Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Scab's Guide to Post D-Day Love Making

Scab's Guide to Post D-Day Love Making
circa 2009 -Riding the Bull at Big Kahuna
My cousin is a genius whitewater raft guide.  She sits calmly at the rear of the boat calling out commands and laughing as we navigate the violent turbulence and undercurrents, huge rocks and drops and eventually fall into the fantastically dangerous hazard of Big Kahuna!  The rivers roaring climax!

The nose of the raft is called the Bull. If you are absolutely brave or a frenzied lunatic you might ride the Bull, bearing into what seems to be your departure from this world!  Straddling the Bull, both hands looped tightly around the ropes, your thighs grabbing the sides of the raft,  you ride head first and stomach dropping into the tumultuous waves of Big Kahuna!

Soaking wet and out of breath you emerge from the waves...ALIVE!  My cousins genius navigation has not only saved you from a sure fate of drowing and churing in the boulders of Big Kahuna, you're also euphoric!

Then again, as my father says, "Mess with the Bull, you get the horns."

I want to be clear.  Sex post d-day is extremely dangerous water to cross.  It's like the Bull, if you have the right guide you'll come out alive.  If not, you'll get the horns.

You are all such wonderful readers, really!  I feel your pain, your loss and your triumphs.  Recently, I've received a lot of emails asking how to recreate a love-life and intimacy post discovering a porn/sex addiction.  I am only one woman, with only one experience, but there are many who have gone into the depths of Big Kahuna and come out ALIVE!   I'll share my opinions on the subject and hope you will join the conversation too.

Scab's Guide to Post D-Day Love Making
Rule # 101: Buy Matching Sweaters

Scab's guide to post d-day love making

"Sex is such a strange, strange thing.  It can be so healthy and healing, and so unhealthy and destructive.  An expression of deepest longings for each other or a weapon to be wielded in an abusive onslaught of the other person's very soul."
                                                                             - our lovely friend Angel 

Rule #1:  You don't have too.

He will survive.  You will survive.  In fact, I believe a little fasting (or a lot of fasting)  from sexual intimacy after d-day is good for the loins, the heart and the mind.  And, if you decide to move on, that there is too much damage, then do so.  Jacy taught me this.  She's a beautiful example of moving on, healing and finding happiness in life after such a devastating experience.  She knows first hand, you are never required to stay or create intimacy when there isn't any.

Jess a member of the Hope and Healing forum made this comment and I wanted to add it to Rule #1
"I think that it is so important to know that it's okay to say no and its okay to feel what you need too - he will survive! I also think on the flip side, if that is what you need and want - ask for it! Don't wait until your hubby asks, YOU are just as important and you can tell him that right now, this is what I need. "

Rule #2  Be safe.

Use protection.  Both partners must be tested for STDs.  Not the anonymous register online and go to a blood lab testing.  A real physician must examine each of you along with blood and other necessary testing.  Mr. Scabs get regularly tested.  I hate to say this, but even if your husband is a porn addict and hasn't acted out, I would insist on a STD test anyway.  Better safe than dealing with "the clap". 

If either of you are positive for any STD, don't have sex.  Get medical help right away.  There's a whole world of sexual dangers out there.  Don't risk it.  The onslaught of an STD is sure to trigger deep emotional pain and sex would only intensify the pain and betrayal.  I remember the pain of thinking I had contracted some disease, terrible.

Physical/verbal abuse.  If physical abuse is occurring to either you or you children this is a gigantic RED FLAG.  No amount of sexual attention you bestow on your abuser is going to stop them from hurting you or your children.  RUN.  Pack your car, take your children and go stay with family, friends or a women's shelter.  Stop at a fire station or police station, someone will help you.  Get the hell away.  You and your children's physical safety is the number one priority.

Emotional safety.  Check yourself.  Feel your feelings.  Are you stable enough for intimacy?  Are you moving toward a physical connection because you want too?  Are boundaries being respected?  Honesty? Is emotional intimacy building between you two?  Is your self-esteem intact?  If yes.  Then you get green light for some love making.

