Something Like Marriage
About This Show
A relationship podcast by Jon and Jema Anderson. The journey of a couple that left their old life in 2011 with four kids to heal their marriage and travel in an RV. Once a relationship broken by secret wounds, they share stories of hope and healing while living together as a family of six in a house on wheels.Read more »
Most Recent Episode
022: Living a Secret Life of Shame and Sexual Anorexia
In this episode of our marriage podcast Something Like Marriage, I describe living a secret life of shame and sexual anorexia. I had experienced sexuality that was unwanted and confusing when I was young. I had feelings of arousal, fear, and shame like Jon described on I Feel Uncomfortable Talking About Sex that I dealt with through repression. It was a way I could bury my thoughts and desires in a place where it would remain unconscious.
As I walked through life, it seemed that there was something wrong with me, something broken in me because I kept getting into situations with men that were unloving. I felt like I was marked. And with each experience, I would lock it away in my Secret Room which added more motivation to my sexual anorexia.
Sexual anorexia refers to the compulsive avoidance of sexual nourishment and intimacy. A refusal of emotional and sensual input in order to keep the unexplored trauma hidden along with chaotic feelings and anxiety. I would deny myself intimacy, and only understood my way of coping after I went to therapy to save my marriage.
Healing has found a way in as I opened the door to learn more about who I am and to look at those wounds of the past. There have been people to hear me and to love me along the way. I have found that unlocking the secret of my sexual anorexia has been profoundly freeing in my life. I have been able to share the journey with my husband and I have been able to have conversations about sexuality with my children.
(Theme music: Ethan Anderson, Photo credit: Maria Maliy)
Stream "Living a Secret Life of Shame and Sexual Anorexia"
Relationship Podcast Gems:
Sexual anorectics starve themselves by "acting in," denying themselves intimacy in relationships, receiving loving touch, and genuine connection with others.
Sexual anorexia is encouraged by rigidity, judgment, and shame.
Sex and feelings of sexuality equated to pain for me.
Sexual abuse is a spectrum and can not be tolerated as something that just happens because you are a woman.
Abuse, in general, isn't so much about what happened, but how it affected the unique person.
It is unhelpful to compare the pain we experience in life. As unique people, experiences affect us differently.
When your marriage isn't working, it's important to find out why and more about yourself even if that relationship ends.
Jon dealt with my resistance and picking a fight to cope by changing it to mean I was into him and loved him.
If you are ready to heal, it can simply start by saying, “I'm ready.” Loving people and opportunities begin to appear.
The Devastating Pain of Sexual Anorexics - a short article discussing sexual anorexia.
Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred - a book to help understand the journey of sexual anorexia.
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