Sunday, August 23, 2009

5 weeks to go!

47 weeks down and five to go. And, truth be told, it's getting harder. I am no longer "standing still in stasis" but am now seeing the end, thinking about what I will say, looking forward to new discussions, and with them, the chance for new emotional and physical intimacy.

And with that anticipation, I have to try all the harder to bite my tongue!

So I am working hard not to think about it.

Things were really good between Susan and me yesterday. The time would have ben so perfect to at least tentatively broach the topic. But then my silly vow reared its ugly head again, and I shut up.


In my minds eye, everything would be "happily ever after" once the year was up.

In reality, I can imagine her saying, "well, yes, I do have some issues there. And I need to work on them. So let's not have sex for a few months while I process the whole thing..."

In the good news department, Sue was being SO positive yesterday, and it was SO nice. And she was pointing out to me the importance of looking on the bright side of life, which was a bit of role reversal for us -- and a welcome one at that!

So perhaps some seeds that I've been planting over the last few years and few months are starting to sprout.

And maybe it will be the same with our sex life: the seed gets planted; tended; watered, and then at long last, a sprout comes up... and then a few years later, some fruit!

Will my year of celibacy be the end of this process -- the pruning just before the picking of the fruit?

Or is it more like merely tilling the soil in preparation for planting the seed?

Realistically, I am sorry to say I suspect it is more the latter rather than the former.

Some not-quite-random thoughts for the day:
You can't change someone else. A person has to want to change themselves.
Change is slow. Change is hard. That's why it's so difficult to lose weight, to take up (and keep up!) exercise, to quit smoking.
But change is possible.

"Neurons that fire together, wire together." -- this is the source of both our problem, and its solution. As a sexual abuse victim, Sue's neurons for sex, pleasure, pain, love, hate, fear and disgust all fired and wired together at a tender age.

"If men want women to want sex as much as they do, they must make sure that women enjoy it as much as they do." -- True, I'm sure, but only part of the problem with me and Sue. I don't think that it's the pleasure that's the problem, but the pain. More pleasure won't mask or erase the pain. Somehow those negative associations need to be erased independently. That is something that I can do little to nothing to influence. It's up to Sue and, if she choses, a good counsellor and/or support group.

I wonder if my silent vow of celibacy will have made it easier or harder for Sue to un-link those neurons that fired and wired together so many years ago. Sure, her life will have been easier, not worrying about me pestering her about sex. But that might have helped to make her mind associate in a different way: Sex/incest/dad/family/pain/bad; Mark/husband/celibate/family/comfort/good.

Of course, I would like her to be able to take sex out of the first paradigm, and put it into the second. But my being celibate with her may make it harder, not easier, for her to associate positive sexual feelings with me.

Perhaps -- and I am only speculating here -- my celibacy is unhelpful to her in the same way that staying away from a horse that you've just fallen off is an unhelpful way of preventing a fear of falling off horses.

On the other hand, perhaps the core issue here isn't sex, but power. And maybe my silent celibacy has helped make Sue feel empowered and confident in herself, and in our relationship.

I wonder if I will ever know the answers to all these questions?

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