Who is anorexic?
By lawrence
1/3/2011 11:14:30 AM
I am kind of afraid to post this.

I started writing a small thought and it turned big. The following is very sensitive and personal. Perhaps it doesn’t belong here at all. If I get feeling bad about it, I’ll pull the blog. Please be sensitive. Anyway, here goes:

TheySpeak and Rugga,

All this talk of intimacy anorexia. I was the porn addict. I am open with my feelings. I share everything; it is as if she is the one with the anorexia. I have opened up my entire soul to her, my bishop, my counselors, and I feel so very free now that I am hiding nothing. I initiate couple prayer every morning, every evening. We read scriptures as a family every day. I say let's sit down and talk about our feelings. She just listens to my "lectures" and doesn't share anything. I think I’m in a similar marriage to yours, THEYSPEAK. She doesn't trust me obviously. After five months of wonderful recovery, we were building our emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy, and out of the blue, bam, she withdrew ALL physical intimacy. This was not triggered by an event. Yea, verily: a new boundary I now establish, by order of the queen. No more sex. Ever. No talking about it. Ever. Now I feel so much better. "Sex is really just for procreation. I am fine never having sex again as long as we live."

Why is this devastating to me? Why am I now slipping in my recovery more and more? I am NOT looking at porn or chatting or anything, just slipping in my attitude and conviction; just had to say that. I want this marriage to work. Does the porn addict ever make a great recovery, and the wife turn mean, and so he just moves on, as in divorce? We agreed when we got married to never say the "D" word, now we say it. She says I forgive you. She also says stay the hell away from me sexually, but she wants affection, touching, close cuddling and kissing (far past my point of arousal, not hers), I am just never allowed to let it lead to sex because she is done with that in her life. Should I accept my fate and stay true to my covenants in a completely sexless marriage? She says show me in the scriptures or conference talk where sex is required of the wife. It's probably there, but if she doesn't want me, why should I intellectually "prove" it to her? Then she might give in and grudgingly let me have sex with her, but how is that going to be intimacy? Should I just let this “phase” pass? Keep trying? Is she saying it is permanent but it really isn’t? After all, it has only been since July. I’m sure she’ll change her mind, right? The trauma was so severe that she may be irrational, right? Satan wants us apart. He wants this marriage broken up so he can then attack us as individuals. Why were things going so well and now they suck so bad?

She says if I were single, I’d still have to be “morally clean”. She says that if she had been in a terrible accident, or stricken with some disease, I’d still have to remain morally clean. All of this is so very true. She says you don’t need sex to survive or live. Also true. I didn’t used to believe that, but my addict is slowly and surely dying and I feel that with my new relationship with God, I could live a happy life without sex. But wait a minute. We are married. Is it spiritually healthy to the marriage and the individuals to have one person make an edict that there will never be sex again? Dr. Laura says the wife that withholds sex is being unfaithful. Same as cheating. Not sure I agree with that, I feel that there are definitely circumstances where one may want it and the other doesn’t, and that can be ok. But I just worry about the word “never”. Is this my consequences? Is this the collateral damage that I have inflicted on her? Is healing even possible with this attitude? Is she unfaithful? I feel that I should be patient and understanding. I am also confused because she says “never”, but she has initiated a few times, but usually right after says she regrets it and becomes even more cold. Maybe I am not good in bed. I try to focus only on her. There is all this talk of keeping eye contact, etc etc. I am the one that wants all that intimacy, not her usually. She tells me again “no more” because I get “moody”. She says I am putting her on an emotional roller coaster. I tend to agree and I am trying to control it. I am very sorry. She’s also putting me on the emotional roller coaster. We have had a strange history of sex in our marriage. We’ve gone through all kinds of patterns. This seems so odd, but the most stable I think we have ever been was when it was scheduled and agreed upon in advance. Every so many days or week or whatever. It almost didn’t matter to me how long in between as much as knowing rather than constantly living with uncertainty. I am dying now with uncertainty. I just need to have faith in God and trust Him. He knows what He is doing.


Just some thoughts... I don't really know what I'm talking about... at all.    
"Trying to look from her perspective, sex may very well be extremely hard on her. She may feel objectified, used, or may not feel she could satisfy you at all anymore. Trying to avoid the pain she has already experienced may leave her feeling very disconnected from you. It is very hard to be motivated for a sexual relationship without feeling valued and connected. If that is how she feels going into it, there is little question that she would feel worse afterward.

It is obvious that she is trying to heal. She wants to be happy with you.

The bigger issue here is probably the communication. There definitely needs to be a two-way channel. Listening to your "lectures" probably does not help her at all. She has to be able to communicate to you as well. Many of the sisters on this site have said, they don't want to hear how hard it is or isn't for us to stay clean, or how well we're doing when they are dying inside. They may not want to hear anything from us at all. But all of us need to re-establish a connection with our spouses, and that starts with two-way communication.

