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#287830 - 05/17/09 07:42 PM How do other wives of survivor's deal?
wifeofsurvivor Offline

Registered: 05/16/09
Posts: 9
Let me preface by saying, my husband knows he was abused by his father. But he has no actual memories. He is OCD. But my question is in regards to our sexlife.

I get zero foreplay. And when I complain, he get's angry. It's always on his terms and it's always roleplay of some other person. And if I dont say anything, the next time is more vocally inappropriate.

I love him and will stand by him, but to me, this is like rejection and I honestly blame my weight gain on the sexual side of our relationship. I know it sounds like an excuse and cop-out, but I can only pretend to be someone else so many times before I take it personal.

Will he ever be able to make love to me and not his own fantasies? Before him, I loved sex. But now, it turns my stomach because I know I am going to have to listen to his fantasies for him to be happy.


#287879 - 05/18/09 03:50 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: wifeofsurvivor]
ChristineTrying Offline

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 36

My husband does a lot of the same thing. I never knew about his issues until 2 years into our marriage. Now I'm stuck. WE haven't had sex in over six months and even before that we never had what I would call sex. I don't consider mutual masturbation a healthy sexual and intimate relationship. He too has mentioned things from his past during sex and like you, it turns my stomach as well as completely shuts me down for sex at the time. I too have gained weight, over 35 pounds in the last 1.5 years.

I don't know what the solution is. My solution, at least as far as sex goes, is to do it myself whenever I want it and forget about him. He doesn't even want sex anymore. You can try couples counseling or single counseling for yourself. I don't know if he's gotten help yet but you need it for yourself. Whatever people say about relationships, sex is important and those of us who don't get any or get some weird, twisted kind of non-intimate, non-personal sex are getting the very short end of the stick.

Just my 2 cents.


#287892 - 05/18/09 08:55 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: ChristineTrying]
didi Offline

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 165
Loc: USA

My son and nephew were CSA'd by a neighbor. I really cant tell you what a Male survivor is feeling when they are trying to be intimate with the person they Love with all of this in his head, However, I can tell you how I feel as a Mother..

Since this has happened I have had a very hard time not visualizing what happened to the boys while trying to be intimate with my boyfriend. I did not have sex for almost a year after this happened. Every time we went to therapy and my son revealed (or remembered) something else that had happened, I had that in my head. I like to be sensual and sexual, I just cant. How could you stop what is in your head? Sure, you could try and "go through the motions" but that is not fair to anyone. I am just honest about it, It simply makes me physicaly and mentaly ill sometimes just thinking about having sex. Before this we had a very healthy sex life.

The therapist let me know that this is normal and it will take time. I am not pushing it. If I have a good day (which is a day with my son having NO triggers and a good therapy week) and if I have a clear head and can concentrate on my boyfriend and I and nothing else, then I will be intimate....

Take care,

*I posted this in another section as well

Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility!

#288793 - 05/25/09 04:51 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: didi]
wifeofsurvivor Offline

Registered: 05/16/09
Posts: 9
I would really welcome some feedback from other wives like Christine. Every time my husband makes love to me, we have to talk about his fantasies. He talks about things that are terrible but would never act out on them. What on earth do I do to deal with this? I feel like I have no value as a wife - if he wants someone else every time we make love. Why am I even here. Could I please have more feedback. Is Christine and I the only one that are dealing with this?

#288811 - 05/25/09 07:37 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: wifeofsurvivor]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Hi wifeofsurvivor, Sex...that is the million dollar question. When I first met my husband, it was so vanilla. I too, was not getting any type of foreplay, I wasn't even finishing. He would be all, " wow, that was amazing" and i'd be thinking "HUH!" were we even talking about the same thing???? I told him flat out it was not working. He was pissed, said no one ever complained before, explained that everyone is different, and you must learn how to please each individual. For a while things were great. He seemed to make an effort, and I liked to push the envelope.

When he told me about his past, it reverted to the beginning again. It was so bad, I dreaded it...I felt like I wasn't even needed, it certainly had nothing to do with making love, to be frank, I felt like a hole he used to get his fill. It has been many years now, and at times when he is going through a down period, he reverts back to it sucking. Now I refuse to sleep with him during that time.

