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Post Info TOPIC: Not sure what this means (sex)


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Not sure what this means (sex)


I haven't seen this come up on here so I hope I'm not breaking the rules. I'll keep it clean. 

My AW came to bed and wanted to be intimate. Internally I was a bit hesitant but that didn't last long and we went ahead and had sex. I didn't realize until we were well into it that she had almost certainly been drinking. Feeling pretty weird about it now. For a couple reasons. Even though she initiated and there were multiple opportunities for either of us to put a halt to things I still wonder if I acted irresponsibly. Should I have done something different? 

I also am dismayed that the only way she is interested in me is to have alcohol on board. I'm ok to look at and talk to I think but not enough for her I guess. When I had got home from work earlier that day I noticed that she was being fairly friendly and we had some nice conversation. Something which doesn't happen these days. I guess this is also the upsetting part in that it seems my life is better in some ways only if she's drinking. I think this is messed up and don't know what to think about it. 

 

Been repeating the serenity prayer and holding on to the slogan to be gentle with yourself because my inclination is to beat myself up for not being someone better or more attractive or whatever so that she would want to have a good life with me. ESH is greatly appreciated. 



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~*Service Worker*~

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Westman, I try not to beat myself up anymore because we are all just trying to survive the disease. There is also no right or wrong rule book. Each of us has to decide what path to take and it sure isn't easy. What I have had to accept with my A is that the addictions are her priority, and she has several of them. She probably loves me the best she can, but I am not first on her list. It is only through program that I am calmer, happier, and more sane. Detachment with love is something I practice probably everyday, and I can't always get the "love" part going. I'm doing the best I can, and see progress, no perfection. Be gentle and kind to you. That what is working with me, Lyne

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Lyne



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Good morning Westman, thanks for your honest share.  I simply wanted to say that alcoholism is a progressive, chronic, threefold disease over which we are powerless.

 Before my husband found sobriety after 18 years of marriage, I don't believe we had intimate relationships unless he had been drinking  at any time, as it was his way to relax and be in the moment .  When he found sobriety ,it was extremely difficult for us to be intimate because he could not feel comfortable participating and so it took at least two years for us  regain our intimate relationship. 

I would like to assure you that it had nothing to do with whether I was sensual or  sexy, it had  to do with his, being willing /able  to feel his feelings and express them without alcohol.

The physical limitations were not only in  the expression of sex but  also manifested in performing his job which required that  he  interview people regarding their opinion on different topics.  He found that  he could not do this without alcohol  because he could not talk without alcohol.  disbelief

This is  a dreadful disease so please understand that it is not your desirability  that is at fault.  Please write out an asset list which includes the fact that you are an attractive, loving, supportive person and let go of the negative voices that are saying otherwise 

 



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

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Bo


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WestMan wrote:

I haven't seen this come up on here so I hope I'm not breaking the rules. I'll keep it clean. 

My AW came to bed and wanted to be intimate. Internally I was a bit hesitant but that didn't last long and we went ahead and had sex. I didn't realize until we were well into it that she had almost certainly been drinking. Feeling pretty weird about it now. For a couple reasons. Even though she initiated and there were multiple opportunities for either of us to put a halt to things I still wonder if I acted irresponsibly. Should I have done something different? 

I also am dismayed that the only way she is interested in me is to have alcohol on board. I'm ok to look at and talk to I think but not enough for her I guess. When I had got home from work earlier that day I noticed that she was being fairly friendly and we had some nice conversation. Something which doesn't happen these days. I guess this is also the upsetting part in that it seems my life is better in some ways only if she's drinking. I think this is messed up and don't know what to think about it. 

Been repeating the serenity prayer and holding on to the slogan to be gentle with yourself because my inclination is to beat myself up for not being someone better or more attractive or whatever so that she would want to have a good life with me. ESH is greatly appreciated. 


 

My experience is very different. I am sure that different people feel and think different things around this topic. Intimacy has a physical aspect, but can also have an emotional and spiritual aspect; as well as others. I think this is a topic where there can be an entire discussion behind the topic of sex/intimacy. Some can, some can't, some will, some won't, and so on.

That said...I took the liberty of highlighting and bolding your question...and here's the answer...that is up to you. It's your decision. There is no right or wrong, and it doesn't matter what anyone else would have, should have, or could have done. Now, if you ask what are your options, what else could you have done, etc. -- then perhaps that might prompt some discussion which might help you. I don't know. You went on to say -- you think it is messed up and don't know what to think about it. Well, how do you feel? Rhetorical question. Talk to your sponsor. Explore, verbalize your feelings, and that might help you get some clarity around how you feel. That might be an option for you.