Take all of this with a grain of salt. I am not nearly so far on the road of recovery as you are, and I am obviously not an injured spouse. You are an example to me Lawrence, and you and your dear wife are always in my prayers."
posted at 12:13:30 on January 3, 2011 by paul
Sexual and Intimacy Anorexia    
"Lawrence, Almost all marriages who are recovering from SA will find that either one or both suffer from one or all of the symptoms associated with Sexual and Intimacy Anorexia. Husband and Wife one or the other may not want the sexual intimacy. I know it is hard for many men to even comprehend not wanting to be sexual but this is a fact.

Sexual Anorexia is cruel it hurts. I know. But it can be treated and the couple can get back to a healthy sexual and intimate relationship.

I wrote a more detailed post to this question on Crushed blog about Anorexia. I do not know how to direct you there with a link, but you can find it if you look at her blogs. It defined the behaviors and also some of the exercises to help the couple with the treatment.

It is interesting that you said the best time of sexuality in your marriage was when it was scheduled. That is exactly one of the agreements the couple needs to make in order to slay this dragon. You both have to agree on frequency and then take turns initiating. No excuses, when the other initiates. A detailed description of how this works is in the Intimacy Book by D. Weiss. Of course this is not the only issue in a marriage that is recovering from SA.

I hope your wife has and is attending a PASG's for spouses group. If not you need to encourage her to go or to contact the Social Services in your area to make sure a group is started in your area. Use the manual on this web site. It is great and until the final Family Support Manual is approved this manual is powerful.

There are scriptural references as to the responsibility of the couple to be sexual. God created us sexually and gave our bodies this amazing opportunity to bond in our union as husband and wife. Anyone who has studied SA know of these amazing chemicals that are released in our brains when our bodies receive the sexual response. Bonding chemicals release because that is what God planned for us. Sexual intimacy is important for both husband and wife. It helps both of you heal, bond, and mend the marriage.

The counterfeit sexuality that existed in the SA relationship has caused damage and is needing repair.

The reference I gave earlier was the resource that gave me the tools to make that happen in our marriage. I read many books on the subject. I did not need to know all the clinical reasons for what was going on as much as I wanted a prescription to help us heal.

I feel the biggest misrepresentation of SA recovery is; stopping behavior cures all, repentance cures all, forgiveness cures all, 12 steps cures all. Of course all of the before mentioned is essential to the recovery. There is no MICROWAVING RECOVERY OR MAJIC PILL. It take effort, work and commitment on both the addict and their loved ones. The addict is sick the spouse is sick and the marriage is sick. Each requires its own recovery. I would love to initiate a couples recovery group that coexists with the PASG for the Addict and spouse. I believe that the recovery is not complete until the relationship is mended. How could it be?"
posted at 14:31:55 on January 3, 2011 by hero
"So Hero, do you want her to have sex with me when she doesn't want to? That is the only way an agreement could be made, aside from our current agreement of no sex, no asking, no talking about it.

Yes, she is the facilitator, btw."
posted at 14:56:24 on January 3, 2011 by lawrence
"You agreed to no sex? Then if you are not happy with that agreement I would suggest you have another conversation about it. My suggestions is what helped me. I am suggesting that your relationship needs some recovery and you might want to get some help."
posted at 15:09:14 on January 3, 2011 by hero
no no no no    
"It wasn't an agreement. It was a one-sided "boundary". Thanks so much for your help and input. I just bought the book 100 we shall see. It is the conversations that put her into depression over this. If I never mention sex, or that I would like to have a "talk", say for 2 weeks, 3 weeks, any amount of time (I have trouble not wanting a conversation at least to find out how she's doing, etc) then life is wonderful! We don't fight. We don't yell and scream. We have a lot of common interests, we have problems and tackle them as us against the problem, as a team. It is as if there is nothing wrong in our marriage. Life is beautiful together. I just seem to be the main problem. When I bring this subject up, things go to pot between us."
posted at 15:18:44 on January 3, 2011 by lawrence
Be patient    
"She obviously needs more time? I not sure what to say here except sounds like you both need to set boundaries about how you communicate. The need for communication and when that communication will take place. Talk about sexual agreements need to take place out of the bedroom if that helps? You have 101 exercises for Freedom or 101 exercises for I
Intimacy Anorexia?"
posted at 15:39:37 on January 3, 2011 by Hero
"A 100 Day Guide To Intimacy. I just ordered it on Amazon.

Thank you for your love and concern. I'm not sure how she'd react to knowing I've posted our private matters on the internet. BTW she never reads stuff online about addiction recovery."
posted at 15:53:08 on January 3, 2011 by lawrence
"One thing I have learned is that I have caused my wife to behave like an intimacy anorexic. She is not interested at all at all. Was your wife always this cold? Has her fire been extinguished ever since July or your confession?

My wife is withholding because that is her way of staying safe.
I have a habit and that has been strong throughout my life. So there are different degrees I think how this manifests itself in a relationship.

