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Discussion Starter #21
Thanks to everyone for commenting on my unique problem. I will consider each one seriously.

But to explain with a few more details: I was a virgin when we married, but she had lied seriously about her previous sexual activities. While we were dating she said that there had only been one boy, one time, and that she didn’t enjoy it at all. Ten years later she elaborated more, that she was 13 at the first time, and at 15-16 she was having sex with a 22 year old man (but again that she never enjoyed it, but of course kept coming back). While we were engaged she told me that she thought she might be pregnant, although we had only played around and never had sex. Ten years later I learned that while we were engaged that the old sex partner (now 23-24) had come 400 miles to see her (and of course, only had coffee). The timing of that visit could easily explain the pregnancy suspicion. Along the same time she told me that “there had been others”. When I asked how many, she said that she didn’t know, and would never discuss it anymore.

About two years ago, in a half sleep in the morning, she called out the first sex partners name, and got real mad at me for being upset, and tried to lay the whole blame on me for the incident. By way of explanation, she said that she had not thought of him in years. About three weeks later I learned that previously she had entered his name as to the answer on Facebook, if she lost her password, another obvious lie.

Throughout our marriage she never got horny enough to have sex except when she would let me fondle her. No touching—no sex. About a year ago, when we had been out of town and hadn’t had sex for a week or so, we woke up in the morning at home, and everything was right. But she said that she had had a dream (wouldn’t give me any details) and pushed me away. Subsequently, she would not let me touch her at all for the next five days. I assumed that she had dreamed about an old sex partner and wanted to relish in that memory instead of having sex with me. I am assuming that a five day sex hiatus coupled with absolutely no explanation, probably negates most of the reasonable suggestions that you the readers have suggested.

At several other times after we had just had a super lovemaking, I would try and rekindle some interest, but was told “don’t do that and ruin it”. I assumed that while basking in a pleasant memory (of us) that she didn’t want to start anything new because it would detract from the earlier events.

In each incident when she repulsed me, she could never offer ANY explanation (like, similarly: I’m sleepy, tired, etc. or I don’t feel good), simply nothing as an explanation, only she wouldn’t respond to anything I could do, and eventually, just pulled away.

So, right or wrong, my feeling is that she occasionally has flashbacks or memories of past episodes that are so pleasant to her that she doesn’t want to have sex with me. We have had two more of those events in the last two months—no interest in sex, but absolutely no explanation. Sometimes after planning to have sex in the morning, she just gets up and dresses, with absolutely no mention about sex (or the lack thereof). Having these additional facts, maybe some of you will agree that it is really likely that my explanation may be correct. Comments??
 

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I'm guessing she was sexually abused as a young child (pre-puberty). Everything fits the pattern. It isn't that she is remembering good times when she is with you, it is the trauma causing her odd behaviors with you.

There seems to be a disconnect in her behavior between you and the others. She was quite sexual with others, yet has problems being sexual with her husband. Classic. Early start to sexuality, having much older sex partners, having many sex partners as a teen. Classic.

You were a virgin, which made you quite safe in some ways. She probably saw you as being unassuming with sexuality. Maybe while you were dating you even said you wanted to take things slowly, and/or you didn't want to pressure her. So she picked someone she thought would not be very sexual. Classic. She lied to you about her past. Classic.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Thanks, Thor, but I feel abuse was highly unlikely. I met her through her brother (two years senior), and due to our closeness would have expected at least some hint, through the years. And I came to know her parents extremely well, so I feel abuse is most probably not the answer. Maybe an early bad self image led to the sexual activity.I


meant to close with the following, sorry. Over the years I have learned to deal with her past (although through the years the story has changed drastically four times)

My main residual problem has been that throughout our marriage she has been only minimally responsive to our lovemaking (which nevertheless has been frequent). I often wonder if all the time she just does it as a “wifely duty” for me alone. She seldom , if ever initiates any sex, and has NEVER totally lost control during sex—no sound, no movement, just lies there (dead fish). It is hard for me to reconcile that with what apparently happened her first time;

1) no concern with breaking the hyman and any attendant pain or mess
2) no concern for pregnancy (she doesn’t remember if he used a rubber, and after breaking up with her, got another girl pregnant)
3) no worry about sexually transmitted disease
4) and finally, although they lived in a small community and since everyone talked, everyone would know about their sex, since boys always brag about their conquests

Clearly she must have been rioutesly ready for sex then and with him, and as far as I can conceive, all of the others.

