No Desire This particular blog is especially hard for me to write as it is something I am still working through and it feels very raw to me. However, after reading many of the comments in the Community Forums on the Affair Recovery website I recognize the importance of speaking out. My main goal of this particular piece is for those of you also struggling with this issue to know you are not alone and there is hope. In my last blog ("Acceptance") I mentioned being treated for PTSD, something I didn’t even know I had until recently. All I knew was that part of me was shut off. I was still me but a lesser version of me. My ability to feel was muffled in a sense. I felt this even before my husband disclosed his sex addiction to me. Before disclosure, my intuition was telling me that something was “off” about my husband but as he continued to lie, mainly through omission, I began to trust myself less and less. I actually began to think I was going a little crazy. I grew up in a lonely, neglectful home and have been told all of my life that I am too emotional and too dramatic. I have had multiple traumas affect me, some of them big and some of them small. Why do I bring all of this up? I brought this into my marriage not knowing it. Whenever my husband would tell me the opposite of what my intuition was telling me, I began to shut down. 7 years later, I found myself unable to be sexually intimate with him. I began to only have sex with him out of my “duty” as a wife. I began to cringe and tense up when he would touch me or kiss me. What was wrong with me!?! I love my husband and we are great friends but I would have been just fine if we could have the marriage without the sex. After disclosure, which was very traumatic for me, I did what I had always done and I stuffed all of the terrible emotions inside of me not knowing how to deal with them. I felt horrible physical pains in my stomach area, unexplained shaking and trembling, and tightening of the chest on a regular basis. I began going to my therapist who specializes in the area of addiction and trauma recovery. He helped me understand that there wasn’t anything wrong with that little girl who wanted to talk about what happened. That little girl just wanted to connect and when the pain was too much she coped with it in the best way she could. My therapist began doing tapping exercises with me and brain spotting, similar to EMDR. They are body awareness exercises designed to help me feel the pain and process it in a different, more positive way instead of feeling it and stuffing it in. Multiple trauma equals multiple triggers. I can trigger trauma in my body without even thinking of a single thing. This week I have been really focusing on pressing into the pain instead of scrambling to stuff it or make it go away. To my relief, I didn’t crumble up and die. The pain in my stomach felt similar to birthing contractions and was extremely painful but it went away after I did the exercises prescribed by my therapist. This is the first week since disclosure I have slept through the night without the help of a sleep aide! Just recently, God has given me a friend who struggles with the exact same thing. To my advantage, she is further along in the process and I can tell you from her experience that we can turn that part of us back on! It just takes time, practice and a lot of patience both from you and your spouse. If you too are struggling with this I want to tell you there is hope! I believe it and am seeing results in myself even though they are small right now. There is a great audio resource on the site called "Rekindling Desire After an Affair". It has an audio recording of Rick Reynolds interviewing Nancy Houston, LPC, who is an expert in sex therapy. I want to encourage you to find a therapist in your area who specializes in this. I also want to encourage you to reach out and find somebody you can talk to who understands. Find a support group or open up the lines of communication on the AR Community Forums if you are a member to see if anybody else is struggling with this. You are not crazy, you are not alone and you are not broken. It takes time and a lot of work but I am willing to work through the pain to get there. I don’t want to be partially healed, I want to be fully healed and thriving. I believe with all of my heart that this is God’s plan and his plan is always better than my own.