This whole IA thing is so new to me but it is answer to prayer. Sounds like you are not as bad as I am at withholding but I think HERO's advice to be patient is priceless. This whole episode in my life is teaching me patience in a very real and big way. The relationship like mine will take time and effort to heal.

I have also learned, that there is no quick shortcut and no magic formula, it just takes humble hard work taking the loved ones side when pain surfaces.
I have come here so often looking for that one piece of revelation that would change my world, NO GO just daily work and slow progression. That is it, consistent hard work over time to love my wife. Then again This might not sound right to you as there are addicts on this site who seem to think that this is the weak and pittiful approach placing the addict at the mercy of the loved one."
posted at 16:04:52 on January 3, 2011 by ruggaexpat
"I am working on recovery, but I've gone through several counseling session with multiple counselors. One theme that I derive from most sessions is that each one of us wants to be respected, validated and loved. Your wife is setting a boundary. Part of the reason may be to see if she is respected, validated and loved. Does he still love me w/o sex? Does he respect my wishes and boundaries. You have violated her boundaries in the past. She has a new one. Respect it. Find other ways to show her you love her. Date her again! Validate her feelings! And someday, she will remove this boundary. You can't do all this so that you can have sex with her. You have to do it b/c you love her. The Lord will help you do it and as long as she is seeking the Lord as well. She will come around in time. If my wife did the same thing, I would respect that. I would tell her that respecting her is more important to me than sex b/c it is. I am really recovering and if this is a way for her to really feel like you mean it, so be it. You owe her that much! Just my thoughts. No expert, but happy to throw in some ideas."
posted at 17:53:25 on January 3, 2011 by jdean88
hope this adds value    
"well if it has any value I feel I am in the same boat. My wife has set the boundary of no sex till she feels she is ready and sees a good lenght of sobriety. At first I thought it uscked and even though I didn't hink I would die from it it would hurt all over like someone beating me up really bad over and over again. However over time I saw that she is just trying to make me understand the pian and anguish I put her through and I guess I can now live with it even though it still doesn't feel very good and still about every 10-14 days I do bring it up about how it sucks but I do agree u do not want to feel like ur forcing it as that would wreck the relationship even more. So I guess what I am saying good luck and keep on trying to involve the Lord in it plsu if it of any help read the post from DStanley about how she didn't give into masterbation and asked for help from God and somehow God conforted her so much about this that that nigh she didn't give in. I know it has helped me when I think about how it sucks that my wife will not give sex. I alos try to count my blessings recently when ever I get frustrated. That has helped me"
posted at 19:27:08 on January 3, 2011 by Joshua
thought I'd give in    
"Hey everyone thanks for your input. My wife and I had another "talk", but this one was much more productive. I went in asking, begging, pleading for some kind of agreement, and she offered me once a month, her choosing the day, but that's basically what we already have. I was a little upset, and then something came over me that was very powerful. I had a glimpse of the great pain she feels, and despite her occasional words to the contrary, she really loves me and is struggling to get back on her feet spiritually, and is trying her hardest to help restore our relationship. I was prompted to get on my knees and make a great apology for all of my sins against her and our family. It was very very heartfelt. I was neither shocked nor offended when she came back with, "yeah, yeah. Those are the same words you said last night, it is always just words words words." I know she needs me to SHOW her my love by my actions, and sex just ain't included. I know she saw a change in me because our interactions with each other and with the kids showed nothing of any sort of residual effects from a bad argument, as we often show. We had a wonderful family home evening, and in our prayer she touched my heart as she thanked the Lord for my efforts, and asked Him to help me.

She hugged me and went off to work, leaving me to sleep alone, as I do a couple days per week. Half the night (sleeping alone) I honestly felt I would have to report to you that I fell to masturbation, but I did not.

I prayed and asked for help, but I could not find it in myself to entirely give up my shortcomings to the Savior forevermore, but He did grant me the strength to present my body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is my reasonable service (Romans12) for the next 24 hours and so now I am fasting, not out of desperation, but out of rejoicing because today the Holy Ghost has returned to dwell in my presence. I have incredible peace in my heart now.

I was not going to post. I was going to delete the post because I feel things are resolved in my heart, and my respect for my sweet angel has increased, but I felt like this may help someone. Initially this post was only for me. I just wanted some answers, maybe ammunition for a self-centered proposal to her, but a miracle has occurred today in my life. I have never before been so close to the edge of falling to sexual release and turned away from it as this time. I know that fasting will help me in this. Before, I'd look for "practical" helps and solutions such as wearing tighter garments for more support and silly things like that. Sometimes they are helpful, but giving myself to God, fully and honestly is the only real answer to help with any problem there is."
posted at 09:43:13 on January 4, 2011 by lawrence

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"Man has a dual nature; one, related to the earthly or animal life; the other, akin to the divine. Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life"

— David O. McKay