11 February 2013


Amazing Art Credit
I've had boundary thoughts floating around in my brain for weeks now.  But I haven't been able to form a coherent thought process.  Marlee wrote a post about detaching and I felt like finally in my comment on her post I was able to spit something out.  So I'll give a little backround, and then paste the comment below.  It's nothing eloquent, but you get what you pay for around here. 
At the first of the year Pete was on shaky ground. I was a little bit in the dark about exactly how shaky, but I knew I felt uneasy and disconnected from him emotionally.  Up to this point, we had been trying a method for nurturing our sexual relationship which included sex two predetermined nights a week.  On Sunday night, we each chose a night.  This had been working for awhile, but when addiction started creeping back in I began to feel confused about our intimacy.  I thought about it for several days, and one morning after a long and heartfelt prayer I scribbled the following words on a piece of paper. 
"I want a sexual relationship free of lust driven addiction.  It may never be perfect, but it can at least be free of porn.  I want a sexual relationship free of pornography. "
That was good enough, but I am not a woman of few words so I scrawled a bit more.
"This "2x/week sex nights" is meant to help us establish a healthy sexual relationship, but we can't do that on a faulty foundation.  I need to feel safe.  I need to be confident sexually, to be sure I am not just being your drug, giving you your fix.  We can't use sex to make things better.  Things have to be better first."
I didn't give Pete the paper, but I told him in as many words and he responded well. 
That's the background. Here is my comment on Marlee's post.
I can totally relate to this, except with the roles reversed. For so long, Pete told me his feelings in a way that I felt guilted and manipulated. So then he quit telling me his feelings altogether. But I didn't like that either. I've learned that it is really important for him to share his feelings (ideally in a non-manipulative, but honest and sincere way.) And the way I detach is by hearing his feelings without making it personal to me, or letting it influence me or make me feel guilty.

So we are currently in a period of sexual abstinence and the other night Pete said to me "This is really hard for me." He said more, but you get the point. He said it without any intention of trying to get me to change my mind, or feel badly about what I'd initiated, or apologize or pander. He just said it. And MIRACULOUSLY I was able to listen without doing any of those things. I didn't get defensive, I didn't argue my position, I just heard him. And even understood with a little dose of compassion. "I'm sure it IS hard. Thanks for being patient."

I know that we are both still missing the mark sometimes, but it was definitely a milestone for us.


  1. #yeahbuturawesomeatposts. I read this comment when you wrote it, thinking that it deserved its' own post and, voilá, here it is!
    I see so much great stuff in it! First, I think it's awesome that you recognize the desirability of a lust free sexual relationship, you want it, and you are holding out for it. That is SO worth whatever sacrifice, and Pete is going to thank you later. Second, there is SO much hope for a relationship wherein the partners will listen patiently to each other. Pete deserves as much credit as you do on that, from the sound of it. Taking lust out of the equation WILL free you both to achieve a level of intimacy that is so amazingly awesome! Anyway, I would have never believed how much better it would be in recovery from lust, and I truly believe thay you are headed there. Be patient, be loving, but be firm in maintaining your resolve to do what is right. You are doing really great, Jane!

  2. I also appreciated your comment on the other blog, and I love that you are taking care of yourself!

  3. Creating boundaries is by far one of the hardest things to do, well, sticking to them is the hardest. Followed by detaching with love, I still struggle with that one. I tend to want to throw up my walls and I have to be careful not to detach for to long too. It's been a long time learning and I'm still a work in progress. My best to you both.

  4. Man, Jane, I just love you so much :-) Keep up being awesome :-) I learn something from everything you write . ..

  5. I appreciated this so much! I stole your boundary to put in my arsenal if this comes up in the future in my marriage. I am so proud of you for staying strong and sticking to what is right for you.

    Love you:)

  6. Add me to the list of admirers and lovers. (not lovers...people who love you....whatever. I'm not creepy. :)) I have such a hard time explaining this to Husband, and I don't know how to articulate it into a clear boundary. Because right now it's just a feeling. I won't have sex when I feel like him his fix. But he doesn't know what that means and the lack of clarity is...not better.

    Anyway, point is I hope it brings you more and more healing and peace.

  7. Jane,

    I'm so glad that you found some clarity. I had a similar moment the other day when my husband was dishing out some of his stress and I was able to listen without offering solutions, minimizing the issue, or judging his actions. I asked a few questions along the way and by the end of our conversation he came around to his own conclusions/solutions and he was at peace. It was a pretty neat experience.