Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Fear = Lack of Trust?

I've been thinking about this for a couple of days now. I was trying to get my thoughts in some semblance of order, but that doesn't seem happening. Sometimes when I try to write about things that are confusing me, though, the process of writing it out helps to get it clear. So I thought I'd give that a try. Be forewarned, though: it's entirely possible I might make no sense whatsoever.

It occurred to me after reading something on another sex blog. I can't even remember which one now - I had followed a link from a blog from a blog from a... you get the idea, right? Basically, I was sex-blog-cruising.

I do remember it was written by a lesbian sub, talking about her personal issues and how her "master" (is that even the right word? I don't know, but please don't take offense if it isn't) was helping her to work through them. Trust being one of them.

As I often do, I compared what I was reading to my own marriage. (If there's one thing I've learned, regardless of the dynamics of the specific relationship, there are many things that are common in all relationships.) And the truth is, trust has been a big issue in my marriage as well.

Obviously, the abuse I suffered as a child has a lot to do with that. I learned at a young age that even the people that are supposed to love you and protect you can't always be trusted. And when you learn that kind of lesson at that young of an age, you end up not trusting anybody.

The ironic thing, though? I had no problem trusting him when he was just words on a screen. Yeah, Hubby and I met on the internet, almost exactly a decade ago. (It was late March 1999, to be precise.) Back then, I honestly felt like I could tell him anything. And I never pretended to be something or someone that I'm not... I just felt more comfortable telling him things about me and about my life that I probably wouldn't have felt as comfortable saying to him, had he been in the same room with me.

But now that I look back on it, after his coming to the U.S., our getting married and starting our life together, I started to feel less and less like I could completely be myself around him. I started to build a wall around myself, including my sexuality.

What I don't really understand is why. Why would I do that? Obviously, it wasn't a conscious decision. I've only figured out in the last couple of days that I did it. But what was it that made me feel like I had to hide myself from him?

I wish I knew the answer to that. I feel like, if I knew the answer, it would be the miracle I need to make that wall vanish into thin air. As it is now, I'm using a pencil to break down the mortar and bring that wall down, brick by brick. It's exhausting, it's painful, it's scary, and I wish I could just have it done and over with.

Because it's too important not to. This is an issue which, if left unchecked, I could easily see destroying my marriage. After all, it's not really just about the sex. It's not just about what happens in the bed. It's about what happens in our heads and our hearts, and if I can't trust him enough to be able to tell him that... well, that's just really bad news. Really bad news.

Hell, now that I think about it... I think it might have been the catalyst that set off the events that ended in his having had an affair. Because I remember him drunkenly complaining about it only a few months prior. But that was the one and only time he'd attempted to talk to me about it. He gave up, in a lot of ways.

And yeah, his having had that affair plays a part in my not trusting him. That time of our life nearly destroyed me - literally. Not to sound all "poor me," but I seriously came close to suicide after that happened. I never want to have to go through that again. But I realize that I had an equal share in the problems in our marriage, and I just don't want us to even get to that point ever again... you know? I know it's possible for us to have not just a good marriage, but a great one. And I know that I have just as much responsibility for making that happen as he does. And the fact is, this is important to him.

When we talked about it, he said that sex had started to feel like "work," because he had to be the one to start things every. single. time. And you know what? That's absolutely true. I can't deny it, so I'm not even going to try. The thing is... that's not how I want things to be. So many times I've imagined myself doing something to show him how much I want him... but the thought of actually doing it? Sets me off in a panic attack. Seriously.

I'm that scared of it, that I end up having a panic attack. That's... well... that's just wrong, that's what it is. That's not how a marriage should be, and that's not how I want my marriage to be.

So I work on it. Slowly, but I'm making a concentrated effort here. I just wish I could snap my fingers or wiggle my nose and just be over whatever it is that's holding me back. I'm impatient to have the kind of marriage - and the kind of sex life - that we both want.

But the question I have now is: how do I fix it? If lack of trust on my part is part-and-parcel of my issues in the bedroom, what the hell do I do now? I can't just turn on the trust like it's some lightswitch or something.

If only it were that easy...


  1. Profound questions which strike at the very heart of intimacy. If it's any consolation, you're not alone. While I still struggle to find answers in my own marriage, time I spent with a therapist was and is helpful, if you have the chance to avail yourself. The fact that you see the issue is a great first step. Bonne chance! Gerry

  2. Hah! You have ironic timing, Gerry. Just today I was speaking with someone in a position to put me in touch with a Certified Psychiatric Nurse (they do the therapy here in the UK, mainly) and I agreed to give it a try.

    If it works at all (I had an unfortunate experience with a CPN a few years ago), it'll be good for me all around, but you're absolutely right - it'll probably help me with the issues surrounding my marriage as well.


  3. I can see how you ended up in this rut. He let you down just like you felt your parents did.

    Sex is all about trust. When you strip down to bare flesh and become intimate with your partner you are at your most vulnerable. Therefore you have to trust the person you are with totally.

    You need to discuss your feelings with him, share you worries and concerns and try to work through this barrier that has been created through lack of trust.

    If you can't communicate with each other their are professionals here in the UK who will mediate called Relate. Do you have a similar body over in the US?

    But try to talk first. Good luck!

  4. Suze, we are talking. The thing is, it's hard for me. It literally took me months to work up the courage to bring the subject up in the first place. But now that we've got the subject out in the open, it's becoming easier to continue discussing it.

    And I should have made it more clear - I'm American, Hubby's British, and we USED to live in the US, but now we live here in the UK. I'm up north.

    When the affair first came to light, we tried Relate. They were a waste of SPACE, let alone time. The counselor literally just sat there and stared at us. I don't even think she said two words besides introducing herself. So yeah... not a whole lotta help.

    The thing is, the more I think about things, the more I realize that I started to cut myself off from him a long time before the affair ever happened. And yeah, it affects the way I feel NOW, but since this started before that did, I can't exactly blame that for everything, can I?

    Which is why I think some individual counselling will be a VERY good thing. I need to figure out why I started to build that wall in the first place. It's the only way I'm going to tear it down for good.

  5. thank you for your post ...I know how you are feeling and the the scared emotions that come from it...I too am in the spot where the wife and i dont talk and the distance is so far gone im scared the marriag is too....

  6. We sometimes buil a wall around ourselves to avoid being hurt.

    You had a bad relationship with the very people who are supposed to love and protect you, they let you down.

    Now the temptation is to keep relationships at arms distance to avoid being hurt again. You need to let him in and trust him.

  7. Shadowrock... Thank you for your comment, and I hope you and your wife see some better times soon.

    Suze, I know I need to trust him. I guess part of this is that I honestly didn't realize I'd cut him off until this week - literally. I had an epiphany after reading that blog post, and now it's all hitting me at once. So it's kind of blind-siding me, ya know? But I'm determined to work on it. I'm just impatient. I wish there WAS a switch I could just flip and have it all over and done with. I want it NOW! *lol*


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