Working through problems

Discussion in 'Sex and Relationships' started by Country Gal, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. Country Gal

    Country Gal New Member

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    I am trying to figure out how I can make this short. Lots of history into this one & I have been lurking & reading here for several months, so finally joined & worked up the nerve to post . . so here's goes. History:

    Hubby is 45, I am 32. We have been married 4.5 years, together 7 total. 2nd marriage for both of us (my 1st 2 years, his 18 years). We both have history. I was molested by a family friend as a child, and have been through some counceling & I am also bi-polar (more depressive), on Wellbutrin for 2 years now. 1st hubby just didn't understand how this affected our sex life & didn't see why it had any influence and pushed me into a lot of things, which turned into resentment fast (= resenting sex as well). So that was a quick 2 years. Hubby's marriage was void of all sexual content for the last 8-9 years. He is a very, very carring person (excellent dad to his 3 kids) and probably does too much for everyone else. He cooks, cleans, does the laundry, helps me with my horses alot. Sometimes it is easy to take advantage of him because he was so used to doing it before. Then he begins to feel a little used. Because he was denied sex for almost half of his previous marriage, it is very important to him (and rightfully so). Becuase of that I went thru counceling & get on meds (trying to work on things). But our sex life is aweful. Very, very plain, no creativety, he has no techinque and has no idea what to do to make it work for me (even though I kinda try to show him). And because of my history, I am pretty uptight to start with. Mostly the same thing over & over, he tends to lay there & let me do all the work. I even shaved baby smooth on Sat & during sex sat pm (always have trimmed, but have never shaved smooth before) & he NEVER EVEN NOTICED. So there are obviously issues on both sides.

    He desprately desires it and doesn't push me, conciously (he is very good about all that) but I can tell when it is bothering him because he becomes quiet/reserved and will go to bed & just roll the other way (which is a form of guilt trip I am sure). Then I feel bad. It has been real delima. I am sure not against sex, but it needs to be very 'different' from what I have experienced in the past or all the old scars get in the way. But our sex life is just aweful. He has only been with his 2 wives, I have had only a handful of partners. But I am the creative one & I am sure willing to try much, much more. But we also have to approach it right so my brain doesn't shut my body down!! This is a super sensitive topic to him, so I have to approach it the right way. I can't just say "Honey, our sex is aweful, you have no idea what you are doing. Please try to learn somewhere". I do try to encourage him, but I am too much of a pansy to just say "Do this". Which I am sure I need to learn to do. But looking for a good way to open this conversation with him.

    I do not orgasm easily and have a difficult time letting go & enjoying myself. Neither of us practices mastrubation, but I have started some and I am working on it. I have to figure out what works for me before I can help him help me. Because things happen only 1 or 2x a month and he doesn't matrubate, things are over pretty quick, many times just from fore-play. So that ads to the frustration on both sides.

    So what it boils down to is we need to get on the same page. Tactfully. I think things can be alot better, but I was raised that good Catholic girl & with both our history's it is sooo diffcult to get things headed the right direction. But this has been affecting our otherwise very, very good marriage from the start. He is a great guy & I love him dearly, so I need to figure out a way to get things on the right track. He doesn't have any idea I am on here, he knows that there is that side to me, but it is difficult to pull out. We have watched some light porn together & that helps, but I think he has tried to learn technique there & you all know how that goes . . . . please, any advice/ help would be greatly appreciated!!!! Thanks so much in advance..
     
  2. Rose

    Rose Resident Sexy Grandma
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    Learning your own body is 'first and foremost' in being able to convey yourself to each other. You have covered many 'restrictions' that you are overcoming - not the least of which is feeling comfortable with masturbating. Hon - EVERYONE does it. I denied it (to my husband) for almost 25 years!!! It is a need we all have - - sexually - - physically - - mentally - - emotionally - -

    There is the other aspect, particular to your situation. That is his age. Okay - I'm NOT saying he's too old for hot, sensual sex! (I'm married to a 58 year old man) But confidence (given his past experience), could be playing a big emotional role in his "seemingly" lack of interest.

