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#64883 - 03/08/03 03:02 AM Towards a happier sex life?
stride Offline

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
My partner, whom I love deeply, was sexually abused by his father for several years when my partner was a boy. He is now almost 42, sweet, loving, and very devoted to me. He has never been married and I am the first woman he's lived with in almost 10 years; in fact, ours is the only really serious relationship that he's had in that time. We've been together for 15 months and living together for the past six months, although we've known each other peripherally for several years now.

Anyway, I find him very attractive and desirable, yet our sex life is the one area of our relationship that consistently poses difficulties. Not surprisingly, given his history, he has numerous sexual inhibitions and problems that strike me as directly related to the incestuous abuse that he sufferred as a child.
He has problems getting and sustaining erections, has difficulties being truly intimate with me emotionally/sexually in bed, seems unable to enjoy learning about what pleasures me, hates any kind of talk during sex (reminds him of his dad), is repulsed by bodily fluids--especially on his face, gets angry whenever I try to discuss our sex life with him (no matter how or when I approach it), frequently seems to become "absent" during our love-making (becomes rather mechanical), is generally closed to any kind of sexual experimentation, usually avoids acknowledging any attempts on my part to initiate sex with him, is very quick to move on to non-intimate or solo activities after sex, etc.
Increasingly often these days, I feel like just giving up. He will not talk about these concerns, and flatly refuses to do anything like see a counsellor--or even read a self-help type book related to survivors of incest, intimacy, male sexuality, and so forth.

He also suffers from frequent nightmares, says he does not want to give or receive even non-sexual massages, hates having his face touched, appears to suffer from depression (though you wouldn't know it if you didn't know him well) and has a drinking problem, as well.

Before I go on any further, is any of this sounding familiar to anyone? I swear I've tried everything to be patient, understanding, supportive, etc, but I'm nonetheless starting to feel evermore resentful and angry towards him for his unwillingness to work with me on this. Please forgive me my frustration here, but to say that our sex life has been very one-sided would be an understatement. But what feels worse is the emotional isolation that I feel here. Please help!

In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

#64884 - 03/08/03 01:44 PM Re: Towards a happier sex life?
SandyW Offline

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 86
Loc: NJ

I too have described the encounters with my husband as being "mechanical". I too have had to initiate and have been rejected. I know your pain, your isolation. I know your desire for normal. I know how unfulfilled you feel when he's just not into it. I've fought this battle for four years. I never knew what the problem was until very (2 weeks) recently. My husband had two incestuous encounters when he was 13 or 14 and his sister was 17 or 18. He still views this from the eyes of the little boy he was then, but he's slowly coming out of it. He blamed himself, because he went into her room when the encounters happened. He's slowly starting to see that she manipulated him and hurt him. For 23 years now he's seen himself as the vile perp. He's starting to realize that it wasn't about was about her controlling, manipulating, and degrading him. Okay, but let me give you hope. As I said, he's slowly coming out of it, and starting to see this from an adult perspective. This morning, he initiated, he was into it, and it was great! How ironic that this happened and then I was able to go online and answer your post. Don't give up. By the way, after this secret came out initally (to our pastor 6 weeks ago), my husband has not felt the compulsion to drink, a battle he had fought every day of his life before.

There were some resources that helped us get to this point.

See Sexual Abuse Survivors and Sex
- an article about becoming more comfortable with sex

See also Breaking The Cycle of Self-Defeating Behaviors .

These were both very helpful to us. Read them yourself first, then share what you have learned with your partner. Mine too is opposed to speaking to a trained professional in this area, however he does speak to our pastor about this. After talking about these articles, my husband became curious about these things he could possibly feel, and was able to separate the abuse from true sex.


#64885 - 03/08/03 06:07 PM Re: Towards a happier sex life?
Freedom Offline

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 164
Loc: US

I think SandyW is on to something. I also found out that planting a thought and leaving it there to germinate (did I get that right?) usually works. Time is the key.

The most beneficial realization for me has been that nothing in my friend's world works the usual way, especially the thinking process. It is like learning a new language that is more than just words.

Also, knowing what really happened, helps decipher the coded messages. Unfortunately, most of the time the details are burried.

Hang in there and be careful not to lose yourself in the process.

Best wishes, Freedom.

Life is moving on. AM I?

#64886 - 03/11/03 07:48 AM Re: Towards a happier sex life?
stride Offline

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Freedom and Sandy,

Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. I am so glad to have found this site and the people here. The stories and posts are very helpful and the palpable spirit of fellowship and support is truly a blessing.

God bless you all.


In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

#64887 - 03/15/03 12:45 AM Re: Towards a happier sex life?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
This is a subject that came up in the group therapy session I had this week, we were asked "what is the one thing you really want to change or achieve right now ?"

I want my sex life back, I want to make love to the woman I love.
I want to kiss her passionatly, caress her, have sex and enjoy the bodily contact - not use a position where I have as little contact as possible.
I want to initiate sex without feeling like a rapist, I want her to initiate sex without me feeling like a f****** victim all over again.

But on a positive note, the lady therapist is also a sex therapist who does work with couples and she's offered to help.
I've talked to my wife about it tonight and I think we'll give it a try, hell - we've got nothing to lose !


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau


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