No Longer SexlessAfter four and half years of celibacy within my marriage, I decided to write a letter to my husband to let him know how much and in what ways I had been affected by this development in our relationship. I had not been able to bring myself to do this until I had transferred to a safer work environment. I had just moved to another job when all this began; add to this menopause and children leaving home. I was in survival mode but I had a plan of sorts to leave the poisonous work environment in any way possible before 5 years was up. A friend who is a priest, and handles annulments exclusively, told me that we would not last past 5 years if this was not resolved in some way. He was one of the only people who could honestly see the crisis I was in and I trusted that he had the experience, seeing divorced couples exclusively.
Writing the letter was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Regardless of the long term outcome, it was the right thing to do. I just couldn't live with pushing this sadness and frustration aside on what seemed to be an hourly basis. It was destroying me physically and mentally. I want to emphasize that I had to be in a safe place to do this. I also need the space of time so I chose the March Break to give it to him. Writing this letter opened up a flood gate of love that I had kept bottled up for so long. As I wrote the letter I began to think as much about him as I did about myself and I was careful to word the letter in such a way as to hopefully open up dialogue. No accusations or resentment.
In all of this I see too that there is sorrow in him. I don't think this is resolved completely and may never be. The one thing that I emphasized in the letter was the need to look forward and to do things differently. The day after I delivered the letter I made love to my husband. Something has changed in me in the four and a half years since we last made love. I feel for one thing that I am living in the present and that I am truly present in this relationship for the first time. All I can really do is take control of myself and open up to possibilities.
I hope for the future but I also see a lot of work ahead for both of us. I hope that people reading this will consider opening up communication in some way. Writing was the best way for me because I wanted to make the message as clear and non-threatening as I could. It was a love letter in the tradition of St. Paul. I was prepared to be destroyed but knew that there was no other way. I could no longer push this aside. It wasn't so much the loneliness but what the absence of physical intimacy meant in terms of our lives together as adult. Coming from a Catholic tradition I had always thought that there was something holy in the celibate life but this experience demonstrated that for me, holiness is really being what we are meant to be. I think that this is what real love feels like and it is the first time for me.