    You're young. It will take alot of love and commitment to understand and be patient, helping him through his bad experience. It obviously was a real ego-buster. Men (in general - no flaming, dammit! ) need a big push, once they are have experienced 8 - 9 years of NO sex at all! Hopefully, you love him enough to hang in there. Perseverence has it's rewards. :tup
     
  3. Country Gal

    Country Gal New Member

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    Just to claify - I am the one that has to be motivated for sex. And when I am, I get no-where close to enjoyment from it that it just doesn't become something I want to experience, esp given past. I try so hard to please him, but it just takes sooo much to get me interested. Yet there is a little 'dark' side to me and if approached correctly, I think I might not be so difficult to pursude. But that is where history & the shy, self-conscious part comes in. He is the one that really, really wants to partake, but technique is very lacking. So the result is bad. I know his age has an affect, and his ego in this aspect is fragile. So I have to figure out how to approach this 'correctly' and figure out what & how to have this conversation.
     
  4. jgood4u

    jgood4u New Member

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    Start by asking him a simple question: Do you feel like we're are getting the most we can from our sex?
    How do you feel we could change it?

    These don't project blame, they do open the topic for discussion. You can ask him how he learned about sex, what his early experiences were like, what was his ex's attitude about having sex, what did he learn from his ex about sex, what does he like about sex now, would he like to change anything about our sex life now.
     
  5. Joe

    Joe
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    You mention that you sometime watch porn together. Maybe instead of the standard porn, which is usually pretty horrible and unbelievable anyway, you could get some sex-ed videos. Sinclair Institute has a "Better Sex Series" that's good. They might give you (and him) some ideas to try and tips to make sex better.

    If your libido is low you should talk to your doctor about it. Maybe you already have. Wellbutrin is supposed to have few libido-lowering side-effects, but it doesn't hurt to mention it to your doctor. You might also consider some additional counseling. My late wife went for counseling when she was 48 for sexual abuse she suffered at the age of 8. Low libido was never a problem for her, but it seemed to help her with other problems stemming from the abuse.

    She was writing a book about various survivors of childhood sexual abuse at the time of her death. I helped her with it a little, and it was interesting to see the different paths taken by its victims. Childhood sexual abuse is very common, as I'm sure you know, and its effects can cause problems your whole life.

    My current wife is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and for a few years we co-hosted a site for other victims. She also must be careful what we do sexually so it doesn't trigger "flashbacks" to her abuse. (She was abused by her father from the age of 2 until she could fight him off at age 12.)

    As for your husband, I know what it's like to be denied sex for years by your wife. I was in a sexless marriage for the final 12-15 years of my 27-year (first) marriage. For me, and probably many guys like me, sex equates to love; no sex means no love. And that meant I wanted sex every day, preferably multiple times every day. (I use that in the past-tense because I'm getting over that, finally.) But your husband probably IS like me in that rejection of sexual advances can be very painful. The sure-fire way to avoid that pain is to not make sexual advances in the first place. If my wife rejects my advances, it can take a long, long time before I want to initiate sex again.

    And just in case you think the problem is his age, it's not. I was 47 when I met my second (late) wife. We often had sex several times in a day, and almost always at least once each day during the 3.5 years we were together. If he's suffering from low libido, he should talk to his doctor about it. It could be something as simple as a low testosterone level, which can be fixed with a monthly shot or by wearing a patch.

    One thing is a certainty: Your sex life can be greatly improved. I'd suggest a frank discussion with hubby -- actually, an ongoing discussion. He probably would like to improve it too, and if you work on it together, I'm sure you'll find a way. The love seems to be there, and that's the key ingredient. Good luck!
     
  6. Nettle

    Nettle Member

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    I can't help wondering about your "dark side". Do you feel guilty about it? Or you want to explore it?

    For me something that helped me was reading erotica. I do not have abuse in my past only a few hang ups because of a strict upbringing, but reading and writing erotica really helped me.
     
  7. Drakonnen

    Drakonnen Member

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    My wife had been abused sexually to an extent by two of her former boyfriends. For a while, loud noises made her scared, she'd start to freak out if she was under you or held down, feeling trapped, and didn't like things too rough.

    Eventually though she got more comfortable and realized I was never going to hurt her and I think let a little of her own darkside come out as it were, starting to actually really enjoy it and get more turned on the rougher I got and when I would pin her wrists down, pull hair etc. To a certain extent I think she sexualized what the other guys did to her and almost fantasizes about it as her method of dealing with it, but at some point you just have to let go and realize that if she (or if you get comfortable doing so) likes it rough, you just gotta go with what turns you on.

    On your husband's lack of technique, I'll say this: My wife is the only girl I've slept with, or done most things with for that matter, although she has slept with and hooked up with multiple other guys. I didn't really have a good technique myself to start with, though I was very horny and eager to learn.

