Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

Fast forward (or life without sex)


So, we kinda eventually got there. My story. The last three years have been a little more settled, but probably the most unhappy of my entire life.  Acceptance.  This is what it looks like.  I have learned to accept that bad things happen to good people, but I am no happier.  I thought acceptance would mean I would get to the “other side” and find some joy.  I have done the maths and staying is preferable to leaving while we have dependent children.  I have thought long and hard about this, over and over.

Over a year ago, I lost the ability to have and enjoy sex.  I guess the desire eventually just petered out, but one day I just couldn't engage anymore.  I was having to leave my body in order to escape the horror of it all.  I  got my hormones tested, was this a pre-menopausal problem? The science says (Consuela voice, NOH.) After a while of this, I thought, "heck, Paula, there's such a thing as sex therapy," while my inner voice groaned, "oh god, MORE bloody therapy!"  off I trotted to sex therapy.  The therapist was an older woman, and we talked for a bit, she wanted to see both of us together.  We went along like good little therapy disciples.  It was pretty crap.  The work she did seemed to me to be all about a woman who had never learned to let herself go (was frigid) and needed gentle coaxing.  I was bad, but I did know how to get my groove on, I just didn't seem to want to anymore.  So, lots of touching, and staring, "abstinence" – you know to get the juices flowing (actually, TMI, but "the juices" have never been a problem for me, even during this numb and disconnected period of my life!) We got sick of that pretty damn quick!  I/we quit after a couple of months.  Paint-by-numbers.  No help.  I told her, too, and she didn't seem to have anything else.  

So, that’s my life.  My sex life has disappeared, can’t even “get myself off,” can’t even be bothered, even when I try hard to feel sexy. I. Just. Don’t. I don’t feel sexual, or sexy, or attractive, or funny, or happy.  She wins.  Nice, but I still frame it that way at times.  I have pain and sorrow, and sadness, and that means SHE wins.  That was all she ever wanted for me, it took her twenty-five years, but she finally achieved that.  Pisses me right off!

I get along in life.  He and I are friends, but he is pulling further and further away from me.  Only following my lead.  I know that the only thing that would make me okay again is if he didn’t do this, but you can’t get a do over.  A sexless life is not much of a life really.

Last year I enrolled at university again.  I go to uni three days a week, and work just two. I’m doing well at uni, got straight A pluses last semester, and was just inducted into an international honour society, of course that’s a good thing. But it is really just a distraction. It’s hard to concentrate. I guess. It is not like I have found my passion, more like I am trying to prove a point to myself? This is the only routine that keeps me putting one foot in front of the other every day.  And of course, my lovely kids. But they are getting more and more independent, and my life just stretches out in front of me like some kind of flat endurance test.

Whoah!  Pity party much??? 




11 thoughts on “Fast forward (or life without sex)

  1. Is it too late now to find an alternative sex therapist? She may just have been a bad one?!

    • Bubsy, I know what’s wrong. I am not able to trust him with my body, the cervical pre-cancer and general filth makes me feel disgusting. I hate my body. I have not yet found a way to compartmentalise enough to leave the mind movies behind. I don’t feel any connection with him and I can’t seem to manufacture one. The exercises were all designed to increase trust and connection and my brain is strongly resistant. I researched and couldn’t find anyone with a different approach. Remember, this is New Zealand, not many specialists in this area! I’ve read extensively and feel I have a lot of answers as to why. Just can’t seem to train my brain to let go.

      • I totally understand. I wish I could reprogram my brain. I relive the whole sordid episode over and over again. The worst part is having a few days of peace then something will put it all right back there for me to go through it all again. I’m experiencing a lull at the moment but I know it’s just waiting round the corner for me.

        I’ve wondered, how did Roger feel about you not wanting to marry him? Could he have held on to some resentment there? Would that piece of paper have made a difference to him? Maybe he never felt as committed to you as you did to him?! For the record, commitment isn’t written on a piece of paper in my eyes (even though I’m married), it’s in your heart and soul and it hurt almost as much finding about N’s infidelity before we were married. I’m just wondering if Roger has had some strong feelings about your reluctancy to get married. Maybe he needed that piece of paper to feel totally committed? I don’t think men’s brains work the same way as women in this respect. Have you ever spoken to him about it?

      • Oh yes! Indeed bubsy. I asked him at the time if it was problematic for him, I asked him several times over the years if it was problematic for him, and I have gone over it all with a fine tooth comb since the affair. He thinks it made no difference, but once he did say he doesn’t know if it would have been different if we were married, but he really doesn’t think so. We see and saw so many “committed, married” people cheating, he says he never felt he wasn’t totally committed to me………..until he tipped over mentally and emotionally, and did what he did. It’s hard to explain it fully, as I know he had a type of breakdown, and he really was a very, very good partner before all of this, I always felt cherished, loved and that he was totally committed to me.

