I need help with sustaining my marriage - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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I need help with sustaining my marriage

I sincerely apologize if this is the wrong area. I looked at the different areas and honestly just didn't know where I belonged. Sex and physical intimacy are our largest struggles so this area seemed the most fitting.

I'm 28 and my husband is 31. We have been together for 8 years and married for 6. I feel like my husband is on the verge of walking away from me, our marriage and our life together. It is something that I desperately want to avoid. I don't want to lose my husband...

Our biggest problem is our sex life. One year into our relationship I had a trauma (physical, sexual) that wreak havoc on our relationship. It turned our relationship upside down and everything that we once knew was blown to smithereens. My husband is a good man, he always has been and I don't want my words to be twisted and make him out to be the bad guy. The only bad guy in our situation is not being written about. We were in our early 20's and only a year into a relationship, he could have chosen to walk away. In hindsight, I know he wishes he had. He didn't. He stayed by my side and always has. We both thought, that with enough time and enough work things could get back to how they previously were. Neither of us, especially my husband, thought we would be here.

My husband and I have very little physical intimacy because I cannot handle it. There are so many parts of my body that he cannot touch at all. 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.

My husband has always been there for me. 4 months ago, when we hit an all time low, 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. We don't talk about when/if he utilizes that privilege, I don't want to know. Even though he hasn't said anything I know he has opened that door, that I allowed him to open. Sometimes he will come home late and shower immediately. He has pulled back from me and it feels like there is a wall being built between us.

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. He didn't, he was very close but held himself back. He made a fist and wound his arm back, stopped himself, then almost pushed me, then stopped himself again and left the house for the rest of the night. He apologized, profusely. I'm 5'2 and 105lb, my husband is 6'2 and 220lb. If he wanted to hurt me he could. He wouldn't, unless I drive him to it. I have told my husband to force the physical intimacy but that has done nothing but harm.

Our marriage is crumbling and I don't know how to save it... Any help would be appreciated... If I could pick up a magic eraser and erase physical and sexual intimacy from our marriage it would be picture perfect. Alas, such magic eraser has yet to exist... I apologize if this in incoherent... I am quite upset typing this. My husband is sitting right next to me but it feels like we are a million miles apart as brick by brick, the indestructible wall slowly builds.
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post #2 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 10:30 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Sorry, OP. You don't mention counseling/therapy... has that not been tried ?
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post #3 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 10:34 PM
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You need professional help. No one here can help you, we don't even know what happened and doubt we will. On that note, not every marriage deserves to be saved. Don't be selfish and really ask yourself of this is a sham of a marriage and both of you need to start over.
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post #4 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Married-Man: I have been in personal/individual therapy for 7 years. My husband has gone off and on. We have gone to marriage therapy and sex therapy on and off as well. I'm sorry that I didn't mention that, I suppose I thought it went without saying. I don't have a clear mind right now. Yes, therapy has been (and is being) utilized. Though I suppose rather unsuccessfully.

GuyInColorado: I don't know how important specific details are to this... I understand that it is the cause, but the specifics I don't know if they really need to be shared. I've shared them with very few people. My marriage might be different, but it is not a sham... I understand that no one here can give me the magic answer to solve all my problems... I just want to do something to help my husband and save our marriage...
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post #5 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 10:57 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

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Originally Posted by picpea View Post
I sincerely apologize if this is the wrong area. I looked at the different areas and honestly just didn't know where I belonged. Sex and physical intimacy are our largest struggles so this area seemed the most fitting.

I'm 28 and my husband is 31. We have been together for 8 years and married for 6. I feel like my husband is on the verge of walking away from me, our marriage and our life together. It is something that I desperately want to avoid. I don't want to lose my husband...

Our biggest problem is our sex life. One year into our relationship I had a trauma (physical, sexual) that wreak havoc on our relationship. It turned our relationship upside down and everything that we once knew was blown to smithereens. My husband is a good man, he always has been and I don't want my words to be twisted and make him out to be the bad guy. The only bad guy in our situation is not being written about. We were in our early 20's and only a year into a relationship, he could have chosen to walk away. In hindsight, I know he wishes he had. He didn't. He stayed by my side and always has. We both thought, that with enough time and enough work things could get back to how they previously were. Neither of us, especially my husband, thought we would be here.

