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Please Help - Intimacy Problem With Partner

Discussion in 'General' started by 9Lives, May 23, 2007.

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  1. 9Lives

    9Lives Active Member

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    Hello everyone. I've been away for a little while trying to deal with my awful Fibromyalgia pain but, I'm having a new(er) PTSD problem as well. I was curious if anyone experiences intimacy problems with their significant other?

    I've always had some trust issues since my molestation & rapes but, it's getting worse in this marriage. It probably doesn't help that a couple of times, he's selfishly forced me to do things I didn't want to do & now I've been having anxiety attacks every time we get close. We've talked about it & I've explained to him that his actions have set me back in therapy, made me afraid of him, & have increased my PTSD symptoms. Since our talk, he's sincerely apologized & hasn't done anything to scare me BUT, I can't seem to change my reaction to him as I still have panic attacks, nightmares, & startle at his voice.

    All my life I've tried to hide my trauma & PTSD symptoms to fit in & keep a job but, I just can't seem to do it anymore & I'm becoming more & more depressed. I also cannot just leave him because unfortunately, I rely on him (I'm medically disabled, unemployed with a 2 y/o, & do not have family or friends who could help). My husband wants to work it out with me but, I don't even know how to begin.

    Right now, I'm working on my claim for a VA disability increase for newly added Fibromyalgia, hypertension, PVCs, tachycardia, & diabetic peripheral neuropathy so, in case we don't work out, hopefully I won't have to rely on him. Anyway (sorry this is so long) has anyone had this kind of marital problem or have any advice for me? Or, do you think it's just another traumatic event to kick to the curb & add to my list?

    Well, thanx ahead of time (for listening). ~ 9Lives
     
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  3. nov_silence

    nov_silence Well-Known Member

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    How amazingly damaging that he would force you to do things; esp of a sexual nature! It makes total sense that you don't feel like you can trust him or let him get close to you in variety of aspects...esp since his actions were not isolated incidents, but happened on several times! You have experienced trauma in your marriage, and it's not something to "kick to the curb." You are worth more than that. I am so angry that he hurt you the way that he did. I think something would die inside of me for my husband if he ever hurt me in that way. Have you talked about this in therapy? If so, what did your therapist have to say. Good for you for continuning to look for resources to provide you with the time and space to heal.
     
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  4. Midnite

    Midnite Well-Known Member

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    What I did notice in myself is I am much vulnerable to triggers or flashbacks during intimate moment if I am already shaken, feeling stressful or insecure to trauma related issues earlier. Which means my mind is weaker at that moment and I am much easier to be triggered.

    If I am feeling down, all I wanted is only to cuddle and I‘ll let hubby know that I am not in the mood and am feeling a little shaken lately. But there were times; I only get triggers or flashbacks in the middle of everything, which makes me feel bad about myself, when I wanted it to stop immediately as my flashbacks were causing me tremendous pain and on the other hand, I felt so selfish of me and I feflt bad for hubby. Again if I am only a little triggered, I will try to end it quickly and swallow the pain without hubby knowing the truth. I know it is not the right way but I still do it once in a while. But if it is a bad trigger, I’ll usually turn stone and dissociate. Hubby stops seeing the unresponsive and cold me.

    I truly appreciate that hubby has never force me into any activities that I am uncomfortable at, especially sex. He knows how bad my trauma has affected me also maybe he was with me throughout my trauma then, that's why he never wants to see me struggle again like those initial months and years after my trauma. Though I could share his bed then but all we did was only cuddle in bed for 3 years. Nothing beyond than that.

    Slowly, I did improve after the 3rd year. And life was moving positively. I had 5 solid years without crying, triggers, nightmares or flashbacks. We had great sex for about 5 years before my ptsd started to control my life again that's when me starting to get the above triggers. But it's slowling down again lately while I am working hard in the healing process. I am getting to know myself and triggers better.
     
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  5. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    9Lives! OMG! No wonder you do not feel safe with him. Even though he is your husband if you say no and he forces you to do something anyway, honey, "That's RAPE!". I agree with nov, you have experienced trauma in your marriage. And I might add, all perpetrators apolojize to get their butt out of trouble. If he was the loving supportive husband you deserve he would have never violated you like that. I am with Nov, I'm angry as hell at this guy!!!!!!! Please know, there is nothing you did worng or nothing unusual about your struggle. My X raped me on many occasions and it was so very demeaning to me. I do have some trouble with sexuality with my current hubby but he is loving and understanding. It helps that he is 12 years older than me as he is not as much testosterone driven! lol! You are in my thoughts and prayers.
     
