When Old Patterns Emerge

Even though I’ve reformed my refusing ways, there are still times when we slip into our old patterns.

A couple months ago, I had a day when I was feeling the same way I used to feel when I could tell my husband wanted sex and I didn’t.

Honestly, I don’t even remember the last time I refused…more than a year and a half ago, anyway. For the past year, our sex life has gradually become  more active, with more intimacy and more energy. My husband and I used to snipe at each other a lot, but as our life in the bedroom has improved, life outside the bedroom has gotten more peaceful and joyful as well. We’ve both learned to trust each other. He feels secure enough in frequency that he has let himself to think of expanding our horizons, and he feels safe enough to ask me for things he didn’t even allow himself to want before. I’ve felt so much trust in him that I completely let go in bed in ways I never did before.

One night, we had an absolutely wonderful time in bed, with extended pleasure for both of us. The next morning, as I was already getting out of bed, he made a comment about how I could give him oral sex if I wanted…and I could just feel myself tense up. I went downstairs, and he made several more references to oral sex throughout the morning. I could just feel the same things I used to: Why is he so demanding? Why doesn’t he care about the fact that I had different plans for myself today? So if we have sex and it doesn’t include oral for him, will he still be upset? In that case, is it even worth trying anything? I tried telling myself things like “you love him/be generous” and “remember the great time you had last time you gave him oral” and “God wants you to do this,” but it didn’t work. I could feel myself responding with negativity and more resentment. Meanwhile, I watched him exhibit the surliness he used to when I was refusing.We kept feeding off each other, all day long, with me being snarky and disrespectful and him snapping at the kids and me.

I was so puzzled. Our marriage has been growing, and I thought we were past all that. I thought we were in a different marriage than we were in before. But it turns out that the old marriage is still there, not too far under the surface. It was far too easy for both of us to step back into those old ways of interacting. (On a positive note, the day was filled with a lot of flirting and sexual teasing as well, which I never would have participated in before.)

These feelings caught me completely off guard. Sex has been so awesome for us lately, and I enjoy giving him oral sex now. Because of the great sex, our emotional connection and intimacy have become more than I ever could’ve imagined. That day, for the first time in a long time, I felt disconnected from him. I was quite distressed.

I found myself wondering if this is something that will happen on occasion for a while yet? How could this have happened the day after we had such a fulfilling time together? How on earth do I handle these feelings if they come up again? Will I ever be able to know that our sexual relationship is fully healed? Or did I do so much damage that full healing will never be possible?

Healing is a process, and our past will always be there. At some point in the middle of the night last night, my husband went downstairs, as he often used to when he couldn’t sleep. Before I was fully awake, I could feel my mind forming a thought of relief that he wouldn’t be bothering me for sex. And then I realized that I didn’t actually feel that way. But just for a second, the old thinking tried to resurface. I’m still in bed, blogging from my phone, wondering what his frame of mind will be when I head downstairs. Will he, too, slip his mind back into a pattern of being refused?

Be patient with yourself and with your husband. Don’t be discouraged when old patterns resurface. Recognize them, and just keep moving forward.

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4 Comments on “When Old Patterns Emerge”

  1. I just came across your blog tonight. I could cry over all of this because so much of this is what I feel and struggle with. My husband wants sex all the time and I just feel sick of it. I get tense, resentful and angry about it. I don’t want to be that way, but I don’t know how to change.

    1. I’m so glad you found me here. I felt that same way for so long, and I was just as miserable as my husband was. It’s so easy for some people to say, “Well, then just stop it. Change. Do things differently.” Wouldn’t it be nice if it were so simple? I have some posts here that share my earliest steps in making changes. I don’t know that they will work for you, but perhaps they can give you some ideas about how you can take a first step.

      I’d like to suggest you read the following posts, in this order:

      1. New to this blog? Start here.
      2. Just One Step
      3. Simple, Not Easy
      4. One Night at a Time
      5. Today, pray.
      6. Today, do it.

      These posts will walk you through my very first steps.

      I have so many things I would love to say to you right now, because I’m so happy that you’re here. I don’t want to overwhelm you, so let me just welcome you with open arms and a virtual (((hug))).

      Feel free to poke around the blog a bit, but you may want to stick to the posts in the Getting Started category for a while. The posts that are for women further along in the journey might feel a bit overwhelming right now.

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