Ugh ladies, I'm sorry you're in the position to even be questioning your sexuality at all!
I too got the "you weren't having sex with me, what did you expect to happen?" excuse. Hmm, funny, I thought you would keep your wedding vows, but I guess I was wrong.
I will say this. After discovering the masturbation addiction, the underwear, cock rings etc., my sex drive was all over the place. At first I feel like there was some HB. A misguided attempt to prove that he didn't need all of that, I guess. But as it kept happening and there was relapse upon relapse, my sex drive plummeted.
It was like each new incident poked a hole in the container that held my sexuality, and with discovery after discovery, it eventually all drained out.
I don't even deny it, we were not having sex very frequently at all. There was a little bit of gaslighting on his part too. He would guilt me by saying we hadn't had sex in X amount of time, and because I wasn't keeping track of it I would believe him. Then I started to actually keep track and mark it in my calendar, and it became apparent that he was either deliberately lying to manipulate me, or he was so delusional about how much and how frequently he "needed" it that it was never enough anyway.
So yeah, we weren't having sex very much. More than he claimed we did, but not nearly as much as we did pre-discovery, and not nearly as much as he would like. Doesn't matter though. It was all due to his actions - I mean seriously, to quote him, what the hell did he expect?
I did start getting back into it again once he got the vasectomy reversed and we were trying to get pregnant. Because I finally felt safe and understood and like he truly cared and was actually going to go through with it finally. I trusted him again because he had kept to his word. But then he started telling me how much pressure I was putting on him. Anytime I expressed excitement about anything pregnancy or baby related he would say "you just can't leave it alone can you?" He actually called me a dog in heat once.
I felt completely and utterly broken towards the end. Sex was of no interest to me. For a long time after DDay and moving out, even putting a tampon in triggered the hell out of me. I cried during my pap smear. The thought of being sexual with someone again repulsed me. If I thought about it in too much detail I would dry heave.
BUT I'm here to tell you ladies that my sex drive has returned! I would say it came back after approximately a year of no contact and a lot of therapy. Very slowly at first. And it did freak me out, because I would have sex dreams, and they would be about him. Not about any of the abusive stuff, only the good stuff, but still. It was very jarring to wake up after seeing his face in my head.
Now that I am about a year and 8 months out, it's pretty regular again. Lines up with my ovulation like it always has, so I can prepare myself for the weird sex dreams about him. I could even potentially see myself having sex with someone. But honestly, if/when we ever get out of all of this pandemic crap, it would likely just be a hook up. A well vetted person to make sure it's not some psycho, but a hook up nonetheless. I just have no energy whatsoever to devote to a relationship of any kind. I have no interest in what music or movies you like, just throw something on in the background and let's get down to business. I don't want to know how work was, I don't want to hear about your parents or your friends. I certainly don't want to know anything about your hopes or dreams, childhood memories etc. I don't even want to know your middle name. At this point I just want a clean criminal record and proof of your most recent STD test.
Since I know that level of detachment isn't healthy, I'll stick to myself for now.
I was just talking to a friend yesterday and I said You know what? I actually understand being a cat lady now. I never planned to have 5 cats. In fact, if you had asked me when we first started dating, I would have said over my dead body to even one! But we gained this little tribe of kitties over the years, and when my XH showed me who he really was - the kind of man who would abandon cats in an alley because he didn't want them anymore - I was there to take over.
When I'm laying in bed reading, or watching an awesome new show, or listening to a great podcast, and one of the cats comes up to cuddle with me, I am at complete peace. I know I'm not going to find a random piece of my torn up underwear underneath the pillow next to me. If I fall asleep with a book in my hand, I'm not going to wake up at 3am because he's decided it's a good idea to put his dick between my butt cheeks and rub his hands all over me. These little weirdos love me so much. Even the ones who were technically the girls' cats, or my XH's. They have slowly come around. It makes me smile so big when the ones who previously hid from me due to my association with XH now come and lay on top of me when I'm watching TV. Any pet owner knows, animals only lie belly up when they are super comfortable around people, because it is a weak/vulnerable position. I nearly cried the other day when I walked into my room and 3 of them were laying on my bed belly up! It's like night and day watching them now vs. living in that house with the mad man.
My brothers warned me against taking in the cats when he abandoned them. Said I'll never have another date again, I'll just be the crazy cat lady. Well at this point, I say GOOD! The kind of guy who would take issue with me taking in these defenseless animals when my X decided to discard them is not the type of guy for me. Let the cats weed out the assholes for me! I'm just going to lean in to being a cat lady, and if the right guy comes along who wants to join in that journey, cool. Otherwise, fuck it!
I have these images to share with you ladies: