Sunday, February 11, 2007

Unfixable?

You know, I have been feeling happier since my spiritual issues are being addressed. It's not just the recent, more mystical experiences. It's the whole picture.

But there is one problem that just never goes away. Yes, it's our sex life. Nothing has happened since November last year.

I know there are good reasons for this. My Big Dude's health has been terrible lately. It always is over December-January (sometimes into February) and the disruption and hard work of moving house hasn't helped. In fact, the Big Dude did make one effort. A few days before our move (mid-January), we scheduled some alone time and I know he intended something physical to happen. But shortly after we started, he was overcome with dizziness and faintness, which does happen sometimes, and we had to stop. So it became a naked cuddling session, which was nice, but also frankly very bloody frustrating. The whole cuddle session thing really only works if you know it's going to be like that from the beginning. As a substitute for what you were expecting (hoping for), it sucks.

But it all being very understandable and even there being plenty of good intentions only takes us so far. I am still a healthy adult woman who hardly ever has any sexual interraction with her partner. And it's very difficult.

I can go for days and sometimes even weeks just cruising along, a little sad about this eternal problem but mostly preoccupied with other things. Sexual impulses come and go and I mostly just sort of sit with them for a while and let them pass. I don't suppress them. I just kind of accept that nothing is going to happen - at least, nothing that involves another person.

But periodically, the problem just becomes almost unbearable. It becomes more and more difficult to go without. I try to help my Big Dude with any issues or tasks that are affecting his energy levels. I show him lots of affection. I try to prompt him without putting too much pressure on him. I hold his hand and kiss him and tell him how much I love him and how handsome he is (which is true). Nothing happens.

I have one of those days. My skin starts to tingle and then, with no touch, to ache. My thoughts, usually filled with stuff that needs to be done, my pleasure in my Little Dude, work issues or personal reflection, become increasingly preoccupied with sex. I look at men on the bus or at work and can't help thinking about how easy it would be to pick one of them up. I wonder why I don't just take a lover. It seems like most people in my situation ultimately do, and I don't think I'm morally superior to them, so why keep holding out against such an obvious solution? Sometimes I think I am just delaying the inevitable.

Actually, the more tempted I feel, the nicer I usually am to my Big Dude. There is nothing like guilt for motivating you to be a model partner at home. No wonder women whose husbands are having affairs usually don't suspect. He seems so romantic, he seems so affectionate, only last night he brought me flowers... Ha!

But then I get angry. I get angry with my Big Dude for being so... oblivious. I start feeling alone, isolated, neglected. Either I start snapping at him or I start feeling very down, almost like the joy is being sucked out of my life. And not just the joy - the energy, the life force. I feel like my spirit is fading away. I have been feeling happier, lately, but last night I started thinking about it all again and just cried with frustration.

I don't know what to do. I really don't. We've tried addressing as many of his health problems as can be addressed. He's been in counselling. I'm currently in counselling. We've talked about it probably hundreds of times over the last decade. We've scheduled sex dates, some of which go ahead and most of which don't. We've tried the tofu option, with mixed success. Sometimes it was pretty good. Sometimes it was pretty pathetic. We've explored sexual options that don't cause too many physical problems for him. But even that is starting to seem like a long time ago, now.

Some months ago, during one of those depressing "talks", I said I was inclined to think that, if the tofu option didn't work out, the only other option I could think of was sex therapy. Or counselling with a specific focus on sex. Recently, my counsellor said that maybe he should come in, too, for couples counselling. Personally, I think it would be a good idea, but the Big Dude greeted this prospect with all the enthusiasm he would give to the prospect of facing a firing squad. It wasn't even clear if he would agree to go - unless I threatened to leave him. And I really don't like ultimatums. Plus, I'm not sure if I would follow through on a threat to leave him. There is just too much at stake.

This issue seems to be unfixable, at least by me.

I can't make him want to have a sex life. I don't want to leave him. At the same time, the prospect of this being my sex life forever, well, it's possible that I can survive it, but I'm not sure I can survive it without periodic depression. And who needs that?

Okay, this is a call for suggestions. What would you do?