    Eventually we got to the point where we were comfortable with her talking about things she had done sexually with other guys, and she started to show me things and techniques these other guys had used to get her off since I as having trouble doing it. In a way it actually became a big turn on to hear her tell me about it and picture her doing it, but it also helped me learn to please her better myself. There are still things past bf's did better then I do, which is fine, but having that base to build on and more time to learn her likes and dislikes, there is also alot of other ways I can please her that they never did too. :)

    So I would say just be open about it. If you don't think he can handle hearing about how other guys have made you cum in the past and that they were better at it then he was, just say "lets try this" or "do it this way". Speak up and be vocal, and if he can't handle it, act like its just you two learning from your own explorations, rather than it really being you trying to teach him another guy's tricks. ;)
     
  8. Morgan

    Morgan New Member

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    In reading your story, Country Gal, I think it's absolutely crucial that you and your husband open up the lines of communication between you. Good, fluid communication is essential for any healthy sex life. You need to talk about sex with each other, and you need to talk about it a lot. The only way either of you guys are ever going to overcome the awkwardness and discomfort of your sex life is if you truly understand exactly what's going on with each other. Some of things you mentioned (him rolling over when he's bothered, you being afraid to tell him "do this," etc...) illustrate this lack of communication perfectly.

    The fact is, you both need to start feeling comfortable with each other. You need to trust each other and not be afraid of each other. A marriage should never be like that. If your husband feels disappointed about not having sex, he should tell you about it. If you need sex to be something different in order to keep the old scars from resurfacing, then you need to TELL HIM about that. Otherwise how is he ever gonna know? How will you guys ever figure out how to enjoy each other and make each other happy if you don't talk about it and learn what exactly you each want?

    Which leaves the question: how can you guys learn to become sexually comfortable with each other? I think this is can be really difficult. There needs to first be a very conscious effort on both of your parts to make a change, even if it's really awkward at first. You have to push past the awkwardness and discomfort of talking frankly about sex, until it just feels natural for both of you. The only tricky thing is that, especially for you, you don't want it to go badly and end up deepening the wounds and making everything worse. Perhaps you should consider going to marriage counseling together? Do you think that's an option? This would of course require that you both openly acknowledge to each other that some things need to change in your love life; hence: the importance of opening the communication lines on this matter.

    If your guys' marriage and communication are mostly healthy in all other areas, then I think this should be something that you can accomplish together. If there is love and caring between you, and you're both committed to solving this, then you can make it happen. Start right away. Start asking him questions. Show sensitivity and tact, but ask the questions that need to be asked (maybe consider some of the questions that jgood4u suggested). Just get the dialog going.
     
  9. Country Gal

    Country Gal New Member

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    Thanks everyone - you have prettymuch told me what I already knew, just needs more push to get it going. I have never really explored my 'dark' side, but I do know it is there. I would say, yes, I probably feel a little guilty about it. Which I know is stupid but phobias & fears & the like seem to take time to get over, even when you know they are not substanciated!! Between my history & the Catholic upbringing, I just haven't ventured that far. I don't ride roller coasters & rarely do anything 'dangerous' - I rarely step out of my comfort zone. But I know he is unhappy on this aspect, his libido is not lacking, but he doesn't push me. I would say the wellbutrin has not had an adverise affect. Obviously before meds, being bipolar, I would go through periods of high & low libido. Definately more low, though. I am not concerned about his age being a factor, just gave that as background info. I really want to make this work and make him happy, but when I start, I end up doing all the work & I don't enjoy it enough as is to partake. So things HAVE to change. I have known this probably as long as i have been on meds, that was my first step. He knows what things I can't handle as per triggering old memories. He is really, really good that way. But it seems all of our past conversations someone ends up on the defensive & that doesn't achieve anything. So need to figure out the RIGHT way to approach the subject. THanks so much1!!!
     
  10. indagroove

    indagroove New Member

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    I lot of good info here. I will add something on his side. His ego is fragile due to the past. He has a terminal fear of rejection, and therefore is afraid is taking the lead in fear of being told no.

    I moment of rejection can knock a guy in the dirt for a long time. He is living in the past.
    Also, a partner can sense the amount of involvement of the other. If I sense a hint of disinterest in a partner, I am done ! If my parnet doesn't want to play, then play time is over.

