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Sex in marriage after abuse as a child?


Always5683

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For years the biggest problem in my marriage has been sex. I was sexually abused as a child by almost every male I came into contact with. My Mother was an alcoholic and promiscuous and I became a bonus for the men she surrounded herself with, and even some family members. Now, my husband says that my view of sex in marriage is screwed up by my past. He tells me that sex is the ultimate expression of love and that in a Christian relationship neither spouse should deny the other unless there is mutual consent. This comes accross as "If I want it, you must give it" and I do not think that is the way it should be. I feel like if I don't have sex with him, he gets upset, defensive and says I hurt him and make him feel like I don't love him. But should I have to have sex if I don't want to? I've tried this before because I got tired of dealing with his fussing. It only made things worse for me as I began to build up resentment towards him and now I don't even enjoy a little kiss from him. Now, my point...he blames my abuse history on my lack of interest, although I don't think this is true. What should I do? Is sex in marriage the ultimate expression of love? We have been together for over 13 years and married for almost 9 and are both rather young (he is 31 and I am 27.) We have three young children and I do love him, and don't want a divorce, but I fear if we cannot get this worked out soon, that is exactly where it will go.

 

Please help, all responses welcome!

 

Katasper

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My first husband said the same things to me. He went so far as to say that women were put here by God for a mans pleasure! He told me it was Gods will that I never deprive my husband sex.

I decided to give myself walking papers. 10 years of hearing that crap made the decision easy.

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Oh come on. If you dont have sex with me you dont love me? What is your hubby up to? Does he not realize that sex has to be mutual? That both people want to have sex, not just one. Just because your married, it doesnt mean that sex is implied when ever one of the 2 want it. In a christian relationship!!!? I'm sure god doesnt care how often you bang. In my opinion that just sounds like BS. So whats your issue? Why dont you want to have sex with him? If i was with the woman i loved and we where sexual, i'd be up for that expression of love almost at the drop of a hat.

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Usually I am just really tired or just really not feeling the mood I guess. I show him my love in other ways, spending time with him (he likes to stay up late after the kids finally go to sleep and watch tv and cuddle, but by the time we make it to the bedroom its is close to 1 a.m. and I have to get up at 6 a.m. I also have a bunch of resentment towards him for pushing me so much. I think that is one of the biggest issues. I have told him this and tried to explain how that is really hard for me to deal with given my past, but it is like he makes it my fault for feeling this way because I don't want it in the first place.

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Sounds like he needs a reality check. It's not your duty to have sex with him. He needs to get this through his head. It by no means, means that you dont love him. Perhaps you could run to the bedroom sooner? You said that your christian. Does your church offer any type of councelling. Maybe have a talk with your pasture/priest/cleric (I dont know the terminology).

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hi katasper --

 

i was in a similar situation. i also was molested as a child and had a lot of these issues tied into sex. i explained this to my husband before we were married and we had sex frequently prior to marriage (mainly because i wanted to prove to myself i wasn't completely damaged by the past.)

 

after our marriage, our sex life dwindled very quickly because he was always complaining that i had issues (which i will admit did at times come into play). he stopped having sex with me and i tried talking to him about it (i know men hate that, sorry guys), i tried waiting in bed for him to to come home from work in lingerie, i asked him to have sex with me and none of these things worked. imagine having to beg your husband to sleep with you and he still refuses, i didn't think any guy would turn down sex?

 

maybe our sex life wasn't perfect or great but he didn't even try to help the situation and his continued rejection of me sexually put a big wedge in our marriage and we are now divorcing because i discovered three different affairs in the last year of our marriage.

 

for the past nine months i have blamed myself for the end of our marriage because i couldn't satisfy him sexually. my psychologist has helped me to realize thought that it isn't all my fault.... my husband knew about my abuse and married me anyhow. if he had truly loved me, he would have wanted to help me work at making our sex life better and welcomed the efforts i made rather than rejecting me for them. she helped me see that he needed to make an effort at meeting me half way -- which he didn't.

 

my only regret is that we didn't pursue marriage counseling to deal with all of this. perhaps that could help in your situation. all i can say to you is this -- i understand your feelings and true love happens when both partners are there to enjoy sex and make it enjoyable for the other person. i deserved that and so do you.....

