My question to you concerns extreme desexualization at the hands of a Narc and how to get over that. I really need help on this one!
By most objective standards, I believe most people would describe me as good-looking — or so they tell me. Yet, 26 years with Dick Bling has left me feeling dowdy and frumpy and completely undesirable.
Dick Bling insinuated to me over and over that nobody else would ever look at me because I was too old. This started when I turned 40 and I’m now 55. He giggled and fluttered his eyes at pretty much any woman under 40, gushing how beautiful they were — in my presence. He loved teen porn and very young SE Asian prostitutes. If his friends flirted with me, he seemingly didn’t notice it. If he did, it was my fault for having started it. Eventually, with me at least, he had chronic ED.
After D-Day #5 or so (yeah, it took me a looooong time), Dick Bling proposed his “revolutionary idea” that we live as a non-sexual couple. He would, of course, continue to frequent all the prostitutes and massage parlours he wanted. When I pointed out that even a Wife Appliance needed sex and that straight male prostitutes are hard to find, he couldn’t quite get his head around that because he had convinced himself I was non-sexual. My needs simply didn’t occur to him. You get the idea.
While all this was happening, I would have sworn that it wasn’t affecting me and was confident that I was still a desirable woman. I was aware of what he was doing and saw it for what it was. But in the last year since I have been living alone, I find that his words have taken their toll on me, because I immediately friend-zone any man who comes near me to protect myself. Also, I now react to compliments by thinking it is someone who just wants to con me. It bothers me because I would hate to think that Dick Bling’s diminishing of me will turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
How do I get Dick Bling’s years of devaluing my sexual worth out of my head?
Dear Chumpa Lumpa,
That kind of devaluing would make ANYONE lose their confidence. While it was happening you would’ve swore it wasn’t affecting you? How could it not? If you took the most beautiful woman in the world and constantly bombarded her with “Thunder Thighs!” or “What have you done with your hair?!” or “Are you really wearing that?” she’d be a hunched over shell of insecurity.
And oh hey, nearly every woman on this planet has been bombarded with this shit, most of us from our own mothers. (Decolonize your minds everyone! Don’t pass this crap on to your daughters!) So I would argue, most women’s starting off point is a hunched over shell of insecurity. Sure, we try to play it off, but as any man knows, you criticize a woman’s appearance at your own peril.
Now, given the baseline insecurity that most women have about their worth as Beautiful, Desirable, Sex Object (how can I possibly measure up?!) — factor in a complete fuckwit of a husband who proposes a sexless marriage for you, so he can screw teenage prostitutes. A man who runs you down for being over 40. (By the way, what’s the alternative to aging? Offing yourself at your sell-by date?) Who flirts with other women in front of you. How could you NOT take that personally?
When we choose a partner, we’re supposed to be choosing someone we feel safe with. Someone with whom we share our most intimate selves. Our NAKED selves.
And knowing us this way, the totality of us, our partner commits to us — in sickness and in health — til death do us part.
I know today’s post will probably spur a troll attack. Because to women chumps, that’s the first line of attack — you got fat, you got sexless, your tits aren’t perky. Ergo, you’re not entitled to fidelity. All bets are off because you didn’t lose the baby weight.
I could respond to that in a defensive crouch — Hey! I believe in sex in marriage! Hey! Everyone should be their best physical self for their partner! You gain 60 lbs of baby weight and see how fast YOU lose it!
But to respond would give credence to the deep misogyny behind such arguments. That women are only as valuable as they are deemed fuck-worthy.
Chumpa Lumpa — the only person you have to convince of your worthiness here is yourself. It begins with you. When you believe that you’re awesome and the world should be so lucky as to have you? Then you’re ready to let someone in. You’re not there yet. That’s totally understandable. There’s a lot of mental real estate there to decolonize.
I suggest a fuck-off approach. Take inspiration from this What Not To Wear Over 30 blog post. Be who you want to be. Wear whatever the hell you want to wear. Please yourself.
I promise you that not every man is a cheating fuckwit. And not every man wants to date a teenager. (So many of them do, though. It’s an epidemic of pathetic.) There is a man out there right now who would have sex with you if you wanted. Hell, there are LEGIONS of men who would do you. Sex is not that hard to come by. Respect is though. You could get all the validation you wanted from other men that you’re fuck-worthy — and maybe you’ll go there. Maybe you’ll have a couple flings. No judgement here.
But the real lesson is learning to love yourself, and shut up the devaluing voice in your head. Your ex is NOT the final vote on your lovability and worth. Do not give him that power. Hand it back to yourself.
Self-worth — you wear it well.