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emily, I have been following your post for a couple of months now. I know your frustration so, so very well. I felt that exact same heartbreak for almost 15 years. What worked for me was a lover. Finally. I resisted the thought for so many years, and then, unexpectedly, he entered my life. I was not actively looking. I was struggling in a big way. But when the opportunity presented itself, it happened. And for me, for awhile, the color came back to my life and my face.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Fusion said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Fusion said...

I cannot tell you what to do Emily. I had decided after 7 plus years of a sexless marriage to leave my wife but since she died I never had to follow through with it. I too, don't know if I would or could have. And taking a lover just didn't feel right to me at the time.
If you love Big Dude, but still need to be satisfied sexually, than you will have to decide if a lover is right for you.
From my point of view your choice's are only a few: Take a lover, divorice him, or live with what you have.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Dear Anonymous - You say it worked for "awhile". What happened next?

4:29 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

"Okay, this is a call for suggestions. What would you do?"

Take a net lover. Be discrete about it. Don't tell anyone. Don't blog about it. Good sex is mostly mental anyway.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

You could take a love with the BD's knowledge? Tell him that you need sexual affection, and if he isn't willing to go to counselling, then it's only fair that you take a lover?

That way there's no guilt, and you're not "betraying" what you have. It just becomes an open relationship.

Explain to him that you want HIM, but since he's unwilling, you have to have something. This puts the ball in his court...

Good luck!

5:21 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Nice idea, Ali. Unfortunately, it's already been discussed. The BD made it clear that that would ruin his life (see 28 August entry), so I don't think that arrangement is a real possibility (which is a pity, because its one solution, and I hate to see ANY solution completely off the table).

8:21 PM  
Blogger kissmekate said...

Emily I certainly would hate to be in your position and really can't offer any advice.

What I can assure you of is this...the pain associated with your lifetime partner/spouse having a sexual relationship with another person is unbelievable. It hurts beyond imagination.

How do you know that you would not become emotionally involved with your lover?

How do you know that you would not become so involved that you would want to leave BD?

The excitement of a new relationship would lure you into a false reality and someone would end up getting hurt.

I can understand the BD being against the propsect.

3:18 AM  
Blogger Satan said...

What would I do, or what would I suggest you to do?

Let's see: What I would do is make his life more miserable than his sickness already does, until I got the sex I wanted. I would show him how worthwhile it would be to do this specific thing for me, and how not worthwhile it is to ignore what I'm asking for. If that ended up driving him away, so be it, at least then I'd be free to find someone else. But I would not stop or rest in letting him know my unhappiness and what he needed to do to change.


What I would suggest you to do: Gently continue to bring up joint counseling. All he has to do is go . . and sit . . and maybe talk. I think you can make this seem entirely reasonable and not frightening, and it would be so good for both of you.

4:49 AM  
Blogger flutterby said...

Emily, as you know, your story has grabbed at my heart. I think you are a great girl and wish you only the best happiness.

That being said, I would like to know what the BD has done to resolve some of the issues he faces with PTSD and his health.

I say this because I feel strongly that the medical community as a whole rarely can adequately treat the *cause* of disease and illness, rather, they busy themselves with treating the *symptoms*, often with little lasting success, or with such negative side effects that the treatment isn't desirable.

I know that hope is a fragile thing and that those who live with long-term illness -- no matter how trivial or serious -- often strongly resist the idea of hoping in a cure. Even to the point of closing the door on possibilities without trying them.

But I feel that there are a number of alternative treatment options out there that Big Dude could greatly benefit from. Treatments that could greatly improve his life and health, maybe even reversing the *cause* of his illnesses.

One such technique is called EFT and is based on the Chinese energy meridian therapies. It has had great success with some very tough cases of PTSD relating to veterans. There are practitioners in Australia. I would urge you to call, if only to consult about BD's situation and see how they would perceive treatment for him.

Here are a couple links, one to the official website/practioner database (also tons of info about the treatment and case studies) and the other a pdf article from Explore Magazine which highlights the treatment and results, etc.

http://www.emofree.com
http://www.emofree.com/pdf-files/
hegarty-eft-article.pdf

Another alternative discipline, also energy-based, is Health Kineisiology.

http://www.subtlenergy.com

Diet, sunshine and exercise are also things that can have a great affect on mental and physical health -- even more than we would think. Big Dude was probably exposed to numerous toxic chemicals during his service, and there, again, are numerous holistic therapies that can aid his body in cleaning out toxicities.

