I need help with sustaining my marriage - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 10:37 AM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

I am very sorry for what happened to you.

I wonder if its possible you are trying too hard and in the wrong way. You are (if I understand correctly) the victim of sexual violence and you are trying to force intimacy. You have even asked your husband to essentially rape you (you've told him not to stop even if you tell him to when its going on).

Do you think there are parts of your body he doesn't want to look at or touch, or is he picking up on how you feel about them?

Why are you not the person he wanted to marry? Are you just talking about your trauma or was there some reason earlier?

I am very concerned that he got so angry he almost hit you. I'm not convinced he is the saint you think he is. My wife has no trauma, but simply rarely wants sex, and is extremely limited in what she will do (including no intercourse). I'm unhappy, but I haven't needed to get sex outside of the marriage, I haven't gotten so angry that I wanted to hit her. I've had no desire to force her. If she had been assaulted, all my concern would be for her.

Back to the top, have you tried gentle non-sexual intimacy? I'm not a therapist, but I would have thought that the way to go would be a lot of non threatening, non sexual contact with your husband. Start with simple things like sitting close together watching TV. Stroking your hair, gentle kisses. No sexual activity at all for quite a while, just get comfortable with each other. (or if there are sexual things you are COMPLETELY comfortable doing for him, thats OK too,

He can live without sex for a while - a lot of us do without any sort of trauma in our partner's pasts. Or if he can't, then he really is not the right person for you.

I know its been a long time, but I wonder if your attempts to force yourself to have sex are just reinforcing the trauma.

Again, I'm not a therapist so I may not understand the best approach.







Quote:
Originally Posted by picpea View Post
snip

There are parts of my body that he doesn't want to touch, or look at. Any sexual intimacy is forced by myself. I have to force myself to do certain things, for my husband/my marriage, and it always ends poorly. Intercourse is almost impossible because I tense up so badly. I try and do other things for him until I get to the point that I physically cannot continue.

SNIP, I told my husband that we could open the marriage if he wanted. We have a set of rules that has to be followed, I have to trust him to follow them. It has been excruciatingly hard for me, but I need to do it for my husband and my marriage. SNIP

I know that I'm not who he wanted to marry. I want to make it up to him and sustain our marriage.

Two days ago we got into a fight and he almost laid a hand on me.

SNIP

I have told my husband to force the physical intimacy but that has done nothing but harm.

SNIP _ FROM YOUR LATER POST
There have been times that I have told him to not stop even if I say to stop. It messes with his head... I don't want to ruin him for someone else...


.
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post #17 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 11:26 AM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

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sokillme: I haven't participated in any online groups, maybe that is something that I need to look into. If it could help with something, anything, I'd do it. My husband has been sleeping on the couch lately and doesn't seem to have any desire to stop that. Last night I asked him when he was going to come to bed and he jokingly-ish responded with never. I don't know how much of a joke that was... I have seen two specialists who focus on sexual abuse, one was definitely better than the other. We moved across the country and I had to stop seeing the better one, which didn't help at all. Now we live in a smaller city and there isn't as many options available. My husband doesn't think there is any point to find a better therapist and move closer. He's in the didn't work before, won't work now mindset.

The outcome has always been to have a better relationship with my husband. Maybe it would be different if we hadn't been together at the time when the trauma happened. I have wanted to improve for myself to, of course. To feel comfortable with my husband, to be able to do things with him that I want to do, to be able to go to the grocery store without issues. A lot of aspects in my life didn't improve significantly until I got a service dog who was trained specifically for me. My husband doesn't really like dogs and complains about him being in the way. He's a poodle so he doesn't shed much, but any hair on my husband's clothing and he complains about it. My dog really helps me though and my therapist worked with his trainer to make sure he was perfect for me. He watches me for signs of an anxiety attack coming on and can often stop it. He knows that certain people make me more nervous than others, usually spots them before I do and guides me in a different direction or stands in front of me. He does deep pressure therapy if I am having an anxiety or panic attack and it helps it end much faster. He knows when he needs to use forward momentum to pull me forward and keep walking and I can use him to push my bodyweight into if I'm having trouble breathing or getting up. He helps me a lot...

