Jan. 14, 2016
Withholding love or sex is psychological abuse and results from early trauma.
Withholding is altogether different from not having sex or not reciprocating love. People don't have sex for many reasons. They might be traumatized. They might suffer from sexual dysfunction. They might be practicing self-care and setting appropriate boundaries for them. They might even be engaging in the political act of a sex strike in an effort to enact social change (think of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes or for our younger readers, Chi-Raq by Spike Lee).
There are equally many reasons why people might not reciprocate love. But to withhold sex or love as a punishment is a different matter altogether, and is always the result of learned emotional or mental abuse. Manipulating loved ones might appear to be a thought-out strategy, but it's always compulsive and if it goes on for long periods of time, there is a problem.
Withholding exemplifies how deeply we hurt ourselves when we try to hurt others, and how deeply hurt so many of us have been. The phrase, "This hurts me more than it hurts you" (commonly uttered before a spanking) is actually true. A caregiver doling out physical pain literally experiences the punishment along with the person they are hurting. Unfortunately they are also reinforcing a psychological pattern that brings psychic agony and negitive energy. Likewise, those who purposefully withhold love or sex certainly feel the pain and isolation of their actions.
Like any addiction or compulsion, such habitual behavior doesn't just disappear. Because withholding is often masked by denial, it can be difficult to confront. Withholding is a very human quality; most of us at one time have given and received "the silent treatment." Since most solutions to human troubles involve caring, attention, and love, to withhold means to deny solutions. Such withholding is probably a leading factor in many personal, social, and even global conflicts.
Let cold hearts thaw. Breathe into all impossible pain, and be free of repeating old stories.
Today, we at TAC invite you to choose love and acceptance. Resolve to embody your vitality and your desire to connect on your terms.
Thanks for reading.
Live. Well. Now.