This is such a huge, interrelated topic, but I would urge you to do due diligence in researching any and all alternative therapies. Find credible practioners who have experience dealing with BD's issues and can outline their understanding and course of treatment.

*************

I hope I didn't just spam your site!! :) You asked in your post title, whether this was "Unfixable". I have to say that as things stand, unless you go outside of your relationship, it is. Big Dude, no matter how much he may want/wish or hope to operate in a normal, healthy physical and sexual way in this relationship, is constrained by his health in very real, tangible ways from doing so.
That being said, I personally don't think that going outside of your relationship is any "fix" at all. And I don't think it's the "fix" you want.

But, your Big Dude is not Unfixable. He has issues, yes. Some very Big issues. But many have stepped beyond these issues into health and wholeness. What he needs is treatment that takes into account his body, mind and emotions. Not a new drug that will hopefully mask a symptom of the mess that is inside of him.

And, if your Big Dude can begin to move away from his illness and live more days in health and wellness, I have no doubt that your relationship will thrive and include much more of that passionate, sexual interaction that you are craving. I don't think your relationship is defective. Rather, your Big Dude's health is defective.

And I believe that if you can focus your energies and efforts on creating health for him, your relationship will naturally follow suit.

Hugs.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Christian Husband said...

What happened to the Emily from a few posts back? Where did she go? The one that was finally in a tangible way realizing that God is there?

Unfixable? Unfixable by whom? You, him, doctors? Mortals all.

This is where this little thing we call faith has actual meaning. You've felt God's call, but do you really believe?

Unfixable? Have a little faith.

9:08 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

I'm going to second Satan's sentiments.

Push more for the counseling. If the relationship and your child is important to him, tell him (gently) he needs to do it.

Either way, he definitely needs to understand how important this is to the relationship.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Fusion - I agree, the choices are few, and I don't like any of them :-)

Rob - Essay Question: Is a net lover different from a physical lover? If so, why? Discuss.

Kate - I know. These considerations have prevented me from taking that option thus far. And I appreciate the warning, which is obviously based on heartrending personal experience.

Satan and FTN - Your suggestions are good ones. Thank you.

Flutterby - We have almost the opposite problem, which is that the BD is so sure he will wake up one day completely cured that it is sometimes a barrier to realistic planning.

I agree that going outside our relationship is not the "fix" I want.

I will follow up your suggestions, which are very helpful. And you grab at my heart, too, sweetie :-)

XH - I'm sure you mean to be encouraging, but it would be good if fewer of your comments were about how inadequate my faith is and how deeply I offend God.

Do you honestly think fifteen years of love and commitment, in very difficult circumstances, really suggests a lack of faith?

Perhaps you have a positive suggestion to make? If so, please make it.

2:37 PM  
Blogger oldbear said...

Emily, I am sorry that the frustrationis so bad, I feel for you for your frustration and guilt and sexless-misery and musings about sex with others! I have been wondering when this issue would resurface, and like flutterby I have been researching some options/ideas for you. Please email me in private and I will send you the info.


PLEASE forgive me dear, but the following NEEDS saying.

So many of us todaydo not know or have not known enough combat Vets to appreciate their burndens.

ALL combat veterans are different in key ways than other members of society.

Way more so true for the Vietnam Grunts than most of the NON-combatants, and manuy of the combat guys from other wars.

I have seen many of the same behaviors and conditions in the guys who fought all the way through Europe, and the guys from the Chosin and the retreat from the Yalu. We will probably see lots of the same problems suffred by the over extended victims of the neo-con folly we are in now.

One of the se problem areas is horrible sexual indiffernce and dysfunction. i dont know what the shrinks say but my experience is is getting commoner as tehse guys age. mores os than for the rest of society.

These are not men who are choosing to behave in selfish ways. Their formative years were horribly and terribly altered by time spent doing things and seeing things and bearing things none of us should hae to deal with EVER!

BD deserves to be treated better than some lout from the Jerry Springer show or or the butt to project our own personal feelings or experiences about sexuaklity and fidelity and mismarriage on to.

