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Question
Posted by: Sad wife | 2008/09/02

Can' t open up

Our marriage was rocky for many years, but we are older now and have worked through many of our issues. The one thing that I just can' t get right is to open up to my husband sexually. I go through the motions, but it seems to be the one place that I have stored all the hurt and anger and trauma - no matter how much I try and convince myself it' s okay, my body betrays me by staying shut down. What can I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSexologist

If you have previously been able to relax into this, or a former, sexual relationship then it would appear that feelings of anger and resentment are still, as you say, stored there somewhere... Both the male and female sexual response can be powerfully affected by such emotions or other feelings like inadequacy, fear, insecurity, mistrust, and so on. Many people cannot enjoy sexual intimacy if they don't, at the very least, feel safe (within the relationship/context) and trust that their partner cares about them and will not hurt them. It is said that the brain is the biggest sex organ, and if any part of ourselves (psychologically speaking) does not feel good, it may impact negatively on our ability to function sexually.

I would suggest several things:
1. 'Check in' with yourself to see if there are still some painful feelings about your husband (e.g. mistrust, lack of respect) or even yourself (e.g. guilt, inadequacy).
2. If you are sure that the pain is mostly gone (forgiven), then maybe you could discuss your sexual concerns with your husband and begin the sexual part of your relationship over, beginning slowly and moving at a pace that you are comfortable with. This would start with non-sexual but intimate activity first (e.g. holding hands, bathing together, kissing) and gradually (i.e. over weeks/months) move on to more sexual activity. Talking here is crucial.
3. If you still struggle, then perhaps some professional assistance might be required...

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: koos | 2008/09/02

maybe you should go see a sexologist to help you.

Reply to koos
Posted by: DB | 2008/09/02

How long is it now that you havent had sex

Reply to DB
Posted by: sad wife | 2008/09/02

over 35 - I could before, but now it' s like my whole body is clenched tight.

Reply to sad wife
Posted by: DB | 2008/09/02

What do you mean "  you can' t open up to my husband sexually" ? How old are you?

Reply to DB

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