Newly married, have vaginismus, husband doesn't initiate sex much

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    Hi all! I am new to the forum and was recently diagnosed with vaginismus by a PT. I have been married 2 months. I was a virgin prior to marriage. We were able to achieve full penetration without movement just once with no pain. Besides that, we’ve had many failed attempts at intercourse. Usually I would experience this terrible burning and stinging and would ask him to take his penis out when it was halfway in. Finally I bought a book on painful intercourse, called the author, and she told me to get to a pelvic floor PT ASAP. I am THRILLED to have received the diagnosis so soon, but here’s my new issue: my husband doesn’t seem too interested in sexual activity. The first week we were married, he was initiating sex daily and expressing a lot of desire to be inside me. He knows I’m in therapy now and he just doesn’t seem interested in initiating sex. He is a very kind and patient person so I know part of it is him not wanting me to feel pressure. However, he also admitted to me that non-penetrative sex felt sub-par to him as it didn’t feel as emotionally close and sometimes feels boring. He also said sexual activity not ending in penetration can feel frustrating. But we are doing other sexual things most men really enjoy and I don’t understand why he isn’t more excited about it. It seems like without intercourse, he could take or leave sexual activity. My feelings are so hurt and I am in a state of grief about this situation. I want my husband to want me! It just seems like his desire has taken such a nosedive and sometimes I feel he initiates sexual activity a couple times a week to keep from hurting my feelings. This is confusing as I would like to be active everyday since we just got married. Has anyone else ever had this problem? I would especially be interested in hearing a male perspective on this preference for vaginal sex. We’ve had several fights about this and communicating about it seems to be making it worse. Does anyone have any insight into this? Thanks in advance!


    Seekingsupport – welcome to the forums! I totally feel your pain as back when I was dealing with vaginismus I would often have this problem with partners who were disappointed we couldn’t have intercourse. It’s funny the range of reactions I got to this problem. Some men were essentially fine with an “anything but” setup – there’s a lot of fun stuff you can do besides intercourse! – but others saw it as a real sticking point and wouldn’t settle for anything less (which I found endlessly annoying).

    I’ve attempted talking to men I know about why they feel this way about sex without intercourse, and the most honest answer I got revolved a lot around a man’s ego. It seems that some men draw a lot of confidence and power from the act of intercourse and probably feel that their masculinity is being threatened by not being able to engage sexually in this way. I have no doubt that your husband could get plenty of sexual pleasure from you in non-penetrative ways, but I suspect it’s his ego that’s suffering when he acts disinterested in you. He is perhaps afraid that if he accepts your advances as they are or enjoys sex without intercourse, that that’s the way your sex life will ALWAYS be and that you’ll never try to fix your vaginismus. I doubt much of this is happening consciously in his mind but I wonder if that’s why he’s acting the way he is.

    I think the best thing to do in your situation is to open up honestly about feeling a bit rejected by him and try to learn more about why he’s acting this way and what needs he feels aren’t getting met currently by not being able to have intercourse. You can talk too about your feelings about getting treatment and what that could look like for you as well as discussing a potential plan of action. I’m sure it feels like you’ve already talked about this a lot, but I am hopeful that getting past what he thinks is happening toward a more subconscious acknowledgement of the problem will help unpack some of what he really feels but is afraid to tell you.

    I hope this helps! Let us know how it goes!

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