intimacy vs sex

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intimacy vs sex

Postby odat12 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:47 pm

Hi all,

I'm a newcomer to AA. Although I've been sober a couple months, I've only recently begun attending AA. 6 months ago I moved in with my boyfriend after dating for a year. I've been feeling super -guilty because I don't work, and now I'm an alcoholic and the doctor is throwing all these diagnoses at me (most I'm even sure I believe in). I've actually been attending Al-Anon for the past 8 years due to relationships with alcoholics, and it wasn't until recently that I've acknowledged my own problem.

Anyhow, pertaining my current relationship, I'm feeling horrible guilt over my lack of sex drive and I seem to be so irritated with absolutely everything my boyfriend says or does. I think we've had sex once or twice since I've been sober. I know it bothers him even though he hasn't come out and said anything about it. The attraction just isn't there especially with him being so annoying to me. My ideas of sex have seemed to change and I can't seem to wrap my head around having sex for sex sake.

I worry tremendously that we're not good for each other but I think this might be my mind obsessing over anything it can find. I'm just not happy these days and im trying so hard not to be snappy with him. I want a relationship based on love and intimacy. Lately I can't even respond when he tells me he loves me. I don't even know what love is anymore. I try my best to be as open and honest with him as possible. Time just seems to be moving at a snails pace.



Thanks for listening
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:21 am

I think this might be my mind obsessing over anything it can find.


Exactly. You already know the problem. Books like A new earth and Power of Now will take you beyond. There is a chapter "Enlightened Relationship" that is part of Power of now goes deep into relationship. It will help you grow closer or apart. Which ever way you go, you will be fine.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby Brock » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:21 am

The book speaks about it a little bit, as you probably know when it was written it was all about men, as if women didn't drink, but where it says that booze caused men to want more, no doubt that applies to women as well. It's from the chapter 'The family afterward' and says -
...      A word about sex relations. Alcohol is so sexually stimulating to some men that they have over-indulged. Couples are occasionally dismayed to find that when drinking is stopped the man tends to be impotent. Unless the reason is understood, there may be an emotional upset. Some of us had this experience, only to enjoy, in a few months, a finer intimacy than ever. There should be no hesitancy in consulting a doctor or psychologist if the condition persists. We do not know of many cases where this difficulty lasted long.

Also this topic has come up here a few times in the past, I had a look, and this thread seems to address the question quite well - viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10867

I think this will sort itself out, your general unhappiness has me more concerned, and I hope you are moving along in the steps, because that is where the relief is found. Please feel at home here, you can say or ask anything, or just let us know how you are progressing.
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby odat12 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:40 am

Thank you both
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby Noels » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:02 pm

Hi Odat, I would suggest counselling urgently or it could be your hormones interfering. If hormones some blood tests can be done and the hormones can be sorted out. I don't recall seeing your age but I had a slight hormone dysfunction at 21 so age doesn't really seem to matter where our hormones are concerned. The lack of sex-drive may not be the biggest issue right now but the fact that you seem to be unable to stand your boyfriend near you could indicate a problem. Combine the two and I don't see a happy, healthy, satisfying or successful relationship. Unless this can change much damage and heartache for the both of you could be very close in the near future.
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby Patsy© » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:07 am

Anyhow, pertaining my current relationship, I'm feeling horrible guilt over my lack of sex drive and I seem to be so irritated with absolutely everything my boyfriend says or does. I think we've had sex once or twice since I've been sober. I know it bothers him even though he hasn't come out and said anything about it. The attraction just isn't there especially with him being so annoying to me. My ideas of sex have seemed to change and I can't seem to wrap my head around having sex for sex sake.

I worry tremendously that we're not good for each other but I think this might be my mind obsessing over anything it can find. I'm just not happy these days and im trying so hard not to be snappy with him. I want a relationship based on love and intimacy.


