My ex-wife and I have been divorced for two years now. We have been together since we were 16 years old. When we were married, we had a lot of issues. I was very angry at the whole world it seemed, and I would take a lot of my frustrations out on my wife. I would say horrible things to her. I tried to push her and my friends and family away. I treated everyone who loved me bad. I finally swallowed my pride and went to see a therapist. I sorted out some issues I had with my mom that I’ve been carrying since I was a kid that I didnt know I was carrying. Anyways, I got help a little too late. After six years of being married, my wife could no longer stay married to me.
Well, for the two years we’ve been divorced, we have dated each other and everything has been perfect. We are so happy to be were we are today. We even talk about getting married again. We have two daughters, share so many dreams together, and even finish each others sentences. We talk about how we truly are soul mates. But, we have a problem. The thought of having sex with me, makes her feel uncomfortable. She also says the thought of being vanurable to me almost wants to make her cry. She says that she finds me attractive, she loves me, and she thinks I’m wonderful. She thinks about it all the time and wants to have sex with me but cant.
We dont know how to fix it. We know we have a perfect situation and have even talked about getting married and just never have sex again, but we know thats not healthy nor realistic. The only time she can be intimate with me, is when she drinks alcohol. She feels horrible because she feels like she is letting me down. I feel horrible cause I dont know how to fix it. We need answers. Please help our family.
A: It sounds to me that your wife may have been more traumatized by your former relationship than either of you want to admit. During most of usual daily activity, she can acknowledge that you have changed. She can genuinely enjoy you and be with you. Both of you know if you show signs of your old self, she will immediately leave and you would understand why. It’s far more difficult to leave when having sex than when enjoying an evening of family time. It therefore makes sense to me that it is when you attempt to have sex that her system goes on red alert and anxiety and fear kick back in. Sex requires trust and willingness to be out of control.
My best advice is for the two of you to see an experienced couples therapist to help you do this last piece of healing. You’ve done very well on your own so far. A therapist will help you build on that success so that you can maybe get over this last important obstacle to being fully together again.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Dec 2007
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). Please help our family.. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/12/03/please-help-our-family/