please help me...intimacy issues.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2003
please help me...intimacy issues.
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 3:56pm
I hope someone here can give me some good advice, because I feel like I am ruining my marriage.

I've had moderate acne since I was a teenager...sometimes it's been more under control than other times, but it's always been there. I've been to dermatologists, but none of them have been able to keep it under control. I am at the point where I don't feel comfortable in front of ANYONE (especially my husband) without makeup on to cover the imperfections.

I feel really unattractive, and because of this, I feel uncomfortable being affectionate with my husband. I cringe when he looks at me, and I have a huge problem being affectionate with him when he can see me. I know he loves me and he finds me attractive, but I just can't get over the feeling that he sees every flaw I see when I look in the he's going to discover that I'm not what he thinks I am.

Beyond sex, I'm not even really comfortable kissing him or being near him when he is looking directly at me.

The problem is compounded by the fact that my husband has practically perfect skin. When he does get a pimple, he makes this huge deal about it, like it is the most disgusting thing in the world, which makes me feel even worse, obviously. I don't actually think that he is trying to say that I am disgusting, he just maybe doesn't think about it. He has actually said, on the rare occasion I have mentioned it around him, that he has never thought of me as someone who has a problem with acne.

I know I need some kind of therapy, but I can't afford it. This is ruining me life. I want to stop this obsessing so that my relationship with my husband can get back to the loving, affectionate relationship we used to have. I know he is really frustrated with me, too, but I can't discuss my specific reasoning for the way I am with's too humiliating. Can anyone here help me?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 11:35pm
have you tried PROACTIVE? It doesn't help everyone, especially with the cystic kind of acne but it did miracles for me and my acne was severe. Look up their website or if you need the 800 number, let me know and I will look it up for you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 10:09pm
I once read an article that said when you look in the mirror you should take several steps back so that you can see yourself without being able to focus on individual details. This is how other people see you. They don't focus on ever flaw. They focus on out general appearance and they usually view us in positive, less critical way than we see ourselves. That is not to down play your feels about your acne, but your husband obviously loves you for who you are and finds you attractive.

That's the important thing to remember. Your husband loves YOU. He knew you before you were married and he found you special enough to want to spend the rest of his life with you. He loves you for how you look and who you are. He doesn't see your acne as something that makes you unattractive. As you said he doesn't even seem to think that it's a real problem. When he complains about having a pimple it's probably because he's like everyone else. We are super critical about any change in our appearance and we obssess about things that other people don't even notice. His behavior is no reflection on how he sees you.

It sounds like you really need help in dealing with you negative image of yourself because it is interfering with your ability to be intimate with your husband. Working with a therapist can be really helpful in improving your self-esteem. Therapy might seem expensive but there are community health clinics that offer affordable treatment based on your income and your ability to pay. If you have health insurance then most insurances policies will provide coverage for 10-20 or more psychotherapy visits. If you don't know of any mental health clinics in your area you might call a local hospital to see if they can refer you to a clinic. You can also get referral information from your city's Department of Mental Health. I hope you can find the help that you need so that you won't have to continue to struggle with your feelings alone.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:16pm
I was going to post a new topic but I saw your discussion title and could not help but read. I have eczema and so it can not be covered by makeup. I'm having an especially hard time right now and in my office it is hot and I can't even wear short sleeves. I was going to post that I need help finding nice cover-ups for short-sleeved summer dresses because they are so pretty and otherwise I can not wear them. People don't understand why I wear long sleeves and pants at the company picnic, and why I don't want to participate in water games (can't wear pants, socks, etc) and sports (sweating in the sun irritates my skin). Anyhow, I know that you are having a difficult time and I acknowledge that it is a legitimate problem for you, so I just want to tell you how lucky you are. You are You have a loving husband who accepts you and sees you so much more positively than you see yourself. I have no one, I never have. So I can't see myself throught the eyes of anyone else. I know there are people who are worse off than me but I like to feel a little sorry for myself sometimes. So, I hope my post helps you in some way. Anyone got ideas on cover-ups?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 10:01am
Hi there... I also have eczema. Mine sounds a little less severe than yours, but I totally understand. I don't like to wear shorts because I have some on my legs. The WORST place is the palms of my hands. It is so embarrassing to shake hands, or to receive change while shopping, etc. It's really nasty looking.

I read about some new medications out there now. They aren't the heavy greasy ointments that have been prescribed for so many years, and I believe they are non-steriodal.

I'm definitely going to ask my doctor about these when I see him in early August.

Have you seen a dermatologist lately? See if you can get some of this new stuff. I'm sorry, I wish I could remember the name of it.. I just know its a cream.

Hugs, Julie