My husband gets frustrated with our intimacy. If we avoid it he gets frustrated because we have no physical intimacy and he wants to be with his wife. If we try he gets frustrated because it rarely is successful. To be honest I think the few times we have had start to finish sex he used viagra. Most of the time we try anything he can't maintain an erection, usually he ends up somewhere in the middle of being totally soft and having an erection. He gets frustrated with himself and me because I can't relax, or the rare time that it starts going well and I ruin it. I thought letting him have those needs met somewhere else would take some of the pressure off and maybe it would get better for us. All that has changed is he is less interested and more distant. I want to be intimate with him and enjoy it... I thought maybe if he had those needs already met he wouldn't need a good time as much and he could avoid some frustration.

brooklynAnn: My husband is a really good man. I think that is obvious or he wouldn't have stuck around this long. He has never cheated on anyone, he had never had one night stands, he had never got anywhere close to hitting a woman, he never would have dreamed of "forcing" sex. I feel like I am ruining a really good man. There have been times that I have told him to not stop even if I say to stop. It messes with his head... I don't want to ruin him for someone else...

I don't want to have to walk away from him... I know that if I were single I could probably work on myself a little bit more but I really don't think it gets any better for me... He is my husband, who I love and trust, and I can't improve for him. I know he would be happier with someone else and that should make this an easy decision but it doesn't. I love him, I want him to be happy and have everything that he wants in life, but it being with someone else really hurts to think about.

I don't want to make a decision for him. He has chosen to stay this long. I do need to talk to him and see where he stands... That is a scary thought because it could be the last conversation we have as a married couple.
I think think an online board for rape survivors would be a good place for you to post this. They can speak to your issues better then we can. Also in today's environment there is no reason why you have to be in an office to do counseling. This can be done over the internet. I would ask for help via email from experts on the internet and ask them to do online counseling with me.

One thing I want to say to you is you are taking personal ownership for the issues in your sex life with your husband. The person who is responsible for this is the person who hurt you. It's not you or your husband. DO NOT, take ownership for that. DO NOT see this as a personal failure, you were robbed. Your husband was robbed. I don't know if this change in your thinking would help but it might. Instead of feeling like you failed, why not get angry. Why not use that anger to help you fight. Fight through your fears. So much easier said then done, I know. Sadly this person who did this to you in a way still has control over your life like he did when he did this. I am very sorry to say that to you as I know how hard that is to hear. It is very hard for me to say.

Please understand me, I do not say anything like that as a criticism of you or your husband. I am probably closer to your situation then most as at one point in my young life I actually walked into the aftermath of a brutal rape that happened basically on the street to someone who is very close to me. I will not say more as it is not my place to talk about the pain this person endured and I will only talk about this incident from my own experience. The aftermath for me is on going but was so much easier then for the person who was assaulted, and still the ramifications of that incident are still felt by me today. I only stopped taking medication for it a year or so ago. It is hard for me to admit the the person who did that has had such a big impact on my life.

The point I am trying to make is that this is not a failing in you. This is not the you or the marriage you were intended to have. Please accept that. Do not take ownership of any shame over this. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE! If you are, please do not let you feelings of failure leave you passive. No matter what happens this is not a failure of you or even your marriage. This is nothing but a theft. You were robbed. Your husband was robbed.

I am assuming you and your husband are on medication for PTSD? Have you talked to the doctor about medication to take during sex to help you relax at least at first? Was you husband ever involved with your counseling? He need needs to be as he needs to learn the tools to help you. This is something that you both must do together.

I wish I could give you better advice to help you fix this, but I think the only advice I can give you is to fight for your life.
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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 11:47 AM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Dear Picpea;

It sounds like you really love your H and want to save your marriage and rebuild it. That is wonderful. It also sounds like you have tried various forms of therapy and that hasn't worked.

I suggest that you talk to a bunch of therapists and get referrals to someone who specialize in rape victims. Also talk to therapists who use hypnosis and conditioning methods. From what you have said in your posts, it doesn't sound like you have worked with a good sex therapist who can introduce you to sex with your husband in gradual steps that you can learn to accept. Asking your H force himself on you doesn't sound like a good idea.

An earlier post discussed PTSD treatment through medical means. I strongly suggest that you discuss that with both a medical doctor and sex therapist. There have been uses of nasal spray Oxytocin in the treatment of PTSD. Oxytocin is the love hormone of cuddling hormone that is released during sex. Some of the effects of it are that it induces a sense of trust and it blocks the brain's fear receptors. It might be the ideal thing to see if it can be worked into your sex therapy as a way of being able to work past some of your fears the come up when you want to have sex with your H.