 

i wonder how i will ever enter into another intimate relationship after both of these experiences.... i don't want to live my life without having a truly loving sexual experience. good luck.

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A) Yes, sex needs to be mutual and sought by both partners. You're not two; you're one - especially in sex. If you're hitting a 'stop sign' - so's he.

 

B) Sex is a part of healthy human life. If there's something stopping that process, it needs to be dealt with. It's not even a slight stretch of the imagination to surmise that he's going to be getting it before long - with or without you.

 

My humble and honest feeling is that you need to deal with the problems you have in your psyche that are interrupting the your ability to enjoy intimacy. It's not wrong to feel the way you do as a result of the past you experienced. The catch is that you can't just go on after that much trauma and expect to live a perfectly normal life without the 'fallout' showing up somewhere to cause trouble. A stab wound requires medical attention for it not to get infected or cause you to bleed to death. A broken bone requires casting so it can repair itself. Just because you can't see your wound, doesn't mean that you're not wounded and in need of similar aid.

 

It is possible that your past isn't the cause alone for your lack of interest, but my best friend has taught me time and time again "when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras." Abuse on that level ruins human lives the way a sledgehammer ruins a fly (and whatever it was standing on), I'd be more than surprised to find that you were able to reach catharsis over it on your own with little effort.

 

A mood disorder, in conjunction with this past, may be another possibility. It is mentioned time and time again that people with abusive pasts may be more likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder as adolescents and adults. Whether or not you take my advice and seek help for your childhood, don't ignore the potential for you to also be mildly depressed or something of the sort (anxiety and depression commonly result in diminished energy, interest in sex and other activities, etc). It's more than worth being evaluated for.

 

I'd say, personally, that your life is on fire and that you need to take an aggressive stance to deal with your problems wherever it is they're cropping up from. Otherwise, as I've said here before, sex is like food - if you don't feed someone they're just gonna' go out and get themselves some munchies elsewhere. Your husband shouldn't expect you to be perfectly healthy given your past - but if you're not working toward getting better you're just working toward letting it all fall apart.

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Katasper,

 

I felt like should respond speaking from a male perpsective, There are so many details and nuances in you and husbands relationship that we don't know here. It makes it difficult to determine if your husband is acting reasonable or not.

 

Generally speaking men have a high sex drive. This means on average a guy would like to sex 3-5 times a week. This is biology. One of my Vet school friends jokes that men are on the patch, the testosterone patch. How often are you having sex? How often do you desire sex? Men also express their love during the act of love making. If a guy gets continually shutdown by his significant other, he will get hurt and eventually take it personally.

 

Obviously it is bad if you are resentful towards your husband to the point that you don't even want to kiss him. I think you two may need to see a councilor and/or sex therapist. How is he with foreplay? Does he try be romantic and get you in the mood first? Perhaps you two need to focus on making more time available to be romantic. Your issues with abuse are very sensitive and important, but so is a husbands desire to make love to his wife.

 

Feel free to ask me questions or PM me.

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"Is sex in marriage the ultimate expression of love?"

 

If it means making the other feel cohersed and guilty, NO!!!

 

Maybe instead of hiding behind his Christian doctrine, he should deal with and own his feelings of rejection, inadequacy, frustration, hurt, etc., from you not wanting sex.

 

The utlimate expresison of love in this case, would be to welcome you, listen to you, be empathetic, be patient.... you have been extremelly traumatised by repeated sexual abuse in a serioulsy dysfunctional and abusive and neglectful environment.

 

Throw away that "no wife should refuse her husband sexually" crap in garbage and tell your husband to grow up.

 

sorry you are going though this, and you have 3 small children... you have to stand up for yourself and tell him what you will and will not accept, and what you need.

 

take care

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Usually I am just really tired or just really not feeling the mood I guess. I show him my love in other ways, spending time with him (he likes to stay up late after the kids finally go to sleep and watch tv and cuddle, but by the time we make it to the bedroom its is close to 1 a.m. and I have to get up at 6 a.m. I also have a bunch of resentment towards him for pushing me so much. I think that is one of the biggest issues. I have told him this and tried to explain how that is really hard for me to deal with given my past, but it is like he makes it my fault for feeling this way because I don't want it in the first place.

