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#405567 - 08/01/12 11:58 PM No desire to have sex with my wife...
Shields Offline

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Georgia
I have been married for almost 8 years, and my wife has known about my abuse for around 7 years. There have been many ups and downs in our marriage and most of it has centered around my abuse or many half assed attempts to deal with it. I have gotten helped many times in the past, and recently have broken some ground by telling my parents. One of the biggest issue my wife and I are still having is my lack of sexual desire. I like sex once we get into the act, but it is really like pulling nails to get me there. I make lots of excuses for not wanting to have sex, but I mainly just can't sustain that desire for sex. It may be there occasionally but y drive is inconstant and deteriorates pretty quickly. I will come home every day saying that I am going to do it (have sex) but by the time I walk in the door the want leaves me. Has anyone delt with this, and do you have any suggestion with how to deal with this. I know it is because of my abuse and not medical, but I just can't seem to move forward. I think my wife has had enough of it. She is at the point of either accepting having little sex for the rest of her life, or moving on in her life without me. I can't really blame her, who want to have a sexless marriage! I love my wife and want to make her happy, but how can I do that when I am not truly happy with myself.


#405574 - 08/02/12 01:44 AM Re: No desire to have sex with my wife... [Re: Shields]
jj78 Offline

Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Midwest
I'm sorry man.

Edited by jj78 (11/01/12 01:23 AM)

#405585 - 08/02/12 03:11 AM Re: No desire to have sex with my wife... [Re: Shields]
Sunshine1 Offline

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Virginia
Shields I"m in the same boat. My CSA has destroyed my sex life and I blame my self. I still wonder why today she is still with me.

Oprah did a show on this subject a few years ago, 200 men sexually abused. I invite you to go to her website, at and in the search icon, type in "200 men sexually abused". There you will find some interesting information that may help you and your wife.
Tomorrow brings another day

#405621 - 08/02/12 11:57 AM Re: No desire to have sex with my wife... [Re: Shields]
SamV Offline

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5972
Loc: Sunnny, South East USA

I really think you hit on the issue here,
Originally Posted By: Shields
but how can I do that when I am not truly happy with myself.
It is important to share with your wife how you are feeling at the moment you are feeling it. If you were to really seek her help, to share that you feel like you are being pressured from inside, that sex is surrounded by shame and control, you and she may be able to find a safe place inside you where you can put the good feelings about sex and intimacy with your wife without the negative ones.

Make sure to share with your wife, affirm and empower her. She is a wonderful supporter from your description, but she is frustrated. It may be because she does not understand this issue, it may be time to completely open up to her about it.

Important too is to make sure that any coping mechanisms concerning sex, viewing porn, fantasizing or any other extreme sexual activity is stopped for at least a time to see if that may be affecting your thoughts and feelings about sex.

Come back and tell us what happened if you are comfortable, ok?

MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

#405874 - 08/05/12 04:01 AM Re: No desire to have sex with my wife... [Re: Shields]
Mark1981 Offline

Registered: 12/22/11
Posts: 17
Oh man, I read your post and you can change like 4-5 words and it's the exact same for me. I don't know if you have SSA, but I'm gay and my partner is a man and my perpetrators were men and I go through the exact same thing as you.

Presently, I'm of the hope that it will improve with a few years of hard work on recovery stuff... I have gotten some anecdotal evidence that it can play out that way.

Thank you for sharing. Check out the online chat sometime man, maybe we can talk.

#406800 - 08/14/12 05:28 PM Re: No desire to have sex with my wife... [Re: Shields]
1lifenow Offline

Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 437
Loc: west coast

first off, welcome to this site and to a greater self awareness, it always reminds me of the groucho marx quote about he would never belong to a club that would have him as a member. We would also never want to belong here but ironically it is that sense of belonging that helps the healing so much.

it was courageous of you to post on your first day here. your avatar name on nere is exactly what my first therapist (T) said i was. in protection mode of that little boy for my whole life, its the only way you could survive as a kid, and that basic coping skill just never changes if we do not possess the tools. Why? Cuz like you I would say Can't seem to move forward. i hate that word CAN'T i try to keep it out of my discourse now.

The sense of commonality you get on here is really helpful to let you know you are alone. You posted on this section so you recognize that sexual identity is an issue for you. Thats even a good first start away from CAN'T.

