A couple who had sex only seven months after their marriage and nearly spent abstentions for the next 19 years have revealed that their lack of intimacy almost drove them apart.
Heather, 42, and Nathaniel, 44, live in New York and have been married for 20 years in October after a university meeting.
Although Nathaniel was a self-confident sex addict, the couple agreed to wait until their wedding night to consume their relationship.
But Heather & # 39; s nerves frustrated Nathaniel and drove him away – a symptom of what was later by Dr. Psychologist. Doug Weiss was diagnosed as anorexia intimacy, a condition where someone in a relationship actively remembers emotional, spiritual and sexual intimacy from his or her partner.
Heather, 42, and Nathaniel, 44, live in New York and have been married for 20 years in October after a university meeting
Nathaniel's condition caused him to blame Heather for their unmarried sexlessness and the erectile dysfunction he often suffered when they tried to get together, and drove him to seek sexual satisfaction elsewhere.
For 19 years, Heather said she was famished with her husband's intimacy and, after years of counseling, Nathaniel's infidelity and trial divorces, their relationship was well on the verge.
But after they discovered Dr. Weiss's clinic, the Heart to Heart Counseling Center, the couple started a therapy program that eventually saved their marriage.
In a conversation with FEMAIL, Heather explained how Nathaniel rejected her attempts at sexual intimacy from the start of their married life.
The couple, pictured on their wedding day, tried to have sex for the first time after their marriage, but it all became pear-shaped
& # 39; He literally didn't want me, and that was my reality, & # 39; she said. & # 39; I constantly tried to talk to him about it and tried to get sexually involved.
& # 39; I felt very isolated and alone when all my other married friends & # 39; & # 39; complained about how much sex their husband wanted, and I was the only one whose husband never wanted it – or me.
What is intimacy anorexia?
Intimacy Anorexia is a relationship disorder that is characterized by a lack of intimacy in a relationship.
It happens when someone in a relationship actively withholds emotional, spiritual, and sexual intimacy from their partner or partner. This lack of intimacy hurts marriage, hurts the relationship and causes pain and loneliness, and significantly affects the spouse or partner.
Dr. Douglas Weiss coined the term & # 39; intimacy anorexia & # 39; when he began to see a separate but related aspect of sexual anorexia in his private psychological counseling practice.
He was able to link these cases of sexual anorexia to a broader spectrum of related issues and noted that people engaged in this type of abstinence behavior did so for reasons other than those usually associated with sexual anorexia.
& # 39; I felt like an outsider, as if something was wrong with me, because Nathaniel also blamed me. I felt accused and judged.
& # 39; I felt that my husband got rid of me. It was very painful. Nobody really believed me or didn't understand. I felt truly alone and rejected in the deepest way – desolate even. & # 39;
Nathaniel told how he & # 39; openly upset & # 39; got on Heather during their wedding night when they first tried to have sex.
& # 39; In my deeply selfish mind, her nervous smile did not match what my sexually addicted brain had been trained through years of pornographic use and objective, superficial, but highly sexual dating relationships, & # 39; he explained.
Heather said it was a & # 39; devastating & # 39; experience for her and that she eventually cried in the bathroom. After that they did not show their marriage until seven months later and in the coming years they only had a & # 39; handful of times & # 39; sex.
& # 39; I was so disappointed and hurt, & # 39; said Heather. & # 39; We are married and suddenly he didn't want me sexually.
& # 39; I tried to be sexy to him, to pursue him, but he usually rejected me, while at the same time blaming me for the sexless marriage he was creating. It was so confusing and scary, and I didn't know what to do. & # 39;
Nathaniel admitted that in & # 39; total denial & # 39; and was numb to the needs of his wife, and chose to turn to emotional and physical matters to fulfill his desires.
& # 39; When I thought about it, I simply blamed Heather for our unmarried sexlessness, although she actually wanted sexual intimacy, & # 39; he admitted.
Nathaniel told how he & # 39; openly upset & # 39; got on Heather during their wedding night when they first tried to have sex
& # 39; There were times when I thought it would be the perfect justification for divorce. Yet I was the one who starved her emotionally, spiritually, physically and sexually and pursued my own sexual addiction. & # 39;
Nathaniel lays his intimacy anorexia down to a deep-rooted need for & # 39; self-preservation & # 39; which, according to him, comes from childhood trauma.
& # 39; I became addicted to withholding in a way & # 39 ;, he said. & # 39; I preferred fantasy, pornography, and things to the real thing.
& # 39; I even developed what are called porn-induced erectile dysfunction – something I was convinced myself was due to allergy medications I had used, but turned out to be due to my long-term active use of porn and sexual addiction, and completely to be disconnected from real sexual intimacy. & # 39;
Although Heather remained fully loyal to Nathaniel, he justified his sexual activity to his extra-marital partners by turning it to blame his wife for sympathy.
Nathaniel admitted that in & # 39; total denial & # 39; and was numb to the needs of his wife, and chose to turn to emotional and physical matters to fulfill his desire
& # 39; Nathaniel & # 39; s sex addiction and intimacy anorexia, and the resulting chronic infidelity constantly destroyed the core of our lives, & # 39; said Heather.
& # 39; It shattered and repeatedly traumatized and almost tore our family to shreds.
