Far easier to recover from fatigue than to recover our passion, both sexual and creative, in an abusive relationship. It should be no surprise that loss of passion is connected to covert-abuse-induced fatigue. Covert abuse is so draining it doesn’t leave very much of you for anything else.
But covert abuse, also, affects how you see yourself as a person. And diminishes the very things that go into making intimacy possible, both of which directly affect the quality and existence of your sexual life.
Covert abuse berates you. It tears you down and makes you feel small and worthless. For many people, engaging in sex with someone is a celebration of not only the relationship, but of who they are as a man or a woman. Covert abuse takes that away. It makes you feel that you are barely worth taking up space, never mind celebrating.
Passion is inextricably tied up with who we are. Life is passionate. As part of life, we are passionate creatures. But when you are steadily undermined, when you are constantly or even intermittently abused so that you live with anxiety, it’s natural that this would have an affect on your sexual attitudes toward yourself and on your desires for the one who is abusing you!
I don’t care if he’s called “husband” or if she’s called “wife”. That doesn’t change anything. If they want to lie in your bed, they need to respect the person in it.
When you lose your desire to lie with someone, when you find yourself maybe not even able to bear the thought anymore, it’s not a matter of you withholding something. It’s a matter of something dying…inside of you, your body reflecting the flat-lining of your emotions. This is not the time to submit to usury. It’s the time to address what’s killing you.
Your loss of passion is really not about the loss of passion at all, but the loss of something deeper and more fundamental for which, for you, passion cannot exist.
For me there has to be a sense of safety, of caring, a feeling of trust and mutual respect. Understand though, that while I was in my consciousness fog all I needed was the illusion of safety, caring, and mutual respect. Trust, I gave wholeheartedly to the untrustworthy — that was just my M.O…and another post.
Still, even with the staunch defense of my illusions, eventually the damage of covert abuse and the crumbling of those illusions impacted my desires and receptivity. My sexuality became as nonexistent, as flat-line as my emotional reality. I just shut down.
For passion to truly exist and thrive, I believe there needs to be a closeness that comes from being known with the willingness and eagerness to know more, of seeing one another for who you are, and upon seeing, cherished for all your faults and strengths. There has to be a true intimacy of the heart before there can be intimacy of the body. That’s when sex can be fun for sexual sake. Not before.
And if it’s hurt or disrupted or worse, torn apart; if it’s ripped in two or tossed aside or torn asunder…then not after. Not until it has been repaired, if possible, healed and made right. In a loving relationship this involves honesty, communication and deep listening, taking real responsibility, genuine remorse and follow-through.
It doesn’t have to be fixed perfectly. Just enough so that both parties feel right about being together.
Yes, it’s that intricate. And if that’s too much work, then there’s the hand. Another human being is not created to be used for that purpose. You want to lie down with a real human, then you have to act like one.
Real women in real life situations know it’s a lot more than just lying in bed or jumping on top or any other sexual games adults like to play. It’s not about position or what angles you create with your body. It’s about being aligned with your heart. For many women…and men, if some level of love or measure of respect isn’t there, the body doesn’t follow.
When did intimacy come to mean having sex without everything that goes into making such closeness possible? I don’t work that way.
I’m not saying every moment needs to be a love scene right out of a romance novel. I’m saying that it’s normal for a person to need to feel good about themselves, about the relationship they’re in and the partner they’re with to want to engage in that kind of closeness.
And if you don’t have that closeness, and you don’t want to engage in sex or you feel like you can’t, there’s nothing wrong with you!
Passion is a weapon in the hands of a covert abuser. Your passion to them is seen as your need, a need that can be exploited and used. Sex for them isn’t something that is mutually shared. It’s something the covert abuser doles out as a reward or withholds as punishment or forces as a means to dominate.
It’s a manipulation tool. They can infer love in a relationship, string you along, if they know what a sexual relationship means to you, while knowing it means something totally different to them.
The covert abuser may always want to set the time and place for sexual encounters. Or they may be adverse to making a date or planning a romantic evening, because then they’d feel obligated or they don’t like to be told what to do. Honestly, someone I knew to be a covert abuser told me this once.
His world was devoid of real sharing. Everything was seen as you telling him what to do or not telling him what to do. So even planning a fun evening was a demand. Spontaneity was fine, or at least expected, when he wanted it.
But to his partner this meant dropping everything in her world when it was his idea and meeting rejection when it was not. Sex became less and less a celebration and more and more an obligation for her.
Passion cannot exist long in that environment.
Making love to someone is a beautiful, vulnerable thing. But to a covert abuser, vulnerability is opportunity. They can choose that time to hurt you in a way that is devastating beyond belief. In covert abuse, nothing is sacred. What they can do in regular surroundings and circumstances — thoughtless put downs, a cruel remark, arbitrary demands, whatever — they can do in the most intimate.
These assaults are like arrows on naked skin, no armor to prevent them from piercing the soul.
But a covert abuser will brush it off, and expect you to be passionate for them another time at their behest…like nothing happened. Even after being diminished or gaslighted or subjected to the trauma of narcissistic rage, you are expected to put on a smile and satisfy.
Such callous usury erodes the real, the organic passion that is inside you, that is you. Until it is lost.
But know this, even if you have lost your passion, it is not gone. Just hidden a while, perhaps tucked away someplace safer. Someplace waiting for you, like the faithful heart standing on the widow’s peak looking out to sea.
Only she will not wait in vain, for you are on your journey home.
And you will find her, as you find yourself.
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POINTS TO PONDER
- What does passion mean to you?
- Does your sexual self reflect who you are?
- To what degree does your sexual life celebrate who you are?
- Ideally, what kind of person would you share this most intimate part of yourself?
- What kind of person do you actually share it with?
- What does it look like to you to be cherished? How would that translate sexually for you?
Loss of Passion Series:
Loss of Passion 1 – Sexual (Hypo-Sexuality)
Loss of Passion 2 – Sexual (Hyper-Sexuality)