Are you being pressured?  Do you feel sex will solve problems?  Do you think sex will control the addiction?  Do you think the addiction is because you weren't good in bed, or your boobs were the wrong size or your rear end has some dimples?  If yes.  Then stop.  You might be too vulnerable and not have had enough healing for sex.

Rule #3 Change the sheets.

Get some new bedding.  Rearrange the furniture.  Change the scene.  These adjustments can give you a fresh perspective and keep useless triggers at bay.  I bought fresh bedding.  I threw away his old body wash, the smell was a trigger.  He bought new underwear (of course he had too...remember, i lit all his undies on fire).

Rule #4 Go slow.

My blog friend, Elsie, shared this rule with me.  Stop if your uncomfortable.  Build your confidence together.  Take it slow.  Talk about it.  Go to a therapist knowledgeable in porn/sex addiction, someone who can guide you through the choppy waters of building intimacy.

Mr. Scabs would ask for a hug or some hand holding and I couldn't.  Instead I would hold his hand with my index finger.  It was a joke, a funny take on reality.  I couldn't touch him.  I had the darkest feelings of disgust for him.  The one-fingered hand hold evolved into two fingers, then three and then one day I was ok actually holding his hand.  Some days I revert back to the one-fingered hand hold.  And that's ok.

Sex is an enormous step take it slow. Is there anything more vulnerable than being buck naked in bed with the man who has betrayed you?

Rule # 5 Mutual Commitment.

Communicate and make sure you share the same intimacy goals.  Talk about hard things, angers, resentments, fears the future.  If there isn't open dialog then you might not be safe opening yourself to sex.

Rule #6 Work Your Recovery 

My friend from the Hope and Healing forum came up with this one.  She says,

 "I have heard of some bad experiences where women have taken it too far the other way, withholding intimacy in anger, never doing their own recovery work, etc. I think real self-honesty has got to be important too, no?"
I remember doing this.  I did this the first 9 years of my marriage where I thought  Mr. Scabs worst sin was indulging in a little pornography.  I withheld lots of intimacy.  Anger and disgust filled me and punishment was the name of the game.  Just recently I've softened and healed a little and felt honest  enough with myself to see that I took it too far.

On the flip side, guilt and self-punishment will only take us farther away from healing.  So, I had a healthy amount of guilt about withholding sex as punishment and I changed my attitude and moved on.  Really, there is no reason to dwell on the past.




So, that's it.  If your heart feels ready, take the leap.  No regrets, no matter if you stay together or break up.  
--------------------------------------------------------------
Riding the Bull is a terrifying experience. I'm still riding.  Find support, all us girls have been heart broken and we can help each other.  This is a big step and if you're without a guide you might find yourself flailing in the unforgiving waters.  Watch the video below to see what happens when you don't have a guide.

Like my Dad says, "You mess with the Bull, you get the horns."
Looks like these guys got the horns.  




24 comments:

  1. I hope you will share this on the hope and healing forum. I think women need to hear other women talking about how it's ok to draw boundaries, to trust themselves in the process of rebuilding trust. It's one thing to share clinical information and stuff (which is what I was trying to do on the forum), but there is nothing like the power of personal experience.

    I have heard of some bad experiences where women have taken it too far the other way, withholding intimacy in anger, never doing their own recovery work, etc. I think real self-honesty has got to be important too, no?

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    1. thanks for the invite. Id love to share this on the forum. And youre right, your own personal recovery is imperative. Hopefully with everyones feedback we can share all different points of view to navigate sex after betrayal.

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  2. I couldn't do it. I couldn't even look at him. Let alone touch him. Watching him touch my son was the worst.
    These are great, thoughtful tips. Thanks for sharing them.

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    1. I'm with Nora on this one... the sight of his bear chest threw me in serious PTSD. Seriously.

      Women who can overcome this and rebuild and maintain a relationship (especially sexual) are admired in my eyes! REALLY! I don't know how you do it... except that you are stronger than you even know...!!

      Marvelous post scabs! I'm so glad others are benefiting from your experience and insights. You are INSPIRING!

