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Issues with sex (may trigger)


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I have been in a commited relationship for over 8 years and I am recently engaged. My future husband is probably the most supportive and patient person that I've ever met. I feel that I can tell him almost anything. What is concerning me lately is my lack of sex drive. I have spoken to a therapist about this, but we did not have the chance to discuss it in detail. I have not spoken to my partner about most of what i will say here.

I have issues with being touched. Even in a friendly way. I feel like people are in my space. When it comes to sex, I often feel violated afterwards. I feel like things have been performed against my will even though they haven't. I've cried during and after sex on occasion and it has left my partner baffled.

The problem is, I have always lived with the fear that my mother would hurt me sexually. Now when it comes down to sex, those thoughts pop into my head. I picture myself being sexually assaulted by her, or worse. Let me just say, my mother has never touched me in a sexual way! But yet I am paranoid that she would.

After speaking to my therapist, we started brainstorming some reasons why this might be. My mother had children to make friends. Essentially, she raised us to be her best friends and not her daughters (I have one sister). She spent our childhood using us as a shoulder to cry on. Her and my father do not get along and never have, and she would vent to me all the time about how terrible her was. She basically turned me against him until I could figure things out myself. The problem is, she would even go into great detail about her sex life with my father. She would tell me what he would do to her and how she didn't like it. She told me sex was terrible and painful.

On top of this, she was always very affectionate. Almost too affectionate. In fact right now I avoid her because I don't want to be touched. She had always (up until a few years ago) kissed my sister and I on the mouth. She often plays with my hair or strokes my skin, all of which makes my skin crawl. Another issue is she likes to walk around naked in the house and expects everyone to be ok with it. As I child, she encouraged me to be naked and was upset when i decided not to be naked around her anymore. She tells me she loves me so much and that she wishes i was born ugly and hideous so that no one would love me and she could keep me all to herself.

I have distanced myself from her. She has complained that i don't give her "good kisses" on the mouth anymore and that I'll only give her a little "peck"...in fact now i don't kiss her at all. Long story short, she is very manipulative and I have never felt like I was my own person and I always felt like I was her possession.

I have never experienced actual sexual abuse from my parents (although my therapist believes I may not be telling him everything...I have repressed a lot). My grandfather put his hand up my shirt a few times as a child, but i do not consider that a contributing factor.

I'm not sure what i'm looking for here, maybe just for someone to listen. It hurts me so much that I can't make love to my fiance without feeling like I've been violated afterwards. He is a gentle and patient man and does not deserve this. But I can't "fake" my way through either, not without damaging myself....I just don't know what to do anymore.

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Guest GingerSnap

I don't know where to begin. My husband has a sexual fetish and is now, because of that, alone in his room and celibate based loosely on our being married until "death do us part", emphasis on the "death" part. His mother, and you can say it was not sexual abuse, but I will disagree used to have him as a 14 year old to 17 year old rub menthol type pain relievers on her back as she sat with just a towel over the front of her - thus, his first sexual feelings and I am guessing fulfillment of hers since her husband spent a lot of time away from home. She had to know what she was doing too since she would not let him have a girlfriend and kept telling him not to have sex. She went around the house is sexy nightgowns also with a teen boy in the house and her husband at work. I believe that she did get sexual feelings for her son and this filled the void since his father was often not at home. There was also the problem with his uncle whom I call "Uncle McFeelly". I noticed that he had to be touching someone, constantly sort of rubbing at you if he could get close and I mentioned it to my husband's sister because she was going to be staying at his house "Everyone knows about him, you just have to be careful." I noticed the many of the family members had "ticks" where they constantly rubbed their thumb on their own body if a victim wasn't around. Parents can be inappropriate and when it doesn't feel right - there is a reason. Never give in when you get that "feeling" that something isn't right. It took awhile to shake all this loose from my husband's past. I once saw his father heavily flirting with his step-sister in front of her mother and no one did anything - I was horrified! I and the daughter-in-law was horrified of the uncle and eventually my dog bite him so I just clutched the dog whenever he was around and he is now dead, thank you God! I know this seems like something really different than what you are experiencing but I just wanted to say that I don't think you are on the wrong track with the thinking about your mother. My husband's mother didn't have friends either except for the kids and she turned my husband against his father and now, my husband realizes that and his father has passed on. Just such a mess and these people don't know any better because it is passed through the generations but with you, this is where it will stop so that's great news. Ignoring a problem is the only thing that makes it hopeless. Your responsibility is to you and if you have children, protect them from these things that you have suffered. You are on top of this so I think it will be OK.:)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Buttons,

I believe that Gingersnap is hitting on something that you may be overlooking about your past. A lot of inappropriate things can happen to a child without its being a clear case of abuse. Some parents and family members have boundary issues. Such an example would be wanting to be so affectionate that it stifles the child. In other words, your boundaries have been crossed and that may be why you do not like being touched.

What do you think?


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Yes, I can see that as being a factor actually. Perhaps "normal" boundaries were never really established. I don't feel that now, as an adult, that I can distinguish well between sexual and non-sexual touching. When someone touches me, even in a friendly way, logically I can tell myself that they are just being friendly, but my initial reaction is that they are doing something wrong or that there must be another motive, such as they are touching me for sexual pleasure.

The more I think about it...that my "boundaries have been crossed", it does make some sense. I grew up constantly having those boundaries crossed that I have established very thick "walls" to protect myself. And I am paranoid that everyone is trying to get through that wall.

Thank you both for your input, you have given me a lot to ponder...

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