New 2016 Article: A Story of Vaginismus: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known
January 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm #9426Heather34Moderator
Hi all. There is an excellent new January 2016 article concerning vaginismus that I wanted to share:
A Story of Vaginismus: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known
Excerpts from the article include:
“Shortly after returning from the honeymoon, after a week of tears and pain and frustration, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with vaginismus, involuntary contractions of the pelvic muscles that make sex extremely painful or even impossible. What followed were the darkest few months of my life…Here are 5 things I would have told my pre-wedded self if I could; 5 things that hopefully will benefit your unmarried daughters and keep them from going through the same mental and emotional trauma I did.
1. Your sexual performance is not a judge of your quality as a woman or as a wife.
This was by far the most damaging lie I believed when I got married. My husband was consistently very supportive of and patient with me…but in the back of my mind, I always knew how important sex is to men. And when I couldn’t easily give him that, I allowed it to color every single thing I did with a terrible sense of gloom and failure. I remember one night, my husband asked me to preheat the oven to 350 degrees before he got home from work. I mistakenly set it to 400 instead. When he got home and we realized my mistake, I had a complete mental breakdown. I had been walking around with such a deep conviction of my utter failure as a woman because of my physical struggles in the bedroom, that something as innocuous as preheating the oven to the wrong temperature would send me into a tailspin. What I have had to learn and accept is that I am valuable and worthy of love, period. My performance as a wife, as a daughter, and as a friend does not and cannot change this fact. Once I was able to embrace that fact, the emotional breakdowns became much fewer and farther between.
2. There is no requirement that you have sex on the honeymoon.
My honeymoon week was filled with fights and frustrations and tears…lots and lots of tears. My husband was more than willing to wait, but because I’d been so thoroughly coached by popular culture about how all honeymoons should be full of passionate lovemaking, I tried to force myself to give him what I thought he needed. The only thing that accomplished was making me more miserable and convinced of my failure as a wife. As newlyweds in general, but especially on your honeymoon, you are getting to know each other in a completely different way. It’s almost as if you’re a brand-new dating couple again. And so, just like when you had just started dating, it’s important to not put undue pressure on each other. Talk about your expectations beforehand, of course, but the main focus of your honeymoon should be just enjoying being with each other and getting to know each other. Don’t feel like you have to force yourself to give him something that you’re not ready to give. He will wait for you, and he will still love you and think no less of you while he is waiting.
3. You need to be honest and upfront with your husband.
The biggest fight I’ve ever had with my husband since we’ve met was the night after our wedding. And it was all a result of a simple miscommunication about expectations for the wedding night. If I had been completely transparent about the things I was nervous or scared about beforehand, we could have avoided that fight completely (and many others after it, as well).
4. Find a doctor you trust…preferably before the wedding.
When I got married I was pretty naive about both the female and the male physiology. Being more informed would have helped ease my nerves enormously. It’s not that I didn’t try to inform myself. I did go visit doctors several times between the engagement and the wedding. But they all shrugged off my concerns, assuring me that everything would work out after the wedding. That’s no help at all. You need to find someone who will be upfront and honest about any potential problems, listen to and REALLY respond to your concerns, and help you prepare for any issues you may not have considered.
5. Self-pity will get you nowhere.
Some people prefer to wallow in self-pity instead of trying to fix their problems. I know, I was one of them. And for a while, it may be somewhat cathartic to just feel sorry for yourself. But eventually self-pity will paralyze you, leave you unable to take control of your life and really LIVE it to the fullest. I have vaginismus. It isn’t fair. Some people have cancer, depression, autoimmune disorders, missing limbs, cleft palates, diabetes, paralysis….obviously the list goes on and on. Those diseases aren’t fair, either. Everyone has their own cross to bear, some sort of unfair challenge they must fight that no one else around them has to deal with. But personal challenges don’t mean life isn’t worth living. They are a normal part of the human existence. When you come across an insurmountable challenge that seems so unfair to you, when you wrestle with anger and bitterness and thoughts of “why me?”, don’t let the unfairness of life rob you of your joy of it. Eventually you’ve got to pick yourself up, find some supportive people to surround yourself with, and figure out what the next step is to having a happy, productive life again. It’s easy for women in positions similar to my own to play the blame game. They blame their parents, their teachers, their husband, and most certainly they blame themselves. But even if there is a very clear party that is directly to blame for your struggles (which is very unusual), passing blame will not make your situation any better, and it will probably make it worse. I am valued, treasured, loved and worth loving. As are you. That is a fact that does not change, regardless of what is going on in your life, regardless of how much of a failure you think you are. But hopefully, by preparing yourself ahead of time and learning how to love and accept yourself as you are, you can avoid a lot of the post-wedding anguish that I went through.”
There are several excellent comments  following this new 2016 article. I encourage you to read and welcome your comments and feedback here.May 13, 2016 at 1:26 pm #19210Heather34Moderator
Hi all. One of the number one things that I felt while having vaginismus was that I was the only one in the world with this and my husband also felt that he was the only husband going through this. It wasn’t until we were sitting in Dr. Pacik’s office waiting to undergo the Botox procedure that we realized we are not the only ones as there was another couple there receiving treatment for the same thing. This was eye-opening and we both felt a sense of relief and bonded with this other couple. If you are reading this right now and also feel like you are the only one in the world affected by vaginismus, please, please know that you are not alone and there are so many others also experiencing this as well and husbands, please know that there are several other husbands going through this alongside their wives as well. Please know that through this community, we can all support one another. If you haven’t had a chance to read Lauren’s story noted above, please do and please, please read the comments posted underneath as they are as recent as last month (April 23, 2016). They are from women from all different areas also going through vaginismus and sharing their personal stories. I encourage you to read and welcome your comments and posts. Sending hugs and support.
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