Anyone emotionally challenged? ;) What’s your experience with it?
I have known for several years that I have a “trouble area” of being an emotional avoider (howwelove.com), even though I am a “secure connector” (the quiz). Because, of a comment in another thread, it made me reevaluate the whole emotional aspect between my husband and I….am I emotionally depriving him? I even asked, “What does healthy emotional connection/intimacy look like the longer one is married?”
That led me to read on this more, I am seeing more and more how this affects me, particularly in marriage and with sex. This leads to my original question… have you experienced this, whether personally or with a spouse? What has it looked like in your marriage and sex life? How have you worked on this area to make it healthier?
Here are some examples of what this has looked like for me:
- The kissing question….. kissing can be too vulnerable, too personal.
- Avoiding sexual acts that stir up negative emotion…. OS to completion and HJ’s.
- Feeling very little emotional connection from sex…. if I’m going to enjoy it, it is going to be about the physical.
- Often bypass foreplay and the “afterglow” (cuddling)….I don’t feel the need for either.
I am sure there’s more, that’s a start that can hopefully help others’ brains start rolling. 🙂
I don’t experience these, but my wife certainly does – I think she might be able to identify with all four of them. This goes against the stereotype that women are always the partner that wants more kissing; more foreplay; more cuddling – but that’s what it is: a stereotype.
The first and best way that I know of to deal with these is to recognize them and talk about them as openly as possible with your spouse (including that it may not fit the ‘stereotype’ that they expected and keep looking for). I don’t always find the word ‘depriving’ to be useful – because it loads all the blame on one person, when this is who they are. They’re not doing this intentionally. That was the big leap for me and now I can at least appreciate that my wife has a different perspective and different needs than I do. In turn, she at least recognizes that I would like more of all of the above.
There may of course be some things you can do to explore the reasons for these, and to perhaps change a little and become more comfortable with these things [and tbc, I am speaking as a spouse who would LOVE changes] but it’s important to also celebrate and value and invest in all the other emotional connections in your marriage.
SC, thanks for sharing on this concept and for opening up about your own personal experience. Hats of to you!
What you explain and how you see it impacting you (4 points so far) make good sense and are helpful in explaining some things. There is a sense in which we of TMB family know you the best of anyone of us! You have shared much of yourself, marriage, and marriage bed and with your wisdom and concern for the rest of us, quite likely have helped each one of us and many of those who no longer participate here with us. We thank you for that!
So as I thank you for your help and commend you for sharing openly with us about this, I also want to assure you (as you know so well) that God is able to help you reach greater wholeness (as we all need) emotionally, sexually, and spiritually, and will bless you and your marriage bed as a result. And along the way, you will learn and grow and continue to be a blessing to many of us too!
It’s easy to feel broken….. to go with #3, my husband has made comments right after sex on how great things were, and how emotionally connected he feels, and I can tell he is seeking to see if I feel the same. I honestly only feel like I got a decent orgasm out of it.
There have been those few times I do get an obvious emotional benefit from it, such as when I have needed comfort or needed reassurance in my beauty/femininity.
Just so people know, I know that sex is beyond the physical. There is always a spiritual aspect to it, and even if I don’t feel the emotion, I am sure it is having some form of emotional impact somewhere underneath it all.
I’m much the same as you, SC
i prefer to see sex as mostly physical and didn’t really like the intimacy as i’m an avoider and i have walls up, i’m very sure it’s from childhood abuse and you can’t just wish that away, it’s ingrained into your nervous system and your soul. I probably would have those tendencies, anyway.
I also don’t like kissing but i have come to appreciate the afterglow and it does make me feel closer to my husband, the longer we go w/o sex, i start putting more emotional walls up or going into my own orbit. Does NOT mean we don’t connect emotionally because we do, it’s just…different. IDK how to explain it.
As far as negative emotions associated with a certain sex act, i don’t push hard to overcome them. I don’t have a negative emotion associated w/oral sex, just do not like him finishing in my mouth but i let him because it isn’t associated with a negative emotion, just a negative “taste”, LOL.
My husband also talks WAY more than i do, i would rather grunt my answer but that is because i am an avoider.
My husband is a Pleaser, for those of you testing out as one. And now that you shared that, I can see that with both of you, @Brynna and @OWM.
I never saw that secure connector quiz until this morning. I was honestly surprised to see how high I rated as a secure connector (93%). It’s easy to focus on our weaknesses and how far we have to go, yet, it’s really such a testament to the work of Christ… and I wonder why I should be so surprised, I’ve put in a lot of hard work, surrendering and dying to myself over the years. We would never be able to minister to the broken, with the grace and love we do, if we didn’t have a secure, strong foundation.
I am a pleaser by nature, according to the quiz. That is somewhat ironic, because I probably would have gone with avoider, and those who know me would probably have said controller. I think that since the questions were largely focused on relationship with spouse, the answer is also somewhat limited to that, maybe rightfully so.
As someone who has been emotionally challenged in areas outside the bedroom, I am having difficulty correlating what you describe as either negative or neutral reactions to sexual acts to my experience. To me, being emotionally challenged was more about not having a full range of emotion, or suppressing emotion. What you describe seems to be more about individual preference or even just individual make up. We all like and dislike different things.
As far as being a secure connector, I’m not sure how that factors in. In any case, given my score, I am far from being a secure connector.
I am not a people pleaser in life. At least, I like to think I’m not, so I was surprised at the quiz results. However, I can quite clearly see how this works in our marriage. I am always seeking to please DH and asking him what I can do for him. However, I have felt resentment because he will never ask me back. And I have felt unappreciated because I put so much effort into things and it appears to me like he does not. However, I know that he does. Also, I will rarely, if ever, tell him exactly what I would like in our MB. He does excellent, he always makes sure I get ‘there’ and he’s good at what he does. So why would I suggest that I would like to try this or that? I feel selfish and ungrateful if I even think of doing it. But, I am thinking on this. I think we will have a discussion on it once DH has time. I would love for him to do the quiz, too.
Thanks for posting this, @SC. Its got me thinking and understanding myself a bit better.