I had spent years listening and helping these cats deal with thier burden in INFORMAL ways , and I finally walked out on it. Too much for me to handle. So I will pass no judgement on Emily if she cant handle the burden. She is INSIDE a realtionship FT, and has been bearing it for 15 years.

And perhaps I read too much into some of your posts. But some of you seem pretty darn cavalier about what happens to the self eteem and dignity of BD in all of this, and you seem hell bent on seeing it like he WANTS to be a crappy lover and have no sex drive. OR seeing it like he is indifferent or unaware of her sexual frustration and miseries.

Yeah right. He comes across as clueless and in denial in a lot of these posts, maybe he is. Maybe he doesnt see Emilys frustration for the danger it is to his marriage and to the happiness of his family and the happiness-development of his LD.

But his circumstnace deserves careful consideration, at the least.



A peer of his might well look at what he got going on, and tell him to get his __it in one bag and take care of business. But to be that harsh with him is not something the rest of us "rate".


If I seem too dang touchy about this , so be it, but after having several close friends and relatives who were ok before wars self-destruct in the aftermath of war, I felt compelled to stick up for the Vets in the stroongest and most direct manner possibly allowed by Emily.

Sorry Em, I know this helps you not awhit, but I ahve been ahitng me fo rnot posting like this for along time.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Just Me said...

Em, I am so sorry that you are going through this. And I commend you for hanging in there for the better or for worse. I just want encourage you to keep up the good work. Also, while you will want to keep seeking deeper intimacy, may want to look into more ways to satisfy yourself or where BD can do that for you alone. I do want to echo people's cautions about taking a lover - you seem like a woman with a compassionate heart and I do not think you could be physically involved without you heart being there, too.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Mu Ling said...

Emily, you probably can guess that if I had the answer to this sort of problem, I'd be applying it to my own life (although my husband's disinclination for sex originates from other causes than your BD's). I will say that I think you can only keep doing what you've been doing, and that there will be days when it seems to work, when it DOES work. There will be those days again. I promise. Think back to the times when BD not only tried, but he connected with you, made you feel good. I know it must seem right now that it was a bit of a cruel joke--what happened to all that good stuff?--but those days did happen. And yeah, it was mostly tofu burger, but with everything else, that can be enough.

Until then, if you can turn to God, then do that. If you can turn to a friend, do that. If you just have to masturbate to the wildest, hottest fantasy imaginable, do that.

There are no simple solutions, my dearest. Not God, not a lover, not counseling. But there are some complicated solutions and I have great confidence in your ability to craft them into something that might work for you and yours.

8:41 PM  
Blogger kissmekate said...

Emily I just want to add my thoughts on your question re the difference between an internet lover and a physical lover.

They are both forms of betrayal.

They both involve lies and deception and an emotional commitment outside of your partnership.

Many people have differing views ont his subject, but the aftershocks are the same.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

Trying to find contentment and/or a way to live with things when they are not ideal is the toughest thing for me. As you know I try and most times I fail :) But I think you try much harder and I think you will find a way to make things work. You are much too hard on yourself Emily. You are doing great, better than most. I wish I had the "answer" for you...

6:24 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

No words of wisdom here, Em. Just a big hug and my best wishes for you and the BD and your marriage. . .

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Emily,
I'm the first comment on this post, and you asked what happened after "awhile." My affair lasted for a little more than three years. While my situation was different in many ways from the one you have with your man, his physical neglect and apathy was unbearable to me for most of the 17 years that we were married. I won't delve into the details on this public forum, but I will say that I was encouraged and coached by my parents, therapists, and friends to stick with the marriage and try everything. And I did.

In the end, though, my involvement with the "other man" was a conscious decision, and one that I do regret for some reasons, do not regret for many other reasons.

My relationship with my lover did not last, and my marriage ended in divorce (although the divorce was not the direct result of the affair.) There were many tough times and rivers of tears, but I emerged from the "ruins" stronger, more confident, and more independent than I ever felt before. Today I am remarried to a wonderful man who is more than I could ever have hoped to know. My first husband is also remarried and happy, I think. We are friends.

