Ok, I know it's been a while since anyone really responded here, and I'm sure that everyone is busy with NYE plans, but I finally just hopped back on and wanted to check in.
Amen to that. I'd like to reclaim the sexuality that was wrung out of me over the decades by an emotionally anorexic man. It would be nice to feel passionate again, and to receive some passion, not just get screwed by a lousy lay who was probably fantasizing about another woman or the porn he watched.
To piggy back on this, I was so incredibly scared that I would never be able to reclaim my sexuality. That I would always be repulsed by physical touch, or even the idea of it.
Turns out all I needed was to sleep with someone who isn't lying to me and leading a double life behind my back!
Honestly, it took me a while to get there though. I just finally slept with someone for the first time 2 weeks ago, and it had been over 3 years for me at that point. I thought that maybe it was a fluke because we had both had a lot of wine, and that maybe the alcohol is what pushed me through. But then I slept with him again a couple of nights ago, having only had 2 glasses over the course of a few hours, and it still was just as good, and I didn't have any adverse reactions to touch or anything like I was afraid I would.
I'm one of those people who just needed a lot of time. I had to really feel it in my body that I was ready. I've only just noticed over the past few months that I've finally started to feel safe in my own skin again. Safe dressing in a way that feels attractive, of even inviting that gaze in at all.
And then the opportunity came around with this guy who I've known for 6 years ish, and who made it very clear that he is attracted to me etc., and when he got more touchy feely at work (touching my arm when he came up to speak to me and letting it linger, that kind of thing) I noticed that it didn't bother me. It felt natural that he would do that, I guess. The advances didn't feel threatening, or aggressive, they just felt... nice.
I'm wondering if any former spouses of SAs have tried dating. What is it like? How do you trust? How do you explain why you aren't married anymore?
I have the unique experience of having worked with this person on and off for years (we're both independent contractors, so it depends on the job), and we worked together approximately 4 months post DDay, so he kind of saw me at my worst. So he knew that our marriage blew up due to infidelity, and I was very, very raw at the time, so I know I wasn't holding it together as well as I would have liked to, which means he saw a very rough-around-the-edges HHADL.
I only recently opened up to him about the sex addiction aspect of it, as we're beginning to date and I felt it relevant to bring up. But I'm also known for being an open book about things. I don't mince words, I do not suffer fools, and I'm not afraid to talk about my traumatic stuff - it actually helps me to just put it out there, otherwise I just feel like there is an elephant in the room and I can't even concentrate because I'm just there staring at the elephant that nobody else sees. I still haven't even scratched the surface on that topic, but he does know that sex addiction was involved at least.
I do think at first, to just say that "my marriage ended due to repeated infidelity" is a good place to start. If you want to make it light, you can phrase it as a joke and say something like, "Yeah, my marriage ended because I didn't like that my husband had girlfriends," or "because I didn't sign up to be a sister wife," or something like that. It's a way of putting it out there without getting down to the nitty gritty of it.
I don't know, I'm very happy that I've had the experience of at least going on a date post the split... even if this goes nowhere, it's nice to have broken through that first barrier. But I'm not gonna lie, I don't think I would have felt as comfortable as I did if it wasn't someone I hadn't already known for so long. The idea of online dating and having to go out with essentially a stranger feels incredibly daunting.
Then again, I'm definitely catching feelings for this guy, and that scares the living hell out of me, too. I think it has been a quicker transition for both of us because we've actually known each other so long, and work together really well, so there is an enhanced feeling of intimacy. I'm trying to stay on top of my feelings and not allow myself to become too vulnerable too fast.
I do think he's a great guy. He has made it very clear that he is interested in me in a way that is more about my intellect, my work ethic, and me as a person and how well we get along... not just about sex and being attracted to me, so that has been very nice. But I don't know if he knew exactly what he was signing up for in dating me... I've put a lot of the pieces back together by now, but I'm still a person who was very, very broken for a long time, and those cracks are always going to show a bit.
I can tell this new guy has a little bit of relationship trauma in his past just based off of a few context clues and subtle hints he has given... I think he's also in the "I don't want to give too much away too fast" phase, so I'm treading lightly there and letting him open up to me in his own time... but I can feel myself keeping him at arm's length, because the inability to know every little thing about him and to use that info to run data and analyze whether or not he is going to hurt me makes me want to run away. I do recognize the absurdity in wanting him to be a fully open book and tell me every little thing, while simultaneously wanting to play all of my own stuff close to the vest and not open up to him.
And I know that's a self-preservation tactic, and I'm working really hard to stay mentally present and just allow myself to sit with the uncertainty and know that everything is going to be ok no matter what, but I also don't want to hurt him because I've still got stuff that needs repair. I don't want to be the woman who won't let anyone in anymore, but it's a very hard habit to break.
It's crazy how these broken people go around breaking other people into bits in a futile attempt to piece themselves back together. Even after everything he put me through, all of the trauma, I can't imagine inflicting that on anyone else.
Anyway, my long-winded musings for the end of 2021. Hope you all have a great night tonight! I will be cuddled up with my kitties under a warm blanket and will probably be asleep by 9 haha. Happy New Year!