Hi odat,

The above describes a newly sober untreated alcoholic perfectly. We come into AA filled with shame, guilt and remorse, anxious, irritable, discontent and our relationships are usually hanging by a thread! We are desperate to feel better and obsessing over every thing is actually quite normal for the newly sober alcoholic. I would strongly suggest picking up the phone and calling some AA members from your home group and just share with them about how you are feeling. (If you don't have a home group and phone numbers, Now is the time to get them.)

There is nothing wrong with you, you are right where you are suppose to be. When I was new I too thought that things would go right back to where they were before I drank, and I honestly believed that. Well, some wonderful AA member shared with me that going back to the person I was before I drank...IS the person who became an alcoholic.

I would strongly suggest that you get a Sponsor and begin the 12 steps. In my own experience, I obsessed over everything when I first got sober. I worried about people, places and things constantly. I had the mind of an alcoholic, I couldn't focus, I couldn't retain what I was reading and I simply didn't know what the next right thing was to do.

Wanting a relationship that is based on love and intimacy begins with our own insides, doing the inside work, cleaning our own side of the street being able to even understand what a relationship is. If I couldn't even recognize what a healthy relationship was, how could I expect to have one? For myself, I had to develop a relationship between the God of my own understanding and myself First... that was and is the most important relationship that this drunk will ever have. A good Sponsor can help you to do that.

There is a solution for all that confusion, anxiety, feeling less than, worry, guilt and shame....and its to find an AA member who has been through the 12 steps (The Program of Recovery) and begin your own Recovery, one step at a time, one day at a time.
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby odat12 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:47 am

Thank you Patsi.

I went to my meeting this morning and shared for the first time. I bawled my eyes out the entire time but I made myself share because I knew I needed to. Sponsorship is on my list to do and I found myself listening to people today with thoughts of who to ask. I am reading the Big Book and following along on some things I've heard through the forum and the meetings.

I'm so scared to share because I can't seem to stop crying. It's been a week of just constant breakdowns. I want to say its been the worst week of my life but as I write down resentments, a list of how my life is unmanageable, and things I'm not proud of doing while drinking, I'm pretty sure this is not the worst even if it feels like it right now.
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby Patsy© » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:53 pm

odat12 wrote:Thank you Patsi.

I went to my meeting this morning and shared for the first time. I bawled my eyes out the entire time but I made myself share because I knew I needed to. Sponsorship is on my list to do and I found myself listening to people today with thoughts of who to ask. I am reading the Big Book and following along on some things I've heard through the forum and the meetings.

I'm so scared to share because I can't seem to stop crying. It's been a week of just constant breakdowns. I want to say its been the worst week of my life but as I write down resentments, a list of how my life is unmanageable, and things I'm not proud of doing while drinking, I'm pretty sure this is not the worst even if it feels like it right now.


Hi Odat,

Its great that you are listening to people with hopes of finding a sponsor. I would suggest this, make sure who ever you choose to ask to sponsor you, has been through the 12 steps of Recovery and has a sponsor of their own...and preferably, they ought to be Smiling :D
Don't be afraid to ask if they have been through the 12 steps, this is your Recovery and you have the right to know that who you trust with that process..... knows what they are doing :)

Its good that you shared for the first time this morning and its ok to cry, cry all you want, its healing to cry. Did you get phone numbers? That is vital, because when feeling lost, lonely, anxious, irritable, sad or just plain confused...... we have many AA members who have been right where you are at, and they can help you to stay sober, stay in this one day, in this one moment....all you have to do, is pick up the phone and call.
I would suggest waiting until you get a face to face Sponsor before you begin the 4th Step. And a good Sponsor can help you with the first 3 steps also.

Trust me, nothing you have done is the worst, even though it does feel like it right now.... its NOT.
When we first get to AA, we all think we are the worst and we have done the worst.... there are those who can top anything that you and I think that we have done that bad! And God Bless them all!

When you join an AA home group (nearest to where you live) you will learn one day at a time that you fit right in, those AA members will understand you from the inside to the outside... because WE ARE YOU :) They will get to know you and you will get to know them. There is nothing in the rooms of AA like the love one alcoholic has for another.