I would echo, the others who have said that you need really good professional help. Good luck to you.
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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

urf: The development of PTSD is complex. Childhood experiences, genetics, age, the type, extent and tiny details of the trauma all play a role. A person does not have to be broken or damaged before developing PTSD. I had a very normal life before my trauma, I had great parents and a great childhood. I had many friends, did well in school and sports. Had normal intimacy and a normal sex life. Even a good childhood can be a trigger for PTSD if the child is sheltered from stress and when thrown into a stressful situation has no idea how to cope. Being under the age of 25 at the time of the trauma makes PTSD more likely. The smaller details matter more than the larger ones. Had my situation gone differently but still been the same type of trauma I might not be here writing this. Same goes for veterans, if they had been given a different task they may not have come back with PTSD. It's more complex than, he was broken before going to Iraq.

Holdingontoit: Thank you. I did one clinical trial a long time ago, 5 years or so. It did help but the trial didn't end up finishing though I cannot recall why. I'll admit that I have tried a handful of different drugs (without supervision) and some did help. Each time I felt like I needed that drug immediately after and still get the urge to use them months and years later. Addiction scares me. I know that isn't the same as being monitored, but it still worries me. I have known people to have quite bad side effects while doing trials, but I suppose that can happen with any medication.

uhtred: My therapists were not totally onboard with me wanting to force sexual intimacy so much. They know about it, and I talk about it, but they don't encourage it. I feel like it's all I have to try and keep my husband. I have always had to force some things (therapist recommended), like going to therapy together and letting my husband touch an area of my body for 3 seconds, then 5 seconds, then 10 seconds, and going on and on until he could touch parts of me without me being too uncomfortable. It progressed to sexual contact (at home, of course). We got to a point were the improvements stopped and we were at a standstill for a long time. That's when I decided to push it more. I do want to be intimate with my husband. I can barely remember it but before my trauma happened we had a great sex life. I don't want to be one of the women who expects their husband to go without sex because they don't want to try to solve the problem, trauma related or not. I don't know whether he is willing to stick around any longer or not...

When I'm having sex with my husband it doesn't feel the same as my trauma. The act is the same but everything else is different. I don't necessarily want him to stop, I want the thoughts in my head and the aversion to stop. I have sometimes told my husband not to stop even if I tell him to in the moment, but it is still not the same. He looks at me, talks to me, kisses me, holds my hands. His body pressure on me stops me from being able to push him away and having pressure like that can help calm me down. I'm not exactly having the time of my life, but I don't feel like I am being assaulted again.

I know that he has trouble looking at and touching certain parts of my body. He knows that I'm uncomfortable with those parts as well so it could definitely be a factor, but he has said that he has a hard time with it and lets mind movies get the best of him. I had laser scar removal on my wrists and the scars are still visible but not nearly as much. It helped with being able to leave that area exposed and to hold hands. My husband would see those scars during sexual intimacy and it bothered him. It made him feel like he was restraining me, whether it was penetration or manual stimulation. I had scar removal on other places as well, and it helped. I have two areas on my body where scar removal hasn't been successful or hasn't been an option. I have elevated scars that go across my back and it doesn't bother me as much as it bothers my husband. I'm definitely more sensitive to touch on my back, and I always keep my back covered, but my husband can't even touch my back. If he does he immediately pulls away. I have a scar on my arm that I have to leave covered all the time so I always have a bandage over it and again, I think it bothers him more than it bothers me. My actions could have caused his. My biggest issue (and I don't think it is as much of an issue for him) is the external appearance of my genitalia because a part was removed. It makes me tense up whenever he is in that area because it doesn't look the way it use to, or should. That has got worse since allowing him to see other women because it gives him something to compare me to.

When my trauma occurred we had been together for a little over a year and he proposed 17 days prior. To my husband, getting engaged means you would marry that person right then and there, and commit to them for the rest of your life. So when he proposed in his eyes he was saying his "I do's" almost. When my trauma happened 2.5 weeks later he felt like he had no choice but to stand by me. I don't think he wanted to as much as he felt like he had to. He has said (in angry or stressful moments) that he regrets choosing to stay. When he proposed, this wasn't what he signed up for. He wanted a happy marriage with the woman he fell in love with, kids, white picket fence in his home state. Not a childless, open marriage with a crappy sex life, a wife with mental health problems, doctor appointment after doctor appointment, a service dog and moving 3,000 miles away. Even immediately after my trauma happened I don't think he expected this. He knew it was bad, but he didn't know what to expect.

I initiated the conversation about opening the marriage, my husband had never brought it up before. He said he didn't want or need to, and we don't talk about whether he does or not, but based on his actions I am certain that he has taken that free pass. He didn't want it, or I suppose he did because he chose to go ahead with it. I - in a way - wanted it because I thought if he had his fun somewhere else we could try and it wouldn't matter as much (to him) if it didn't work.