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  6. Tiana

    Tiana Member

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    I am in the same place you are, as far as the intimacy problem goes. I am so sorry he's breached your trust! How horrible to have that feeling in your own home.
    I have gone from one extreme to another. I'm at a point now where I get really angry when I even see a love scene on TV. If my husband is with me, I create space, hide my face, feel the urge to self harm. I don't understand it anymore. There was a person that was me once who got the sex stuff, now, all I see it as is dirty: beyond it, I hate myself that way, if you get my meaning. We haven't been intimate that way since Christmas. He's a Godsend, and extremely patient. He's also remarkably clean from all those cold showers.
    Please, take good care of yourself, and consider your options with your husband. Remember you are worthwhile and special. You have a right to happiness!
    I hope some of this was helpful. Take good care!
     
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  7. Midnite

    Midnite Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, it was really a horrible and a very big mistake of your hubby to force on you. He has no right to do so even though he is your husband. But what matters now is he must truly understand how badly this has affected you. And whether you are willing to accept his apology and wanted to build the trust in between both of you again.

    He must understand that it’s truly no joke doing such thing especially to someone who got ptsd from sexual abuse. Force will only sent you farther away from him and ripe the trust you have in him and it will only worsen your current condition with this additional constant emotion (fear) sitting in your mind.

    You must make sure that he understands you and not you just assuming he knows. Because sometimes, we over estimate others in understanding our pain, fear and struggling, where in reality they don’t really know where their limits are and how bad even a little action or joke of theirs could harm or jeopardize a relationship. This will ensure and save you from any further unintentional hurt.

    He must also understand that the damage he has done is something terrible and you will need a lot of assurance and time to be able to trust and be comfortable around him again. It’s not something, an apology can easily mend, especially to a shattered and frighten soul. His action has damaged the trust you have in him, especially when you have great expectation and hope to find love, protection and comfort in him as your chosen partner.

    Also you need to help and guide him on how to win and build your trust again, what you are comfortable at and how to build that assurance in you again. It takes time, for your mind and body to be able to trust again. He should also know that, its not something you can change in days or weeks, the damaged done really shattered you badly. He needs to be very patient with this healing and it will take time and plenty of effort from both parties.
     
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  8. 9Lives

    9Lives Active Member

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    Thank you...

    First, thank you all for responding, I can barely type through my tears…

    Nov Silence,
    I agree with you, I feel like something has died inside of me after what my husband has done. I haven’t told my therapist everything because, a while back, I made the mistake of telling my doctor about an incident & almost lost my son. A few months ago, I walked away from my husband during an argument & he threw a heavy coffee mug “at the wall” but instead, it hit & shattered on my spine. I fell to the floor & couldn’t get up for a good 5 minutes because of the pain. During that time, he refused to help or call 911. During my next exam, my doctor asked how I received the injury & I told her. The next morning, Child Services knocked at my door. Apparently, if your spouse hurts you in this state, they consider it child abuse because it could have been them. I fully understand their point & since I didn’t want to lose my son, my husband agreed to anger management. Since then, we’ve talked about reconciling as well as divorce & I honestly doubt we’ll stay together. However, he says if we divorce, he’ll get sole custody because of my PTSD and other physical/medical disabilities. I hope he’s not right because my son is the only reason I get up each day!

    Midnite,
    I am so glad you have a supportive husband (I wish mine would take lessons) and I’m happy you’re back on track & healing once again. For me, I don’t know what my husband & I are going to do from one minute to the next. Sometimes he seems so sincere & wants to work things out but, a minute later, Mr. Hyde rears his ugly head! Today, he actually said, “Why can’t I just get over it and get on with my life!” I am still in complete shock – I didn't even know how to respond!

    Marilyn S.,
    Wow, here come the tears again! I know you speak the truth & are 100% right about it not being my fault but, I’m caught in a catch 22 (if I tell someone, they’ll take my son away, if I don’t tell anyone and my husband & I divorce, he’ll take my son away). Either way, I lose the light of my life. Also, I know firsthand how damaging court systems & foster care can be (I was stalked & raped in one) so, I am trying to figure out the safest plan that doesn’t involve that type of risk. My therapist is also helping me with my disability request because she believes we’re heading for a divorce & I could use the assistance. In the meantime, if we cannot resolve our issues, I have my backup escape plan in place. I just wish I didn’t have to struggle & fight every minute of every day. I’m so tired of dealing with old & new trauma, I just want one minute of peace! Anyhow, I’m going to end on a good note... My son does give me hope - he’s my fuel to carry on. He makes me so proud (today, he put on his shoes all by himself!). What’s better than that?