        I need to do a post on this. There was a moment during that fifteen months that he did the maths, and tossed up whether he should leave me and make a life with her, he said it took him about five minutes to realise that it would never work, he never LIKED her much. She has serious character flaws that were obvious even then, he knew he was doing something incredibly self destructive even DURING the affair, and like any addiction, he just couldn’t seem to stop.

        The OW (bunny boiler) had decided they were getting married, even though he told her time and again that he loved me and what they were doing was something he didn’t understand, he didn’t love her. He explained that he didn’t believe in marriage, and that if he hadn’t married me, he was certainly not marrying her (I obviously had him converted, lol!) This came about when she told him she had lost a diamond ring, “but that’s okay, because I think I will be getting a big, better, new one soon, right?” He thought she was joking, and when he laughed, she did too (don’t look too needy, don’t look too needy!) There’s more, like we found out through one of her family members, and this story was checked with a friend, after D-day that she had a ten thousand dollar wedding dress in her wardrobe!!! Holy fuck! That totally spooked him, he had no idea, as she kept telling him every time he tried to break it off to, “chill out, we’re just having some fun, we deserve some fun.”

  2. I agree….maybe give it another try with a different therapist. Maybe it had something too do with not being able to let it go. Do those thoughts consume you? I have absolutely no interest in having sex with him now and haven’t for quite awhile….however….I can still get myself off!

    • Hi nicetomeetu. Yes. My thoughts NEVER switch off. And the “lack” of sexual desire is …… frustrating, puzzling, agonising. Are you still with your partner, and distant, or parted?

  3. Damn, Paula — that bites the big one! You’ve done everything that you should in your search for recovery and happiness through this shitty time! Is it HSDD?

    • Tempted, most definitely. I do want to want sex. I miss the high. I miss the exercise. I miss the feelings of belonging and heightened connection. My God it was amazing. I knew it was, but you certainly “don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” I’ll write a little more soon. Bit swamped with assignments for uni at present. Appreciate your words. The grief at this loss just squeezes my chest, throat and shoulders, like carrying a very heavy load. I guess that’s why they call it baggage! And sexual tension. OMG!

  4. Paula, I so relate to your blog. I wanted to reach out about your body turning off. This actually happened to me when my husband was emotionally detached. I just thought maybe that part of my life was over. When I couldn’t even ‘get myself off’, it was really depressing. The thought is that I was clinically depressed and that was the biggest contributor. In the aftermath of DDay and hysterical bonding, I found that that part in my life was not over. I so hope that you will find it again, too. Someday, when your depression begins to lift, I hope that you will find your sexual being again. . . and wouldn’t it be lovely if it was with your husband 😉 I’m so glad that he is trying to make amends and hope that it will eventually make a difference. There is no timeline for when we are able to move forward, so don’t give up!! Sending you hope for a future that includes some incredible romps with a person who really “sees” you. ((hugs))

    • Jules, thank you for sharing your experience. How long did it take for you to get past your shutdown? It’s been three years plus for me. I thought it would pass, but has got worse. My boy never emotionally detached. Not even during his affair. He is a tactile person and likes touch, and physicality. I think there is an element of depression, but I have had a heap of therapy and tried drugs but have received no respite. I don’t really identify with deep depression, more grief-type depression that has dragged out. Would love to know how you turned the corner.

      • Oh boy. Been thinking about this all day. I think Dday shocked my system. I went from clinical depression to the grief depression you are experiencing. The hysterical bonding opened me up to letting me experience being with my husband without worrying so much about having an orgasm. It was several months before it actually happened. I remember telling him I needed a moment after and just lying there staring at the ceiling in disbelief. I truly thought it was never going to happen again. Then I was in the throws of the holidays and it was thought that I should try some medication. It almost immediately took it away again. I was beyond frustrated. I ended up feeling that I needed to deal with the depression without medication. I know it isn’t the right path for everyone, but I think it was right for me. It again took some time before I was able to find that pleasure again. I still find that it starts to slip away, but if I focus on the fact that being close to my husband even if that isn’t happening is really amazing, then I find that I relax and darned if it doesn’t happen. I don’t know if this helps, but know that I do understand how paralyzing it is. You want to be with your husband, you want to love him, you don’t want anyone else, but he has done things that make life very difficult. I’ve only ever been with him, as I think you said the same. Knowing that we have this new reality that we didn’t ask for is unfair. I recently told my husband that even when I wake up in the middle of the night, it hits me. Even several years later. It’s overwhelming. I so hope you can try to find pleasure in just being close physically and maybe it can grow from there? It’s just that every time you see your family affected, or you have a trigger it makes it so hard. My thought from the beginning has been don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. I don’t want anyone else. Let me find a way to make it work with the one I want. However, my eyes are wide open and I won’t stay in a destructive relationship. If I find it heading back that way, then I’m done. It’s hard. I hope you can find your way.

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