& # 39; We were referred to truly inadequate marriage counselors who ultimately harmed us because they worked outside their expertise without our knowledge. They were qualified counselors who claimed to have experience in helping with these types of problems, but were not actually certified in the treatment of sex addiction.
Nathaniel is now & # 39; sober & # 39; of both sex addiction and anorexia intimacy
& # 39; We continued to see one particular counselor for the second decade of our marriage. He really helped me to keep me imprisoned in an emotionally offensive and unfaithful marriage. & # 39;
Heather said her heart & # 39; always soft & # 39; was opposite her husband because she worked hard to keep it that way.
& # 39; It was so, so painful and confusing, looking back. But my love never declined for Nathaniel, even after all, & she said.
& # 39; My love transcended what he did and did not do. & # 39;
In the spring of 2018, at the start of a two-month divorce agreed by the couple, Heather discovered Dr. Weiss's website that outlines the characteristics of intimacy anorexia and sexual addiction and said it gave her a glimmer of hope.
& # 39; I was at the lowest moment of my life, researching recovery rates for sex addiction, looking for a suspicion of hope for Nathaniel and our marriage, and finding the exact opposite, & # 39; she remembered.
& # 39; On the website of Dr. I first read Doug about anorexia intimacy and it was like being deeply validated. He expressed my entire marriage experience. & # 39;
Nathaniel added: & # 39; That Heather would even like to find hope for me after everything I go through it surprises me every time I think about it.
& # 39; We felt miserable without sexual intimacy. We had been good friends at the university before we got married, and had a basis of emotional intimacy. But that was ruined by my intimacy anorexia and sex addiction.
Nathaniel lays his intimacy anorexia down to a deep-rooted need for & # 39; self-preservation & # 39; which, according to him, comes from childhood trauma & # 39; s
& # 39; Understanding Anorexia was a huge help and our intensive program in the Dr. Advisory Center. Doug was literally a revelation.
& # 39; I had an immediate and dramatic change in my erectile dysfunction when Heather and I became intimately connected again. & # 39;
Prior to their therapy with Dr. Weiss, Nathaniel had already been to SAA (Sex Addict & Anonymous) for several months. This, in combination with the time that Heart to Heart spent, helped him to overcome his intimacy anorexia and reconnect with his wife.
& # 39; We have regular sex now, and it's great – better than anything I've ever experienced! & # 39; Nathaniel said.
& # 39; We are glued together spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I wouldn't trade that for anything. & # 39;
Nathaniel is now & # 39; sober & # 39; of both sex addiction and intimacy anorexia and admitted that he & # 39; shocked and deeply remorse & # 39; is because of his earlier behavior.
Prior to their therapy with Dr. Weiss, Nathaniel had already been to SAA (Sex Addict & Anonymous) for several months. This, in combination with the time spent at Heart to Heart, helped him to overcome his anorexia intimacy and reconnect with his wife
Heather explained how Dr. Weiss gave them & # 39; exercises & # 39; cared for intimacy and feelings they do every night.
& # 39; When I started my healing journey in the spring of 2018, I was very angry at how misguided I had been for so long, & she said.
& # 39; Now our marriage is flourishing and healing. I recovered from the two decades of inexorable neglect, manipulation, abandonment and betrayal in my marriage.
& # 39; Nathaniel is in real recovery and heals from the wounds and problems in his youth that contributed to both his sex addiction and his belief that real intimacy was unsafe.
& # 39; Everyone involved in this is not alone. There is often so much shame about this and that is why nobody wants to talk about it. But sexlessness in marriage is a very real problem for many, and it can be incredibly devastating for the husband who wants an intimate, flourishing marriage.
& # 39; Sexlessness in marriage is dysfunctional. But you are not alone. & # 39;
Are YOU in a sexless marriage? Dr. Doug Weiss shares his tips for re-igniting that spark in the bedroom
Dr. Douglas Weiss coined the term & # 39; intimacy anorexia & # 39;
Sexless marriages can survive if both adapt to this lifestyle or if it is imposed on them by medical conditions or an accident.
However, if a person is able and actively withholds sex, such as anorexia or schizoid disorder intimacy, this marriage could survive, but the pain would be considerable.
The lack of sex can also question why they are the most married.
Sex binds a few on all levels: neurologically, spiritually and emotionally. Sex is close and is experienced as a unique aspect of their exclusive relationship.
Sex is a place to give and receive kindness and affection. Sex is also a great relief from stress for both on a regular basis.
The most common reasons I have come across for a lack of sex in a relationship are sexual abuse, sex addiction, infidelity, low hormones, low levels of thyroid hormones, not understanding each other's sexual expression, intimacy anorexia, schizoid personality disorder, depression or recovery from infidelity. The partner betrayal trauma can certainly affect a person's sexual desire.
If you've lost that spark in the bedroom, discover the real reasons why sex doesn't happen and address those specific issues. Choose an approach, give it time and evaluate it.
To prevent your marriage from becoming empty of sex, make sure that its structure is healthy, shares feelings, provides support, shared responsibilities, financial stability, regular sex, good conflict resolution.
It is important to really understand each other's sexual expression. Couples can learn more about it in my book, Upgrade your Sex Life.
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