Intimacy anorexia?
By crushed
11/22/2010 10:05:00 PM
Things are much less painful then they were for me. I can now discuss painful subjects without being filled with anger. I feel much better and much less despair. I am much better. I know we have discuss in some posts intimacy anorexia. I was wondering if some of you sisters experience this, when you just want to talk, talk talk about your pain and it is never enough... I feel like I'm digging for my lost bone and I'm not finding it, and if I dig more maybe I will (some empathy, reasssurance, whatever it is). Whenever him and I are alone, I want to talk about my pain, the past, etc.. we went on a 5 hrs trip and I wanted to talk. He dreads those moments, the questions, etc.. even thou there is no anger. There is just this much talking he wants to and can do, after a while he just switches off. I feel crazy, very needy.. and I know I overwhelm him with my desire to talk and all he wants is not to talk about what he calls the past. I want to talk, there is so much I do not know, I do not ask details, my questions are centered around emotions, etc... Is it normal that all I want to do is discuss this, or have I gone crazy?? I want to know where I stand and stood for him. How he felt about me? Is it normal, he just wants to avoid it and avoids me and the discussions and that adds to my pain? It is like we never will connect.. I am running after an emotional carrot that I will never get??
I feel like he will never really truly love me... how do you sisters cope with that? How do I stuff or handle my overwhelming desire for answers, reassurance, comfort and empathy on my own. .. sometimes he falls asleep as I am tearing up.. and I feel so rejected by this. I really just want to take care of my own needs and not beg anymore for attention.....I hate feeling so vulnerable and needy...


He is still all about him    
"My sweet friend Crushed,

I have been having mini breakthrougs for months and months and I, like you was beginning to accept that I cannot change him and that he has to find healing for him. I have had every negitive emotion under sun. My emotions ranged from hope to hate.

Then my husband went away for three days for intensive treatment. I was expecting him to take my son for help, but he decided he needed more help that he was getting. He was going to his meetings and doing everything he thought he was supposed to do, but something was still missing. He signed himself up for this thee day intensive. I was happy to hear this, but you have to understand that we have been doing this for 23 years and I did not expect much at all. I thought well, he will come home and we will see.

Crushed, he finally GETS IT!!!! He is traveling right now, but he will share what happened to him when he gets home. Your husband will need to read his story. I wanted to post it, but it is his. Your post could have been mine. He would not talk about this . "He repented, He told the Bishop, He is forgiven", now let's let bygones be bygones and get on with our marriage."

The problem with that was that with every confession and Bishop's visit, he felt like he was starting over. He is clean!!!! yay!!! yippy!!! What he saw as the past, was just another bullet in my heart. My life was never the same again, I was (and never will be) the same again. I was still keeping his dirty little secret and trying to appear normal along side all of the other "normal LDS women".

You can heal without your husband, and you will go on and be fantastic with or without him. I believe that with all of my heart. But, he must understand what he did to you and your family and be willing to help you heal your broken heart in order for both of you to go on and have a beautiful life together.

My husband brought me the biggest gift I have ever been given by him our entire married life. He brought me him, uncut, truly him, raw, honest, and humble. It took him opening his eyes to the truth to see this evil for what it really is.

I asked him if this was hard for him to do. What he feared all of these years, was exactly what he needed and exactly what I needed. I was just on the phone with him and asked if this was a dream. No it is for real.... I was afraid to hope, but this is real.

There is no more him. He is done sitting in a corner "playing with himself", and now becoming a real man and he is helping me heal. Your husband is an anorexic, and Satan has him scared to death!!! But it is all part of the big lie.

I hate to leave you hanging, but I promised I would let him post it in his words. And just to think he use to be to scared to even read my posts and there was no way in Hell he would ever post. That was before...

Hold on.

