Not a good day yesterday

Submitted by UM Rev on
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Yesterday was not good in the reboot / ecstatic exchanges department. Even though I have plenty to do and work needs to get done, I achieved nothing yesterday in my line of work. Important work laid on the sidelines as my thoughts turned to my wife and my desire for her physically. It seems all I accomplished was to get to Reuniting, check on updates, and explore other Tantra sites.

As the day went on yesterday I got more and more turned on, to the point that when I went home I had totally lost all ability as a "pilot" to control my steering. I admitted to my wife that the day had not been good, and that I had not gotten anything done. She expressed sympathy and support by cuddling up beside me. My hands, in turn, began to move in places that were obvious no nos. She resisted at first, but minimally, and she became more and more turned on. By nightfall, I suggested that we just dump the exchanges. She, weakened by my words and touch, agreed.

It gets worse.

After a quick bath, she joined me in bed and we embraced with no clothes. Then, I suggested we try to connect in a very relaxed state, with no movement. Not a good idea. She immediately withdraws.

Her words:
"First, all you talk about is how bad your day went because you could do nothing but think about me, and your desire for me, and how you imagine doing this and that with me. Then you do nothing but have your hands all over me, to the point where I tire of keeping you away and give in. Your words and your touch have excited me so much, and now you want to 'relax as we connect?' After all this talk and touch, the last thing I can do is 'relax!'."

With those words, she got up, put her night clothes on, and laid back down on the far side of our king-sized bed.

"Um, would you want to do the 6th Exchange?"
"NO!"
"Uhhh, I didn't think so. Good night."
"Good night."

This morning she had already gone to the local Y to do her exercise routine. I'd normally go too, but this time I stayed around until she returned home.

"I'm sorry, Sweet."

Her response:
"I don't get it. We try these exchanges. They're your idea. But, all you do is talk about how difficult this is, and that you want me. I can't do this. Either we do the Exchanges or we don't."

Me:
"I'm sorry, babe. I'm not sure if this will work. But yesterday was terrible for me. And it ended up being very bad for both of us. This is so difficult for me, it's almost maddening. But, if these exchanges during these three weeks will help us to become more in sync with each other, then I do want to continue doing them. Today will be better. Forgive me?"

Her:
"I forgive you."

Me:
"I love you."

her, smiling:
"I love you too. Now get some work done today, and quit thinking about me so much!"

Me, smiling back:
OK.

We hugged and kissed, and in a moment she was on her way to her work.

So.......bottom line: I messed up, but didn't go beyond ruin. Our relationship is still intact.

It's obvious how utterly difficult this whole thing has been for me. In the midst of a renewed honeymoon period, we decide to do these Exchanges. We do them because we are hot for each other, and our love making has been "goal oriented." I'm not saying this is a bad idea. It's probably a very good idea. But, it's almost maddening.

Anyone is welcome to comment. I wouldn't leave a post if I didn't want anyone to respond. But, remember this. Unless you have gone through this process of the three weeks of Ecstatic Exchanges, you don't really know how difficult this can be. Other than Marnia, I haven't read of anyone on this site who has gone through the couples reboot via the three week ecstatic exchanges. I've received a lot of advice from some very kind people, and I appreciate it all. But, so far I've only heard from folks who haven't gone through the process themselves. I'm sure there are plenty of folks who have. I just haven't heard from them.

Anyway, I do appreciate all of you, and I gain strength and comfort from reading your own stories, experiences, and comments. Now, I really do need to get something accomplished today, so I'm pledging to stay away from here as well as any other distracting portions of the internet. I'll check back in tomorrow, hopefully with a report on Exchange 7.

Have a blessed day.

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my take on this

 

God wants you to know this. Everything happens for a reason.

I did go through a phase of tremendous neediness and this seemed to last quite a long time, maybe 6 months, before it settled down completely.

 

 

I don't know if it's the Exchanges

that are so hard...or whether you were just coming off of a "frenzied-mating period" that would make any kind of abstinence more challenging.