      Lots of love!

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    2. Nora and Jacy...this is important too! So many women can't and shouldn't feel once ounce of guilt!! We didn't make their mistakes or abandon our families and spouses. I think it was you, Jacy who told me i didn't have to stay with him.

      i loved that! its so simple but when your lost in this addiction it's so hard to see what to do. what decisions to make. And simply telling me I didn't have to stay was liberating.

      Thanks for all you two are! such amazing examples of healing making your lives fabulous!

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  3. Well articulated. My issues with intimacy didn't come from infidelity, they came from years of having sex just to prevent my husband from looking at pornography. After sex I would sometimes want to cry, or throw up, or just be so angry at him for guilting me into it.

    I got to a point where I resented it so much that his touch would make me suspicious and nervous. I also quit wanting him to see me naked or hug/kiss me, because worried it would turn him on too much. Then I did what you said, for a while I withheld sex as a punishment. I'm still working through my issues, but we've come a long way and I look forward to having sex in a truly fulfilling way.

    I like how you said to talk about it, talk about the hard stuff. We are still not good at that, but I am at least to a point where I recognize that it is necessary.

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    1. I remember those feelings too. Before I knew he had cheated, it was the porn that built my aversion to him. He was soooo unattractive. I was repulsed by him. Kissing him was the worst...it felt so greedy and impersonal.

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  4. This was wonderful. I have found that when I allow myself to be vulnerable, sex is powerfully healing. I still have a lot of issues but the more we are working on things together, the better I am feeling.

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    1. Being vulnerable in a healthy loving way is completely different from being vulnerable and exposed, right? I've experienced both! And learned my lesson quick once i felt the wrong kind of vulnerable exposure!

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  5. Very well done EMS. I hope that you continue to take things at your own pace and remember it's okay to tell him "no" when you're feeling uncomfortable or triggered, even if you've been intimate dozens of times before. You sound like you are doing fantastic!

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    1. This means a lot. You know i look up to you and respect your path. You've taught me a lot, helped me feel comfortable with my feelings and showed me how to turn saying something into doing something.

      What i love most about you is that when you try something you give it your all. And when your boundaries are respected your respond by giving back. The moment the boundaries have been crossed you respect yourself and detach. Maybe its just the way I read your blog but you seem very definitive about what you will and wont accept.

      We all have such different experiences but so often i see that the emotions and fears are the same.

      Thanks for all you are

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  6. Oh my. Yes, I feel repulsed by him. Yes, I have not respected myself enough to detach and stand firm on my boundaries. So glad you posted this and those that have commented, too. I know I'm not there yet and I miss affection so badly but I'm not willing to give it for nothing. I don't know that I'll ever be able to get over my disgust with him to be close again. Even when we're talking I find it so difficult to look at him and when I do I feel sick.

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  7. and you know what...everything that your feeling is totally normal. It's ok to be completely repulsed by him. Fact is, whatever he's done has earned your disgust.

    For me, when I first found out what he'd actually done I was so lost. I nose-dived into utter pain. I lashed out with hate dripping from every word i spoke. I slapped his face and wished he was dead. I blamed myself. I blamed my small boobs. I fell into a numbing depression. I entertained the idea of revenge sex. My aversion to him grew every minute. The more lies were uncovered the more he repulsed me...just like you. I believed all was lost that i couldn't recover, that our marriage couldn't recover.

    My sponsor tells me, all these feelings are normal and they are all a process. Jacy and Norma say time is a great healer. And I believe them. I am currently 17 months out from learning my husband slept with other women. And today, i have more good than bad days.

    You're right, self-respect and detachment are gifts you should give yourself. There is peace with letting go and detaching. Wishing you peace and love tonight. I'll be thinking of you.

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  8. Nora- I saw your blog. Do you have more of your story written in one place? I'm just looking to realate and see what others have been through and how those experiences brought them to the decisions they've made, all as I try to sort out my own life and decisions. Thanks for your blog and insight.

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  9. Hello Anon!