So when I try to understand her total lack of expression for our sex, I never cease to wonder with what excitement and enthusiasm she approached her earlier sex ( with all of the attendant risks).

Through the years I wondered whether she maybe decided to not show enthusiasm for our sex so I wouldn’t suspect that she had enjoyed her earlier experiences (so my loss).

When I fondle her to try and tease her, she seldom really responds, rather, my only sign is that she doesn’t push me away. Don’t get me wrong, with my pursuit, we have had great sex through the years. My only lament is that I wished that she would have been more enthusiastic— I really seldom know whether she has really enjoyed our sex, and only rarely will she say that it was good for her—mostly no comment, and NEVER an ‘afterglow”- usually she just gets up and bathes, and starts the day. (in our early marriage it was sex and go to sleep, but now more we do it in the morning).

I frequently ask her what she would like, with seldom an answer, and when I ask her if I could do something different so she would enjoy it more, never any suggestion,

When I ask her how we could improve our sex life, her answer is always: “isn’t it OK as it is”, apparently feeling hurt, without ever seeming to give any thought that it could really be better. (remember that she has always said that she never enjoyed her earlier sexual experiences).

So, as I said earlier, I don’t worry or dwell on the past (whatever it was) which cannot be changed. However I feel that throughout our marriage (and still) our sexual activities and mutual enjoyment have been adversely affected by her earlier experiences.

Which brings me back to the basic problem: as often as we have sex, why is it that still sometimes when I think everything is perfect, she decides to reject everything I try to arouse her, and after 4 or 5 times in the last years alone—she NEVER, NEVER will tell me why (or even make up an excuse—just no answer)

I’m confused!!
 

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Thanks, Thor, but I feel abuse was highly unlikely. I met her through her brother (two years senior), and due to our closeness would have expected at least some hint, through the years. And I came to know her parents extremely well, so I feel abuse is most probably not the answer. Maybe an early bad self image led to the sexual activity.
I never knew for over 30 years of my wife's childhood abuse. This is the kind of secret many victims are determined to never ever let anyone know about. Just because you've been close to her and known her family doesn't mean squat.

If she has some kind of abuse history, she has to decide to seek help herself. You cannot convince her to seek help, and in fact suggesting she needs help is a fairly harmful thing to do. The best you can do is say you support her in anything she decides to do. You are not her therapist, and are totally unqualified to provide any real guidance or healing.

Which means if she does have an abuse history, it is almost irrelevant to you as her husband. What matters is whether she is meeting your needs and desires as a spouse. The only reason to know about the abuse is because it gives you an idea of the road ahead.
 

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I meant to close with the following, sorry. Over the years I have learned to deal with her past (although through the years the story has changed drastically four times)

My main residual problem has been that throughout our marriage she has been only minimally responsive to our lovemaking (which nevertheless has been frequent). I often wonder if all the time she just does it as a “wifely duty” for me alone. She seldom , if ever initiates any sex, and has NEVER totally lost control during sex—no sound, no movement, just lies there (dead fish). It is hard for me to reconcile that with what apparently happened her first time;

1) no concern with breaking the hyman and any attendant pain or mess
2) no concern for pregnancy (she doesn’t remember if he used a rubber, and after breaking up with her, got another girl pregnant)
3) no worry about sexually transmitted disease
4) and finally, although they lived in a small community and since everyone talked, everyone would know about their sex, since boys always brag about their conquests

Clearly she must have been rioutesly ready for sex then and with him, and as far as I can conceive, all of the others.

