiate and move forward then I will not indefinitely wait and if efforts are not being actively made, I will not be put on hold and put off as before. No sex is still a deal breaker.
So, we are talking about it. We have been physically reengaging through light touch, kissing, and massage. Neither one of us is ready to move forward with anything more, though we did make out a bit the other night.
After living in a sexless marriage for any duration, the whole process of reinitiating sex becomes awkward and fraught with anxiety and tension. Even the refused who want sex can't just jump back in. All the rejection and confusion and baggage created by the dynamic of a sexless marriage has to be cleared in order to move forward. This isn't an easy process. I think we all believe that sex should just happen, but in the reality of marital problems and long standing/never addressed issues around the individuals and couple in the relationship, it just doesn't work that way.
Jumping into bed without addressing all of it just sets up a viscious circle where the scenarios of rejection, anxiety, and hopelessness just get more and more established.
After five months of therapy focusing on issues mainly outside sex, we are JUST starting to be able to address the sex issues.
I don't know what will happen. He has slowly yet consistently been more and more open. And, at least he is telling me what the hell is going on in his head around sex.