Certainly it is an individual decision based on individual situations. Looking back on my particular situation, I am glad I can say that I honestly tried EVERYTHING I could think of before I accepted the (very unexpected) invitation from the man who became my lover. However, I also look back on my situation and think that there were many "wasted" years when I could have been "moving on" instead of beating my head against the wall year after hopeless year.

Don't know if this helps or not, but I did want to respond to your question. By the way, the only reason I sign on as "anonymous" is because I do not have a blog.

Good luck to you; I think of you often and hope that things work out for the best.
Anne

9:42 AM  
Blogger Christian Husband said...

Emily: Ouch! Let me pick myself off the ground from that right hook you just gave me and see if I can still see straight.

I guess I can see why you might have assumed I was being harsh and strike back, but that was really not what I was saying. I wasn't saying you are offending God. And I didn't say you haven't shown remarkable perseverance with your Big Dude.

What I was saying was simple. If God really is God -- with all that this title entails -- then what is unfixable for Him? Faith means knowing that when you ask God for help He ALWAYS answers. Sometimes he answers "yes," sometimes it's "no," and sometimes it is "not yet."

But whatever He answers we have to believe that He is working for our best interests. We never have the whole picture. We may know what we want, but we don't know what we should want because we don't have all the information. He does. Having faith means trusting that. Trusting that whatever answer He gives it will be the right one. Maybe not the one you are looking for, but the right one. Faith is trusting in that.

It is first asking Him for His help -- because sometimes He just wants us to ask Him before He does what He is going to do. And then it is trusting that His choice will be the best one for us. Maybe not the easiest. Maybe not the one we really, really want Him to give. But the best one.

And knowing that should give us hope. Is Big Dude's issues "unfixable"? Certainly not to God. Is God going to choose to fix them? Maybe. Maybe not. But have hope and confidence and trust that His choice is the right one.

And that trust should give you peace. Which is what you are looking for, right? Peace? The ability to stop worrying about this? The ability to step aside and know that the problem is being handled, and is being handled by someone competent? That the burden is not longer on your shoulders? That there is someone else to take that huge weight onto themselves?

That peace is there available. Grab onto it! Living with the actual situation might not get any easier, but peace of mind is a priceless gift. God might choose to answers your prayers with a "yes" or He might choose to answer them with a "no" -- He never promised us to go either way with such things -- but He DID promise us we could find peace in trusting Him. That is available no matter what.

Like the song my kids are always running around singing, "Cast your burdens unto Jesus, for He cares for you." He loves you. Seeing you in such pain pains Him too! Trust that He doesn't want you in pain and is willing and able to do ANYTHING.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

"Rob - Essay Question: Is a net lover different from a physical lover? If so, why? Discuss."

Ok Em dear, here are more of my thoughts on my suggestion given:

First off, counseling is all well and good - for emotional and spiritual support but BD also has a physical disability, which is also (indirectly) your disability from being able to enjoy an enjoyable healthy sexual existence with your man.

So, to answer your question, yes and no - a net lover can provide emotional and logical love and support, just like a physical lover - perhaps even to a higher degree of intensity if that net lover is in much healthier condition than the physical lover might be. A net lover is more discrete, seeks no physical embarrassing (and/or perhaps disruptive) contact, practices "tofu sex" with the shared realistic fantasies that you both would share. As I postulated in my earlier comment, sex is mostly mental. From it stems the proper foreplay, peak to orgasm, and rapture of afterglow - much of which is missed in physical sexual relationships.

Sure, net loving lacks substance and actual feeling that physical loving contains but in situations like yours (and mine), I feel that one could be much worse off without it, assuming that it is done discretely so no one else in your life ever gets hurt in any way. You must admit though - a net lover usually guarantees that you will always have a full and enjoyable climax because it is yourself who is responsible for it, by means of masturbation. If nothing else of all people we know ourselves the best in what works to be able to reach orgasm.

Call net loving cheating perhaps, call it the ultimate little white lie but if nothing else, one does manage to preserve one's marriage - intact.

"Let ye who is without sin, cast the first stone"... to counter other "morally holier than thou" rebuttal comments...

Whatever you decide Em, just remember that we all are with you.

6:55 PM  
Blogger oldbear said...

