Thursday, January 1, 2009

Entering Sobriety (also known as "Becoming Scandinavian")

I've been here before. Upset yet calm, angry yet sober, sad but still productive.

This is how sobriety feels. You don't let your emotions rule your behavior. You choose your behavior. You rational mind is more in control of your behavior than your emotions are. In neurology-speak, one could explain it as letting the frontal lobe higher executive functioning override the primitive-amygdala impulse.

I am becoming Scandinavian!

God forbid.

I am becoming more able to do what the author in 2 Cor 10:5 advises: "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Every thought really means every emotional response if you understand cognitive psychology well.

I had an argument with the wife last night. She quoted some article about a man whose wife did not want to have sex at 5 months of pregnancy. Then she said that the wife had a C-section for all three of her births, so in total, there was no sex for him 21 months for each birth. She said that he never complained to his wife but supported her. Then she concluded by saying that he has not masturbated since 1998.

I responded by saying that just because his wife did not want to have sex or he did not masturbate does not mean that he had to go "sexless" for 21 months. There is a lot that they can still do as a couple, for instance, the wife could give him manual penile stimulation.

She started to react at that point, and the rest of the conversation was emotionally-guided rather than rational, and because of her anxious reactions, she never heard my point. I stormed out of the room and went to sleep somewhere else.

I am very proud of myself. I did not fantasize, I did not go onto the internet for comfort or distraction.

I know she is going through old sexual trauma issues. I'm the one who pushed for and found her a very good new therapist for her to work on that. But it can't all be about her and her discomfort. There is a great deal of discomfort on my part to have her want physical-but-not-sexual closeness. And when she spites my discomfort of going sexually sober (because she is so reactive over my wanting sex between us), I feel like there is no point to be married to her.

Don't worry, I'm not considering divorce. I am just processing -- big difference. The latter is an extremely healthy thing to do.

But I am sober. And I am not masturbating. The ache is getting less and less. I am beginning to feel what someone said to me earlier this week, "I don't know why but it felt like a joke to want to go and masturbate after that fight with my wife."


  1. Ok, I'm trying not to comment on EVERY one of your posts...but I must add something here.
    We have a similar experience, yet again. My wife was sexually taken advantage by her older brother, not to the point of intercourse...but she grew up with all the shame of it and had a very negative view of sex. This issue is not a good issue to match with a husband who struggle with his sexuality as well. Funny how God likes bringing these issues together. Was SSA not enough of a refining process for us? Seriously...but I thank God that this is not the case anymore. My wife doesn't have those same negative feelings regarding sex...she just isn't bothered by it now. But does like the feeling of intimacy, but often just feels used by me...I hate that feeling. And I think that is why we're currently not having sex. Arg!

  2. I have found that for married SSA men, many of the wives have come from situations where heterosexual men have intimidate them for some reason -- sexual abuse, control, looking at other women, etc. In a sense, because we are less demanding sexually on our wives as SSA men, it gives them some measure of comfort. I don't know if this applies to every SSA male married couple, but I'm seeing a pattern.

  3. i am at a point where all of this just brings up alot of pain that I am trying to keep at bay. This is just so much of what I am dealing with. My wife doesn't want to have sex with me, she was abused as a young girl, I hid my SSA and masturbation from her for years. Now I have told her there light at the end of this tunnel?

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    There IS a light at the end of this tunnel. Don't despair. If you click on my profile, there is an "email" link which you can send me an email. I've enabled it just for you. After you've contacted me, I'll disable that feature again.

  5. show me the light man!