Every so often I find myself turning on the tv and watching a show I never intended to watch. Today, it was The Talk and their special guest was Jill Blakeway, an acupuncturist and clinical herbalist. I was going to watch one of the hundreds of shows sitting on my DVR for the past few months. [I just haven’t had time for tv like I used to before the affair.] But then Jill Blakeway caught my attention when she said this:
One in three women, of all ages, reports a lack of interest in sex, and more than 40 million Americans in relationships are having no sex at all. But rather than feeling complacent about it, most couples would like to have that interest back. The desire for desire is a feeling few women forget—or abandon.
Yes! That was me for the past few years before and during my husband’s affair–tired and exhausted, desiring sex but unable to find the energy for it. I would hear statistics that the average married couple is having sex every 4-5 days and think, really? Who?! I wished I was having sex daily but I was so damn tired of keeping our household running that by the time the kids were in bed The Bachelor Season 587 seemed like a better idea. What is her first piece of advice in the book?
Thinking back, every time I did “just do it” with my husband, it felt great… better than great, as amazing as it always had been. The passion wasn’t gone in our marriage but the initiative was gone. My husband’s touch didn’t always feel warm and sensual during the time of his affair and it was easy to dismiss his advances. I felt like he wanted something I couldn’t give him but I didn’t know why or what that was at the time. Hindsight is 20/20. When we did make love, or even have rough sex, it connected us and I wanted more. I would even make advances on him the next night even though we hadn’t had sex in weeks in between. Proving the theory that the more you have sex, the more you desire sex.
Her next piece of advice:
Kissing is the first thing to go in a long-term relationship. Yet, kissing is very sensual and proven to be sometimes more intimate than sex. I admit, I was no longer kissing my husband every day before and during his affair. Despite the fact that before we married I told him that every day we needed to kiss for a minimum of twenty seconds. I saw on Oprah back in 1999 that couples need to kiss for twenty seconds every day to keep the physical connection between each other. I listened to this advice for a few years… and I can’t even defend why we stopped kissing, I mean really kissing, everyday. It’s wrong. In fact, if we french kissed it meant we were going to make love. And I will admit, the first time my husband and I kissed it led to us making love. We had been developing our friendship and relationship for three months before we had the opportunity to kiss. Neither of us planned to have sex that night but once his lips were touching mine we were done. We both laugh because he was pouring me a glass of wine and I was leaning against the cabinets in his kitchen when we first kissed. The kiss lasted two hours. The power of a kiss can change your life.
Reading through the Amazon “Look Inside” the book I discovered something else in Jill Blakeways’s book, Sex Again, which spoke to the why my husband never felt sex with his affair partner was good. She speaks about what makes sex good.
Good sex is about a connection between two people. It is about the mutual flow of energy between partners, with both people giving and receiving it. Good sex comes from and/or takes you toward a state of balanced energy. You can get up to whatever exotic high jinks you like, but without the exchange of energy between partners, sex will never be deeply satisfying. Energetic connection is important, not just to the sexual experience, but also, ultimately, to the relationship itself.
My husband has spoken of how sex with his AP was unfulfilling and empty. He never felt connected to her and he did not feel comfortable touching her in romantic ways. It’s not entirely surprising but one might think that an AP offers a place to be a sexual deviant and fulfill your secret desires. And I never really expected my husband to pursue sex with his AP in a deviant manner because we have always explored sex openly and freely with one another. But you would think that a woman is offering you sex on a regular basis and you are accepting that you might feel good about it. The thing is good sex is more than just spreading your legs and offering it. Good sex involves love and is an expression of love. Good sex is mutual and it’s not just about you or me, it’s about us. Good sex requires both partners to be present in the moment, loving each other and in their head. My husband admits he was never” in the moment” with his AP and imagined me in his head while having sex with her. Jill Blakeway gives advice against having bad sex that I wish my husband had read before his affair:
Nothing good will ever come from sex that is exploitive, abusive, coerced or violent. … Bad sex is sex with an inappropriate partner or in inappropriate circumstances. … None of that will do you any good. And to the degree it creates physical or emotional pain, it can even create problems in physical or mental health, or in the relationship. Bad sex depletes energy.
I hope that anyone out there in a sex-less or depleted sex marriage puts an effort in to recharging their sex life. Making love to your husband is necessary for both partners to feel loved and safe. Good and healthy sex connects our energy with our spouse and connects both partners to their spirituality and place in the universe. When you spiritually feel and understand your place in the universe, you will have a sense of inner peace. If you feel disconnected sexually from your spouse, make the effort and communicate your needs and desires. If there is one thing I could go back in time and change it would be my willingness to discuss my diminished libido with my husband. I don’t know if it would have changed his decision to have an affair but at least I would have been honest.