The "S" word: Intimacy and Recovery

5 years ago

For those of you who are related to us, look away now.  Trust me. This could fall under the T.M.I. category.

I promised I wouldn't discuss politics, (yet), so here goes sex. This is pretty personal shit and so if you don't comment on it, I am going to feel like I've said too much. And then I will die. So please, don't kill me and freaking say something.

This isn't something I discuss with anyone, my sponsor or even my friends really. So it makes perfect sense that I would put this onto the internet. Right? You have no idea how lost I am in this department. But if I ask around to other marriages, I think am not alone.

Photo by Tobias M. (Flickr)

I have always been a yes girl when it comes to sex. Because sex and love have, for me, been the same. I logically know that this isn't true. But couple my need to be liked, with some booze or drugs, and you get yourself a girl that will go all of the way. Because I always felt that if you want me in bed, then you must want me and I must be good enough. Once upon a time, I put out, my friends. Before I was married, I put out quite a bit. And now that I look back, it was a product of my alcoholism and my codependency. Plus, I really like sex. It is fun right?

This followed me into my marriage. And I felt this same need to be liked and accepted from Bob. He was more than happy to be the guy that made me feel liked. But after Bob and I were married a few years and the honeymoon was over, the sex died down. You know, every day, five times a week, three times a week, once a week, once every two weeks, and so on and so on. Then almost never. I couldn't figure out what was going wrong with ME. Being me, of course, I felt unloved.

Then the kids, jobs, being tired, all of the things that you might hear other couples say, started happening and we just weren't making time for sex anymore. Not to mention, there was the PTSD monster that I didn't know existed, living with me. I had no idea.

But I missed sex. I missed being wanted and I missed feeling loved. Because I couldn't find love in the everyday things like, eating dinner, going for walks, or just hanging out. I wanted sex because I confused it for love. The intimacy of it was what made me feel worthy. If no one wanted me, then what value did I have?

I spent years thinking that the lack of sex in my marriage was my fault. I got too fat, I was no good, I didn't look like a porn star. I was undesirable. I held (and hold) huge resentments about not being wanted. I was like, "I am down for anything dude, are you crazy?" It made no sense to me.

I would listen to other women say stuff like, "I told him we could have sex for a week if he cleaned the garage." or "I get so sick of him asking me for sex, and me feeling guilty for refusing." What? That shit didn't happen in my house. And I felt awful because of it.

I learned in therapy, that our lack of intimacy could be because I am too controlling. And motherly. No one wants to have sex with a controlling, bitchy mother. Unless that is your fetish thing, but I am not married to a man like that. And I'm not into that shit. Like I said before, I run stuff here. I have to and really have always had to. So this role, although perfect for a control freak, is a role that someone had to take to make stuff happen around here. I was allowed it, and punished for it.

Then something magical happened. Drugs. Cocaine and meth do wonders for your sex life. Well... except when you lose your house, business, and almost everything else. But for me, to have that attention, what seemed like love, that was the most attractive thing that meth did for me. It made me feel wanted and loved by a man again. It made me feel sexy, and in control and all of the things I imagined other wives felt because their man wanted them. And I was willing to throw everything away, just to feel that.

And then of course, there is the fact that I am a drug addict. So then I was doing it because I wanted to stop feeling like I did when I wasn't doing it. It was a big, snowball mess. Bob and I fed off of each other in such a toxic, sick way. This is a very horrific disease, addiction is. It comes in all forms and makes you do awful things.

So when I said goodbye to meth for good, I knew that I was also going to be saying goodbye to the sex life that came with it. I think that there are people out there who relapse because of this fact alone. Going from being wanted, back to unwanted is sad. It is hard to imagine that sex will ever be the same again. And to be completely honest (and why stop now) I am not sure it ever will be.

There are so many factors in our marriage that are struggling at the moment, this one is on the back burner. Because of his illness, medications and here we are again, the kids, the school, the stress of life. All of that together really change things. I believe we will get our grove back someday. But for now, I am just getting more recovery under my belt and focusing on me.

Sex and drugs are so tied together for us, that it is scary to go there. And since you are asking, we can do it, but it just isn't the same. And it is always a trigger. It is always a reminder of getting high and locking the door. We have gotten past a lot so far, so I think we will get past this.

Okay, if you know me personally and see me on the street, let's pretend I never said any of this, cool? And let's pretend you don't read my blog. Let's just keep this life and my real life separate. That way I can be honest without feeling like a goofball.

I think this is important to talk about, especially for couples who used, and recover together. Because so many things in the relationship change. Sex being a big one. I really feel like I've just shown you my underwear drawer.

Betsey DeGree

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