Your situation is more like a porn addict at the beginning of recovery. Withdrawal symptoms make people restless, cranky, and grabby. It can also make them resentful and make them feel like they are being unfairly treated. After all, your brain is convinced it is giving up something Really Valuable.

Maybe if you read some of the withdrawal reports, you'll see the parallels. It's good for you to know these anyway in your line of work, because withdrawal from porn addiction (and your parishoners will be struggling with this sometimes) can be as tough as withdrawal from drug addiction. WITHDRAWAL

Most "porn guys" find that trying to get "some" while still cutting out porn or whatever doesn't work well. Dopamine is the neurochemical of "anticipation." So "half a loaf" is not helpful at all. Just jacks up your dopamine.

This leaves you with two choices. Either junk the idea of finding balance and go back to burning out your desire for each other. Or really, really slow things down and stop thinking of the Exchanges as a chance to do foreplay.

They aren't foreplay. They are a chance to nurture your partnerby soothing your partner's nervous system. In the process, yours will also be soothed. But your motive has to be selfless. If you're trying to "get" something, you have a mindset of "lack," and that means your dopamine is screaming...and will keep screaming until you give it what it wants.

Tiptoe around those urges by mastering "soothing." As you shift into this mindset, the whole exercise becomes more playful, and eventually you can add the "flirtyness" back in. At that point sex becomes as easy as breathing and very satisfying because you don't keep recreating the underlying feeling of "lack" that is currently tormenting you.

Maybe re-read the bits of Cupid about dopamine.

*big hug*

Your wife reacted to the sudden change in your energy

I think your wife reacted to the fact that the energy that you were directing at her suddenly shifted. Your energy was steadily ramping up in an aroused anad attracted way and she was enjoying that. Then it suddenly down shifted as you decided that things needed to cool down. You experienced it as conscious decision to get out of that hormone driven mode and get back into a conscious mode. On her end, she felt the arousal level drop swiftly and it may have felt like a kind of rejection to her.

Imagine this: your wife has told you that she wants to make love. You both get yourselves ready and just as you are hoping into bed and you are reaching out to start the love making she says "lets cuddle for a while first". Cue the sound of brakes skidding on the road. People typically do not react well to sudden chnages in energy, especially if it is a downward shift.

If the two of you had started out with the intent of connecting without moving, she probably would have been OK. It is the fact that the energy chnaged so abruptly and without warning that caused her to recoil.

On a different note, I do not think it is wise to treat karezza as a rigid discipline that needs to be applied. Passionate love making is not evil. It won't kill you if you do it once in a while. Obviously, you do not want to fall into a dopamine addiction cycle, but neither do you want to be afraid of the odd orgasm here and there.

Hi

I agree with the above, Rev. How long since you last orgasmed? What's the longest youv'e been this year without O? If you are like most people the answer is not much, and not much.

Karezza isnt magic, and like anything it requires work to receive the benefits. In this case the work is learning about oneself, and finding a way to wean oneself off one's O addiction. My attempt to warn you, was born of painful experience. The withdrawal pdf is a very good place to start. You're addicted, and knowing what to expect helps.

The first 7 days are tough, and the second 7 days are tough. After that it gets easier, but then the challenge becomes to learn how to recognise the sneak attacks. You'll have these amazingly calm weeks, then bam, dopamine crash, cravings, out of nowhere. I myself got hit by one of these just yesterday after 30 days. Missed it. Ouch!

So learning what the signals of low dopamine are for you is important, for me its trips to the fridge, thirst, restlessness, and the big one is aimless online time. Speaking of which i should be working :)

Adderall a possible factor too.

Thanks for your comments. I woke up really early this morning, so I thought I'd get on here now so I could reflect on your comments, as well as give my reflection on Exchange 7, and then I'll be off the rest of the day.