When he almost hit me (I don't know how close he really was to doing it), in that moment and for a while afterwards I was scared. I started packing a bag to leave, but he left first and didn't come home that night. Prior to that we had tried to have sex, he wasn't able to get an erection at all and didn't want me to touch him. He kept trying, his frustration was getting ver high and bothering me. He said a couple very hurtful things about if I could do X or if I had X this wouldn't be a problem. I shut down and wouldn't/couldn't respond to him. He was yelling at me and I tried to leave the room. That's when he almost hit me and almost pushed me (onto the bed). He left after that. He texted me and apologized about an hour later, tried calling but I didn't pick up, and came back the next day. I think him being allowed to have sexual needs met elsewhere played a factor in it...

I don't want to be one of the women who put up with violence. I know how he reacted was no okay. It is the only time something like that has ever happened and had he actually laid a hand on me I would have been gone. He has been acting off since that happened.

For a long time we only focused on non-sexual intimacy, or outercourse as therapists seem to like to call it. I haven't really had problems touching him, but it took a long time to be comfortable with him again. Seeing me afraid of him hurt him. It took a long time to start having sexual intimacy and my husband was fine with it as long as we were making progress. When we first started having sexual intimacy my husband was ecstatic, but when it didn't go fast enough for him we started having issues. That little taste of it made him want the whole thing.

sokillme: Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. I don't know why I decided to search for a marriage group rather than a sexual assault group. My marriage is my main concern, so I suppose that's why.

I do blame myself, I have always struggled with that. I got myself to a point where I didn't blame myself for the trauma happening, but I do blame myself for the aftermath. I get so many comments of the just get over it genre or comments like I knew someone who was raped and they are fine. Sexual assault is always bad but sometimes it is like comparing apples to oranges. Immediately afterwards I had a really bad therapist in the hospital who said some stupid, stupid things about because of something that happened to my body during/after the trauma, that the trauma would be easier to get over and I would have less reminders. He also tried to tell me that if I were pregnant it could be seen as a gift in a terrible situation. And before we even knew my STD status he thought it would be good to bring up HIV other than to just take the medication in case. I have told very few people the whole story so when people make comments they don't know what they are really commenting on.

I want to stop thinking about the people that hurt me and shifting all the blame to myself makes it easier, in a way. The only little bit of peace I have is that the men who hurt me are in prison with a lot of time left on their sentences.

My husband has gone to therapy with me, but not nearly as much as he should. He has gone alone as well, but not often. He doesn't like to go because he feels like we aren't making any progress and it's a waste of time and energy (because I get upset). In the beginning he went a lot, and it slowly tapered off to once a month. Then a few times a year. He has refused to go for the last few months. Sometimes I feel like I am fighting this battle alone, rather than together.

My husband blames himself for not being able to fix or prevent it and for it happening at all. He went away for a week with friends to a wedding. I was suppose to go but changed my mind at the last minute. He was in another country so he didn't take his phone and was drunk half the time anyway. All of our friends were there, I don't talk to family that often and they thought I was going as well. So no one knew when something was wrong and my husband was having a great time while I... wasn't. Realistically, it probably wouldn't have happened if my husband was home because a vehicle would have been in the driveway. Regardless, he blames himself and it definitely causes problems. We're both on medication. He has stopped taking his from time to time, mostly when he doesn't want to go back to the doctor.

I have asked if there is anything that I can take before sex to help me but my therapists and doctors have been hesitant to prescribe anything for that. There were (street) drugs involved during my assault and that causes hesitation for wanting to prescribe anything that might trigger me. Even though I've experimented with (street) drugs, and had intimacy, and wasn't affected negatively. Maybe I need to talk to a new doctor or ask for a different referral.

Again, thank you for your reply.

Young at Heart: I do think I might need to talk to a different doctor and therapist. I have always been told that I fell into the small group of people that don't respond well to medications and (some) treatments. Maybe I need to find someone better. Before we moved across the country I had a really good therapist, after moving... not so much.

I have used a nasal spray before, it wasn't oxytocin though. I can't for the life of me remember what it was. I think it started with an 'e' or 'k'. I had it until moving and switching doctors. There are a lot of options to try and either they worry me or they haven't been recommended for me to try. I'll have to find a new doctor to talk to. I have never tried hypnosis methods.
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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 03:00 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Have you looked into touch aversion? Sensory processing disorder? Other neurological causes?
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post #21 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 04:37 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by picpea View Post
urf: The development of PTSD is complex. Childhood experiences, genetics, age, the type, extent and tiny details of the trauma all play a role. A person does not have to be broken or damaged before developing PTSD. I had a very normal life before my trauma, I had great parents and a great childhood. I had many friends, did well in school and sports. Had normal intimacy and a normal sex life. Even a good childhood can be a trigger for PTSD if the child is sheltered from stress and when thrown into a stressful situation has no idea how to cope. Being under the age of 25 at the time of the trauma makes PTSD more likely. The smaller details matter more than the larger ones. Had my situation gone differently but still been the same type of trauma I might not be here writing this. Same goes for veterans, if they had been given a different task they may not have come back with PTSD. It's more complex than, he was broken before going to Iraq.