Love you,
posted at 23:10:16 on November 22, 2010 by angelmom
My ex    
"My ex also thought that because it was in the past it didn't matter anymore. I don't know how he thought I was supposed to find out he molested 4 children as a teenager and just move on like it had never happened. He was that way with everything. He failed to understand that sorry and forgiveness doesn't mean that there is no consequence, or that all the pain magically disappears. I think you have every right to get your questions answered.

Hang in there!"
posted at 00:09:01 on November 23, 2010 by dstanley
"Nah that is too kind a word for most of us addicts well me at least.
I can identify well with that and Angel you are right it is all about "ME" as much as it is Crusheds husband. But how do we progress out of this unempathetic state? That is so hard. Tell the hubby to put pen to paper and let me know. I want to know."
posted at 10:51:57 on November 23, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Crushed and Rugga    
"I have posted some of this earlier to you Rugga, and Crushed I believe I also gave you some info. This will be good back up for hopefully what Angles husband will share. But my blog thread has been blocked and I cannot access any of my past posts??? I did save some of them in a file on my computer.
Posted earlier to you Rugga:
Check out the information on Intimacy Anorexia. (Funny name I know) My husband was healing; I could not heal until some of his issues with Intimacy were addressed. Some addicts deal with this issue. Partners also can exhibit these characteristics:
Withholding love from partner, Withholding praise or appreciation from their partner. Controlling by silence or anger, Ongoing or ungrounded criticism that causes isolation. Withholding sex from the partner, Unwillingness to discuss feelings with partner, staying so busy that the anorexic has little to no relational time for the partner.
Making any issues in the relationship the partner's before owning any of the issue.

Until these issues were addressed I could not heal. Ask your wife if she feels you exhibit any of these characteristics? Even if you think you do not. She will be grateful you are acknowledging the need for further growth. She might notice she may be exhibiting some of these characteristics. If not good for both of you, if these characteristics seem familiar deal with them. Your marriage will heal.

The difference between Sexual Anorexia and Intimacy Anorexia is that Intimacy Anorexic’s have no problem in sharing sexual intimacy. The therapy is the same.
What to do:

From a Paper that Dr. Weiss wrote: Posted it in his weekly news letter:
Douglas Weiss
1) Praying together: The couple regardless of what the spiritual belief contract to pray out loud with each other. These minutes of prayer a day is designed to open and connect the spirituality of the couple thus avoid spiritual withholding.
2) Reading Recovery literature: To date Carnes book is the only book to read on this issue or Weiss’ Sexual Anorexia video can also be of help here. Other readings on intimacy, communication, or 12 Step Recovery can supplement this reading. This is to keep the anorexia in an active awareness and growth in the areas of intimacy and recovery.
3) Feelings: The couple does a daily structural feeling communication exercise with the boundaries of 1) No feeling example can be about the other person or the relationship.2) maintain eye contact during the communication of feelings.3) no feedback about the feeling shared. For more see Weiss’ 101 Practical Exercises for sexual addiction or The Final Freedom. This sharing of feelings is daily and keeps the emotional dimension of the relationship open and in a growth pattern.
4) Praise: Once the couple is instructed on giving and receiving praise (eye contact, saying thanks when they let praise in). They add this to their daily living disciplines. This allows the anorexic to initiate praise. This exercise is a minimum of one daily.
5) Phone Calls: The anorexic finds an accountability person of the same gender to check in daily about the withholding behaviors. If the anorexic is already in a 12-step sex or other type of support group this sponsor can work in this accountability. This accountability should be daily for the first 100 days then more to what is needed for accountability to still be wanted.
6) Meetings: There are no sexual anorexic 12-step groups yet developed. Many who are seeking help from this are also seeking help from sex addiction. Recovery clients will probably be attending an S group of some kind and or a therapy group. If they attend an S group they can add “no withholding behavior” with my partner to their recovery boundaries or bottom line behavior so as to have group awareness of their progress of being sexually sober from sexual anorexia.
7) Affirmations: The anorexic gets into a relaxed state and reads aloud the list of affirmations in the sexual anorexic
workbook from the sexual anorexia video by Weiss. These affirmations have to do with accepting their sexuality, so that they can initiate love and intimacy etc. These are done daily for 1 year. This is an important part of the anorexia
treatment. The core believe of the anorexia can be challenged by the ongoing repetition of these affirmations.
The paradigm of sexual anorexia being broadened to a relational withholding can facilitate a behavioral treatment.
Weiss (1998) has listed such a treatment including: “praying together daily, daily structured feeling communication,
agreeing to a sex system, accountability to a sponsor person for anorexic behaviors, daily structured affirmations and
utilization of the recovery persons current support group through the recovery process.
Hyposexual Desire Disorder has developed in the last 20 years primarily in one discipline of study. As we absorb this population that exists in the sexual addiction population that we already identify and treat, it behooves our field to further examine, define this disorder in behavioral paradigms as well as produce treatment protocols.
As a field of study the next step is for us to develop experiments that challenge our protocols of treatment of sexual anorexia, as well as identify the size of the anorexia population within the sexual addiction population. This next frontier of our field is full of learning and growing opportunities for all may we rise to the challenge of this frontier.