So when I try to understand her total lack of expression for our sex, I never cease to wonder with what excitement and enthusiasm she approached her earlier sex ( with all of the attendant risks).

Through the years I wondered whether she maybe decided to not show enthusiasm for our sex so I wouldn’t suspect that she had enjoyed her earlier experiences (so my loss).

When I fondle her to try and tease her, she seldom really responds, rather, my only sign is that she doesn’t push me away. Don’t get me wrong, with my pursuit, we have had great sex through the years. My only lament is that I wished that she would have been more enthusiastic— I really seldom know whether she has really enjoyed our sex, and only rarely will she say that it was good for her—mostly no comment, and NEVER an ‘afterglow”- usually she just gets up and bathes, and starts the day. (in our early marriage it was sex and go to sleep, but now more we do it in the morning).

I frequently ask her what she would like, with seldom an answer, and when I ask her if I could do something different so she would enjoy it more, never any suggestion,

When I ask her how we could improve our sex life, her answer is always: “isn’t it OK as it is”, apparently feeling hurt, without ever seeming to give any thought that it could really be better. (remember that she has always said that she never enjoyed her earlier sexual experiences).

So, as I said earlier, I don’t worry or dwell on the past (whatever it was) which cannot be changed. However I feel that throughout our marriage (and still) our sexual activities and mutual enjoyment have been adversely affected by her earlier experiences.

Which brings me back to the basic problem: as often as we have sex, why is it that still sometimes when I think everything is perfect, she decides to reject everything I try to arouse her, and after 4 or 5 times in the last years alone—she NEVER, NEVER will tell me why (or even make up an excuse—just no answer)

I’m confused!!
There are some contradictions in the bolded parts.

First, you have no idea how much she desired sex before you, or how actively she participated. You are inferring from her experiences that she must have really enjoyed sex before she met you. You have no way to know.

Secondly, you describe having great sex, while at the same time say she is usually a starfish and just gets up afterwards to do daily chores as if nothing significant happened. So which is it, great sex or dispassionate sex?

What I hear from you is that she is generally willing to provide sex, but shows little desire and little enjoyment. And this is confusing to you because her history implies she used to greatly desire and enjoy sex.

That is exactly the confusion I was in. But when I found out about the abuse all the pieces of the puzzle literally fell into place. If you have children you will see signs of it in her behavior. Usually very overprotective of them, and perhaps trying to build a Disney fantasy environment for them. Control issues. Signs of triggering sometimes during sex (turning her head away, getting very quiet, having an emotional aversion to some normal acts, crying, etc).

What I see in your descriptions is a woman who was quite willing to have sex as a teen, which means she was getting something out of it. But that doesn't mean she enjoyed the sex itself. She may have received approval and attention from males. She gained a sense of success or importance when older men wooed her (while her female age peers couldn't get dates with pimply boy class mates). She may have gained status amongst other girls for being sexually active, and especially for dating older guys who had more money and sophistication than same age boys.

Now that she is married, what does she get out of sex? You stick around, so she has a provider and protector. If you have kids, you help with the parenting.

For sure your wife has a different view of sexuality than you do. She doesn't get emotional rewards, and probably little physical reward, during sex itself. Whatever the cause of her behavior, you can't analyze the behavior based on your own values and beliefs about sex.
 

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Her behaviors do fit the profile very well of a child sex abuse victim. What counts as CSA is quite varied and doesn't necessarily even involve touch. I know one woman who was deeply affected by seeing her father read girly magazines. He never touched her or made her strip or anything like that. CSA could be as minor as forced kissing. If the girl was quite young she might not have even understood the events as being sexual. Many child victims don't think they were abused until they are adults and look back at the events. Many victims have no perspective to be able to self-assess the effects, and thus dismiss the events as being odd but not important.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks for all the insight. I should have told you that in July, we will have been married 63 years, with four fine children.
 
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