You do not have to sleep with him. It is not fair to you, when the men get like this, it has nothing to do with love. He is using you, do not let him. I am with Christine, when my H zones out on me in the bedroom, I take matters into my OWN hands...LITERALLY. My H always comes back, and it gets better. Even when things are going well, at times it will seem like he is leaving in the middle of the act, I just tell him to look at me and say my name. It works.

When two people make love, both parties should be respected, and everyone's needs should be met. By allowing him to just have it his way everytime, your needs are being ignored, and you are getting resentful. Maybe you both could compromise. He can make some times all about you, and you can tell him exactly what you want, and in return you will participate in his fantasies. Talk to him, don't let his anger, scare you off, if he is not willing to meet you half way...cut him off. You must think about yourself first.

People shy away from the subject of are not alone...believe me, come on her out. Guys too, how can she get her needs met without making him feel worse about himself??????

Edited by NY Daisy (05/25/09 07:39 PM)

#288822 - 05/25/09 09:41 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: wifeofsurvivor]
QuiteNice Offline

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 1
Loc: Norway
Hi! I have been reading the posts here and I don`t know if my view can help in any matter for you girls and sorry for my writing. I`m from Norway you see :O)

I`m a male survivor who was sexually abused in young age and I`m now in my middle life and I do recognize some of the issues you are talking about here, cause all thru my life I always have had a lot of fantasies, all about girls and mostly all the fantasies are about "the perfect match" and the girl who "understand the broken" me. And mostly the fantasies also contains great sex where both are really enjoying it.

In real life things have mostly been the oposite, I have had a lot of issues about early ejaculation and sometimes I still can have them, and they comes more often if I`m "down" or really mentally tired. When saying that then this is a subject I have really spent a lot of time to try to understand cause I really love the act of love and enjoys it to much to stop dealing with it. What I found out about digging into my self was that I was really shamed about the early ejaculation and a all to long foreplay would even "set more pressure" to it and it was nothing that I found easy to talk about either. So yes, I can see how you girls have it and I can`t speak for your husbands either, but maybe that can bee a issue to them too.

I don`t know where or why the fantasies came to me in the first place but as a Male Survivor then having "hiding places" in mind can be as helpful and they can be destructive. You really need to know that it`s a hiding place, not the real life.

Anyway, today I mostly have a very good sexlife where foreplay almost must do thing to me as well and I love to know that I also can give my beloved one orgasms and to know that she enjoy having sex with me. As I said then I have "flash backs" of the early ejactulation issue still, but the difference came when I met a girl who I could talk about both that I was a Male surviver and my issues around it. She where cool about it and we talked about what she liked and what I liked and my need for fantasies got weaker, and when I was not so uptight about the fear of not being able to give her orgasms then I also got better in doing that too.

Things about sex are mostly connected to the "mental" ways of dealing with your specific problem. To talk about it with all to much pressure on the issue is a good thing. Being relaxed about it will give room to try to deal about in good way.
I really do see your frustration about the problem and I have great understanding about how you feel about it. To love each other is about giving and when you give more then you gain then you dry out so I really do hope that you all will find a way thru it before your lovelife with your husbands dry out.

#288863 - 05/26/09 05:14 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: QuiteNice]
An Offline

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
edited cause i put this response totally in the wrong topic strands. Apologies, An

but must say Quitenice's post was wonderful....thankyou,
Hope and Healing,An

Edited by An (05/26/09 09:45 AM)

#288873 - 05/26/09 07:27 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: wifeofsurvivor]
Zooey Offline

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 8
Loc: FL
for me and my bf the sex was really great when we first met and saw each other casually. as soon as he became emotionally attached to me, the sex disappeared. for him, emotional attachment/love is totally separate from sex. that's a topic that's been rehashed over and over again on this site.

"what am i doing here?" that's a question i ask myself everyday. i understand the concept of the madonna/whore complex but i'm at my wit's end.

#288960 - 05/26/09 10:05 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: Zooey]
wifeofsurvivor Offline

Registered: 05/16/09
Posts: 9
Zooey, I agree that since he is emotionally attached he cannot "make love" to me...... My husband is the most loving person I have known as long as he is standing up. And I know he battles to not have sex with me as long as he can - becuase he doesn't want to "make me dirty" or "hurt my feelings". Then when he finally's dirty talk about things that leave me feeling like a bad person afterwords. I guess I just need to better learn how to understand and deal with this myself.

