While I was away she had several people flirt and actually try to seduce her. She behaved though. One was a bit interesting to her and she brought up the idea to me when I got to the festival. She wondered if opening up our relationship to have affection (but not sex) with other people might help our lack of a sex life. She said it might help to stimulate what feels frozen in her and it might help to get those feelings back with me. I took it all the wrong way and after we parted I got angry, I kept to myself and yelled and processed and cried. I didn't want to have a fight with her, so I processed all this on my own, the smart thing. I was driving myself nuts with thoughts like "Why does she want someone else and not me?" "Why do we have to be messed up? Why did her abuse take our love life away from us?" "What if she can't have that with me?" I was angry at myself and the people hitting on her and with her at some level. I let myself feel anger, I usually cant feel that. I screamed til my throat hurt. I was glad I didnt just go to her and cry because we usually have the pattern of her shutting down, me crying and her shutting down more. I'm glad we broke that pattern this time.
I calmed down and was okay, then when she got home she started talking about it. We were both in okay moods so I was very glad to talk about it in a positive place. I had taken what she said too seriously. She suggested thinking about that as an option to help our bed death, and I took it as an all out desire for others over me on her part. She says that she really does want to have our love life back and she's just about willing to do anything to fight lesbian bed death for us. She doesn't want to leave me or cheat on me. She wants to spend her life with me :) She just suggests we consider everything and keep communicating. I asked if we could just both start therapy before we think about more radical options like that.
Then we hit on a BIG realization. She has always wondered why I am more of the jealous type. It bothers me if someone flirts or she flirts back. I bristle up even though I know she is faithful and won't do anything. I really get hurt and insecure if she says she is attracted to someone. She doesn't even realize she is flirting and enjoys the attention she gets from others. So this week she realized she has a negative association with affection, not just sex. SHe shut down sexually from the memory of abuse years ago....which caused me to overreact and freak out due to my own issues from emotional abuse in my childhood. I don't quite have all the tools I need to process my own emotions, so I've subjected vicki to more than I should have.
Her negative association with simple affection, even just light kisses and stroking hair, comes from a pattern established early in our relationship. I started getting upset about her shut down, so when I only got a little bit of affection I would miss more, get scared and insecure and cry. If I initiated light affection and got no response I'd have the same reaction, like "Ah! We can't even do this, besides no sex! What's wrong with me???" So she associated the little bit of affection she could give with my breakdown. The breakdowns are really uncomfortable, who wants a breakdown, and she would feel inadequate and sad, so she now totally physically freezes and is unable to give me simple stuff.
So we both have issues we need to work on before we can work on "us". I had a therapy session that I was really looking forward to today, but I got the times mixed up and ended up being late, only caught the last ten minutes of it. We talked just enough to get me really nervous then sent off. It's frustrating. I started to bring this up to my therapist but she got a very quick fragmented summary before she told me that my partner's idea is bullshit and if she wants to leave she should just say so instead of blaming me for problems. That made me very insecure! She says I divert my energy into the relationship more than staring myself down and figuring myself out. She says my enmeshed abusive family life carried into an enmeshed relationship.
Gah! I wish it had been longer than 10 min to explain us more and I wish that my partner wasnt working two doubles for the next two days. But then, one of the major issues my therapy is stressing is for me to learn to sit with my own emotions and deal with them, eh?
Why is this so scary? My partner says she wants to work through this and spend her life with me. Why does what my therapist say sound so theratening? What if my partner doesn't end up going to therapy for herself? Can my partner work through her own things and feel sexual and affectionate with me again? Can I work through myself to be okay with wherever we end up? What if my partner wants to leave and just doesn't know it? haha, I hate insecurity.
If you've read through this thank you so much for getting through a very long post!