She has a disease. She has an addiction. I've heard people in the rooms say they felt like they were competing for his/her love, but they were competing with a love that they simply could not nor ever compete with. Obviously, this has impacted you. So, work with your sponsor and focus on what you can do and need to do to get healthy and be OK in and around this.

Only you can decide what is acceptable and unacceptable -- to you, for you, with you.



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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

Bo


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hotrod wrote:

Good morning Westman, thanks for your honest share.  I simply wanted to say that alcoholism is a progressive, chronic, threefold disease over which we are powerless.

 Before my husband found sobriety after 18 years of marriage, I don't believe we had intimate relationships unless he had been drinking  at any time, as it was his way to relax and be in the moment .  When he found sobriety ,it was extremely difficult for us to be intimate because he could not feel comfortable participating and so it took at least two years for us  regain our intimate relationship. 

I would like to assure you that it had nothing to do with whether I was sensual or  sexy, it had  to do with his, being willing /able  to feel his feelings and express them without alcohol.

The physical limitations were not only in  the expression of sex but  also manifested in performing his job which required that  he  interview people regarding their opinion on different topics.  He found that  he could not do this without alcohol  because he could not talk without alcohol.  disbelief

This is  a dreadful disease so please understand that it is not your desirability  that is at fault.  Please write out an asset list which includes the fact that you are an attractive, loving, supportive person and let go of the negative voices that are saying otherwise 

 


 

Excellent! Thank you so very much for posting this and bringing this to the forefront! Thank you. 



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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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I can relate to the fact that my ex-abf would become hypersexaul when he drank, and that eventually caused him to have affairs. That can be part of depression, and many alcoholics self-medicate. That is why you hear about people being addicted to sex and pornography, and they have risky behavior like cheating or having multiple sexual partners. I am only saying this based on my own experiences with him, and am not in anyway an expert in this type of thing. His behavior like that was the last straw in our relationship. The more he drank the weirder his habits became. It was like another addiction.

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Sharon 



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My XAH spoke of sex as a stress release. My experience was more of Sharon's in terms of hypersexual and so on. Similar reasons and why I made the decision to back out of the relationship.

What I look back on now is the fact of how horrible I felt after we would have sex in terms of my own self worth we were both so checked out it was an act it was nothing more than that. The last time we engaged in that manner I knew I was never going to go there again .. it was like having an out of body experience and I could not stay in the shower long enough to feel clean. It left me very shut down about sex for a LONG time like over 3 years AFTER we split up. I was so not interested and soooo glad I was not. I needed that time for me.

Betty really hit the nail on the head about the it's not about being sexy or enough the alcohol becomes a flat need out of the ability to exist. He replaced for a bit, .. his need for drinking with sexual escapades so to speak.

I think for me it became about .. how do I feel about me after we did .. regardless if he was drinking or not we had other issues going on. The drinking was only the tip of the iceberg. I really felt so bad about myself and that's what it really came down to .. is how do I want to interact with this other person and just for me it was about respecting myself enough to say no .. this is an act .. not a connection or expression of love.

Not sure if you have read Dilemma of an Alcoholic Marriage .. it's an interesting read in terms of existing within the bounds of an active spouse .. however .. it's dated in terms of being the good little housewife .. LOL (I recognize not your role :)) .. kind of like the section in the Blue Book To the Wives .. so if you can read it with an open mind and fast forward it about 50 years mentally while letting go of the whole wife role .. LOL .. the feelings are still relative even if the expectations of gender roles are not.

Hugs S :)


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"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay



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Westman

 I have heard people say there is nothing worse than a drunken old bore.

On the other hand  think many women have to be medicated with alcohol to become intimate.

People have this expectation of a great hoop la la with being intimate- I had that when I was young.

And then it comes down to bonding- which is actually very hard to achieve.

I practise emotional intimacy- not just with one on one- but in friendships- even casual giddays...

'the big moment' does not always fall into place, especially at a certain age.

Along with you i know that i am speaking with the whole group here... these are adult to adult conversations... I find them rewarding and satisfying...

cheers, M8!

       smile...



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One day at a time.

Bo


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Since others are sharing on how they felt/feel...so will I...

