September 24, 2010
Hello... I'm new on here. My wife and I have been married for just over 2 1/2 years now. Before we were married, she told me that she was abused by her cousins from the time she was 4 until she was in her teens. Obviously, it has left an emotional scar. She went to therapy for several years and even told her mom... who just dismissed her (that's a whole 'nother story... the woman is a crack pot!). We've been having some issues lately and have started going to marriage counseling because we want our marriage to work.
She doesn't associate sex with love... and when we do have sex, it's very one-sided... Occasionally, I'll send her a text during the day with flirty message etc and she get's upset and tells me that when I do that, she feels like a slut. I'm not sending anything risque, but totally normal between a married couple. When we're laying in bed, if I try and "make a move" she gets SO upset to the point of being mad. She says it's because she feels like she should, but doesn't want to, so feels bad... but it translates to me as anger, because she'll say, "NO!... why would you do that?!?!"
When we do have sex... she has to be really turned on by watching pornography or she has to have had several glasses of wine for her to be in the mood...
I know there's no quick fix for this... I've read several blogs and several treads on here as well... what I want to know is, what can I do, as her husband to help? How can I make it better for her? Is there anything I can do to help fix it or make her feel more comfortable about it? Therapy is out of the question right now, because we simply can't afford it... like I said, we've begun couples counseling and have turned our hearts to God... I just want to do everything that's right for her... because she's my everything.
September 30, 2010
what a nice hubby you are!! i guess alot has to do with her and keeping up with the couples counseling, and maybe talking about the abuse more, getting everything out, and realizing that you are her husband and want to "make love" to her...not just sex.
Maybe she uses the porno and drinking to distort herself from the real world when she is with you, cuz of all the abuse she's had...she may have some really bad feelings being abused, which is totally understandable.
Just keep on her side and keep up the counseling & keep posting!!
September 27, 2010
It's thoughtful of you to ask for help on this issue, you sound as though you truly care and love your wife...So nice to read that you want to help her and your marriage. When there is deep love, it isn't just sex, but she might be seeing it as such because of the sexual abuse, which I perfer to call Rape, because that is what it truly is... no matter how anyone looks at it. It took so much away from her from such a young age, but be assured she can heal, and enjoy an intimate marriage with you, including a wounderful sexual relationship too.
There is therapy available through differant mental health facility's in pretty much all counties in the US.
I would recommend purchasing the book "Courage to Heal", but ask her first if she would mind if you read it so that you understand what she is feeling and so on.. this will open the door maybe to her picking up the book herself and start reading it. It also has a great referrance guide in it where you both can find professional help as well in the process of healing. No matter where you live or what kind of money you have or don't have you will find some great starting points where you can turn for help. It has a complete list of phone numbers and so on, Good luck and best to you both.
Your a good man for wanting to help your wife through this, and it helps so much when a women has a man to stand by them and hold their hand though the healing process.
Healing and Peace to you both
September 24, 2010
Thank you for reaching out to your wife and wanting to help her and support her on her journey through life.
I was abused as a child and have issues with sex. I got divorced two years ago, with sex being a major factor.
I'll share my story so you can maybe understand the other side of the coin so to speak. (not that I think you are anything like my ex. In fact if he were more like you, he would still be a hubby and not an ex)
I would have sex with my husband because I thought I was suppose to. When we were intimate, I closed my mind in much the same way that I did when I was molested as a kid. I didn't know any other way to do it. Whenever I tried to confront my feelings and tell him what was happening in my mind, he was very offended and hurt. Understandibly so- which made me bury those thoughts even deeper.
Years later my anger and resentment and rage continues to build until I can't stand it anymore and go into therapy. Where I start to work though my issues. He can't deal with the truth (that I have been associating our intimacy with my childhood molestation).
Some things you mentioned about your wife ring so true to me...
to me being beautiful is dangerous and whenever someone comments on anything attractive about me, there is an overwhelming sense of panic and fear. In my mind my abusers always told me they did what they did becuase I was so beautiful. So yes, seemingly normal comments can trigger strong and very frightening emotions.
My ex thought that if he told me how pretty I was that evenutally I'd believe it. He had no idea that couldn't be farther from the truth.
So in my case doing what might been obviously right was in fact the most wrong thing you could do.
So now I am exploring intimacy with my boyfriend of almost a year. He knows about the abuse and so far things are working out. He and I are able to talk about the things that send me spinning back to those dark places of my soul, usually days after- but still it is so nice to have someone just sit and listen as I blabber on. He reads my body language and usually stops intimacy at the first sign that I'm not fully in tune with the present. Which is extrememly helpful- because it frightens me to say no- or stop. There have been many times when we get all excited and nothing happens because I trip out. So we stop and he takes care of himself without complant and we then do something different and non-intimate. Having that helps me want to have more in the future.