My husband and I have very little physical intimacy because I cannot handle it. There are so many parts of my body that he cannot touch at all. 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.

My husband has always been there for me. 4 months ago, when we hit an all time low, 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. We don't talk about when/if he utilizes that privilege, I don't want to know. Even though he hasn't said anything I know he has opened that door, that I allowed him to open. Sometimes he will come home late and shower immediately. He has pulled back from me and it feels like there is a wall being built between us.

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. He didn't, he was very close but held himself back. He made a fist and wound his arm back, stopped himself, then almost pushed me, then stopped himself again and left the house for the rest of the night. He apologized, profusely. I'm 5'2 and 105lb, my husband is 6'2 and 220lb. If he wanted to hurt me he could. He wouldn't, unless I drive him to it. I have told my husband to force the physical intimacy but that has done nothing but harm.

Our marriage is crumbling and I don't know how to save it... Any help would be appreciated... If I could pick up a magic eraser and erase physical and sexual intimacy from our marriage it would be picture perfect. Alas, such magic eraser has yet to exist... I apologize if this in incoherent... I am quite upset typing this. My husband is sitting right next to me but it feels like we are a million miles apart as brick by brick, the indestructible wall slowly builds.
Hi @picpea

Thanks for your message.

I'm really sorry that you're going through what you are. It's a really tricky situation that you're in.

Now, reading behind the lines, i'm assuming that there was some sort of sexual assault or rape that occurred and for that, i'm truly sorry (assuming i'm correct).

In terms of your marriage and sexual intimacy, is it something that you desire at all? What about sex causes you to tense up? Is it the physical pain or some emotional scarring of some sort that is forcing you to pull back?

If you could clarify some of those points, then I can provide you with further guidance.

Thanks
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post #6 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 11:01 PM
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Cool Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Assuming that there are no children borne of this marriage, and given that professional counseling has failed miserably, the relationship has denigrated largely into the two of you living like a pair of platonic college roommates!

If that lifestyle is what you indeed want out of life, then so be it! Otherwise, I would highly recommend an immediate separation and your visiting a good family attorney in advising you of your property rights and to file for divorce on the grounds of "irreconcilable differences!"

Notwithstanding, you have a rather long road ahead of you because whether you file for divorce or not, you will have to sustain keeping yourself in individual counseling until such time that you can willingly enter upon a relationship with another person!

I wish you nothing but the best!

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post #7 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 11:40 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

If you love him, are you holding on for him? Or you? Is sounds like you're not ready to be a wife so soon after your trauma.


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post #8 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 11:53 PM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

How about EMDR?

Assuming this is rape, I so sorry for you. I know someone this happened to. It is terrible. Have you gone to any support groups?
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post #9 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

shrah25: I'm having a hard time writing a response to your post and finding the line between what I want to say and what I don't want to say. I want to be intimate with my husband, sexually, physically and otherwise. We don't have a problem with emotional intimacy. I do want to be intimate with my husband and I push myself to be. I try to just do it but it is never smooth sailing. Even when I try with every ounce of my being to do something with/for my husband it's not enough or enjoyable for him. Understandably. No normal person would enjoy being intimate with someone who responds the way I do.

The reason for tensing up is physical and emotional. Physically my body reacts to touch by instantly wanting to move away from it. I went from being a person who loved touch and craved touch all the time, to repelling it like opposite ends of a magnet. Simply holding hands use to be difficult to force myself to do. Physically some acts hurt because I have permanent physical trauma in my genitals and there is no repairing it structurally. Which adds a self-conscious aspect. I have reminders on other parts of my body and my husband avoids touching and looking at those areas like the plague. Every day I have to be mindful of certain parts of my body and keep them covered. Because of the pain and physical memories of being touched and the pain of being touched I tense up when intercourse has any likelihood. To the point of insertion being impossible or very uncomfortable for my husband. The pain of forcing insertion adds to the physical pain. It's an endless circle that results in a very unhappy husband who explains our sex life like making a fist and trying to push a finger in and out of it.

I do other things for him. Poorly, but I try. He gets frustrated and calls it quits, especially lately since opening to door to the marriage. The only way we have "successfully" had intercourse start to finish is by me telling him to force it and maybe I will get use to it. He weighs double what I do, he can stop me from pushing him away if he wants to. It isn't enjoyable for him, though.

