I Was Married and Alone

I was married and alone. Very alone. But not very married. We had a wedding ceremony. We had a marriage certificate declaring us husband and wife. We lived in the same house with two amazing children and a dog. But other than that, there was little evidence of a union of hearts and flesh between this man and woman.

There was a constant ache of loneliness deep within my soul. It led to despair, hopelessness and eventually resignation and acceptance that I was unloved and unwanted. After years of trying everything to make my husband love me, to notice me, to offer me a crumb of affection and attention, I realized that the deafening noise in my brain was from me banging my head against the wall. It was not going to happen.

After ten years of marriage, I gave up. I seriously considered leaving my husband. But I didn’t. In all honesty, my decision to stay was not a commitment to my husband, marriage or family. I was not trying to be honourable and stay together for religious or moral reasons. Simply, I was defeated and not brave or strong enough to make such a monumental change to save myself and my children. I was more afraid of the future than the present. In my hidden pain, no one was able to offer me hope. No one recognized the destruction occurring within our home. I was insignificant. And so I did what I did best. Adapted and learned how to survive the abuse.

I no longer had any illusions that my love could change my husband. Neither was I praying and dreaming of the day that God would transform him into my Prince Charming. My heart still ached and longed to snuggle in bed with my husband. To hear the words “I love you.” To hear the words “Good night.” His back turned to me in cold silence every night wounded my heart just a little more, no matter how much I tried to convince myself that it didn’t.

One fantasy I did cling to was that my husband was a good man. I was shocked the day God jolted me out of this fantasy and into reality with a DVD by Dr. Doug Weiss entitled Married and Alone. Many times over the years, I had persuaded myself into believing that my husband really was a good man. I would list in my mind all the bad things that he didn’t do. And the good things that he did do. There were many. But that is what he did, not who he was. At least not with me and our children. It wasn’t that he only did good things for others. He did good things for us as well, but we also privately received what others did not. Or more accurately, things were withheld that never should have been.

If you feel married and alone, more like roommates than best friends, there is a good chance that intimacy anorexia has ravaged your marriage and home. And if you can identify with the following characteristics, you may be faced with the same ugly realization that I was: my spouse is not a good person.

  • Busy: has little time for you, does everything they can not to be with you
  • Blame: every issue is your fault
  • Withhold love: you are like a sponge that gets drier and drier
  • Withhold praise: no verbal acknowledgement for the positive qualities you have or things you do
  • Withhold sex: not being emotionally present during sex, or withholding sex from you
  • Spiritual: withholding spiritual connection with you
  • Feelings: unwilling or unable to share his/her authentic feelings with you
  • Anger/Silence: uses anger or silence to control you or push you away
  • Criticism: has ongoing or ungrounded criticism, either spoken or unspoken, towards you
  • Money: controls or shames you regarding money or spending

Sex addiction is one of the causes of intimacy anorexia. And just like my husband’s addiction, I did not cause his abusive behaviours. But I had accepted them. I had agreed with him for twenty five years that it was okay to control and withhold from me. My mistreatment was by mutual consent.

My belief system for my personal and marriage survival began to unravel that day. I received a reality check. Everything was becoming clearer. I felt foolish and naïve in how I had convinced myself of my husband’s goodness. Of how my own actions had enabled my pain to continue and grow. I saw each one of us differently.

My flickering hope for healing from sexual betrayal trauma also grew stronger that day. For me, the educational resources I was utilizing validated my pain and empowered my recovery. The knowledge that my feelings and situation were real, that others experienced and understood the utter chaos and insanity of intimacy anorexia, and that there was a proven and effective recovery plan available to me, my husband and my marriage, gave me the courage to make the changes that I needed to make.

My husband and marriage have been miraculously and wonderfully transformed over the last three years. When an addict finds freedom and salvation, the change is evident. My husband truly is a good man. And so much more. When a husband and wife begin to cherish and respect each other a new strength and love radiates from them. I have seen this. I have experienced this.