I think the best thing you can do is realize that this is not a normal situation and you have to be patient and let her work through much of this. You can be there for her. She might not be able to explain anything for a while, but keep providing her with unconditional love and acceptance.
Thanks for caring so much about your girlfriend.
September 27, 2010
How I so admire you for sharing your story and asking for direction/input!
Bottom line, I would go so far as to say is safety.
Safety. Safety, safety, safety.
See, what most women want that have been through something like this is to feel safe first and foremeost.
Above and beyond anything else.
This will usually/probably entail you just holding her with no inclinations towards sex for quite some time.
(Hard for most guys....I know!)
It is about intimacy. About sharing feelings, period.
You have got to realize that by being ravaged and raped at an early age has left her scarred and scared.
On some level, she feels an obligation to please....and if there is anything else which adds to this awful mess is this innate sense of confusion and obligation on the women's part to please and feel like an object in the process.
Hard for her to discern the difference given her background.
It's really mind-boggling and confusing, to say the least.....
Safety. I can not stress this point any clearer!!!!!!
A soft place for her to fall....you know what I mean?
See, what I have learned basically from men - is that once they find out about a problem....they just natuarally kick into some kind logical mode of 'let's solve the problem zone' and women are not like that at all......
Quite contrary, women actually solve their own problems by just simply stating the problem like it is and letting the feelings flow about the problem with no particular specific action or direction which must or must not be taken.....and it just kind of resolves itself as a matter of an emotional by-product and simnple witnessing of sorts....if you follow me.
Bottom line - we gals just simply need someone to listen to us without judgement and without just jumping on the bandwagon on just how this particular instance should be taken care of.......
You follow me?
Our 'solution' actually lies in the safety and vulnerabilty it takes to just tell you guys the problem in the first place. No furthur action is necessary, really....on your part.
Just bearing witness, really, is all.
Honestly and truly and quietly.
That's where the safety comes into play.
That's my 2 cents anyway........
Your gal just needs to feel safe - no strings.
September 24, 2010
TBT- That's exactly it!!!
I feel safe with my current boyfriend because he and I have been friends for so long with no thoughts of itimacy- just hanging out and helping the community. I trust him and feel safe with him. Once that was established, the attempts at intimacy have followed in a somewhat natural way.
But keep in mind we are talking over 15 years of me trying to work out my issues of abuse- so it might not come quickly or easily. Expect for it to take a lot of time.
Safety, I couldn't have said it better myself! Thanks TBT.
September 29, 2010
oops ((((Markcas))), This is very sweet of you. As one who was abused as a child, I can tell you that it`s very difficult to work through this particular form of abuse. Your wife has PTSD, and anything that even remotely looks like sex triggers all the emotions and pains she felt way back them. So every time you try to touch her, she gets re-traumatized. That`s why she wants to be high from something so as not to be present for the act. Honestly, it will be almost impossible for her to make love for a while, until she feels safe with you.
I would suggest seeking therapy at all cost. Some therapists will work on a sliding scale. Does your place of worship have counselor you can talk to...She can also start attending support groups for adult survivors of sexual abuse in your area. She needs to work on this. For you I think you should keep talking to her. Allow her to take the lead until she feels safe to invite you to. By all means do not do the unexpected making moves on her because it brings back those feelings of powerlessness...
Hang in there!!
September 24, 2010
I am also a victim of sexual abuse and you are such a sweet guy to be patient and understanding of her.I wish my husband was like that.Alot of people don't take the time to understand or at least understand the effects of abuse and what it can do to you.I know its hard for you but she needs you and the only thing i can say is that you have to practice patience.I know you said you believe in god i also do too.This is gonna be a long process.She needs alot of healing and dealing with the issue in therapy.They have therapy centers that are reasonable.I suggest you look around or see if they accept your insurance.THis is very important to do in order for her to move past this.Like it says in the bible multitude of counselors there is safety meaning that the more therapy you get the more better you feel about yourself and your situation.
I wish you the best and don't give up on her,please practice patience.She will get better as long as she knows your right there with her.
September 27, 2010
I know how you feel, as my wife was also a victim of sexual abuse during her childhood & mid teens & was left permanently scarred as a result. Having a great deal of patience while in the midst of this form of sensory deprivation would almost qualify as an understatement.
