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#62194 - 08/17/01 06:21 PM Bad sex life, of course.

I'm not really sure where to begin. I hope I don't sound like a jerk. I'm just going to say what's been on my mind for a long time and tell my story and see if anyone can relate or has advice. I've always been a sexual female. I like sex. My husband, who I just found out recently, was sexually abused, doesn't appreciate my sexuality. As a matter of fact, I know he is quite intimidated by it. We started dating a while back. I'll never forget the first time we had sex. It was great, but a few days later, when I came to his apartment and made some advances at him, he said to me,"I'm not used to having girls hang all over me." and was obviously very uncomfortable. It's been this way from the very beginning. I come on to him, he backs away from me. He always has to be the initiator. He's also completely uncomfortable with oral sex. All of the time, before I knew he was abused, I just thought it was me. I thought I wasn't pretty enough or sexy enough. It ate away at me for a long time. We argued about sex all of the time. Why could he never say yes to me? etc. etc. Every other aspect of our relationship was wonderful. I think we have a terrific marriage, but this little thing, sex, keeps coming up. One day, he confided to me that he had been abused. I felt so stupid, like I should have known all along. I felt so sick inside and wanted to help him. He didnt' want to talk much about it and I still dont' know a lot of the details. I know that he was 7 or 8 and was molested on 2 or 3 different occasions by a relative promising to play with a lonely little boy with no friends. It makes my stomach turn to even think of that sad, little boy. My husband, in his adulthood, confronted this person. This person apologized to him and said that they would never touch another child. (I think we all know better.) He said he'd come to terms with it and that things would change between us. I told him that I'm not the person that hurt him, that I'm his wife and that we should enjoy intimacy together. We do, but under the same set of rules and regulations. He is the initiator and there are things that we are not supposed to do. I decided this was okay. I love him and will do what it takes for him to be happy. But recently, there was another problem. I noticed the name of a porn site written on a piece of paper. At first, it didn't bother me. It was a site with petite women, and I'm petite, so I thought,"That's okay.Atleast he likes little women." Then, I looked on his history one night and more sites. Then, I got a charge on my credit card. He was obviously looking at this more often then I thought. At this point, I was upset and confronted him about it. I couldn't understand why he turned down my advances all of the time, but looked at other women. He said to me that if it bothered me, he simply would stop. The next month, another charge on my credit card. This time, I was more angry. What was wrong with me? What did these women do that I didn't do for him? What was more attractive about them? Why didn't I turn him on, but they did? Why did he say no to me, but look at women on the computer when I went to bed alone night after night. Not to mention the fact, that this was obviously important enough to him that he lied to me about it and paid money for it. We had a long talk, cry, fight, whatever. I told him that he should go to counseling and deal with whatever feelings he's having. He said he didnt' want to deal with them and bring them back up. He said he knew what he had to do and that he would do it. (I have no idea what that means.)I asked him why he looked at these women and he said it has nothing to do with me. He said that they don't judge him. He can look at them, but they dont' look back at him. He says sex makes him feel dirty, but he feels less dirty just looking or being the initiator. He swears he's done looking at porn. Like I said, I have a nice marriage, but my sex life sucks. I've been told "no" everytime I ask for sex for 3 years now and it's started to wear on me. Now that he's looking at other women, I feel really inadequate. I am losing my "sexual self". I don't feel sexy or pretty anymore. I don't have an orgasm when we're together anymore. We do have sex, just not often, and on his terms. My big question is... Is this something I should work to repair with him? Or is it something that cannot be repaired that I should just accept about him? I want to do the right thing, not just for myself, but for him too.

#62195 - 08/17/01 07:36 PM Re: Bad sex life, of course.
SoCalJohn Offline

Registered: 05/18/01
Posts: 510
Loc: Los Angeles, California

The thought that kept running through my head while i read your story was that therapy could probably help, if not both of you going at least one of you could. If he is not up for going with you then i would ask you to consider going for yourself.

I think the deal with relationships is that if one person starts making some changes the other one has to adjust to the changes and the whole chemistry of the relationship will change. You do what you can do, if all you can do is get yourself there, then start with that.

