Al-Anon Group Home Page
Al-Anon Group Meeting/Chat Room
Site Technical Problems or Questions?
Step Work Board - A Step each week!
Online Meeting Schedules

Al-Anon Family Group
Message Board

The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level.

"Real" Al-Anon Meeting Directory

A new step every two weeks in the order they were written!

Al-Anon's 12 Steps & 12 Traditions

Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Reestablishing Sexual Intimacy in Recovery


Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Reestablishing Sexual Intimacy in Recovery


I have been married to my AH for nearly 10 years.

He has been in and out of recovery too many times for me to count.

I knew he was an addict from the beginning.

I had a profound love for him from the moment we met.

When we were first going out, I caught him in my bathroom smoking crack.

I could have dumped him then, but I didnt.

I could have dumped him when he brought home crabs.

I could have dumped him before we got married.

I could have dumped him before we decided to have a child together.

I could have dumped him when he went MIA when I was admitted to the hospital with complications of my pregnancy for several weeks until the birth of our child.

I could have dumped him when he got his 4th DWI which resulting in his second jail term (in our life together) for this.

I could have dumped him when he went MIA a couple of months ago.

I recently learned to set boundaries for myself and to truly focus on myself, and of course, our child(he is 9).

I finally told him he was not welcome back into our home until he committed to and showed proof of sobriety.

I allowed him back home after he produced his one day chip from AA and dug up his Big Book and other recovery books from storage.

He is currently 3 weeks sober, in an outpatient treatment program, and working the steps in AA with a sponsor.

My major struggle that Ive been dealing with is intimacy.

Its been years, and building, since I lost my sex drive.

I previously had equated this to my age, hormone imbalances, etc.

I went to doctors who told me this was normal.

Now that Im truly in recovery, I understand now from reading and comparing notes.

I had become powerless.

I had become a watered down version of myself.

All the prayer, meditation, exercise, eating right, etc. couldnt bring me back.

I have been bombarded with sexual disrespect for years with my AH.

I have always been very explicit in communicating with my boundaries

in regards to my body and sexuality with my husband in kind, loving

and also at times with angry and disruptive communication.

My AHs compulsive behavior always persisted whether drunk or sober with a complete disrespect for my boundaries.

I also tried the codependent route of the good wife to appease him sexually to satisfy his manly needs even when I was not in the mood.

Needless to say, it didnt help. Lol

The result: I am numb and have problems now even getting aroused if I try.

We are both focusing on our recovery, but my AH is not minding his own business and instead is still focusing on us.

I told him that this would have to come in time and I would not be able to offer anything to our relationship until I get to that point in recovery.

I am working on serious trust issues and resentment.

I am working on reestablishing intimacy without fear.

Building the strength and courage to change all these things within and heal the damage done.

Letting goand letting God.


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 15835

Hi Welcome to MIP

It sounds as if you have already established a great plan for reconnecting.

  Face to Face meetings in your community, a sponsor, the Steps will ADD TO YOUR TOOL BOX OF HOW  TO Aacomplish the goal


-- Edited by hotrod on Monday 13th of February 2012 12:07:07 AM




~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2131

Hi Chicartista

Thanks for sharing on this topic. It's still one that is rarely a meeting topic in my face to face Alanon meetings but such an important one.  It's interesting how the 12 steps and principles of the program can be of use in all areas of our life.

Keeping communication open and honest has been very important for being true to myself and respectful to myself and him.  I try to always remember that I'm dealing with alcoholism which is a cunning and baffling disease. Alanon shows us how to be gentle with ourselves and others and forgive ourselves and others. To experience good feelings is a joyous thing.  We're worth it.  Anyway, I'm grateful for your courage to share on this topic.  :)  TT


-- Edited by tiredtonite on Sunday 12th of February 2012 03:31:12 PM


Faith unsticks fear.

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 818

welcome, chicartista. I can say there have been periods of time where I need distance from my AH. I try to communicate it with him and explain why.. my AH knows he's hurt me greatly and it takes time. I had some serious resentments I had to work through. I guess I don't think you should really be hard on yourself about that reading all you have gone through. When you put the focus on you and you find the things that make you truly happy, the intimacy stuff, I think, would work itself out. I am no doctor or psychiatrist or psychologist, though. I can only speak from my experience, which was I needed time, space, and to make myself happy before my husband and I could even hold hands again.



No one can take away your peace of mind unless you let them.


Status: Offline
Posts: 3

My AH and I just got into an argument tonight about the 4th step sexual inventory. The lead up to this was... after we had a nice day of watching a moving together snuggling and holding hands, which was really nice at first. About 30 minutes into watching the movie he asked if we could get naked together later on tonight. It completely blew the moment as always, that I finally begin to feel safe and secure and think that things are moving forward. I told him no and that we've had this discussion already about healing and recovery first. The discussion would have escalated except he whispered this in my ear at his father's hotel room with him and my son present. Very manipulative. The argument continued at home, hours later when he tried to apologize, with a disclaimer. He said there is nothing in the Big Book about sexual abstinence. I asked him to speak to his sponsor about this. He said he had. I got caught up in a having a "who's right or wrong" session with him for a few minutes before I began reading the Big Book and became silent. When I went to my computer for my online Al-Anon meeting he brought me the section on sexual inventory and had me read it- him saying "see! it's right there!". I said yes, there it is. I told him that he was not really reading it about himself but reading it about me. I just stopped. Once again, I told him that recovery is about self and not looking to others for that fulfillment. I realize that he hasn't worked that step and neither have I. I reiterated lastly, reminding him that we agreed to the concept that we were basically separated during our recovery so that we could better love each other after we could truly love ourselves first. Powerless does not make for a powerful relationship. I've read lots of what sponsors and step workers have said on the subject, but I think the bottom line is an agreement out of respect and admitting that we hurt others, which we do not have at this point. I say that sex should not be an issue on the table at all for couples until the 4th step has been completed in recovery. Any thoughts on this topic?



Status: Offline
Posts: 3

Thank you all! Thank you Michelle, I really needed validation on this. All I need is time too. I am ready to feel again.


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3856

Trust takes time so be gentle with yourself and you have a right to say NO .  Look at your motives , if your truly not ready to resume sexual intimacy with him , or is it a form of pay back ?  I found for me that eventually I jumped into my marriage with both feet , all or nothing . Some times we just have to trust that all with be well , your both in recovery you have a chance to repair the damage done to your relationship . ask him to be patient find a trusted f2f member to share your fears with talk it out , our book the Dilema of the Alcoholic Marriage has alot on intimacy , also Living with Sobriety and if you can find a copy of our booklet Sexual intimacy . You will find alot of sharrings from people who have been where your at . You have a right to feel the way you do . 


I came- I came to-I came to be

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 119

Thank you for your honesty.

Maybe emotional intimacy should lead to physical intimacy. Emotional intimacy might come from trust, selflessness, respect etc. In the absence of these "relationship basics" those feelings are very understandable. To try to change these things alone is not an easy task.

The AA program teaches humility, amends. treating others with respect and a lot of other character building approaches. I hope he takes advantage of them.

I love the smile of true serenity and your looking for it in the right place with Alanon. Serenity is not stuffed down anger and hurt.

Blessings to your family.

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to