#289434 - 05/30/09 02:17 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: wifeofsurvivor]
LowSky Offline

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 35
Loc: Glen Burnie,MD
I used to be a in bed but now for some reason I can't seem to climax. So my wife and I enjoy as much foreplay as she can take and then we get together. I have found that pleasing her is my pleasure. So what if I don't... and after all those years of quickies she deserves enjoyment. Your H is dealing with a lot and if self serve is how you deal, more power to you. Sex is great but it is just a part of being married. I attribute my quickness with my abuse as I wanted it over as soon as possible.

Edited by LowSky (05/30/09 02:19 AM)
Hate destroys not the hated but, the hater.


#289719 - 06/01/09 02:24 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: LowSky]
Anna1988 Offline

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 30
Not that I'm married yet, but my partner and I do have problems with the sex issue. He says he likes to hear my input and do things to make me feel good, which I do believe he does actually want. However, it doesn't always work that way. He may have a great time and not me, or worse, I have a good time and he's miserable at the end because he started thinking about the abuse. The latter always makes me feel like I'm an abuser and should quit at the physical side of the relationship.

As far as fantasies and foreplay, there is plenty of the first and almost none of the second. I can understand the lack of foreplay, but it's helpful when its there and disappointing when it's not. The fantasies are bizzarre and they are not things I necissarily want to do. It is difficult and I would like to find a balance in this area. Unfortunately I think couples therapy is the only way we would be able to work it out; since we're both seeing seperate therapists as it is the time is not always there.

Anyways. You said the fantasies made you feel inadequate. I tend to feel that way to, though my parter tells me he thinks I'm beautiful etc all the time. He may be using the fantasies for other reasons than you think. Perhaps it's that he feels he's inadequate and a different situation makes him feel more validated(?). Often women see things differently than men and that pertains to sex especially. Having a frank discussion with your husband, not in the bedroom but a normal sit down at the table conversation, might be helpful. And couples therapy may be good if you're both up for it.

Good luck.

#289882 - 06/02/09 02:37 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: Anna1988]
wifeofsurvivor Offline

Registered: 05/16/09
Posts: 9
Anna, you definately sound like you deal with much of the same as myself. I feel the fanstasies are inappropriate and would never do them. I do not ever have "a good time" as ever occurance tends to have some sort of fantasy. I love dirty talk, or thought I did. But, now, I am completely turned off. I don't move during sex becuase if I do it breaks his concentration and he is upset. Previously, I was a wildly sexual being, and now I have turned into the opposite because of my fear of his reactions. I sincerely love him and would like to have a sexual relationsihp that is benefitial for us both. Unlike you, I get no comments that I am beautiful unless I force him to give them to me and I am tired of that. I am not unattractive but throw me a bone every now and then.

I have tried to sit down and discuss with him these things. He feels very bad that I don't like his innappropriate fantasies and promises to "make love to me" the next time. But, weeks go by and he forgets and the next time is just like the last. So, the talking doesnt' seem to work.

I have even tried bi@$%ing. But that just makes us both mad. Couples therapy would probably be best, but I don't want to discuss with a therapist what his fanstasies are.

Thank you for sharing. With this board, for the first time, I don't feel like I am the only person going thru this.

#289916 - 06/02/09 10:28 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: wifeofsurvivor]
expom Offline

Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 126
Loc: Australia
Ladies - with your permission - may I share a few things from one male's perspective?
My wife and I have been married for 27 years now. for the majority of that time our sex life has been boring. My wife claims never to have faked an orgasm yet we have been remarkably unremarkable in what we have done or not done. I have even bought some sex toys down the years - including chocolate body paint; only to have it go out of date or not otherwise get used.

It wasn't until about 5 years ago that I realised that I needed to get assistance with processing the long term effects of 3 years of sexual abuse from aged 9 to 12.

For many years before then, i didn't enjoy sex - I knew that deep down it was linked to something that I didn't like. Don't get me wrong, I had vivid memories of a lot of what was done to me but the return of the full on memories of being butt-raped didn't happen until about 4 years ago.

About 10 years of our married life we had sex only once a year! Mostly for 2 reasons: 1, if I didn't ask for it then I couldn't be refused and turned down. 2, If I didn't feel like I was being appreciated outside of the sheets then I wasn't going to perform inside the sheets.

