Working with patients coping with all sorts of sexual issues, I frequently hear women talk about themselves in the context of their relationship with a similar formula: My worth as a person informs what I can expect/ask for in a relationship. And since a woman may feel like her self-worth is inferior because of sexual dysfunction, that may translate into feeling like she isn’t entitled to the relationship she wants because she is “defective” and should therefore be happy with whatever she can get.
This logic gets shaken up when the woman gets better and her symptoms improve. Suddenly she isn’t viewing herself with the same pitying eyes and she finds herself thinking larger about what she wants and deserves in a relationship. As her empowerment grows, her ability to communicate what she wants and needs can often follow suit.
This can be a scary process for some, but if you’re reading this and thinking that it may be easier to stay in your symptoms and the same familiar dynamic than get help for them, know that change doesn’t have to be that scary. Are there adjustments? Certainly. But the rewards of living a more fulfilling and enriching life are unquantifiable and as so many of our patients have shared, they wish they’d gotten help sooner.