For me, at a certain point, I had no desire to be intimate/have sex with my AW. Now, that happened over time. For me, what was going on is that my AW became less and less "present" in our lives, relationship, day to day lives, and so on. I would come home from my office -- and she would be drunk. She wasn't present. I couldn't have any type of conversation with her, I couldn't enjoy a meal with her, I couldn't connect with her -- and I don't mean intimacy or sex. I couldn't have a connected, normal, adult-like conversation or evening with her. She wasn't present -- not as a partner, spouse, friend, nothing. That started to eat away at me. It started to tear me up. There is no way I could have lived my life that way. If it were only one day/night a week, perhaps that would have been acceptable to me. Perhaps that would have been bearable for me. However, it wasn't one day/night a week. There was a lot more going on -- the weddings, charity events, social events, going out with friends, family events, etc., where we had to leave early, she got drunk, fell down, got sick, got nasty, got incoherent, and more. So, for me, I would not and could not live my life this way.

That said, I got to the point where I did not want to have sex or be intimate with her. I didn't feel "connected" to her and therefore intimacy/sex was not something I was comfortable with. She also became "no longer attractive" to me, not sexually, but more as a person, as a friend. Therefore, intimacy/sex became something that was unfulfilling, and unsatisfactory for me -- it was "cold" and didn't provide or offer any real connection for me and with the other person. It was simply "sex" so to speak. My wife, my spouse, my partner, my best friend, the incredible, amazing, intelligent, compassionate, passionate person who I met, fell in love with, married and wanted to spend the rest of my life with -- was no longer there. She was not that person any more. When she was sober, there were glimpses of it. There were some great times, laughing, enjoying, etc. But that 5000 lb. pink elephant was still in the room, and so was the smell from all the elephant sh!t, LOL. So, she wasn't there. She still had the 'ism's as we say. Based upon what we had, the life we had, where I was at in my life, professionally, personally, financially, etc. -- and life was wonderful -- we were at a certain place, together. Our partnership, our marriage, our life together. And, as I said, it was wonderful. After the disease ran its course, and did what it did -- everything changed. I could not live the second half of my life, like where it ended up. And the intimacy/sex was just part of it. However, that's the topic here.

So, when she wanted to be intimate/have sex, I politely, respectfully, and in a caring way -- detached and said no. When we went to talk about it, I explained -- but I always checked my motives, and made 100% sure that I was not trying to be right, prove that she was wrong, prove that she was an alcoholic, etc. I explained that I could not be intimate, and "connect" with her when she wasn't present and had been drinking. I explained that it made me feel "used" and that I couldn't feel connected to her because she was drinking, not present, etc. Even when she hadn't been drinking -- this too posed certain issues, but that's a topic for another thread. The truth is, due to all of the above, and more, being intimate/having sex -- felt very cold. It not only made me feel used, but it made me feel taken advantage of. It was very transactional in nature, just an act, as opposed to something more, connected, meaningful, passionate, with feeling, love and so on.

Take what you like and leave the rest. Have a great day.

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Bo

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God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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My view - we each have our own 'background' on sex/intimacy. I use both terms as I have friends who can do 'hit/run' and be just fine with that. I'm one who gets attached when intimate, so that 'hit/run' never worked well for me.

As far as recovery goes, I believe in practicing what we're given - we don't dwell on the past (yesterday is the past) nor do we fret about the future. We stay present on this moment of this day. If you are having issues staying present, I'd lean into the program and do a mini 4th step on it.

For me, each experience gives me an opportunity to determine if it worked for me or not. Do I need to set a boundary or not? Do I owe amends or not? Every time I've felt 'disrespected' and began to dissect what is it about me that ...... I find work to be done. What I've learned is Yes and No are complete sentences and if I decline advances and they personalize it, I do not own that. If I accept advances, and have regrets later, I have to find what in me is 'stuck'.

Intimacy is such a hard topic. I do not believe in holding another 'hostage' or withholding as punishment. Just as boundaries are for self-protection vs. punishment, I believe honestly about intimacy is a necessary couple discussion. What I do know deep down is I am not responsible for what another thinks, says or does and that includes these scenarios - where it feels personal. I can say that I do not enjoy intimacy with someone under the influence possibly because I am in AA so that's a boundary I put in place and don't ever change.

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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Thanks for the replies. I see my situation is not new. 



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Bless your heart....my AH#1 would get abusive and be horrible to me, then he would drink and get "amorous" and want to be with me....with me, he disgusted me so I would give him the cold shoulder...but I know how you feel...."am i only attractive when hes had a few???"   it hurts...REEEELY messes with the self esteem, but ya know?? I look back and i just consider the source...I am in recovery...don't know where he is or if hes alive and I don't care.....when I cut him loose, i cut him loose....