Hi CH, perhaps i am just a horn dog who thinks from time to time wiht my lttle head.

But I think God wants us to enjoy sex. We are wired for it. some of us like me(maybe Rob and Anon, and Em too ?) NEED it more than people like you.

If I went without coitus as long as Emily has I would probalby look at this issue of enduring it faithfully a lot diffeerent than I do, as I get IT regularly.

In Her case the peace of mind is being undemined by a restless physical and emotional body.

Asking another adult to make decisions based on rational processes adn prior committments is one thing......but to expect that reaching a mental conclusion will make physical desire go away, or more bearable is silly at best.

THAT expectation of cessation of pohysical desire after a mental decision of chstity is ONE big reason why good kids from nice families have to deal with unplaneed pregnancies!

How much harder must it be for married couple in Love to go without!!

11:19 PM  
Blogger freebird said...

Awesome post and comments! You know Emily, actually I think you are morally superior to people who have affairs. And I don’t mean that in a “you think you’re morally superior to us” sense - I mean you actually are! The fact that even thinking about it makes you feel guilty enough to do the wifely equivalent of buying flowers, suggests that your conscience just wouldn’t let you go through with it.

You don’t want to leave him, but you can’t face a life of (almost) celibacy. So couples counselling seems the obvious answer - or at least an attempt to fix things. After all, you two do seem to communicate fairly well generally.
So for him to refuse that sounds extremely selfish and stubborn. Does he have any idea what this means to you?
Yes, I do think you would have periods of depression if you left things as they are. I also think that one of these days you will probably be tempted by an ‘opportunity’ to have an affair (you may not be seeking one but they can arise when you’re least expecting it) and you’ll be extremely torn if you haven’t fixed your marriage.
And FWIW, (maybe stating the bleedin’ obvious) 1) it’s better to be having sex with the person you live with (or living with the person you have sex with - put it which way you like) than with someone else, and 2) having an affair does not fix your life because emotions get involved and it hurts.

I think Satan has a point - maybe you’re just being too kind to BigD, at your own expense. Anne(onymous)’s “wasted years” comment certainly strikes a chord. And OldBear’s comment about God wanting us to enjoy sex and some of us needing it more than others certainly rings true.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Therese in Heaven said...

Emily,
I can't offer any brilliant advice, but I wish you peace and hope that in your spiritual journey God can give you some answers and comfort you in your struggles.

Old Bear -

Hi CH, perhaps i am just a horn dog who thinks from time to time wiht my lttle head.

But I think God wants us to enjoy sex. We are wired for it. some of us like me(maybe Rob and Anon, and Em too ?) NEED it more than people like you.


When I read this, I actually laughed out loud. Take a peak at his blog. I think he expresses that he NEEDS sex as much as the rest of us, and believes that God wants us to enjoy it, too. In fact, those are pretty strong running themes throughout what he writes....

I would say that neither of those things are what his point was, but he does just fine defending his own views without anyone else's help. :)

11:10 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

Happy Valentines Day Emily! I hope it finds you happier than you have been.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Christian Husband said...

Thanks Therese. While I certainly CAN usually defend myself, I always appreciate backup.

Certainly I believe that God intends us to enjoy sex. He's the one that created it and all that He created is good. He created us with sexual desires for a reason.

But where we disagree is that I do not believe that self-actualization -- getting to always do what you want -- is the key to happiness. It is not a "need." The idea that the greatest good a person can have is the "freedom" to do what they want -- to pursue their own happines -- and that this is the key to all fulfillment and joy is the Big Lie, the pernicious lie. The original lie. The same lie the serpent told Eve -- don't let God tell you that you can't have this because you want it and that should be enough. Getting what you want is good and anyone that tells you different is evil.

Human history is full of evidence of what happens when people self-actualize without restraint, and the corpses are uncountable. Unleashing human desire isn't good because human instinct and nature is evil. Unleashing human desire also doesn't result in happiness or fulfillment because it is never enough. It is salt water. The more you drink the more thirsty you are.

Happiness and joy and fulfillment and peace can only come from conforming your desires to what God wants you to desire. Not to seek to "find yourself" and "express yourself" and to self-actualize, but to lose yourself and deny yourself and to conform to Him. That is the only place joy is found. That is the only place peace is found.