    Here's Nora's email. She's love to hear from you personally. She is kind and so generous. And I promise, she will keep your identity totally Anon.

    noraballantyne@gmail.com

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  10. my husband IS repulsive. He looks at me with disdain and has for years. And YES, most other men look at me with appreciation. I am tall, leggy, lean and striking. no matter. I could be Stephanie Seymour and it wouldn't matter. His primary F-buddy is fat, homely and now has lupus. (karma?) Sexy, ain't it?

    SEX ADDICTION IS NOT ABOUT SEX! its about his own hatred for himself. But recovery?

    He smells. His breath stinks. He has weeping eczema and skin cancer (which I used to BEG him to go to the dr. to get burned off).

    He is not affectionate. He is not romantic. He's cheap and he chews his food like a hamster...

    His kindness to others is fake. He's a fake. He's not the man I married. The man I married cherished me. This man, I don't recognize. I don't want him anywhere near me.

    best ~ L

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  11. I have no doubt you are sexy Lexie! But, as you said, we all know it's not abt sex for them. I have to say mr. scabs and i were reading your comment this morning and we were dying laughing. Your description is most disturbing. I think I've seen your husband (i hate to call him that cause clearly he doesn't deserve the title) at a bus stop downtown (maybe not really but someone similar)! Hope I'm not offending you. But I got a real graphic mental image of the man and it was disgustingly delicious...i really really love the words you use. I love something that draws me in, creates and image and makes me laugh. Have a fab day darling cause you deserve it!

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  12. no, no, not offending me in the least. I'm glad I made you laugh. it IS funny (and sad of course) and thank you... I had an incredible weekend. We spent it with our HF autistic son at his school for an annual event, who stood up in front of his entire school (only about 100 kids), parents and teachers--- a packed auditorium... and THANKED BOTH MY HUSBAND AND ME and told everyone how GRATEFUL he is to be at this school and that this has been the best year of his life!

    OMG!!!

    and we have it all on tape. heheheh...

    and then he performed a soulful song on his guitar that he wrote himself!

    it just doesn't get any better than that!

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  13. So April, I have read this several times before, but just got referred back to it from the forum while reading a post. Apparently I did read, but not assimilate the information you shared the last time I tried "get back in the saddle." Mind you, it wasn't awful. It was just like every time where I had sex because I thought I was obligated.

    I saw and wanted to make #2 a boundary - requiring him to get tested (though pretty sure he has yet to sleep with someone else) & to wear a condom. I was pretty sure however, on how that would be recived and wasn't ready to deal with his verbal lashing on how I was being unfair or unreasonable.

    And Rule #5 - I must have totally forgotten that one. Your brief explanation of that rule (reading it again just now) - it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. And I'm with you - kissing is the worst. I HATE kissing him now. Sex, well, at least if I climax (sorry if that was TMI), I got something out of the deal. Kissing just was cheap,nasty,replusive, & all that jazz.

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  14. I can't be certain, due to the film quality of the video, but I'm pretty sure that clip is of one of our boats. Why can't I be certain? because we have years and years of such footage. It used to be called the teenager boat (the boat that none of the adults or kids wanted to ride in because we were constantly getting in water fights and no one is safe from being thrown out of the boat) After we all grew up, calling it the teenager boat didn't seem right. We changed the name to the suicide boat when we started pulling stunts like the one you've posted above.

    We are very good at capsizing a boat and getting it turned back over, rafters back inside before we get to the next rapid.

    See the red duckie (2 man inflatable kaiak) waiting out of the current? They are there on purpose waiting to help if needed.

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    1. I am dying!!! Really? Thats hilarious! My kids and I watched this video over and over again just laughing so hard!!!!

      OK, Apron, I think this means we need to do a river run together!

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    2. I had to miss our annual river trip this year (funds are tight) but next time I go. I'll let you know. Here is further evidence of our suicide boat.

      http://apronappeal.blogspot.com/2011/07/dutch-oven-chicken.html

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    3. we usually go in the summer to--actually labor day weekend. We've done some frosty river runs. brrr! let me know next time you're up!

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