Dr. Weiss states that he continues to do the feelings and affirmation exercises and daily prayer with his wife. He says he will continue to do this for the rest of his life.

When my husband was actively doing these exercises my confidence in our relationship and in him soared. It is truly an exercise and a tool for healing. This is a brief outline and if you are serious and would like more information, he has books and workbooks that will help you.

I will get blasted again for being a billboard, but you asked and I will not take credit for these healing tools. I know by my own experience and also by those shared by women that this is so valuable. One woman in my group who was going to a therapist discussed this issue with him. Her therapist stated , "that is not news, those issues exist in all addictions." But no tools, no help as to what to do. Here in lies the difference.
Love to you all!"
posted at 12:01:21 on November 23, 2010 by byourownhero
"I can tell you right off the bat that I am an expert in using the silence treatment but I do not do it to control (though it is obvious I do) I do it as an automatic response to avoid painful discussions similar to what crushed was mentioning. It is like a switch is flicked and "off" I go, silent and avoidance mode. It is often when my wife is angry and telling me off like I have no idea why I married you or you make me puke when you look at me. I don't blame her for saying that but it is so hard to face up to that language with a mature and compassionate attitude. This is my real struggle this is what I am failing at those moments are opportunities for me to get some healing for her but my avoidance just rips those wounds apart. Not easy to deal with for me.

Unwilling to discuss feelings no not really more like "unable" for me. I am a "heart felt retard", Here is an example. Recently I sat having a long exchange or series of discussions that lasted more than a day. There were some harsh things said but they needed to be said to me. Prior to that we spent another couple hrs doing the same thing discussing the past. I sat through the second day listening and apologizing and listening and apologizing and trying to show understanding. Then my wife herself changes subjects to something new and refreshing. Guess what your retardedness says to her:
"Man it is amazing to finally discuss something different for a change." I was meaning to communicate that I missed talking to her without harsh feelings and pain. I just needed a split second to realize that was the dumbest thing I had ever said to her and all the hours preceding that moment of madness all crumbled to the dust and were forgotten. This is the kind of thing I am expert at being an emotional retard. Not that I want to just that I am that immature empotionally.
Feelings are difficult to deal with especially when those feelings are felt by others towards me and they are not positive.

I don't know I have a lot to think about. I need to progress here and so I like the makeup of the exercises you mentioned."
posted at 13:22:02 on November 23, 2010 by ruggaexpat
"I know I'm an idiot half the time I post and chances are you're not fond of a lot of it.

But i just wanted to say, one day, when your husband starts opening up I promise (at least I believe) he'll be so greatful you are the way you are about wanting to connect. Endlessly greatful. There's nothing wrong with you. Don't lose heart."
posted at 13:48:03 on November 23, 2010 by They Speak

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