I'm sure you do plenty to show him you love him, and that you work hard to care for your kids and for him.

 

It's probably never enough for him. he sounds domineering and insensitive. You guys need to drop the sex and have a heart to heart conversation. NO ONE should have sex because they feel cohersed, huilty, etc., esp not a woman who has gone through the trauma you have, being talked into it with those kinds of BS tactics.

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"Generally speaking men have a high sex drive. This means on average a guy would like to sex 3-5 times a week. This is biology. One of my Vet school friends jokes that men are on the patch, the testosterone patch. How often are you having sex? How often do you desire sex? Men also express their love during the act of love making. If a guy gets continually shutdown by his significant other, he will get hurt and eventually take it personally"

 

with all due respect, you will find that many women have a higher sex drive than men. Your vet friend may have forgotten that humans generate sexualltiy much more through their mind than through their biology.

 

men expressing their "love" through sex is IMHO another fallacy. Once only has to hear of how many men claim that they can separate emotions form the mechanics of sex much more easily then women seem to claim they can,... and if a man in an intimate, loving relationship feels he can only express his love through sex, it is no excuse to pressure his partner, and also, he must grow up and find other ways to express love and emotions.

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Thanks for all the posts! I really appreciate hearing everyone's opinion. It has really been hard dealing with this. We were both very young when we met and I had a really strange childhood, especially since I moved away from my Mother when I turned 13 and was in and out of friends and "relatives" homes from then until I met my husband. I moved in with him and his family when I turned 16. We had a really different relationship I guess. We married when I was almost 19. We have really overcome many things, but this one is the most difficult. I have sought counseling before, and was diagnosed with manic depression and anxiety. He was not surprised and seemed understanding at first, but when I would talk about it he would act as if it were all in my head and that I should just trust God to heal me. I guess it was frustrating to deal with him acting like I didn't have faith since I depended on medication to help. That and losing my insurance is why I quit. I think that getting help with my issues would really help with my sexual appetite, but I still would like for him to talk to someone too because I still don't think he is right in the way he looks at sex in the first place. He did say to me that he knew how I was ( since we had these issues slightly before we were married) and he just prayed that God would heal me. That really hurt me because it sounded more to me like he was saying, "I married you hoping you would change." Why would you marry someone if you want them to change? I am willing to go to a counselor with him, but he is only wanting to go to a Christian counselor and I was afraid to because I thought that maybe all Christian men felt this way about that particular verse of the bible and I really do not see it that way. I guess it is worth trying for the sake of my family. Again, I just want to say thanks and I will let you know how the counseling helps.

 

Katasper

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Katasper you sound like a very smart woman. I think you should go to councelling together and you should go by yourself too if he'll only go to a christinan coucellor try to find an opne minded one and as for your therapost, feel free to go beyond the sphere or religious services).

you've been through trauma (abuse is) and it takes the whol relationship to heal, not jut you to go "fix" yourself. and remember that medication can interfere with libido ("appetite") and sexual functioning (can cause problems like anorgasmia / difficulty reaching orgasm for example).

and remember, woemn give the go when it comes to sex, it's not true that we are here to answer to men's every wim, it's actually the other way around if anything: we must be in the mood, we set the rythm, etc. In nature females are the ones that regulate cycles of reproduction.

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but he is only wanting to go to a Christian counselor and I was afraid to because I thought that maybe all Christian men felt this way about that particular verse of the bible and I really do not see it that way.

 

Katasper

 

Men calling themselves "Christian" vary from extreme to extreme, what you will get in a counselor, I surmise, will likely be very different from one to the next. Like any human, some will likely be level-headed and open-minded, whilst others will have other preconceptions about where effort is best placed to "heal" your relationship. Because it leads to nothing good on forums I'll not get into outright criticism of your husband's attempts at helping guide you, but I will remind that if banging your head against a religious wall becomes fatiguing and unsuccessful, simply go around the darned thing. ](*,)

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