I dont' think you did anything but respond to a normal bodily function/feeling...its human nature when with a partner to crave intimacy and love and affection, etc., even when I DONT have anyone which is now and since 2000, yea, I still want a hug...i want connection with safe people  (not intimacy because I save that for a healthy committed relationship) but intimacy of the mind an heart..sharing with a safe other...

take it easy on you...You just responded like a normal human in a relationship would...

Like Iamhere says about each experience giving her a step 4 "quicky"  i do the same thing as she does....but i don't analyze it to death..if I am not sure?? I post here or pick up the phone, get clarification.....I am not into the "hit and run" thingy either (had to giggle at that one)  It HAS to be total , monogamous, and COMMITTED for me to even THINK about it....thats me...the need to feel safe....sometimes I miss my Ex #2 because tho alkie, he was a nice one...sweet to me...sometimes I miss the closeness we had.....being on my own, i have had to get "close to"  ME....and my pets.....i would rather be alone then in a horrid relationship....boy am I glad those days are over...

keep coming back and focus on you....your situation is not unique....my AH#2 was more affectionate when drinking...he was kinda reserved when sober....(was beaten and abused as child)  so yea, sometimes he was "plowed" when we "did it" but it was OK..I knew he loved me and I him and I even drank with him at times....My ONE wine cooler was enough for me........



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Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***



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these are some great replies .. they are food for thought for sure .. betty your response was Really insightful .. thank you for your willingness to be open and honest in your share in return .. going to reread some of these .. i didn't have the chance to read them all yet ..

thanks for starting this thread .. seems sex was one of those hush hush topics for so long .. definitely something that was worth bringing out into the 'open .. good to let some light in .. 



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Women are enouraged to get liquored up so as to be more available/fun all the time. it's become a social norm that she might be pleased to find you actually don't ascribe to. It's certainly worth telling her you find her a lot more attractive sober; it might come as a surprise to her- she might be operating under the false idea that drunk and uninhibited is what you want.


I can't see any way that you have done anything "wrong"; it's all about finding ways to make your own life better without trying to manage someone else. My ex hasn't been able to be intimate without alcohol for years which is a big turn off for me. His answer is, why don't I get drunk too. UGH. lol- no thanks. I really mourned physical intimacy with sober him but for whatever reason, he stopped being able to enjoy that and the option was taken away.


I don't see any reason to feel bad for being intimate with your partner if they're drunk as long as she was aware of what she was doing of course- it's not like it's going to influence what she does one way or the other anyway. Did it make you happy at the time....or is it something you want to avoid in future- those are the only really relevant questions imo



-- Edited by MissM on Thursday 13th of July 2017 05:29:55 AM

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I dont see that this is in anyway a gender issue. The idea that women need alcohol to enjoy sex seems  outdated and stereotypical. The women I know including me enjoy sex and have no need to have a drink to make it bearable, women want sex, good sex mostly in my experience, especially women in their thirties and forties and hopefully fifties and sixties, lol, I think in this day the idea that women don't want sex and so drink to put up with it is crazy thinking. Young women, unsure of themselves, sure, alcohol may help with the self consciousness that comes with inexperience and yes I believe some men, surely the minority, want a women to be drunk to do what they like to them, however, it firmly places women in victim role and men as perpetrator which I believe again is stereotypical.

I think talking about sex and stereotypical male and female roles within it distracts us from the issue. The issue is alcoholism and how it means the people effected become emotionally unavailable and intimacy in my own experience leaves the building and then sex feels like another hit, another distraction another buzz for the drinker and I was left feeling very used, an object that could have been anyone really. Its like the connection goes and of course it does. How can we understand alcoholism and still believe the active drinker can connect with us on any level really. The connection is blurred out of focus. Its not to say the drinker doesn't want to feel the connection and may even kid themselves it exists but how can it? The disease being a thinking disorder means even the idea of intimacy is distorted. In my experience my partner wanted what he wanted when he wanted it and that was due to his drinking and disease. Sober, sex was out of the question and again this makes sense to me, the guilt the low self worth and lack of confidence is the barrier until recovery begins so how in any way can this be called intimacy? This is just another part of the problem as a whole and I know I pretended as part of my own denial that sex meant some how we were still 'together' when in fact we had a giant wedge between us. In AA a sex inventory is taken and that's because its just another area where there has been a lack of responsility and bad behaviour treating themselves and others with little respect.

