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Re: Time for a *sex trigger** thread. LONG

Posted by Daisym on December 29, 2006, at 17:49:40 [reposted on January 1, 2007, at 21:50:10 | original URL]

In reply to Time for a *sex trigger** thread. Hubby/wife stuff, posted by muffled on December 29, 2006, at 0:43:44

So I have lots of different thoughts on this subject but please remember that this is a definite "do as I say, not as I do" response from me. My husband does not know about very much of the abuse in my background and he was pretty abusive himself, sexually. Although I'm sure he wouldn't characterize it that way. I swear my therapist said to me about a million times, "'I don't want to' is a good enough reason to not have sex." And my sexual experience is very limited, so again, I might not be the best responder here.

The first thing I want to say is that this is a hugely important thing to be able to talk about in therapy. If not there, then where? Sex is part of being human, like eating and breathing, but it gets twisted sometimes. I used to think of it as a weapon being used against me. I guess I still do, in many respects. I don't mean talk about exactly what you are doing, unless that is important in some way, but more, why you feel so dissociated and scared by it. Is it the proximity of a man? Or the feeling of someone "on" you? Or is it the raw vulnerability of it? Once you can pin down what you are feeling, and why so uncomfortable, then it might be easier to figure out how to help yourself.

I think there is give and take in all marriages, and we do things that aren't our favorite things to be doing. But I think we all need to have our own needs met as well and we need to have a line established that we don't cross. If something feels too scary, then it is Ok to stop doing it. Oral sex was that way for me for a long time. But I thought I *had* to do it, one of those wifely duty things. My therapist almost fell out of his chair when I finally told him that. (I felt pretty stupid, but my intellect does not work in the bedroom, at all!) So we practiced, "I don't like that - I'd rather not" over and over again. That doesn't mean cutting out sex altogether, it means finding what you like or at least can tolerate. And dissociating is not a terrible coping mechanism until you can find those things.

But I know what you mean, when I dissociated less, sex was so much harder. Someone had a way of asking her younger parts to take a nap, or stay out of the bedroom while adult things were happening. That resonated with me for a while. I knew I needed to stay "big" and tell myself I wasn't a little girl being abused again. It didn't work all the time, but it did work.

And then there were times when the work in therapy was so raw and so hard that sex was just out of the question. I needed permission to say "no" so talking with my therapist about how to say no was important. It is tricky, because the last thing I needed was my husband ranting about my therapist telling me not to have sex. So definitely think about what to say and not to say. I'm so thankful that the tension around all of that is over, now that we've split up. My therapist has said that if/when I enter into another relationship, it is likely that sex will still be an issue and I'll need someone who can be very patient and understanding. And I'll need "more" therapy around it. (God forbid!)

It sounds like your husband is a sweet guy who loves you and wants to show you his love. Maybe if you can keep framing it for yourself as love and holding and warmth and giving, it won't be so frightening.

But I'd bring it up in therapy. I bet it will help.




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