There will come a time when you will be deeply grateful for those AA group members.... because We are always there for one another....no matter what :)

Don't be too picky with who you ask to sponsor you.....the only thing that you need to be picky about ....is making sure that they have been through the 12 steps with a sponsor of their own.

You will be ok, trust me....you are taking the actions necessary to stay sober and to change the person you brought through those doors of AA. Pretty soon the tears will turn to laughter...and what a gift that is :) Keep coming, you are so worth it!
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby Noels » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:34 pm

Hi Odat,

Anyhow, pertaining my current relationship, I'm feeling horrible guilt over my lack of sex drive and I seem to be so irritated with absolutely everything my boyfriend says or does. I think we've had sex once or twice since I've been sober. I know it bothers him even though he hasn't come out and said anything about it. The attraction just isn't there especially with him being so annoying to me. My ideas of sex have seemed to change and I can't seem to wrap my head around having sex for sex sake.

I worry tremendously that we're not good for each other but I think this might be my mind obsessing over anything it can find. I'm just not happy these days and im trying so hard not to be snappy with him. I want a relationship based on love and intimacy. Lately I can't even respond when he tells me he loves me. I don't even know what love is anymore. I try my best to be as open and honest with him as possible. Time just seems to be moving at a snails pace.


I haven't read the other posts (typical alcoholic - we only read half way through or skim over them) but id like to assist by giving my personal feeling/idea relating to sex vs intimacy. I also remember you mentioned earlier that you require a relationship based on love and intimacy. I would usually not share on something this personal but i'll make an exception today to try and assist.

Love have many different aspects and faces i.e there are different kind of love. For instance, I love my son dearly - would give my life to protect him - BUT I definitely don't want to be intimate with him. I love my animals and will kill if someone deliberately hurt them BUT I don't want to be intimate with them (eeuw!!! even the thought makes me want to vomit. I love our clients to bits (some have been with us for close to 20 years) BUT I don't want to be intimate with them. I love my ex-husband AS A FRIEND BUT I most definitely don't want to be intimate with him ..... and so the list continues ....

So loving another person - like your boyfriend - should not fall under any of the above "loves". The feeling you have for that particular person is totally different to any of the feelings above.


Love for that special someone in your life is automatically smiling when you think of that person. Feeling a warmness inside (your heart) when you think of that person. Heart beating just that little bit faster when you receive a text or a phone call from that special someone. Wondering what that person's doing at least once during your day - usually with a smile on your face. Noticing something while you're shopping, at a fair, reading a magazine, etc, that reminds you of that person. Feeling excited when you know that person should be home any minute. Wearing pink for instance because you know that person likes seeing you in that colour, etc, etc, etc,.

Now some will say that it sounds like "obsession" more than love. Those will be the people who have never had the opportunity to really be in love.

Intimacy - to me intimacy is not necessarily "sex". To me intimacy is everything described above AS WELL AS being able to discuss anything with that particular person but not only being free to discuss anything with that person but also to have that person discuss anything with you. Intimacy to me is knowing that we are two completely different individuals with completely different interests (sometimes) yet feeling complete when you are together. Like nothing else really matters. When your mind and being becomes quiet although active as you participate in the discussions but being comfortable with whatever is taking place at that moment. The feeling that everything is well although you know logically that it is not. Intimacy is having no secrets. Trusting completely. Respecting each other and each other's differences and actually seeing beauty in those differences. WANTING to be with that person rather than needing to be with that person. If you experience all of this believe me, sex wont be a problem whatsoever.

There are also different kinds of sex in a relationship which I am not going to go into on this forum but which is pretty "normal" and necessary in a relationship to keep the passion alive. Making love is different to sex for instance. Making love is all of the above AS WELL AS total surrender into the other person. Again .... if you have all of the above with your boyfriend there can not possibly be a problem.