Last night we began reading the 7th Exchange. It was as if Marnia had written the words for us:

"Usually when Will and I bent the rules while easing our way through the Exchanges, it happened because one of us was unconsciously seeking to adjust his or her own brain chemistry. I tended to slide toward seduction, Will toward “let me feel you up” maneuvers. We found ourselves using rationalizations such as: I don’t think it will cause a problem if I take my shirt off ahead of schedule. I can’t help it—I’m a guy. Okay, I’ll try this stillness thing, but I still have to grab your butt. I will show you the power of the feminine with this satin negligee, or equally seductive little move of my hips. If you find yourselves drifting in similar directions, do your best to move back toward the rewards that come from nurturing your partner selflessly, and a bit protectively."

It was as if Marnia knew exactly on what day to put those words. You described us to a "T." So thanks for the laugh. We enjoyed reading last night, and the even as a whole went better, although I do still tend to let my hands go places.

As I'm sitting here I'm trying to sort out my feelings and emotions. Maybe I just got up too early, because it's pretty difficult to get my thoughts together I'm also waiting for my meds to kick in.

Meds?

Yep. There is something else involved here that I think I only mentioned one other time, but it probably has a lot to do with what's going on right now. Last February I began taking Adderall as prescribed by a psychiatrist to help me with some symptoms of ADHD, inattentive type. Read about ADHD here:

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/types-of-adhd

I have all the characteristics listed under inattention and a few of the top ones under the hyperactive category. I also think I experience a slight amount of depression, but I'm not sure whether it is caused by these other characteristics, or if the depression helps to bring them on.

When I was a kid I had all those characteristics, but back then they didn't have this diagnosis. I have wrestled with this my whole life. 20 years ago I was really struggling with a sense of purpose,and someone close to me suggested I see a doctor. The doc prescribed Ritalin. That particular med didn't help, and after a while I decided I'd just buckle down and work through it all on my own. I succeeded to a certain extent. But within the past few years, I had become increasingly dissatisfied with my life. I knew I had so much to offer, but certain aspects of my character were preventing me from being fully functional. My inability to stay organized or keep on task was getting worse. I was easily distracted. I had difficulty beginning a task. I began several things at once but had a difficult time completing anything. yadda yadda yadda. It was all there. All of these characteristics which had been with me for all these years affected my vocation as well as my personal life with my wife.

This year it was time for a change. I was getting this increasing sense of the brevity of life. I kept thinking that life is so short, and that if going to a doctor and getting medication could help me, then it was worth it to try. So, at the beginning of this year, I once again decided to go see a doctor about it. She immediately started me on a low dose of Adderall. I've tried a couple of other drugs, but decided I like Adderall the best. We've been working on the best dose and we're still working on it.

I could go on and on here. Bottom line is this: Adderall works in part by helping to increase the level of dopamine in the system. What has it done for me so far? It has made me feel better in general. I feel more positive. My body feels more alive. Whereas before some things in life seemed overwhelming, I now believe I can get stuff done.

I'm also wondering if it hasn't given me a renewed appreciation and desire for my wife. If so, for that reason alone I am thankful to have taken the medication. I used to think of meds as bad. But anymore I consider that certain meds like Adderall can be as helpful for some persons as insulin is for diabetics.

A few other quick comments:
I don't think I'm addicted to O. I used to go for periods of a week and up to a month without experiencing it.
I think I just have this awesome time of second honeymoon with my wife. Whether it's related to the Adderall, I'm not sure. I'm just thankful. I don't believe there's anything particularly wrong with getting really excited at the sight of my wife. I don't have these same feelings toward other women. Back in the day, we made love in the woods, in the car, in the pool, etc. It's a pretty good feeling to have those desires back in our marriage once again. Smile

At the same time, I do believe increasingly in the power of the bonding behaviors, and I believe the exchanges are helping. In fact, I am reconsidering how I do pre marital counselling, I used to focus a lot on the need for improved communication. Now I'm going to emphasize the need for more regular physical touch. This is huge, I believe. So, both the wife and I are hoping we will be able to grow through this experience.