Anyway, I understand how you feel and I'm glad you aren't trying to normalise this. Its part of the problem of alcoholism and to remain in reality of that is where the progress is.



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Bo


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Excellent thread and comments...thank you to everyone for your perspective and insight.

I agree that this is not a gender issue vis a vis stereotyping, casting generic aspersions, or whatever you want to call it. Each person, man or woman, can be different, feel and think different things. And, there could certainly be similarities in the same things as well.

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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Hey Westman,
Thanks for your share. I experience similar situations with my AH. In my case I didn't like having sex with him when he was drunk as it felt terrible and there was no connection between us I ended up feeling very used and disgusted so I told him that I would not be having sex with him if he had been drinking because I don't enjoy it. This has significantly limited our sex life at times but I feel better about that boundary. It took a few nights of not realizing he was drunk at first but feeling icky the next morning for me to come to that conclusion. My AH usually prefers to have sex when he's been drinking but I can see that it really is more about him than me. He's got a lot of issues about self esteem and self worth and it's very sad to see how much it effects him. I choose not to take it personally. I think for my AH sex is only something he feels safe doing when he's drunk for some reason and if you put anyone else in my situation he would behave the same way. His alcoholism is about him not about something lacking in me. At least that's how I see it. Glad to hear you are focusing on taking care of yourself. Don't be too hard on yourself.

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With a few days past I have a bit more perspective. I had never experienced that empty and cold feeling before and didn't understand what the deal was. In the past physical intimacy has always brought out some measure of affection between us. Even if we weren't getting along well at the time. This time there was nothing like that. For my part I think it may just be another sign that I'm trying to move on. I already went through trying to "save" the marriage and through the pain of failing at that for years. Now I am learning to detach and I've noticed that strange new emotions or interactions occur once in awhile. Is this normal? 

If she weren't an alcoholic I probably wouldn't have been prompted to seek out Al Anon and I would continue on with my bad habits and attitudes. 



-- Edited by WestMan on Saturday 15th of July 2017 12:50:02 PM

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Westman - for me, looking back, who I was before recovery was very different than who I am now. I came to recover as many do - angry, fearful, anxious, tired, lonely, etc. I was raised where there was a 'cause' and an 'effect' so I blamed my A (cause) and my 'state' was the effect.

What I learned about me in recovery was many of my 'isms' were there long before I ever met/married this A. I have had low self-esteem and low self-worth for as far back as I can recall. I had never felt as an equal with others - either less than or greater than (false pride/ego). What I figured out in working the steps is I truly had no idea who I was beyond a daughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother, etc. I did not know who I was as a stand-alone person and it truly scared me in many ways.

I try now to set aside all the labels I've had for as long as I can remember. I do know one thing that is 100% accurate each and every day - I am imperfect and blindly put my faith in an unseen power greater than me to lead me. I am funny, smart, helpful, kind and curious. I do not like judgement, gossip, drama, chaos, projecting or morbid reflection. I love nature, fitness, exercise, sports, great TV.

What I know about me is that when I am uncomfortable, I truly need to pause and do a reset. I have at times sat down, and considered the steps and not truly knowing what I felt or why, have just considered that I am powerless over my own thinking and it's making my life unmanageable. For me, the biggest issue standing between me and serenity is my own processing that happens between my ears. I have this 'need' to know a cause/effect and sometimes there is no logical reason or there are many reasons and I have no idea which is why - and I just have to realize that my thinker is not as clear as I would like and let it go...

Physical intimacy can be the highest form of 'love' or so I was taught. I do accept this and believe it for me yet know that others have different feelings/views. I can say that with 26 years of marriage, and many ups/downs, our physical intimacy has changed. Not necessarily for the bad or for the good - it's just changed. Many nights, we're happy just watching the news....and I can guarantee when we first married, we NEVER WATCHED the news.

As with all things in life, this too shall pass. There is no wrong thoughts or feelings in life - we just have to go through them with an open mind and look for lessons to be learned. I have walked through many life experiences, and honestly did not come thought it with a clear answer of what I wanted or what was best but I sure now have a list of things I hope to never experience/do again! Kind of a process of elimination if you will.

I think you are in a good place. I believe growth comes from uncertainty and discomfort. Keep doing you and try to trust the process! Keep coming back - sending tons of positive thoughts and prayers!

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

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