Sexual abuse and not wanting sex

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sexual abuse and not wanting sex
5
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 4:59pm
My husband and I are often lying in bed and i will lean over and kiss his neck. He will push me away, we will kiss a little bit more, and he will suddenly say STOP, STOP IT. get up. When I ask him what is wrong, he says he feels uncomfortable and like what we are doing is dirty or wrong. He often tells me he feels like he was sexually abused as a child. His mother has asked him on several occasions if he remembers anything about being baby sat a lot and if he liked them. I am not sure if she is hinting about something she knows or suspects. He has asked her if he was abused and every time she laughs and says no. He says he has these faint memories of people touching him and other little boys and him having their pants down at the baby sitters house. He has been to counseling his entire life and suffers from many other emotional problems. I don't know what to do because we are newly weds and I want to share the gift of sex with my husband, but in all reality we only have sex once a week if we are having a good week. When we talk about it, he says that it is mostly my fault we don't have more sex because I know how to get him started and i don't. And he usually wants to have sex right after i fall asleep and he tries to wake me up, but i am not in the mood when i just woke up and i am still tired. I don't know what to do and it has left me thinking and day dreaming about being with other men or coming on to other men just so i can have that sexual attention that i desire. Please help. I don't know what to do and I love him so much. I want to help, but he doesn't want to talk about it and he refuses any more counseling.

Thank You in advance for any replies.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 1:18am
I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't already know. It's pretty clear he's got some very deep emotional problems. It seems he's also made it very clear that he is not interested in further counseling/therapy and refuses to discuss the problem. You said he's been in therapy his entire life. This should tell you first of all that expecting him to ever be normal is not reasonable. You also know that without continued therapy this isn't going to improve. Refusing to discuss your problem also leaves zero chance for any positive change in those areas. I have to assume his actions aren't new, that this is how he behaved before you married, is that correct? If that's so, you knew exactly what you were getting into. I hope you weren't one who expected things to get better once you were married. The truth is expecting things to be any different after marriage is huge mistake.

He certainly has the right to decide he wants no further treatment. While it's not conducive to a positive, growing marriage or relationship, he can refuse to discuss it too. When he chooses not to discuss it he is in effect, choosing to damage your relationship. When he made these choices, he made choices for himself, his life. You have the same option. You can choose to stay with him knowing it will likely never be any different than it is, or you can choose to take a stand for your own life and mental health and leave the marriage.

Your options are pretty limited. You can't help him. Only he can help himself and he's chosen not to. You can feel sorry for him all you want, but it won't change how he's going to be. He is who he is; someone who, after a lifetime of therapy is still a severely damaged person. I get the impression you feel that if you can postively uncover sex abuse as a child (and from what you've said I think there's little doubt) that you can make this all better, perhaps make it all go away. Unfortunately, that's not true. HE has to make the progress, and you can't push him or help him do that. Recognize too, that if he were going to make those kinds of discoveries and great break thoughs, he'd likely have done it before now.

I honestly suggest you consider what a lifetime this man will mean. You seem to want a normal, happy healthy life (and why not!), that isn't going to happen with this man. If you're unhappy as a newlywed, consider how you'll feel after ten years of life as it is today. You won't make him happier or more healthy, but he will make you miserable and cause your emotional health to erode.

You might check in with the Parents Recovering From Childhood Abuse board http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-pschildhdabu on the Parentsoup Channel. I realize you're not parents, but I'm sure they would be happy to give you their thoughts and suggestions. You should also check with the Surviving Abuse board http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-pssurvabuse also located on the Parentsoup Channel.

cl-2nd_life








"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
Avatar for bearkizz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 1:09pm
Dear Kris,

First of all, my heart goes out to you for the rejection and helplessness you are feeling...As to physical abuse, it is always possible your husband endured such a situation in his childhood, however, it is equally possible his mind has chosen to allocate that memory to a subconcious place where it was more easily dealt with. In terms of physical abuse, the mind can "forget" many things, but the body has memories of it's own...If you have ever been in a car accident and a few days later felt yourself jerk spontaneously at a loud noise, then you have experienced an example of what I am saying about "body memories"....It is possible your husband is not declining the idea of further counseling because he doesn't wish to understand his responses, it could simply be his mind isn't ready, or willing, to deal with what the body can't forget.

Patience is a virtue, and no one ever stayed lost forever from genuine TLC from those they trust and feel most comfortable with. I would suggest visiting your local library and educating yourself on the psychological aspects of childhood sexual abuse. There are many wonderful companion books for spouse's of survivors. I would also suggest visiting Barnes & Noble to read a summary of the many available books on this subject so that when you visit the library, you'll have an idea of what books specifically will help you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 1:16pm
hi kris and hugs. my heart goes out to you. I am in a marriage where I believe my husband has suffered some kind of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual - I don't really know). we do not have sex - we started out with some level of *fooling around* but it was no fun, very cold and clinical, and very infrequent. my husband has also blamed me - I was too fat, not nice enuf, not stimulating him enuf, too this, not enuf that. I finally finally finally after 6 years of marriage understand that (a) it is not my FAULT, its not anyone's FAULT - but it is HIS responsibility to deal with HIS issues, and (b) this is NOT a good , healthy, marriage, for many other reasons, but also because of the sexual issues.

what can you do? honestly, you need to accept that there will always be these problems in your life, and any sexual frustrations you are feeling now, will get worse and worse as time goes on (for example, right now, we have NO attempts at sex at all any more). you can decide that you want to live a healthy life and get divorced. or you can try to get your husband to a more specific kind of therapist who deals with adults who suffered from abuse. its possible that he needs certain types of meds to help him also.

one last thing - I don't know if you have kids yet, and I know that sex is infrequent, but do yourself and your future children a favor, and make sure you are on some fool proof birth control. if and when things are better is the time to have kids, not now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 3:29pm
Hi Kris. I'm not posting anything here that will help anymore than the previous posts really.

I actually AM a hubby who was a victim of violent child abuse. I'm very lucky to still be hooked up to the wife....really lucky. We've been friends at first for about 2-3 years. When she couldn't help but desire intamacy, I was ALL problems, just like you posted and even worse! I was pure hell!

She and I had such a trusting relationship that she didn't want to give up, that she stuck with me anyway, even when I could care less about intimacy. Eventually I ended up trusting her enough, through YEARS of time mind you, that we finally started getting physical and then married. We've been married since 2000 and have just started enjoying sex fully....LAST YEAR!!! We could NOT be happier, but boy did it take time. I don't know how she broke down my walls, but she eventually did and I'm the luckiest man alive.

I don't know what could possibly help you two and what you discussed and/or agreed to beyond what you've posted so far, but everybody knows that time has no limits when it comes to healing. We learned that the hard way and it payed off.

I'm just a story proving that it CAN and actually DOES work out even to full recovery, and I remind you that my childhood was so violent that the wife is my ONLY beyond childhood...beat that one? I don't think so. Good luck.

:)

:)

:)

 

C  H  A  R  A  C  T  E  R

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 10:20pm
Pardon me, but there seems to be a conflict here...

"When we talk about it, he says that it is mostly my fault we don't have more sex because I know how to get him started and i don't. And he usually wants to have sex right after i fall asleep and he tries to wake me up..."

On one hand it's "dirty" and brings up uncomfortable memories of "childhood abuse" but on the other hand he has no problem having sex just as long as he's aroused in a manner to his liking (i.e. "you know how to get him started" and "right after you fall asleep"). I'm not a shrink but something doesn't add up here. Maybe you (alone) should go to a therapist and explain your DH's behavior and see if he/she can shed a little light on it and offer some suggestions.

Mac