It is common these days for a pregnant woman who is part of a couple to say “we’re pregnant”! Some people snicker and roll their eyes in response to this. True, her body is housing and will be laboring to have the baby, but “the couple” is having a baby.
When a woman in a couple has vaginismus, it is something her body is experiencing but it is also a “couple issue”. I speak with many women with vaginismus at Maze Women’s Health who suffer in solitude and feel it’s their problem exclusively. Sometimes what brings a woman with vaginismus into treatment is that their partner has reached their limit and threatens to end the relationship unless she “fixes” her vaginismus.
Couples may avoid discussing vaginismus, sweeping it under the rug, burying it way down, and hoping that it will miraculously resolve. When it doesn’t and a woman comes for treatment I hear a lot of self-recrimination, how she has ignored the situation and puts the onus all on herself. As if her partner shares no involvement in this state of affairs. The phenomenon has clearly demonstrated that we need to include partners in addressing the issue of vaginismus. Vaginismus is very treatable. Being in a couple isn’t always easy and adding vaginismus to the mix can place huge stresses on a relationship.