After entering active therapy with a highly experienced CSA counsellor, I was able to see the difficulties associated with trying to enjoy experiences that were so closely linked to ones that were so traumatic. This, the more so, because of certain physical responses that the male body goes through when being handles etc (to be explicit, it is entirely normal to get an erection when someone plays with your penis or stimulates your prostate even if you do not feel mentally aroused). So any form of arousal is closely linked to the feelings experienced whilst being abused.

It is for this reason that some men adopt "strange" coping methods. Often this goes the way described by Anna others: the male survivor adopts fantasies where one of two scenarios are played out; 1, Way out, off the wall, fantasies that have absolutely no bearing on anything even close to when the abuse was happening - providing a safe mental barrier between the feelings and the memories. and 2, Scenarios that are remarkable similar to the ones in which the abuse took place. As the male is now an adult, he now feels that he has the ability to take charge, to call the shots and to receive a successful outcome in the groundhog day replay of the abuse situation (often this is called acting out).

For many years i felt that it was my wife that called the shots, therfore, all sex encounters with her felt abusive. I did not demand that she meet my needs or that she played a certain role. I adopted a different tack. I had been told by a psychologist many years before that the person with the lower libido controlled the relationship, so I resolved to not approach my wife for sex until she was willing to deal with the matter as equals, being mutually respective. Remember at this time I had not entered CSA counselling and my wife knew nothing of the abuse I suffered as a kid. She was working completely in the dark making all sorts of second guesses.

It was 3 1/2 years before my wife asked if we were ever going to have sex again. I said that it all depends on whether or not she was willing to get the help that we needed for us to continue being married. I had my issues that I was by then receiving appropriate counselling for. My wife had her issues and we had our issues. I said that I needed to see my wife getting the help that she needed so that we could then go on and get the help that we needed for our joint issues. In a last ditch attempt at saving our marriage my wife went to see a counsellor and a few weeks later we went to see a counsellor together. We have made steady progress together and separately since then. I still insist that my CSA issues are mine and that they are mine to overcome - they are not there for my wife to try and fix.

I am still having difficulties with traumatic memories invading my reality when we are in intimate situations but we have reached a state of openness that is really good. There have been times when I have had to ask my wife to stop what she is doing for a minute or so because it is so close to what "he" used to do to me. After a minute or two we resume and I get my wife to be more gentle, faster, slower etc so that we go away from the danger zone but we do it in a way where we say in effect that this is now, this is not 1969.

There are times when I can get a stiffy but there's no way that I can reach a climax - but my wife can. I have learnt that I don't need to reach the summit of the mountain in order to enjoy the view. There are times when I don't even want to get out of the carpark at the base of the hill. Sometimes my wife asks for me to give her an orgasm even if my body won't let me get a stiffy - and that's ok too; most times.

This is our story. It is getting better. We are getting better. There are no quick fixes but I do feel that each in the relationship has the responsibility to deal with their own issues and to support the other to deal with theirs but not to try and take over or to fix the other person.

As to fantasies. My view is to keep them just that: fantasies. For me, I don't see how I am affirmed, supported, encouraged, loved or appreciated if the person opposite me is making love to superman, Clarke Gable, Antonio Banderas, the TV repair man or a manwhore. I think it perfectly reasonable to say "sorry darling, this is my bedroom too and this bed is for you and me both and nobody else. I hope that you can respect me by staying with me whilst we both enjoy sexual intimacy. If not, then I hope that you will understand that I respect myself so much that I am no longer in a position to pretend to be someone else. If that means that we need to wait awhile for you to get the help you need in order to enjoy sex with the real me again then that's ok but you will have to understand and accept that I will no longer be giving in to any requests for anything other than you and me in a wholesome, normal, natural relationship".

Like I said, these are the musings of just one male adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It has taken me a long time to get where I am today. I do not guarantee that all men will process things this way but I do try and offer you some HOPE that Healing Of Past Experiences is possible.

One thing that my wife and I have realised recently is that "as isolated as adult male survivors of childhood sexual assault are, our partners are even more isolated".

Because of this, we have jointly approached my CSA counsellor with a proposal to run a daylong workshop for couples where the survivor is male. Every thing is in place and the first invitations were sent out today. We will have up to 25 couples together with plenty of time allocated for the supporters to network and swap phone numbers if they'd like. Sessions planned where the couples are together and sessions where the suvivor and partner are in separate groups. One of the things that we wanted is an opportunity for the partners to be able to vent their anger at how the abuse has adversely affected the relationship. The day is planned for August and will be held here is Melbourne,Australia. We will write about how the day goes. We have tried, in vain, to find any others who have run similar allday workshops despite looking worldwide - so we feel as if we have had to make it up as we go along. At least this way, I suppose, we get what we want.