It's a bit of a conundrum in that, generally speaking, females need to feel loved/safe to be intimate & males need to be intimate to feel loved. My ex used to tell me on a regular basis, even right up to the end, that she had never had any man so patient & understanding as I was but, when you truly love someone, you take the good with the bad (so long as it's not too bad) i.e. infidelity, abuse etc.
For me it was difficult, to say the least, while I'd wait & wonder if or when the intimacy thing would ever get on track, but I was prepared & committed to her so I had accepted that I'd just have to look after myself on my own when it came to getting that "release" that us males so sorely need. Unfortunately, my ex had a problem with addiction & after many years of sobriety turned once again to the drink. She eventually became a very different woman than the sober one I had met & fallen in love with. Long story short, it was only a matter of time until she had fallen so deep into depression & self loathing that our marriage came to a sudden end.
Of course, your situation is different than mine but, I just wanted to tell you that while things were still relatively good between us, my patience & tolerance of her intimacy probs were paying some dividends.
So, have hope & carry on with what your are doing. Hopefully your counselling will help you to eventually get past these issues & the pair of you can enjoy a fulfilling relationship in the years to come.
December 8, 2011
My situation is similar but different. My wife and I have been married for the last 12 years and have 2 small girls together. Our intimacy issues started in 2007 after I suffered a back injury in a car wreck, because of the pain and the subsequent pain management drugs I was taking, they rendered me sexually useless. After I had surgery for it, and began feeling better in 2009, the iss ue wasnt about my inability to perform, but rather her not wanting anything to do with me. We sought marriage counseling after approximately no sexual contact for 7 months. Needless to say it didn't work too well because we didnt know what the real issue was. But we never stopped loving one another, and we tried to make things work. But she never acted the same, and started to refuse to do certain things. She stopped the kissing and hugging, and almost all affection completely. It was as if she wanted to just be room mates. Then in 2010, she finally shared with me that she had been raped by a neighbor, that she was babysitting for when she was just 13 years old, and to add to the complexity of the problem, she never told her parents that it had happened, and still hasn't. When I adored is she would seek therapy, she refused, saying she couldn't bear to tell anyone because it was just too painful to talk about. During the last 18 months we have both tried our hardest at making things better, but she is still emotionally distant. But after I asked her to do it, before it affects our girls in how we raise them, she finally relented and started therapy. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I wish I had spent more time looking into how to cope, then, because things have gotten to the point now, where we are contemplating a seperation. Just 2 days ago, she finally shared with me, what she has been discussing with the therapist, and she is trying to find a way to tell her parents what happened. So, my username kind of says it all. I have told her that i will continue to support her, while goes through therapy, and it is her decision to make regarding the seperation if she still wants to pursue it. I am also going to start therapy, to find ways to cope with the emotional distance she has put between us, and our lack of affection and intimacy. This forum, and several other web sites have given me hope, that others have gone through similar situations. I will post again, with updates, but you be sure as it has already been stated on this forum, this isn't something that she isn't just going to get over. It is going to take a lot of effort and patience to remain committed.
December 8, 2011
After proof reading my previous post, i notice sever grammatical errors, and even different words than intended. Please forgive them, as it was the auto-correct spelling of my *smart phone*
I would also like to add a couple of comments previously not mentioned. I do agree with the female posters comments 100 percent, I only wish I had read them sooner, than I found this website. As I did make several mistakes, after finding out what had happened. I too took the stance of "well let's fix this". As a man thinks logically - and not always believe me, we try to apply logic to a severely emotional issue. It hasn't worked for me. I found that my wife retreated farther and farther, the more help I tried to offer or be to her. I also failed to listen as much as i should have. I went so far as to even offer to help her write her parents a letter, since she cannot tell them face to face, or on the telephone. Hoping that my help would be accepted. But sadly, I feel like it had the opposite effect, almost as though she thinks I am trying to rush the healing process for her. I too have a lot of regrets that i am now having to face in the way I handled things before I looked into the right things to do and say.
And lastly, my wife didn't volunteer the information just one day out of the blue for no reason. She had made oblique references to her sexual experiences in the past, and it wasnt until I actually put the pieces together, that i finally asked her if she had been raped. So I blame myself in large part for opening up this painful wound that she had blocked for the last 24 years.
February 9, 2011
Trying to be Honorable,
It's normal to have mistakes sometimes. Don't worry about it. Regarding your wife's story, I guess you just did your part as her partner. That's the essence of marriage, give and take to each other. It might be hard for her to talk about her traumatic experience but she just need to move on and recover from it and that's what your call is, TO SUPPORT AND HELP HER.
Good luck and keep it up!
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