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Sex Problems causing divide in my relationship.(6 Posts)
I'll try to keep this brief, it is probably a bit complicated. Sorry if tmi but I'd really like some advice on this it's really upsetting me.
Me and DP been together for 10 years, 2 DC youngest is 7 years. I've always had problems during sex or around any aspect of, due to poor body image. I am slim and do have curves but I have serious serious stretchmarks and loose skin and a bit separated muscle, my boobs are not v perky and are small, and worst of all last few years I have a health condition which I control with medication my consultant prescribed but it makes hair thin and mine was already thin to begin with so I now have extensions/half wig and it looks ok but I am paranoid about it looking fake or showing ): I can't seem to feel 'attractive' or desirable, I can't understand how DP could want me in that way. and recently the past year or so sometimes he sort of goes a bit soft during or a bit before sex although it does come back.
I can't get over the feeling it's me, I'm ugly etc, and it's driving a huge wedge between us. I do have a history of serious sexual abuse / trauma, sometimes I think that could be contributing, but I do feel completely safe and able to be myself with my long term partner so surely that would help?! but no... It's at the stage I freeze, I make constant excuses, if I catch a glimpse of myself i get put off, sometimes things will be going well and then i'll start feeling like i can't do this. DP has been patient for a long long time but it's actually causing proper arguments now as well as frustration because I can very rarely "finish" , and most times are marred with the horrible insecurities. A couple of times DP has either left the room for half hour or so or even walked out for a few hours once.
Any advice anyone has would be very welcomed.
I do have a history of serious sexual abuse / trauma, sometimes I think that could be contributing
Yes. It will be. I've never met a survivor (myself included) who didn't have sexual problems resulting from the trauma, often expressed as a disgust for their own body.
Have you had therapy regarding your abuse issues?
Is your partner aware of your history?
thanks. It's interesting you say that actually "often expressed as a disgust for their own body" , cause it does feel a bit like that yes..
I've had cbt when I was a teenager for a year which was somewhat helpful, and I've been going to counselling for 3 years which has also helped somewhat but not enough. I had to stop as budget became too tight to include it but the counsellor has said they will see me for free or a much reduced rate for the time being.
Partner is aware of the history and we did a bit of speaking about it early-ish on in the relationship , but it's not ever discussed now. I sense he'd discuss it if I pushed him but he would be uncomfortable, I'm not sure I would want to but the option would be/is good I guess.
I know how you feel OP I am not happy at all with my body now, even if I lost weight the changes a baby makes to your shape and skin is very hard to feel confident with after. My DH is very complimentary, but it makes no difference its in my head.
What helps me is, lights very low, or off. A glass of wine to relax me, and just think about the smell of him, think about his arms etc it helps me not think about me.
Your DH probably isn't going 'soft' because of how you look, it's probably because he can sense your insecure, or not really into it. So the heat goes and then that makes you insecure. It's a bit of a vicious circle, I bet you are gorgeous and just cannot see it!
Firstly, I have to say I have no experience of sexual abuse / trauma but I cannot imagine that is has not left psychological wounds that effect you in many way - do not discount this just because it is a long term relationship.
Secondly - and most importantly, physically, there is not a problem. You are not ugly. Your hair / skin / boobs are not causing this problem for you. Looks are not that important in any relationship that is worth its salt.
Very few people are gorgeous - that doesn't mean they are not fancied. I don't mean to minimise your issue (I have had issues because I am overweight
obese and as I'm losing weight I am collecting loose skin and my boobs are deflating), but DH doesn't seem to notice and when we're in bed I concentrate on how it feels rather than what we look like.
Thirdly - Do you think the pressure is causing issues? From what you posted, it seems that while you're having sex, you are wondering if he fancies you enough / is he being turned off by you and he is wondering why haven't cum / not relaxed / what is he doing wrong. That's a lot of pressure for you both.
Can you and your DP talk calmly about this? Can you out sex on the back burner - cuddle up, kiss, be generally affectionate with absolutely no pressure?
And is counselling an option for you? I think it may really help.
mstumbletap sorry you feel similar about your body.. I also find that doing it in very dim light helps me a bit.
IsItI .. Yes you are right, DP has been my only serious relationship and in many ways the normality of that has been healing for me, but it doesn't mean the issues are not still there, true - I suffer from depression / anxiety / ptsd at times. Yes I do think it's the pressure causing issues - it's like the pressure is on the minute foreplay starts, and yes I feel tense, pull/shrink away, and constantly worry that DP will find me too unattractive and the whole activity will go wrong or something, so I freeze. go "off the boil" so to speak, and sometimes can't continue or dp goes soft because obviously the dialogue / body language is far from sexy . Although sometimes he goes a bit soft when things are going "well" as well so that starts up my paranoia that my looks or lack of , are the cause. He says not, but he has different vague reasons such as saying he was scared the kids would come in, had leg cramp, bad angle etc he seems to want the issue off the table asap and I keep thinking why )-: I've tried to talk to him about it, he just says over and over he does fancy me, looks don't bother him, that he is sick of repeating to a brick wall ... and other conversations to that effect.
I can kiss and cuddle without it leading to anything, so I'll try that.
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