Help! New to forum
January 24, 2019 at 3:21 pm #24197anan326Participant
I am new here and I am reaching out to all the husbands/partners out there for help!
My husband and I have been together for 9 years and married 5.5 years. We have only had penetrative intercourse once (kind of), but some (scarce) attempts. In the past 1 year, there have been no attempts or even any intimacy at all.
As of Jan 2nd, my beloved husband has moved out of the house and feels that divorce and a “fresh start” is the only way for him to move on. He feels a lot resentment, rejection and overall feels unloved. But this could not be further from the truth. I love him so deeply and do not want to spend my life with anyone else. He feels that he cannot get over it.
Don’t get the wrong idea. Over the past 5.5 years he has been a doting, loving, caring partner. He has never forced me or hurt me in anyway.
I have a strong history of anorexia, body dysmorphic disorder, and anxiety. I have been so guarded when it comes to sexual intimacy that I just squash it/completely shut it down. I roll over to my side of the bed and go to sleep. I fear that even an intimate touch would lead to more and he will be left feel rejected because we were able to have sex.
We have been to 3 marriage counseling sessions thus far and I feel like I am drowning.
As much as I try to explain that it has nothing to do my love or attraction for him, he does not believe me or understand how that is possible.
How do I get him to understand that I need him to help me. How do I get him to realize that together we can make this work?
Please please any advice helps!
Thank you!January 24, 2019 at 3:25 pm #24198anan326Participant
Edited to add:
I should also mention that he does not understand why I never wanted to “fix” this before. Why he was not “worth my time” or my love.
I want him to know that it is something that is so scary and anxiety provoking for me that I just couldn’t do it.January 25, 2019 at 4:33 am #24218recessivegenequeenParticipant
Anan326, welcome to the forums and I’m so sorry to hear about all you’ve been through. I’m not a husband, but I used to suffer from vaginismus before getting treatment and I know some of what you must have felt over the years – the shame, guilt, and fear that ruled your intimate life with your husband.
I understand your husband’s pain as well – for the partner of a vaginismus sufferer there are frequently feelings of rejection, resentment, and confusion at something that clearly tortures you but that they can’t see. They suffer a lot of the same consequences without the ability to take any action toward change that the actual vaginismus sufferer has. It leaves them feeling powerless and trapped.
I think your situation requires two things: helping your husband understand why vaginismus made you feel unable to act for so long and taking clear steps toward a treatment plan to show him you’re ready to do the work of solving this problem to save your marriage. For the first step, tell him how it’s felt and show him these forums or a book about other women’s’ experiences that mirrors yours. I think it might help for him to see that this is a pervasive problem that affects many women in the same way that you’ve suffered. As for showing him you’re ready to work, that could look like ordering a set of dilators, making an appointment with a gynecologist or pelvic floor specialist, or giving the Maze Clinic a call for a consultation. What matters most is doing something to show that you are ready to take your husband’s need for intimacy seriously and to try and meet him in the middle.
I suffered with vaginismus for nearly 10 years before I got treatment and the only reason I finally did it was because my partner threatened to leave if I didn’t take steps toward us being able to have sex. I remember how hurt and betrayed I felt at the time because it felt like he was rejecting me for exactly the thing I was most insecure about, but I recognize now that he was just stating what he needed and giving me the option to try and meet those needs rather than losing him without being able to put up a fight. Your husband’s desire for intimacy is understandable and perhaps will be the impetus for a new chapter in your life in which you seek treatment and you’re able to work out your marital issues. You can’t force him to help you, but you can show him you’re ready to step up and do the work. I hope he’ll meet you there in the middle.January 29, 2019 at 4:03 pm #24246Jennifer Dembo, LMSWModerator
anan326 – thank you so much for sharing your experience here. recessivegenequeen has offered great advice; I think you are very brave for reaching out here. If there is anything we at Maze can do to help, don’t hesitate to let us know. This is a rough time for you; please continue to enlist support and encouragement that will help you get through.
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