I do believe we all go through "dry periods" caused by stress and other factors and circumstances in our daily lives so apart from what I suggested in my previous response I would suggest thinking back to how you felt when you met him six months ago. If the feeling is not the same or stronger well ..... perhaps a good open and honest talk between the two of you may be necessary.

And to close ... these simple but true words .... "Every person wants to be loved BUT when they find love they tend to forget to look after that love".

Your relationship CAN get back on track IF that is what is supposed to be but please ..... don't make yourself OR him unhappy any further by not talking about it openly and honestly. You mentioned that you are unemployed and just recently became sober. Please make sure that you are not just holding onto him because you think you don't have another choice.

BOTH you and him deserve more than that.

All the best,
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby BrendaChenowyth » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:23 am

Please take care of yourself. I can see myself in this scenario and I see myself drinking in order to make myself want to have sex with him *just because I don't want to end up alone*. I don't want you to do that. The most important thing right now is getting a sponsor (can I suggest someone much older) and working through some stuff.

You may not have the emotional energy just now to sustain a relationship that already is not going well. Don't blame your lack of sex drive or his annoying personality quirks on your abstinence from alcohol,because you will be pulled right back to it. "If I just drink, this stuff won't bother me". More than likely, who you are as an alcoholic found something you needed in him, but now that you're sober, you aren't looking for or getting the same things from him, because you aren't the same person sober as you were drinking.

I totally understand what you mean about wanting intimacy more than sex. I slept around in my twenties, and alcoholic or not, I now have no interest in having sex for sex sake. Maturity as a woman is recognizing that your needs matter just as much as a man's and you don't have to do anything you're not completely in to. A mature man doesn't want to have sex unless his partner is also super in to it.

I have to tell you, since I've been sober and carrying around a lot more self confidence, I have felt little sparks of attraction here and there, which hasn't happened in a long time.. It comes back to you, but you can't force it and you don't want to waste it on the wrong person.

I personally am very hesitant to date though because what if I have sex and he doesn't like it or me and moves on? How do I cope? Steps now, relationships later. Self care is the most important thing of all.
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby Patsy© » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:33 am

Steps now, relationships later. Self care is the most important thing of all.



Hi Brenda,

How very true!
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby odat12 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:37 pm

I'm lucky that he does not pressure me and I am as open and honest with him about the situation as I can be. He's going to drive me crazy, that's kind of his job - challenging me, as I am to him. I'm about 99% sure I'm pregnant - just to add to the list of unmanageability of my life. The timing does not seem right but I guess my higher power has a different kind of thinking. He just came into the room and said he was so happy to hear me finally laughing again. He has his moments. Just for today, I'm okay, and we're okay. I appreciate all the feedback and I hope I can be as helpful to others as you all are to me. Thank you again.
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby Noels » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:46 pm

Good morning :D Aaaaahh ..... pregnancy (hormone change) can change our entire personality so if you are that could explain all of the little things you were worried about. I remember when I was pregnant with my son 20 years ago. The first 4 months was not the best. I was exhausted the entire time but thereafter .... wow, energy kicked in! Go for a test! We'd love to hear if we've got an AA baby on the way :D
You also sound like youre in a better place with the last post. Well done. One day (sometimes one moment) at a time is all we need to do.
Have an awesome Sunday!
Noels xxx
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:40 am

I appreciate all the feedback and I hope I can be as helpful to others as you all are to me. Thank you again.


Thank you for keeping us posted. Yes, we all get a chance to help others. We stumble initially, but as we recover, GOD/HP will put the right person in our life. In the other thread Postraic shared about his recent experience. I heard first few months into recovery, Don P, on how he would take meetings into a correction facility. Most of the time he talked about running workshops, working with individual members at his front porch. I wanted to do that too. But it took about 8 years for me to put my feet into a facility. I feel as though, someone is watching us and makes possible our good intentions when the time is right.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: intimacy vs sex

Postby Noels » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:47 pm

mmmmmm .........:D :D :D maybe someone IS watching us :D :D :D
Just kidding .... full a beans today :D :D :D
Have a pleasant evening
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