Holdingontoit: Thank you. I did one clinical trial a long time ago, 5 years or so. It did help but the trial didn't end up finishing though I cannot recall why. I'll admit that I have tried a handful of different drugs (without supervision) and some did help. Each time I felt like I needed that drug immediately after and still get the urge to use them months and years later. Addiction scares me. I know that isn't the same as being monitored, but it still worries me. I have known people to have quite bad side effects while doing trials, but I suppose that can happen with any medication.

uhtred: My therapists were not totally onboard with me wanting to force sexual intimacy so much. They know about it, and I talk about it, but they don't encourage it. I feel like it's all I have to try and keep my husband. I have always had to force some things (therapist recommended), like going to therapy together and letting my husband touch an area of my body for 3 seconds, then 5 seconds, then 10 seconds, and going on and on until he could touch parts of me without me being too uncomfortable. It progressed to sexual contact (at home, of course). We got to a point were the improvements stopped and we were at a standstill for a long time. That's when I decided to push it more. I do want to be intimate with my husband. I can barely remember it but before my trauma happened we had a great sex life. I don't want to be one of the women who expects their husband to go without sex because they don't want to try to solve the problem, trauma related or not. I don't know whether he is willing to stick around any longer or not...

When I'm having sex with my husband it doesn't feel the same as my trauma. The act is the same but everything else is different. I don't necessarily want him to stop, I want the thoughts in my head and the aversion to stop. I have sometimes told my husband not to stop even if I tell him to in the moment, but it is still not the same. He looks at me, talks to me, kisses me, holds my hands. His body pressure on me stops me from being able to push him away and having pressure like that can help calm me down. I'm not exactly having the time of my life, but I don't feel like I am being assaulted again.

I know that he has trouble looking at and touching certain parts of my body. He knows that I'm uncomfortable with those parts as well so it could definitely be a factor, but he has said that he has a hard time with it and lets mind movies get the best of him. I had laser scar removal on my wrists and the scars are still visible but not nearly as much. It helped with being able to leave that area exposed and to hold hands. My husband would see those scars during sexual intimacy and it bothered him. It made him feel like he was restraining me, whether it was penetration or manual stimulation. I had scar removal on other places as well, and it helped. I have two areas on my body where scar removal hasn't been successful or hasn't been an option. I have elevated scars that go across my back and it doesn't bother me as much as it bothers my husband. I'm definitely more sensitive to touch on my back, and I always keep my back covered, but my husband can't even touch my back. If he does he immediately pulls away. I have a scar on my arm that I have to leave covered all the time so I always have a bandage over it and again, I think it bothers him more than it bothers me. My actions could have caused his. My biggest issue (and I don't think it is as much of an issue for him) is the external appearance of my genitalia because a part was removed. It makes me tense up whenever he is in that area because it doesn't look the way it use to, or should. That has got worse since allowing him to see other women because it gives him something to compare me to.

When my trauma occurred we had been together for a little over a year and he proposed 17 days prior. To my husband, getting engaged means you would marry that person right then and there, and commit to them for the rest of your life. So when he proposed in his eyes he was saying his "I do's" almost. When my trauma happened 2.5 weeks later he felt like he had no choice but to stand by me. I don't think he wanted to as much as he felt like he had to. He has said (in angry or stressful moments) that he regrets choosing to stay. When he proposed, this wasn't what he signed up for. He wanted a happy marriage with the woman he fell in love with, kids, white picket fence in his home state. Not a childless, open marriage with a crappy sex life, a wife with mental health problems, doctor appointment after doctor appointment, a service dog and moving 3,000 miles away. Even immediately after my trauma happened I don't think he expected this. He knew it was bad, but he didn't know what to expect.

I initiated the conversation about opening the marriage, my husband had never brought it up before. He said he didn't want or need to, and we don't talk about whether he does or not, but based on his actions I am certain that he has taken that free pass. He didn't want it, or I suppose he did because he chose to go ahead with it. I - in a way - wanted it because I thought if he had his fun somewhere else we could try and it wouldn't matter as much (to him) if it didn't work.

