Happy hopping and welcome! My theme for the Challenge is addiction because both my hubby and I are recovering addicts. No worries though. I like to keep things fairly light even when dealing with a heavy topic like this one. Want a glimpse into my world of cocaine addiction? Listen to Metallica’s, Master of Puppets. If that’s too heavy, you can try Staind, It's Been Awhile instead. Much more mellow.
The word intimacy brings to mind different things to different people. For some, it may mean a walk through a nature trail with their partner while talking about the week’s events. Others may find an intimate moment sitting beside their partner at the breakfast table, holding hands, drinking their coffee, and planning out their day. Some may connect over a quiet dinner at a nice restaurant while others bond at the local burger joint. These moments together can lead couples to an even deeper form of intimacy; sex.
In my experience, many sex addicts, sex and love addicts, and pornography addicts have a difficult time connecting in an emotionally, healthy way. My hubby was a prime example. Getting him to talk was an exercise in frustration. Sharing those intimate moments were nearly impossible and forced at best.
For me, it was hard to wrap my head around the idea that sex addiction wasn’t about sex. I mean it’s in the name. Why not call it intimacy disorder? I turned to Google for answers and I’m happy to say it’s finally out there now and Dr. Linda Hatch has written a book about it, although I haven’t read the book myself.
Speaking of sex, why weren’t we having it all the time? We hadn’t been married that long and part of the marriage we’d been apart because of his job. There I was on the sidelines, wanting some attention both outside and inside the bedroom and Devin was having none of it. The addiction had caused sexual anorexia.
Of course, I had no idea that the pornography had gotten to that point, so I felt rejected. What did I do? What an unhealthy communicator does. I was passive-aggressive. I was super snarky. I threw up walls. His response was exactly like mine. Of course, it was. It suited his addiction perfectly.
As he made efforts to white-knuckle, the sex would return but then addiction would worsen again. As a result, the less action there was between the sheets and to be honest, by then, I didn’t want him around me very much anyway. My head was a complete mess. I was either close to divorce or had drifted over to codependency,
When disclosure of his addiction happened, I went through this bizarre stage of not being able to keep my hands off of him. It was short-lived. We weren’t sharing any kind of true intimacy. I was claiming him as my own in some visceral way.
Eventually, I couldn’t handle him touching me at all. It was too much. Even his hand on my leg could send me spiraling downward into a sea of painful emotions. We decided to try a period of abstinence. When that ended, we acted like we were dating. We took it slow. We started by holding hands. Kissed if I was able. Eventually, we made it back into the bedroom and then, I triggered in the middle of being intimate and we had to stop. He accepted my anxieties for what they were: unpredictable.
Those times brought us closer together. He held me as I cried through the triggers. He apologized for the hurt he caused me. No blanket apologies. True, deep, meaningful apologies. Those were the moments that allowed us to start a foundation of true intimacy that he and I never knew in our lives before. Sex had just been that, sex.
Now, it was so much more. It is time with a man who allowed himself to be completely vulnerable to me and I to him. We each know that we can take sex out of the equation and be completely connected to one another on the deepest of levels. We’ve seen each other for who we truly are. For us, that’s our definition of intimacy.
Our sex lives ebb and flow and we have found that it doesn’t matter so much if we’re intimate in the bedroom, as much as it matters that we’re intimate emotionally. We need to keep that part of our relationship fertilized, watered, weeded, and in the sunlight, so it keeps flourishing…of course, we still love our skin-on-skin cuddle time. Just sayin’.
Laugh of the Day:
Have you read Dr. Hatch’s book? How was it? What’s your definition of intimacy?
I look forward to seeing everyone during the Challenge! Click here to get to the master list sign up sheet. I'll see you this afternoon!