I hope some of this gives a bit of encouragement.


I endured all my yesterdays. I prevail in all of my todays. I exercise my right to be able to enjoy my tomorrows. I choose not to do it alone.

#291477 - 06/14/09 01:00 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: LowSky]
wifeofsurvivor Offline

Registered: 05/16/09
Posts: 9
"As to fantasies. My view is to keep them just that: fantasies. For me, I don't see how I am affirmed, supported, encouraged, loved or appreciated if the person opposite me is making love to superman, Clarke Gable, Antonio Banderas, the TV repair man or a manwhore. I think it perfectly reasonable to say "sorry darling, this is my bedroom too and this bed is for you and me both and nobody else. I hope that you can respect me by staying with me whilst we both enjoy sexual intimacy. If not, then I hope that you will understand that I respect myself so much that I am no longer in a position to pretend to be someone else. If that means that we need to wait awhile for you to get the help you need in order to enjoy sex with the real me again then that's ok but you will have to understand and accept that I will no longer be giving in to any requests for anything other than you and me in a wholesome, normal, natural relationship".

Thank you.

#299631 - 08/17/09 02:33 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: wifeofsurvivor]
MPackard Offline

Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 43
Loc: MS
expom....thank you for your entire post here. I am going to print it and take a while to digest it in parts.
I wonder if you've had your day of healing yet and how that went. I'd love to have something here like that. It's truly amazing how isolated we are...
Thanks again.

#299669 - 08/17/09 06:21 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: MPackard]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382
"Previously, I was a wildly sexual being, and now I have turned into the opposite "

Me too. I have wondered a lot why he would marry me with his issues in that arena. That just seems like him asking for trouble.

My story is a bit different:
A bit after our last child was born he started freaking out and drinking a lot. I became a "hole" as someone else mentioned (that is exactly how I'd describe it too) so we really haven't had any type of sexual relationship since.

Prior to that it was lively and fun, intimate. I see now though that things I did made him uncomfortable. I just didn't know it.

Now that he has been sober a while and has handled a lot of what he hid for so long......I just have no interest. The whole experience has just turned that off and I haven't yet found my way back to being who I was.

#300208 - 08/22/09 06:37 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: sugarbaby]
divadjt Offline

Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 20
Loc: ohio
I feel that my partner always wants to be acted upon during sex. Very rarely, or only with a lot of encouragement will he act upon me. I'm wondering if this has to do with repeating the experience of his having been fondled as a young boy. We have discussed other options for sex, but they usually remain at the discussion level.


#300281 - 08/23/09 02:22 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: divadjt]
roxanne Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 16

Just because we know why someone does what they do does not make it ok to do it.

You have a right to be hurt.

Any woman would feel the same.


#300653 - 08/27/09 08:09 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: NY Daisy]
Mike79 Offline

Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 16
I'm a little out of my element here. But from a man's perspective, I am not happy if my wife is not happy. I am perfectly willing to lay off and do whatever she wants. It makes me crazy when she is leading the way. Slow and steady is amazing. Really extends the feelings. But both people MUST be present. If either of you is feeling in the past or in fantasy than the real sex doesn't happen. It takes time and lots of practice, but both people must be present. It usually comes through honesty. If you are not honest with eachother about REAL life, you will not be honest in the bedroom.

That's just one Male Survivors perspective,

#301016 - 08/31/09 05:29 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: roxanne]
Mike79 Offline

Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 16

#301426 - 09/03/09 11:38 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: expom]
janex Offline

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 13
Loc: Napa, CA
Hi there,

your post was so helpful and on point. it helped me tremendously. Thank you...j

#302524 - 09/11/09 09:38 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: LowSky]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
My ex and I are both survivors. When she and I were together it was more than a year before we had intercourse. However, this wasn't a bad thing since we quite happily engaged in other forms of mutual stimulation together. Even after we had intercourse for the first time this continued, which I was grateful for since it brought creativity to our sex life. It also helped me appreciate how special sexual intercourse is with someone you love deeply. At least it was for me anyways.

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

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