And we can do this and trust it because we know that He has our best interests at heart. Sacrificing your own desires and taking up God's desires for you as your own does not, in this case, necessarily mean celibecy because we KNOW that God created sex and wants us to enjoy it. He created it so that a husband and wife can create that deep, inter-personal bond. And to have fun, too. To Him, a marriage without sex is an aberration if not an outright abomination.

We know He feels this way -- and that He loves us in similar ways in most every issue -- so we don't have to feel that conforming to His will is to deny ourselves all fun. We can trust Him. But still, we have to quiet down our own desperate cries of "I want, I want, I want" and listen. Really listen for what He wants.

I can understand why most of this would be nonsense to most people because this sort of control is impossible in and of ourselves. In our purely human nature we cannot control our desires -- we are slaves to them. Self-actualization isn't freedom, it is slavery to something that is our master. But in Christ we can truly be set free. That empowerment isn't available to anyone else but those given it by Him.

But for us we can and in it we can find peace and contentment. Many Christians still choose not to do so -- and even those that do will always do so imperfectly because we are none of us perfect beings -- but to the extent we do is the extent we find peace and joy and contentment.

8:35 AM  
Blogger oldbear said...

Hi Emily,
Sorry I left this off my first answer.

For Emilys actual request, my suggestion is some variation of Tofu, whereby it is communicated to the BD that
A-The lady needs a sex life, and
B-she NEEDS it with him, and
C-that she needs it more often and more enthusiastically than he has been able to in the past. That leads to the need for

D-that he is supported and communicated with so that he understnds and BELIEVES internally that he is NOT "at fault" or a "BAd lover" for any undersupply of his desire or misunderstandings of Emily's desire he may have had, and that they do not count as marks against his manhood.

THAT is the tough part of the equation, and the diplomacy, tact, nuance, and discretion needed to communicate that without making major boo-boos is a big order.

BUT it can be done.

Physical Intimacy and gentle and then fervered touching, and Sex Toys and Fantasy may be part of the solution, but can only succeed if based on a foundation of committment, work, and devotion to success...for the good of each person, and the good fo the couple too!


Hi CH and Therese,
I am offering my opinion that anyone who can undergo a cessation of the phsyical pain of unrequited physical desire by merely "offering it to god" is not a person with much in the way of physical desire to begin with.

I know sex is farther up the hierarchy of needs than shelter, water, and food. And that under duress it reverts to a want, not a need , but in normal times for some of us it is a NEED nonetheless.

I do agree that total committment to fidelity and rejection of the option of "taking a FB or having a lover" and offering the furstration up as a scrificial offering are good things!

I have practiced them for almost 20 years!

What I vehemently disagree with is the candy coated notion that somehow true faith will make all burdens somewhat easily borne. And that all of us can pretty much elinminate illicit desires by achieveing some sort of grace-state and union with god.

"The temptations of Christ" Ring any bells???

In the end stuff like a hypothtical cheating on a spouse can be avoided not just by reducing the temptation, but also by "Avoiding the near occasion of sin"!!!

In this modern F-ed up world of seperate lives and work place trips it is easy to fall into xheaating traps! Change jobs, dont go out for drinks after work, if you got to, but avoid those kinds of *&^** circumstnaces!

7:30 PM  
Blogger Therese in Heaven said...

Old Bear -
Offering suffering up to God, at least for Catholics, is less about making the pain go away (it doesn't) and more about giving suffering some meaning and united our crosses to Christ's.

There's hopeless suffering, and then there's suffering knowing Our Lord is still in control and can make some good come from everything. And yes, our Lord suffered and was tempted. If He went through it, why wouldn't we? However, He does offer us comfort and peace in our pain. Trusting in God's plan and that He knows what He is doing can provide tremendous comfort and even better, Hope. But you can't trust or hope without first having faith.

I completely concur about avoiding the near occasion of sin. in fact, it is part of the "Act of Contrition." I firmly resolve with the help of Thy Grace to confess my sins, do penance, ammend my life, and avoid the near occasion of sin."

What is difficult sometimes, is being able to recognize what that "near occasion" is.

7:06 PM  
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