The intimate life of my marriage is now moving to phase two in its recovery.
Phase one was the dissolving of negative emotional patterns in the relationship. Over the past few years my wife and I fought a lot about issues of sex and intimacy. This created resentment and hard feelings. My intention with the confrontations was to try and get sex back on track, but it actually had the opposite effect. It created a wall between us. Some time ago I figured out that I was not going to make much progress on sexual healing so long as all this broiling emotional energy remained. Thus, I took a zero pressure stance on sex and focused instead on rebuilding the emotional connections. This mostly involved LOTS of non-sexual bonding activities. There was lots of hugs, cuddling and spending quality time with each other with no pressure for sex. That phase has been going for almost two years. Trust is easy to lose and hard to regain. However, I was successful. The emotional side of our relationship is stronger than it has ever been. We are very comfortable with each other and feel very connected.
When I first started this process I assumed that as the emotional blocks were resolved, the sex would come back naturally. However that has not happened. It appears that there are also some significant mental blocks. I am sensing that my wife is somewhat wary of sex itself. The subject has taken on something of a negative connotation for her. Although she is very much in love with me again, she is reluctant to reopen the sexual part of the relationship. Maybe she is worried that as soon as sex returns all of the problems that surrounded sex will also return. Maybe she is worried that after such a long abstinence sex will be awkward. I am not really sure what the nature of the mental block is, I just know that it is there. There is something that is holding her back.
Thus, I have decided that the sexual healing needs to start off very light, and gradually work its way back up. The other night we had a very nice make out session. Last night there was a shorter one. In both cases she was quite comfortable and obviously enjoyed it. I talked about this in a recent post and Rachel commented that she loves making out like teenagers. This has inspired me to take a new approach to sexual healing.
Thus, phase two is going to be about gradually escalating the level of sexual contact in our relationship. For the time being my wife appears to be quite comfortable with kissing sessions. This is a good place to start. Making out will be the gateway activity that will eventually lead back to sex.
I am actually quite excited about this. We can get to know each other all over again. It will be fun to go back through that whole progression and gradually get comfortable with higher and higher levels of sexuality. It will be very healthy for both of us.