    P.S. Tiana,
    thank you also for giving me hope that there are still caring individuals out there! I’m glad you have a patient husband who understands your discomfort about intimacy. I am also Not a romance fan & cannot sit through an intimate display of affection on the tube! But, I hope we can work through our problems because, I’m sure we’re missing something special in our lives

    Anyway, thank you all again (I feel better) & take care as well.
     
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  9. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Well, I started to read the responses and blew them off. No respect for the clueless partner from what I saw so I skipped and am going back to my old ways, screw what all say but go by experience. Little info to go off of and and people jumping to conclusions. Does not mean you do not interpret as forcible or dismiss by any means. Your feelings are real and seems he gets that.

    Think about it, honestly as TYPICAL woman, with the abuse that results in PTSD we can and do follow certain signals or sensations that make us feel it is force when it is in fact not. You know a guy is in nature a bit "aggressive"... meaning not a rapist but more dominant. You know that whole they weigh 100 lbs more, a foot taller... and we wonder why they are more dominant. Boys are boys. Why are women considered more demure? Because as a whole we are. We are more coy and hint in bed and guys are a bit blunt. Especially husbands who have been around a while.

    But I see huge hopes as he backed off! Bravo! True love sowing. Give it time and a chance. And counseling. I had intimacy gone for a long time vanish, he learned I had flashbacks during such occasions. I did not even know what I experienced was. It was emotional and I shut down. But hell, with healing I have reached a point I do want to once a now and then maybe. He is so scared to touch me. I get annoyed as i wish he would do something as I cannot bring myself to do it, be "aggressive". At the same time some nights just him softly kissing and holding me makes me shut down still. Depends when it happens, it is hit and miss. Just his mustache and chest hair while he just pulls me in for a hug makes me go into thinking this is bad.

    You need to really learn when it bad or just being a husband or a guy. He is showing respect backing off and tremendous love. Do not run from that. We want to with this and look for ways out. All that is out there is roulette. Give it time and counsel. You may have found a man who loves you and willing to hold back desire until you are better. But to be desired does not make them bad or to have desires.

    Mine used to be very manly in the area and for a couple years now I can not get his attention without a banner so he knows it is OK because he loves me. Let yours love you and do not hold your own issues against him. Again going off what you gave.
     
  10. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Ignore what I just typed after seeing this... **** him then. Get out. I did mention it did not look like a whole story and apparently not.
     
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  11. 9Lives

    9Lives Active Member

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    you're right...

    Hi Veiled,
    I probably didn't fully explain the entire story because it's a lot worse than what I've typed so far. When I say he's forced me to do things that hurt I'm talking about "dropping the soap" prison style. I think I'm going to be sick now. Anyway, these things happened a while ago before the counseling & they haven't happened since. I have seen positive signs from him but, I'm afraid they won't last. And you're right, he's more dominant than me, bigger, stronger, & heavier. I used to be strong & have a fighting chance but, I'm sick now, I don't even have full use of my right arm since my last surgery. I do have a plan to leave & as soon as my VA disability money is approved (shouldn't be too long now) & I will act upon it if I need to. It's really hard when you don't have family or friends nearby but, even if my family was here, they wouldn't help anyway (but that's another story for another day)... Anyway, thanks for listening...
     
  12. RoadKing

    RoadKing New Member

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    Your not alone as I also have related issues. Justify your feelings, ask questions to gain understanding. It's just a starting place that works for me. One step at a time.
     
  13. 9Lives

    9Lives Active Member

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    hello :)

    Thanks also RoadKing. I actually think my husband's trying to understand me better. He has a hard time expressing his thoughts & feelings & has a difficult time understanding mine. But, he's been leaving a journal with a posed question on it for me to answer (i.e., what are your goals & dreams or what makes me happy, etc.) & I fill it out & leave it on the table for him. He's been reading it & discussing things after he's had chance to absorb the information.

    I hope this helps & I hope we can work on our issues because I don't want to get another divorce but, I will have to do what I have to do & at least I have a plan now in case things don't work out!
     
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