The only exception I take is to Sasuva's advice. I agree with his take on open and frank discussions about sex and sexuality. Try to express what you are feeling. And again he is correct in advising a stoppage in "viewing porn", or 'extreme sexual activity" for a time to see if its affecting your thoughts. However when Sam says stop "fantasizing" well that is something we really cant control. Our libibo and sexual thought will do as they may. Try to think of biting into a lemon without puckering. Its just not possible. So whatever those thoughts are , let them be. They are part of who you are. A good T and work you can do will help you parse through them and put them in perspective.

Just be kind to yourself. Be in the moment as much as you can and understand that this recovery from the wounds you sustained take time to heal. This is not really a club its more like a triage center. Some injuries go deeper than others but they all need attention. Like you said, Being happy with yourself is the goal. But first there the process of slowly lowering your shield and letting yourself learn to accept yourself.

All the best of intentions
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

#407621 - 08/23/12 08:47 AM Re: No desire to have sex with my wife... [Re: Shields]
Yerac Offline

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 45
Loc: Southern CA

#407822 - 08/24/12 09:41 PM Re: No desire to have sex with my wife... [Re: Shields]
cymrotom Offline

Registered: 06/15/12
Posts: 30
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
I feel like I'm experiencing the same thing. Thanks for posting what I was thinking. I'm sure my abuse has something to do it, but I keep thinking I would have more desire if I were having sex with another woman. I think it might have to do with the intimacy of the relationship.

Maybe I'm attracted to other women, because they don't have the potential to hurt me emotionally. This is something I want to talk about with my therapist.
I just want to be me.


#448472 - 09/27/13 10:58 PM Re: No desire to have sex with my wife... [Re: Shields]
gettingstronger Offline

Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 317
Loc: Virginia
Hi Shields,

Amazing sometimes how we all seem to be in the same boat! Your story is so much like mine it's kind of spooky. My wife of 19 years recently told me that, about a year ago, she was considering asking for a divorce due to my never wanting sex. Now that I've told her about the abuse and she's done enough research to see how badly it f---d up my concepts of sexuality, we're both starting to heal.

I think the guys above have posted some good responses. My T says I've got some avoidance issues to work on. Part of that is the old crap I've accepted from childhood that I (and my body) aren't worthy of sex, that it's dirty, etc. I'm working through that. Another facet is that my wife has a very active sex drive, even though her upbringing was not much better than mine.

If your wife is putting pressure on you to perform, I know from experience what a deal-killer that is. I had to sit mine down and tell her that (a) because of what happened to me in the past, I have to be the one in control, (b) I need to initiate it to feel good about it, and (c) the focus HAS to be on us enjoying each others' bodies in an intimate way and not just on getting to orgasm. Otherwise, it's just setting ourselves up for failure. We might have orgasms, and we might not. I might be able to sustain an erection, and I might not. I don't make any guarantees.

The good news: She's actually happy with this, and our sex is better than it's ever been. I don't feel like I'm just a tool to get my partner off (flashbacks to my perp) and we can actually slow down and enjoy each other in a deeply intimate way, without all the pressure.

So often we survivors have issues with boundaries. I'm still working them out with various people in lots of ways. One of those boundaries applies to our spouses-- they need to be on board with the fact that we've had trauma they really can't begin to understand. As such, you have every right to ask her to work WITH you rather than being one more thing you have to worry about. Sex for guys like us is stressful enough!

Thank you for posting. All I can say is that, once I had this talk with my wife and the pressure is now officially off the table, I actually ENJOY getting her in the mood, enjoying her body, having her enjoy mine, and connecting with her in a deep way. If either of us get off, that's great. If not, that's great too. Either way, we connected in a great way.

Hope this helps. Sorry for the long-windedness!

#450948 - 10/22/13 12:44 PM Re: No desire to have sex with my wife... [Re: Shields]
Ck Offline

Registered: 08/04/13
Posts: 3
Loc: NY
Wow, I find myself in the same boat, yikes, first of all it was the onset of puberty that put my parents in a tizzy and abandoned me to this Brazilian cult. Ir onic since they both sexually abused me. After 26 years in that cult, with no contact or sex with women I left. I eventually made friends with a woman almost 20 years my elder but we related so well. Now as she is fast approaching 70 and our sex life is so sporadic (lucky if once a year), I also see her more as a mom figure and memories of my mother's sexual abuse resurface at any more intimate moments hampering it further. I would like to repair it, but at the same time i wished I had a chance, when younger to experiment more. I also see sexuality as fluid, more like "love the one you're" with, straight or gay. In any event I will hate going to my grave with only a handful of sexual experiences as I feel that truly sex is life and invigoroating!

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