When he almost hit me (I don't know how close he really was to doing it), in that moment and for a while afterwards I was scared. I started packing a bag to leave, but he left first and didn't come home that night. Prior to that we had tried to have sex, he wasn't able to get an erection at all and didn't want me to touch him. He kept trying, his frustration was getting ver high and bothering me. He said a couple very hurtful things about if I could do X or if I had X this wouldn't be a problem. I shut down and wouldn't/couldn't respond to him. He was yelling at me and I tried to leave the room. That's when he almost hit me and almost pushed me (onto the bed). He left after that. He texted me and apologized about an hour later, tried calling but I didn't pick up, and came back the next day. I think him being allowed to have sexual needs met elsewhere played a factor in it...

I don't want to be one of the women who put up with violence. I know how he reacted was no okay. It is the only time something like that has ever happened and had he actually laid a hand on me I would have been gone. He has been acting off since that happened.

For a long time we only focused on non-sexual intimacy, or outercourse as therapists seem to like to call it. I haven't really had problems touching him, but it took a long time to be comfortable with him again. Seeing me afraid of him hurt him. It took a long time to start having sexual intimacy and my husband was fine with it as long as we were making progress. When we first started having sexual intimacy my husband was ecstatic, but when it didn't go fast enough for him we started having issues. That little taste of it made him want the whole thing.

sokillme: Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. I don't know why I decided to search for a marriage group rather than a sexual assault group. My marriage is my main concern, so I suppose that's why.

I do blame myself, I have always struggled with that. I got myself to a point where I didn't blame myself for the trauma happening, but I do blame myself for the aftermath. I get so many comments of the just get over it genre or comments like I knew someone who was raped and they are fine. Sexual assault is always bad but sometimes it is like comparing apples to oranges. Immediately afterwards I had a really bad therapist in the hospital who said some stupid, stupid things about because of something that happened to my body during/after the trauma, that the trauma would be easier to get over and I would have less reminders. He also tried to tell me that if I were pregnant it could be seen as a gift in a terrible situation. And before we even knew my STD status he thought it would be good to bring up HIV other than to just take the medication in case. I have told very few people the whole story so when people make comments they don't know what they are really commenting on.

I want to stop thinking about the people that hurt me and shifting all the blame to myself makes it easier, in a way. The only little bit of peace I have is that the men who hurt me are in prison with a lot of time left on their sentences.

My husband has gone to therapy with me, but not nearly as much as he should. He has gone alone as well, but not often. He doesn't like to go because he feels like we aren't making any progress and it's a waste of time and energy (because I get upset). In the beginning he went a lot, and it slowly tapered off to once a month. Then a few times a year. He has refused to go for the last few months. Sometimes I feel like I am fighting this battle alone, rather than together.

My husband blames himself for not being able to fix or prevent it and for it happening at all. He went away for a week with friends to a wedding. I was suppose to go but changed my mind at the last minute. He was in another country so he didn't take his phone and was drunk half the time anyway. All of our friends were there, I don't talk to family that often and they thought I was going as well. So no one knew when something was wrong and my husband was having a great time while I... wasn't. Realistically, it probably wouldn't have happened if my husband was home because a vehicle would have been in the driveway. Regardless, he blames himself and it definitely causes problems. We're both on medication. He has stopped taking his from time to time, mostly when he doesn't want to go back to the doctor.

I have asked if there is anything that I can take before sex to help me but my therapists and doctors have been hesitant to prescribe anything for that. There were (street) drugs involved during my assault and that causes hesitation for wanting to prescribe anything that might trigger me. Even though I've experimented with (street) drugs, and had intimacy, and wasn't affected negatively. Maybe I need to talk to a new doctor or ask for a different referral.

Again, thank you for your reply.

Young at Heart: I do think I might need to talk to a different doctor and therapist. I have always been told that I fell into the small group of people that don't respond well to medications and (some) treatments. Maybe I need to find someone better. Before we moved across the country I had a really good therapist, after moving... not so much.

I have used a nasal spray before, it wasn't oxytocin though. I can't for the life of me remember what it was. I think it started with an 'e' or 'k'. I had it until moving and switching doctors. There are a lot of options to try and either they worry me or they haven't been recommended for me to try. I'll have to find a new doctor to talk to. I have never tried hypnosis methods.
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post #22 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 05:32 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

I knew a girl once who suffered a sexual trauma. She suffered aversion. Probably nothing like you. Nobody is like anyone else, really.

Why did she speak to me about it? I don't know. Why was she not able to find relief from the counseling she had received from others? I have no idea what others may have said, or why it didn't work. All I know is she wanted me to help her. I was very relaxed about sex, talking about sex with me was easy.