But to the people who know me, and have walked the journey with me from beginning to where I am now, they see the change and healing in me too.  And that makes me feel proud. I am rewriting my own story. My husband can’t do that for me.

We need to become our own hero. Married and alone were never meant to exist together.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

11 thoughts on “I Was Married and Alone

    • Thank you for your comment. The validation of my authenticity is appreciated. I actually don’t think I could write any other way, but it certainly is nice to know that there are readers who don’t feel I have crossed a line with oversharing. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

  1. I agree—your raw and real honesty is appreciated. You’ve presented the ugly truth of the matter here, yet you give a glimmer of hope and a shot of encouragement to those who are still struggling. I’m glad you’ve come to realize that you are both loved and wanted, by God first and foremost, but also in your marriage and in your ever-widening circle of influence (family, friends, and blog readers).
    Continued blessings to you both as you navigate the rough road to total recovery, no longer blinded by illusions or the lies of the devil. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment is like a hug to me this morning. I continue to appreciate and value the encouragement you extend to me in my writing and in my journey of healing. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am where you were, but only 3.5 years into an “older person” marriage. The problems have been identified, but not improved. My husband is a good person to everyone, but me. I am overwhelmed by the amount of selfish he shows daily. I’m just really tired of being the only one working on this mess.

    Like

    • (((Hugs))) I’m sorry that this soul destroying pain belongs to you too. Having the life sucked out of you every day by the person who vowed to love and cherish you is a searing betrayal. It is emotional abuse, it is wrong, and it hurts even more when you continually see their ability to be “good” and do “good” things for everyone else but you. I know very well that the battle is exhausting, but please keep fighting for YOU. You are worth it. You matter. A lot. ❤️

      Like

      • There is hope for your husband, and hope for your marriage, but most importantly there is hope for you to be free of the pain, whatever that looks like. I love this quote by Dr. Henry Cloud – “We change our behaviour when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.” I considered it a gift when I reached my breaking point. I had to do something different. And when I did, thankfully, my husband noticed, his pain became more than he could bear, and change followed for both of us. But it started with me. So whether you stay, temporarily separate, or permanently leave, you, precious lady can be okay.

        Like

  3. I found your blog after a google search on intimacy anorexia. I was introduced to the term within the last 3 weeks, and watched the Videos Intimacy Anorexia and Married & Alone by Doug Weiss. My whole world was completely rocked by how accurately it described our relationship. And finally I understood why no matter how hard I tried, what new things I did, or didn’t do, or said, or didn’t say, have changed nothing in our marriage. I am also 10 years into a marriage with 2 beautiful children. I am also a Christian who is through my suffering learning to find true intimacy with Christ in a way I never thought possible. I am figuring out what my next step is -my husband has watched the IA video but “doesn’t relate to the motivation.” I am praying for God to work a miracle in my husband’s heart. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I look forward to reading more of it on this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and sharing a glimpse into your precious heart and story with me. Living in a home with intimacy anorexia is brutal. For me, and I believe many others, that prolonged emotional abuse is more devastating than the effects of a porn addiction. The sexual betrayal hurt me deeply, but the withholding, blaming, shaming, control ravaged my soul a little more every day. But dearest Kala, healing is possible. It takes tremendous courage, effort and energy, but the rewards are worth it! And I know you can do it, because you are seeking knowledge, information, resources and God’s healing path for you.

      My husband and I, both individually and together, have found Doug Weiss material very beneficial and instrumental in our healing. Particularly in laying a solid foundation in understanding and beginning our journey. Another good beginning DVD for you to watch (I forget the title exactly) is Now That I Know. I’m sorry to hear that your husband isn’t jumping on board (yet). Maybe he would agree to watch Helping Her Heal? I had it in my house for 10 months before my husband finally watched it. Even though he had already been in recovery most of that time. It is a bumpy path we have all embarked on. But a good one.

      I haven’t come across many others familiar with the term intimacy anorexia. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly through my contact page/email if you have any questions or just need some personal encouragement and support. This journey is best walked with others. God brings incredible healing through the courageous, beautiful women He joins together. Many blessings to you. ❤️

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s