I want to be able to be with my husband and enjoy it. I want to be able to make him happy in every way and be enough for him. It seems impossible... Everything I try backfires.

arbitrator: We don't have children. Not for lack of wanting them. My husband and I have only had start to finish sex a handful of times so it hasn't been in the cards... I suppose hypothetically being childless should make it easier to let my husband go. It doesn't feel like it. My husband has said many times that he feels like we are living as roommates. I don't want him to feel that way... I have tried to have him force things until I'm use to them but that hasn't gotten us anywhere, but here. If my husband decides to divorce me I don't think I deserve anything. His time, his affection, his love, his life, were wasted on me. I don't want to be at the point of needing lawyers...

WorkingOnMe: I know that when my husband dreamt of marrying he didn't envision me and this. I know that I really love him, and I feel like if I were less selfish I would end it and let him go. He is sitting on the fence and I could blow him off with a whisper. The part of me that loves him, or maybe it's the selfish part, doesn't want to let him go. I can't imagine not being with him, he is who I saw the rest of my life with. I want to be everything that he wants and needs because he is that for me. I want him by my side for the rest of my life, not beside someone else's side. I know there are probably millions of women who are better suited to him than I am. As a contrast, if he doesn't want to be with me no one is going to and I rot away.

sokillme: I have gone through EMDR sessions. It helped definitely, but there wasn't significant relief. The therapist I was working with at the time said a small number of people don't respond as well to it. Apparently I'm one of the "lucky" ones.

The thought of being in an open space with a group of people being vulnerable gives me anxiety attacks. I have never gone to physical support groups because the 3 times that I have gone I was a mess and drew attention from everyone. My husband has gone to some for spouses on many occasions.
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post #10 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 01:00 AM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Quote:
sokillme: I have gone through EMDR sessions. It helped definitely, but there wasn't significant relief. The therapist I was working with at the time said a small number of people don't respond as well to it. Apparently I'm one of the "lucky" ones.

The thought of being in an open space with a group of people being vulnerable gives me anxiety attacks. I have never gone to physical support groups because the 3 times that I have gone I was a mess and drew attention from everyone. My husband has gone to some for spouses on many occasions.
There are online groups for this kind of thing. Maybe someone will give you some techniques to help you. I am SO sorry for you and your husband. Have you contacted specialist dealing with sexual abuse?

Have you tried to do it daily for a prolonged period of time. Maybe not worrying about the outcome? Does your husband get frustrated? Does it effect his ability? Meaning he loses his erection when he sees you are suffering?

There are A-sexual men out there you know, so don't give up all hope.
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post #11 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 07:18 AM
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So sorry for what you are going thru. I am putting any blame on you what soever.

I think you should separate from your H and work on taking care of you, to make you whole again.

As much as your H is understanding, he is not a saint. He has wants and needs. He does not want to force this on you because in the end what does that make him be?

He is trying to work with you and that is changing him. When you told him to go outside of the marriage, you have made him into a cheater. Even if you gave him permission, he is probably not the kind of man to do this. You are forcing him into a position he might not have wanted to be. Thereby, changing the basis of who he is. He will do it for you, to remove the pressure of sex from you. But what does it do to him.

That's is why I am saying to leave your marriage and work on you. After working on you and you are healed, then, you can approach another sexually relationship.

Have an honest conversation with your H. With no expectations to resolve this issue but to find out how he feels and put out your feelings for him to see.

I wish you luck and happiness.
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post #12 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 07:20 AM
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I should say I am not blaming you. Can't seem to edit after posting.
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post #13 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

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.
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post #14 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 09:31 AM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

Sounds like another version of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some guys coming back from Viet Nam and Iraq were a mess. Others just let it go as best they could and went on with their life. I always wonder what it was that made the difference between the two groups. Then it dawned on me. Some guys were a mess BEFORE they went into the stressful places. It just broke those who were already damaged.
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post #15 of 78 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 09:44 AM
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Re: I need help with sustaining my marriage

There are drugs trials to help with PTSD. You should look into getting into them until you find something that works for you. Medical marijuana. MDMA. Do not give up the fight.

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