You deserve to be happy and fulfilled in your relationships, therapy can help you with that. You can only change yourself, trying to make him change at all is a dead end street as far as i am concerned.

He is responsible for his own stuff in your relationship, let him be, and if he sees you making changes, he will adjust.

I hope your able to work it out together, i hope he comes around cus the bottom line is he is missing out on a lot of good stuff because of the walls he has up and the issues he has left over from his abuse.

I wish you both the best.


I asked him about this law he spoke of, he said,,, *watch* he then asked the others to share about their lives,,, the others talked of how things were for them, how things worked in their lives,,, and as they believed, it was so.

#62196 - 09/19/01 02:37 AM Re: Bad sex life, of course.

hi nik
i just read your post and it realy hit home. my husband of 1 year, friend of 10 years recently told me that he was sa as a child. he told me because i found porn sites on our computer. i was furius along with hurt and confused. i wondered the same things you are. i dont realy have too much to say but i know where you are coming from and bad as it may sound it is nice to know you are not alone! keep in touch, and dont give up on him. i try to think of it as a side effect of what he went through and not a sexual thing. i believe it is an anxiety release. and i think there are worse forms of release to choose from. you will be in my prayers along with your husband.


#62197 - 09/21/01 02:30 AM Re: Bad sex life, of course.

John, your advice here is, I believe, right on target.

Ladies, please don't freak out....your husbands are struggling inside and the best way of dealing with it at this point is your steadfast love and support. I don't think these behaviors are about you personally, and if you can get past that point, you can emphasize the good things that you have going in your marriage. And, by going for therapy yourselves, you have the greatest chance for your own happiness and peace of mind. As John said so very well, "I think the deal with relationships is that if one person starts making some changes the other one has to adjust to the changes and the whole chemistry of the relationship will change. You do what you can do, if all you can do is get yourself there, then start with that."



#62198 - 04/18/03 03:05 PM Re: Bad sex life, of course.
willowtree Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 2
Loc: australia
Even though I'm not married and only in a new relationship with a sexual abuse survivor I can relate to your situation. It's between a rock and a hard place. I'm always asking the same question - at what point do my needs count

#62199 - 04/19/03 01:18 AM Re: Bad sex life, of course.
Tom S. Offline

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
Nik and Jackie;
As subjects of SA, I can say first hand that your husbands have had to endure the loss of control in a sexual setting in a very hideous way, and may be responding to a stress reaction brought on by your need for sex, espicially if you are initiating it on them. Instead of having a natural sense of control, what stands out in their minds is loss of control for sex, and so they retreat into a fantsay on their computer screen that they can control with the touch of a button. Same thing as having a fantasy of hurting someone twice your size that makes you angry, in your mind. No harm if you have no reaction to it, and no one gets hurt, and in some cases it can be a helpful release. But in this area, you also need the fulfilment that sexual intimacy brings, and that creates problems for you, and him, the other half of your family equation.
Realize your hubby has had a rough time and had to endure sexual awakening at a very tender age in an aggressive way on him, that he had NO control over, and no one should ever have to experience that. But sadly your hubby did.
Above all, and crucial to his personal survival, let alone the survival of your marriage is; NEVER under any circumstance ever compare him to someone else, ESPICALLY in a sexual manner, be it a movie star or a maquin in a store front. Just like your feelings of being compared to porn queens, he is feeling the same type of things, magnified several times more intensly, and not for reasons of your own, but his perpetrators. He is trying his best to put those feelings back under control by the simplest means he has available. You are able to semi-cope because you have the knowledge you are slim and adequate; he doesn't. Do you tell him he is Mr. wonderful and you can't get him off your mind before you try to seduce him? Little things can go a long way.
I believe Jackie is on to this, and offers up some excellent advice. Armed with this knowledge, you will be better adapt to help him go thru the hell of victimization, and reap the benefit of a the best marriage mate/ husband/ father, anyone could ever have because both of you will gain insight into essence of marriage the rest of the world never get and would take advantage of if they could get it..
Loss of control is a serious thing and in the area of sexual intimacy it can cause more than just a little frustration, for both of you. Just remember that big lug you fell in love with is STILL in there somewhere, just more afraid to come out to play maybe.
Tom S.

' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '


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