OP: Long term illness hurt sex lives...

My husband and I have been together for 21 years, married for 13. We were both virgins when we got together. He's rather big in size, I'm rather small. When we were first intimate, we were both young, shy, had no clue what we were doing, and while I didn't end up emotionally upset at the experience, it wasn't something to write home about.

I have never had sex with my husband since then when there hasn't been some pain to start out with, ever, which means I've never had pain free sex with ANYONE (although there were some unusual circumstances I'll detail in a sec). I never really talked about it with him for most of our relationship, but this severely cut down on how often I wanted to have sex. He initiated things more often than not.

Although we weren't aware of any physical problems until last year, it turns out that I have had a disease that has affected me my entire life. It has resulted in depression, apathy, and constant pain for most of my life. It also heightens pain when it occurs.

Obviously, my desire for sex in that condition has never been high. Or rather, my sex drive is fairly normal, but if I was going to have sex with my husband, I had to be in a mental place where I was okay dealing with the pain that was going to be part of the process.

Last year, I was diagnosed and received a treatment plan, and now the pain is gone. The depression and apathy are gone. But the effect all this has had on our marriage and sex lives is something we haven't yet been able to fix.

I want to try to rejuvenate our sex lives, but we have so much baggage that keeps interfering. I don't even KNOW what feels good anymore, because for the first time I'm experiencing things without all the previous pain. But if I want to take things slow, perhaps just petting sessions instead of going further right away, he gets frustrated and feels like I don't want him.

He's been feeling this way for a long time, what with how seldom we had sex, and I truly can understand why. It's hard for him to understand that it wasn't that I didn't want him, I just didn't want to be in more pain than I already was.

Intellectually, he gets that. Emotionally, he feels unwanted and undesirable. Because for most of my life, when I was in pain, the doctors always said that it was all 'in my head,' essentially. So I think deep down, he never really believed that I was in as much pain as I claimed.

However, now, if we don't go slow when we're getting intimate, I start to freeze up, because by this point I'm expecting pain, even if it's not there anymore.

I don't know how to get us both over this hump, because we finally have the chance to have a GOOD sex life. We both want that. We've considered therapy, but we can't afford it.

If anyone has ever had to get over some of their baggage re: their sexual histories, and has some good ideas, trains of thoughts, techniques, anything? I'd be very appreciative.


Posted: 06 Oct 01:19


We have all had to get over something, dump some baggage or get over some issues. They are part of a pattern of human life but all unique to the couple involved. Congratulations on getting over your life long condition and more congratulations on wanting to make up for lost time. Twenty-one years of painful sex has taken a toll on you and the perceived disinterest, a toll on him. You are both paying.

There are alternative approaches to therapy that you should seek out because this is a load that you two will not get over on your own. Your family doctor or your gyn is a place to begin. Either or both may know of groups at local hospitals that address marital issues. Through a church or organizations that either of you are members there may be help available. There may be a local healing centre or growth centre or spiritual centre supported by private funds that may have help. You nay find a community mental health centre that has a sliding scale on payment.

The issues are likely now centered on communication rather than on sex and it sounds like the two of you have begun on that, but twenty-one years of bottles up crap is a lot to deal with. Please seek some help and you need not pay full freight to get real help.

The disappearance of physical is a major step; now comes the built up psycho-trauma.


Posted: 06 Oct 01:20

There is a thread here that can help you two back onto the path of connubial bliss - it is called The Program.

It begins with regular massage. This relaxes the nuscles, increases blood flow in the skin and muscles and is good for you. There is no "intimate" contact here. Just use regular baby oil, warmed, and play relaxing non-vebal music. Later on - in the kitchen perhaps, you two can discus how it felt to you and how it felt to him. Remember to INCLUDE your husband. HIDE NOTHING.

There should be no sexual intent at this time. Based upon your history.

AT YOUR OWN PACE - you then move on to more intimate massage and move slowly through The Program, gradually increasing the intimacy - AT YOUR OWN PACE.

You have to retrain your brain, decrease your fear and this will require a great deal of control and understanding on the part of your husband but if you are willing to try, and perhaps forgive any backsliding, it is possible for you two to enjoy the sex tha is your birthright.

By all mean seek counseling just make sure you get a good counselor.


Posted: 06 Oct 01:20

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