I tried different ideas. I was pretty useless for a while. Years. In the end one crazy idea worked, for her. Probably can't work for anyone else.

In a conversation one day I told her she should just own it. It wasn't her fault, it was his fault, but she should just own it. It happened. Just think about it, stop avoiding thinking about it. A couple years later, she said she did just that, and finally came to realize it was something bad someone did, but it wasn't her fault. Once she realized it wasn't her fault, she got better.

She told me she got better because she stopped trying to divorce herself from it. She accepted bad things happen. Bad things happen to her. Somehow thinking through it, maybe discussing the incident with me at the beginning of the trail, but mostly accepting "bad things" happen to her, got her walking down the road to recovery. Somehow she had kept blaming herself. That's what we think was happening. But that's just her story. Not anyone else's.

I am truly sorry anything bad ever happens to people, especially girls/women. It makes my soul hurt.

Please get better.
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post #23 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 05:47 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Her assault occurred when she was 13 years old. I met her when she was failing school at the age of 16, and blaming herself for everything bad in her life, all because she felt she deserved to be punished. Soon after I met her she turned to prostitution. Her own self recrimination was relentless. She hated herself.

I was hired to try to help her at least get a high school diploma. I don't even remember if she succeeded in that or not.

Her life went to hell. She married a man who pimped her out, because she felt that was all she deserved.

I begged her to dump him. It was while she was with him that I suggested that crazy idea of owning her assault. She was 18 then. I had been trying to help her for two years by then.

It worked. I still can't believe it worked. She dumped him, too. She healed. Within two years she was out of prostitution, divorced, and had found a new guy who then married her. A year after that, when she was 21, she called me and told me she had learned to actually enjoy sex. She couldn't believe how much fun it was!

And she thanked me for helping her.
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post #24 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 06:21 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Sorry to hear about your situation.

Through no fault of your own or your husbands, the basic fabric of your relationship was ripped away from the both of you.

Sorry that I do have anything else to add here.

Good luck.
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post #25 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 08:24 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Picpea:

I am not a professional, so I cannot provide sound advice for such a significant level of trauma.

I just wanted to say that you have my sympathy for the trauma you endured. NOBODY should have to endure such trauma. NOBODY.

That said, the only thing I could maybe encourage you to do is that which causes you anxiety. Up thread you mentioned certain things that spike your anxiety, so you alluded to avoiding them. I would think the more you do them without a negative outcome, the more you could retrain your neural pathways to not trigger.

My wife lost her virginity at 16 by date rape, and continued to date him because she felt like she needed to stay with him because you "stayed" with someone after you slept with them where she is from.

At 40, she still sometimes triggers to things. What helps is gently pushing through them when they occur. It is sort of like the saying, "When you are going through hell, keep going."

I hope this helps, and I am sorry for what you have suffered, and continue to suffer.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #26 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 09:01 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

So sorry sweetie. WilliamM ...what he said.
A very impactful event I experienced in life...
A counsellor had a puzzle on the table. It was comforting. Keep your hands busy and I actually got kind of excited about finishing it.
The COW had the last piece in her pocket.
Watched me getting stressed about it. Ha ha ha very funny.
She takes it out, tells me it's just one piece of the whole puzzle, but without the puzzle isn't complete. So what's the point of keeping it in your pocket, hidden away?
I was so mad. Then I wasn't.
And I'm being kind. But but but
Nobody holding you back but yourself. And that's perfectly okay too. Sometimes the answer is do nothing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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post #27 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 09:17 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

When I got my degree in biology I considered going on to becoming a counselor, but I have to say the professors I took psychology courses from at university seemed a little... nutty.

My wife had a lot of problems when I married her. She went to a counselor, and then two different psychiatrists. In the end she said none of them where worth anything. She is not the girl I wrote about. They did know each other. It was interesting. My wife always liked the other girl, while the other girl was jealous of my wife.

It is very important to try different help until you get the help you need.
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post #28 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 12:02 AM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Some people should not be married and some marriages should not be saved.

You should not have agreed to marry him knowing the extent of your disability. Until you can get yourself to a point that allows you to be fully sexual with a man you have no business marrying one, not a normal one anyway. There are asexual men out there, perhaps engage with one of them and see where it goes - when you get healthy. For right now this sham of a marriage needs to end and you need to work on yourself.