    You two need to work on trust, and communication. The past has a hold on you both. Do not give the past that kind of power. I do not make light of anyone who has been abused. But many abused give they abuser power to this day. I am speaking the words of my wife. She is a counselor, and was abused at age 12, and got pregnant because of it. Back then girls were sent to a special school to carry the baby to term. It basically distroyed her teen years and started a long run of drugs and men. She will say, never give your abuser that kind of power. Just like you husband is still giving his ex power in his fear.

    I think you both want a healthy sex life. Even a freaky monkey love type thing. Communication. Trying to turn sex into a fun, exploration period is an idea. Touching, caressing, talking = Intimacy, trust. Also, there are little adult games. Like a deck of cards that have you draw a card, and it tells you what to do. If it says lick her pussy, he has to follow directions.

    If that's too much, sexual counseling might be an idea too. However, if one is really steeped in the past, individual counseling may be in order.



    I hope you can get it going !
     
  11. yorkiesmurf

    yorkiesmurf New Member

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    To begin with get over labels and diagnosis. From experience I have people who define their lives based on diagnosises genrally use them as an excuse to either justify why they are do something or justify why they are not doing something. Your diagnosis is not who you are and should lead your life defined by your beliefs. Furthermore in my honest opinion marriage counselling does not work and it destroys more relationships than it helps. Instead your husband and you should be talking to each othering and finding ways to build up your relationship. Take time to discover who the both of you are and what the two of you enjoy. Finally find ways to get him to engage with you sexually. My feeling if you do not take the first steps chances are at some point your marriage is going to fall apart. Inconclusion it has nothing to do with being Catholic, psychiatric diagnosises, previous history, but how you relate to other people.
     
  12. msduncan

    msduncan Active Member

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    1. Communication
    2. Trust
    3. Hiatchi Magic Wand
     
  13. cbrmale

    Gold Member

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    My wife had some religious demons to deal with (she found it hard to let go and relax with sex, and I always found myself doing all the work). We dealt with her issues through a series of tapes (they would be on DVD now) called (I think) Ordinary Couples Extraordinary Sex. It was amazing the difference these made, she needed to see other couples performing oral and letting go before she could do the same. After the first tape, she changed quite a bit (I think she was itching to be like the women on the screen). The challenge was to get her to view the tapes and take on the messages in the first place, and there's a long story as to how I got her there.

    I recommend DVDs like this as a way of learning how ordinary couples enjoy good sex. Good messages for your husband as well.
     
  14. Country Gal

    Country Gal New Member

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    Yorkiesmurf - agree totally. I am not 'into' label. Homegrown midwestern down to earth people here. I did ad them for some background. I functioned off meds for years, but get too depressive in the winter months so it is a way to regulate things (esp w/ lack of concentration at work). My biggest catch is trust and just letting go. That has always been it, I am guessing it relates back, but not really. I can't say that is has that big of influence on my life today, only when I get pushed into sex do I go into 'protect' mode, meaning my mind just leaves/shuts down. But that very, very rarely happens any more. I think his past has alot more to do with it than mine. I just need to open the door! I think he will balk at first but then hopefully progress will be made. He thinks I am the one holding back, which I am, but until things improve it will probably stay that way. So need to MAKE things improve.
     
  15. Joe

    Joe
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    Yup... by the Sinclair Institute. That was one (of many) we had. I thought they were excellent.
     
  16. Bluesy

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    I don't know how the two of you feel about marriage counseling...but I do know that one person in a relationship can't single-handedly resolve the issues of both parties. He needs to work on his stuff, you need to work on your stuff, and then the two will be able to meet in the middle for some really awesome sex :)
     
  17. JackOfHearts

    JackOfHearts New Member

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    I agree that communication has a lot to do with it. Like one of my favorite sayings goes, "you do what you are...not you are what you do. You're born with a gift, if not that, then you get good at something along the way. And what you're good at, you never take for granted." I'm sure things will work out.
     
  18. BassDude

    BassDude New Member

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    Here's some phrases that should be non-hurtful and (if said right) quite playful:

    "Hey, are you open to trying some new things?" "Let's try this and see if we like it!" "I've been reading a book on sexual positions, and there's some I'd love to try if you're game!" Etc. Make it game, fun, playful, and enjoyable. Good luck!

    BassDude
     
  19. Country Gal

    Country Gal New Member

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    Well, we have opened the door. Slowly. Talked just a little. I went ahead & got the 10 disk Sinclair Better Sex videos for him for Christmas, so we'll see how this goes. Nothing serious yet, but this should get things started. Thanks everyone!
     
  20. BassDude

    BassDude New Member

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    Cool on the videos! Let us know how it goes, and best of luck!

    BD