And also, while I don't believe that everything happens for a reason, I do believe that God can indeed bring about redemption out of those experiences. I'm hoping to pass on what I learn to others some day.

In the mean time, it's on to the 8th Exchange.

Blessings,
UM Rev
(UM means United Methodist. The Rev is really more a title which I've never really been comfortable with. I'm actually more comfortable with the title of pastor.)

PS. I would really appreciate hearing from anyone on this site with ADHD. I would also benefit from reading the experiences of anyone else who has gone through the Exchanges.

At least you know

that we went through similar challenges, eh? Biggrin

I'll ask a forum member who had that same challenge if he can find time to write you. (He and his spouse have already mastered karezza, and he is busy getting a new invention ready for market.)

Glad you're keeping a sense of humor.

ADD and orgasms

I have inattentive type ADD. Was diagnosed when I was in my late 40's. I found that the sustained release or extended release (SR or XR) types of medications worked better than the fast-acting (and fast-dissipating) forms did. Also, I found that taking the meds consistently, every day (rather than just weekdays as some people do) made a big difference. Apparently, it's better if you are not riding a neurochemical roller-coaster.

Orgasms can cause a neurochemical roller-coaster, and craving sex or feeling resentful because of not getting "enough" sex can be extremely distracting! When I started giving up PMO five years ago (my story is at http://www.reuniting.info/node/1505), I also stopped taking ADD meds. I found that I did as well, ADD-wise, without meds and without orgasms as I did previously with meds and with orgasms. After going without orgasms for a while (a few months) the cravings went away. These days, I practice karezza exclusively - no regular sex. Karezza is very enjoyable, but if my wife isn't in the mood when I am, it's no big deal; we can always do it some other time. I don't feel resentful, as I would have been before when we were having conventional sex, and I'm not bothered by cravings to have an orgasm.

So, abstaining from orgasms seems to help my ADD. Some other Reuniting posters have noticed the same thing.

By the way, I haven't tried the Exchanges. (I wonder how many Reuniting people have?) I just jumped in and tried karezza at the first opportunity. I figured it out pretty quickly, and have continued the practice since then.

Appreciate the

input very much, Curious! I take the meds every day, since I'm a pastor and "I only work one day a week anyway." Blum 3 I tried the extended release, but I didn't like how I felt when taking them. So, I take the faster acting type, 20 mg in the morning and 10 or 20 in the afternoon. This is a step down from 30 in the morning. I stepped down 10 - 20 mgs a day since the larger dose seemed to aggravate my cravings. Oddly enough, the list of side effects include a "decrease" in libido. Can't understand how that could be. I guess we all react a little different to these meds. I will continue to monitor the meds.

Thanks also for your comments regarding your Karezza practices, particularly regarding your wife. Very helpful.

Yes, I wonder too, how many have actually done those Exchanges. As my wife and I continue them, they are actually pretty enjoyable. I would have been fine without them, but I think both of us needed to slow down, especially for her sake, as well as for mine at least indirectly.

Sometimes I think

the Exchanges are mostly there to give us natural rebels something to rebel against. Wink However, they can be useful in transitioning from hot sex to karezza. They're not as necessary if one is going from a "dead bedroom" to karezza. But even there, they (or some slower approach) can be helpful.

One you understand bonding behaviors...you could come up with your own approach. But, as you say, they can be fun, too. We giggled through them most nights, but there were profound moments, too.

Hi again

> Maybe I just got up too early

You can never get up too early:)

Thanks for the clarification, i'm probably over extrapolating my own experience onto yours. Good luck with the exchanges.

Regarding the adhd, i have all those same symptoms, always have had. Short attention span, procrastination, get out of seat often etc. Never had a name for it before, but also am resistant to medical model and pharmaceutical solutions. Qigong and karezza have brought a new level of peace to my life, but im just going to sit with what youve said for a while.

Thanks.