Great book! I read it in one sitting!
I know…I was supposed to stop reading at page 1, since I’m a female, but I continued on anyway.
Over the last 3 years, I have researched this topic extensively and I always seem to be drawn more to the male perspective of things. I tend to find more value in the male perspective, as most female-driven research is littered with female empowerment and feminist propaganda where it’s drilled into your head to be self-made and have your own “stuff” and open your own pickle jar and you don’t need to wear a bra and, most importantly, you don’t need a man and all of that bullshit. There IS a reason I’ve researched this topic, after all, so it’s clearly the worst advice ever to follow from a female point of view. The hyper-focus on what he’s doing wrong in this support system founded on martyrdom is beyond me. It is a thousand times easier to change oneself than to change others and that can’t be found in a self-righteous forum of a bunch of girl power bullshit whose contributors are the epitome of the exact person that is in dire need of getting railed by their husbands. Strange how that works…
I’ve been with my husband for 7 years. The DB became glaringly evident after the first 3 or so years where anything and everything intimate, affectionate and sexual just suddenly stopped. I discovered my husband relapsed and was abusing opiates again. When I met him, he was many years sober and I didn’t find out he even partook in that lifestyle until about a year into the relationship. There isn’t much literature on the effects on a relationship in terms of loss of libido due to drug use and opiates/opioids in particular, just a pesky little side effect… Most “family therapy” points more to loss of trust and healing the user and things of that nature, which leads the other partner to think either A: He’s choosing the drug over me. B: He’s getting pussy elsewhere with his new junkie friends. Or C: He’s using you to support his habit.
It took me a good year to stop thinking I was the trigger or not interesting enough or fat or disgusting or whatever subpar thought I had in my head to try to rationalize the sudden shift to start using again. It wasn’t until I became exhausted spinning my wheels on what exact shitty trait or action on my part caused this that I broke and decided to take a different approach. I needed to think like my husband. I needed to think like an addict. I needed to be in his headspace to understand that this really is an issue of an addict needing what addicts need and that’s all. It was a very simple explanation, but being an over analyzing, non-addict female, of course, we must sleuth it to death and rationalize some deep underlying culprit. In reality, a self-fulfilling mission to find every single shred of cause to take accountability off of myself…
After recovery, there was a lot of guilt and shame on my husband’s part and I did lose all trust and question everything he said or did, which just heightened the resentment and toxicity. What was left was a defeated man that was afraid to step across any lines in the sand and a domineering hall monitor narc that lived as roommates to survive. After a year or so of this new culture, I started to wish it was drugs that kept my husband away from me, but it was me now. I needed to create a better space for my husband to thrive and do what husbands do…fuck their wives. Instead, there was this mommy and baby approval seeking dynamic. My husband became a spineless bitch and I didn’t understand why and this is when the “tests” started and continued until yesterday…after finishing your book.
The tests were more along the lines of confrontational, shit slinging fests just to see what I could get away with or just to simply create a dialogue where it made sense to vent or bitch to relieve pent up frustration. My husband would usually flounder and give in. Sometimes, he would threaten to leave or pretend to pack his stuff or just hop in his car and drive down the street to cool off. The strange part is that his reasoning for any actual action or rebuttal on his part was always catered to me. “I’ll just leave you alone, so you don’t have to deal with me anymore.” “I’m such a burden to you and I just need to let you go.” My husband had almost no self-worth left and I was the nagging bitch that solidified this for him.
The last year and a half has been just co-existence. His life consists of walking on eggshells constantly, showering me with gifts and doing household chores. My life consists of poking the bear any chance I get, not understanding why we’re spending money on unnecessary gifts and inspecting the quality of how chores are being done. It’s a miserable existence. Really, the only “mistake” my husband hasn’t made is attempting to talk about it, according to your book. He has mentioned me being cold or unapproachable before, but I really think he is too afraid to open the can of worms fully on the dead bedroom or any flaw of mine, for that matter. I am afraid too, actually, because I have emasculated my husband almost beyond repair that I don’t have it in me to even mention it to him. Frankly, after reading your book, I am compelled to take action rather than even attempt talking about it, as it will go nowhere and just chew us up and spit us out in the same endless cycle we’re in today.
I am still very much attracted to my husband and I want nothing more than for him to take control and put me in my place, ideally bent over a couch somewhere, in all honesty. In putting up walls fortified with cold heartedness and resentment, I have told my husband, “Don’t touch me.” “Don’t even think about touching me.” “You deserve to suffer for what you have done to me for the rest of your life.” It’s so stupidly simple…and I must improve our surroundings and create a setting that tells my husband, “I need you.” “I can’t wait for you to get home.” “I want you.”
Your book has created much needed awareness that is seriously lacking in the female community. It is not outdated or archaic to fill the role of being a wife. Sure, the role can adapt with the times, but you can’t deprogram the biology of human nature. I am the bread winner. Every asset is in my name and paid off fully out of my own pocket. I am self-made. I am the provider. These are all true to my current situation and none of this shit matters, when you have stripped your husband of every ounce of manhood he once had. I would trade it all in an instant, if it meant my husband could have the confidence to shut me up, when I’m bitching, and just throw me on the bed and have his way with me or, if I had the confidence to clear through the thick fog of negativity and routine, to drop to my knees, when my husband gets home and show him how much I appreciate him and can’t get enough of him. He needs this and he deserves this.
Thank you for the insight and keep writing!