My wife seems to be avoiding climax

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My wife is good at pleasuring me in bed, I’m happy to say. Also, she definitely enjoys making love to me. However, she has a behavior which I find very peculiar; I have slept with several women before I met my wife, and none of them did this.

As I’m giving her oral sex and stimulating her clitoris, she eventually pushes me away and tells me it’s time for me to come in. When I’ve questioned her about this, she’s said that the feeling is too intense and she doesn’t want to feel overwhelmed. Furthermore, it seems to me that she maybe never reaches full orgasm while we’re having sex; perhaps she does, but it’s not obvious. (Perhaps I need to try and keep it up longer, but I ‘ve never heard a partner complain before.) I suspect that this puzzling behavior is partly connected to her being a victim of rape as a teenager as she was.

A: I think so too. Take her statement that she doesn’t want to feel “overwhelmed” as the truth. She doesn’t want ever again to feel overpowered and out of control of what is happening to her. It is impressive that she has come so far that she is able to enjoy pleasuring you and to participate as a sexual partner. It’s only sad that her victimizer has deprived her of the spontaneous abandon and sexual satisfaction that can come with totally trusting one’s partner.

You didn’t mention if this has become a difficult issue between you. If it has, I suggest that you be as sympathetic as you know how to be. Tell her that because you love her and are married to her, you are also being affected by the crime. You hurt for her and you get upset that you can’t be as close to her sexually as you’d like to be. Ask her if she would be willing to participate in some couples therapy so that the two of you can work together to get the perpetrator finally out of your lives. Don’t pressure her. She already has had a profoundly negative experience with pressure. Do offer your love and support and your willingness to respect her pace. If she isn’t willing to work on it, enjoy the unselfish way she loves you and give her time. With time, she may be able to relax into your love as well.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Aug 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). My wife seems to be avoiding climax. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/08/30/my-wife-seems-to-be-avoiding-climax/