If you truly love your husband then let him go. Let him be happy and have the life he deserves. You can't have what you want in life but you can allow him to have what he wants. Don't allow two lives to be ruined, picpea. Learn to be happy through his happiness.
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post #29 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:58 AM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Picpea--while I agree with everyone's assertion that you need to keep pursuing professional help for yourself, I think your husband needs to be in individual counseling as well. He needs to be in a place mentally where seeing evidence of your trauma doesn't trigger HIM. And the fact that he raised his hand to you....be careful. Even more reason he needs to be in I.C.

With regards to your scar removal treatments--you mentioned that some have been unsuccessful. Let me preface this by saying--do this only for yourself, or not at all. Do not do it for your husband--he needs to get over his own issues. I've seen amazing results where people have had some beautiful tattoos done to cover all sorts of scars.

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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post #30 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Fozzy: I wish my husband would go to therapy and stick with it. He has gone in the past, alone and together. In the beginning of our journey he went a lot but it has slowly decreased over time. Now he rarely goes, alone or with me. He thinks it is a waste of time and isn't getting us anywhere. He has also expressed that he thinks therapists are just holding us back so we keep going back and putting money in their pockets.

Intimacy is made harder because my body triggers him. I had scar removal done on certain parts, like my wrists because they made it painful and difficult to move my wrists and because they bothered me, and my husband. I hated seeing them and always kept my wrists covered, if other people saw them they stared. It's obvious what kind of scars they are, or were - less obvious now. At least it was obvious to me, it may not have been to other people. I had a kid ask me if I had my hands cut off and reattached... I had scar removal done on my arm but it didn't work and now I keep that one covered all the time because it's a massive trigger for my husband. I keep a large bandaid over it all the time and it has basically become part of me now, only coming off to be replaced by another every few days. The odd time I have forgot to replace it or my husband has walked in while I was doing it he tells me to cover it up and gets upset or mad (not at me). Sometimes just accidentally touching the bandaid can bother him. That scar at least could be covered decently well with a tattoo, probably. I know I would have a hard time with the pain of a tattoo.

He avoids my back like the plague. I haven't had any scar removal there, mostly because it is a huge trigger point for me and having pain there is hard for me to deal with. The scars are uncomfortable, it makes rotating my body and bending over uncomfortable and insanely itchy, but not enough for me to try and fix it. I don't scar well and have elevated scars. I keep my whole back covered all the time unless I am home alone. There has been times when my husband came home early and I would run upstairs before he came in to change my shirt or put on a sweater. He doesn't want to see it... Because they are elevated he won't/can't even touch my back over clothing. The scars take up the width of my back... so they aren't easy to avoid. I'm not about to go out in public showing my back, but it would be nice if I could at least feel comfortable at home... I think those scars bother me the least because I can't really see them...

seek&find: I don't think it's fair to say that people shouldn't be married... Do you think all sexual assault victims should just bury themselves into a hole? I know that my husband would be happier without me. Maybe I'm selfish for being with him... Just because I experienced a trauma does not mean I'm not allowed to love someone... I'm not trying to ruin his life or his happiness... I gave him the okay to sleep with other women if he wanted to... that wasn't for me... I love my husband. I don't want to hurt him or lose him... Trust me, I feel bad all the time.

WilliamM: You are right that I do need to keep trying different methods and options until I find something that works for me. Some things that worked in the past don't work anymore and I have to find something else.

farsidejunky: Doing things that trigger me is something that I have difficulty with. In the past I did a lot of exposure therapy, if I remember correctly I did 3 different variations that are classed as exposure therapy. It definitely helped with some triggers. There use to be certain sounds that triggered me, now I can hear them and I immediately notice them but I can continue on with what I'm doing. There are certain people who trigger me based on their physical appearance and that one is kind of iffy. Sometimes I'm okay, sometimes I'm not. I use to go insane if there was silence, listening to every tiny sound trying to figure out what it is, I can handle that now. The "bigger" things have been a lot harder and I quit when I wasn't seeing progress. I try and push myself through some situations, and I usually feel better after it's over than if I quit and walk away. I probably need to try it again or something similar. Something that I hate thinking about is that in 20, 30, 70 years this is still going to be something that bothers me at least from time to time.

WilliamM": I'm glad that woman is doing better now. I wish I could enjoy sex again, that seems so far out of reach... Some aspects of it are impossible to enjoy again. I just want to be close to my husband and have that bond and experiences with him again.

I suck at trying to own it. It is always going to be a part of me, but I want it to just go away. Afterwards I had a pretty bad head injury and I was told that I might not be able to remember all or parts of it, I wish that would have been true. I had a surgery and when I woke up the first thing I thought was I still remember. You are right that I need to own it. I don't really blame myself anymore, but I am always trying to run away from it.
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