Hurt Husband

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 13:25
Submitted by scd7131

I have been in a good marriage for 13 years.  Over that time, our sex life has waxed and waned, but despite a 2-year period with very little bedroom activity due to our child being diagnosed with a severe developmental disease, we have had what I consider to be a normal, loving sexual relationship.  With one major exception – my wife has never achieved orgasm with me.  She has always (previously) told me it is not a big deal to her, although we have certainly tried and it is something we have discussed repeatedly.  Although I believe I am a considerate and patient lover (and she has never disputed this) I shrugged it off for a long time based on her assertion that it is not something we need to worry about.  She is able to achieve orgasm by herself, but never with me and she always explained never with any other man.

Over the past 6 months she has made some really positive changes to her lifestyle resulting in significant weight loss, exercise, dietary changes, returning to work, etc.  This has charged up our sex life again and her lack of orgasm has become a primary issue, far more so than ever before.  She has expressed an intense desire to "get there" and she and I have openly worked towards that goal, with no success (yet).  During this time we typically make love 3-4 times per week, with up to 45 minutes to an hour of foreplay.  I even made a suggestion that we don't have intercourse until we give it every opportunity for it to happen for her, and I always let her be the judge of when we move to that.  

A few nights ago, she accidentally let slip that she did achieve orgasm with her ex husband – and upon further discussion it happened many times, and very easily.  I feel … devastated.  On many levels.  Why with him and not me?  Why, when I try so hard to help her get there and her ex just got her there with minimal effort?  What has she been thinking each and every time over so many years about me?  Why did she never tell me before, given the number and intensity of our discussions on the issue?  (Full disclosure:  She asserts that she did tell me early in our relationship, but can't recall when or how or why.  Just that she did.  I agree to disagree with her on that aspect.)  Am I such a wretched lover that I am hopeless?  Why on earth has it taken me so long to “get it” that this is a bigger deal to her than she has ever felt willing to express?  She feels that since her ex cheated on her, her defensive walls went up and she won’t let herself be vulnerable or trusting enough.  13 years is a long time to build a life with someone who openly says at this time she seems unable to invest in trust and intimacy with me on that level.  I am in quite a tailspin, and she recognizes how deeply I am hurt by this admission and she feels terrible about it, which certainly is not going to be easy to push out of either of our minds when we next try.  It is quite a tangled mess at the moment. 

I am trying to be the bigger man and place this issue in the context of the fact that we do have a loving marriage with an active sex life.  Last night, after 3 days of lengthy, emotional discussions I set it all aside and began some sniuggling which led to (what I consider to be) fantastic sex.  I played with her for close to an hour, with the same result as always.  She is trying to make me feel better by saying its fine and I need to forget aboout it.  But I woke up all twisted up in my mind again, wondering how to resolve the dichotomy of her always saying "no big deal", then 6 months ago making it into a very big deal, and now trying to say again its no big deal obviously to make me feel better.  In light of her questionable forthrightness over such a long period of time, I'm not sure what I can trust or not trust what she says at all on this issue.  And then of course constantly pointing the finger back at myself, as it is CLEARLY something related directly to me that is preventing her from reaching that point of surrender and release.  Yikes!  Any advice or insight will be GREATLY appreciated. [= 12.8000001907349px]I am one bummed-out husband and lover right now and struggling mightily with feeling like I just got the rug pulled out from under me.[/]


Wed, 07/22/2015 - 03:05

Men cannot gift their female partners an orgasm.

It runs counter to mass culture in the media, especially romance and/or porn but it remains true. There is very little that you can do that will bring your partner to orgasm no matter how considerate a lover you might be unless it is something that she wants to happen. So you need to pack away your ego - her lack of orgasms is nothing to do with you and everything to do with her and her previous traumatic relationship.

On the plus side there is obviously quite a lot that she can do if it does matter to her. It has to be a good sign that she's now feeling safe and secure enough in your relationship and confident in herself to talk about this.

If she's orgasmic on her own, then the two of you can sit down and talk about bringing those orgasms into your shared partnersex. Ofcourse after all these years, she may feel even more shy and inhibited. The fact that you're both talking and agreeing that orgasm is important to both of you is a great positive, even if it doesn't feel that way right now. Orgasm isn't the most important thing in life, but it takes some courage to admit something could be better and even more courage to work at making things better.

Sex therapists can be useful in these kind of situations as a practical, neutral way forward. They can help you talk about the good and the not-so-good parts of your sex life, as well as coming up with practical exercises or plans for improving things.

The two of you have settled into a sexual routine (we all do) that needs to be mixed up and changed. All you can do is be open and honest with her about what you want to happen and allow her the same courtesy.  

Why have partner sex when we can do ourselves so much better?

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 10:43

I can understand why you feel hurt. It must feel as if, with all the effort and love you've put into your marriage, your wife still doesn't fully trust you. Our culture teaches us that such a situation MUST be someone's fault. Many partners blame themselves; some project outward and blame their partners. The result in either case is hurt feelings and a more damaged relationship.

Personally, it seems to me that you have a shared problem (unhappiness about the state of your sex life) which isn't anyone's fault. It simply exists, and the task is to work together towards resolving it. Your hurt feelings are completely understandable, given your interpretation that there has to be something lacking in you. But that's not so. Your wife brought her personal issues into your marriage, just as we all do. If trust or compatible technique are relevant to these issues, then NLH's suggestion about therapy is a good one. A kind and skillful third party can often see things we can't and may be able to open doors that we are too inhibited to open ourselves. Even for people who are already orgasmic with one another, sex therapists will sometimes recommend that couples 'reconnect' with long sessions of sensual touching that stop short of orgasm. Being too goal-oriented can detract from what is actually going on: the pleasurable emotional and physical connection that is the whole point of a relationship. If any issues whatever are detracting from that connection, then that's a good enough reason to put all necessary effort into resolving them. Talking it out will help. So will your wife's showing and telling you how she pleases herself. Just as you will need to stop making her orgasm an ego issue, she will need to drop her sexual secrecy.

By the way, if we are not 'giving' or 'gifting' our partners their orgasms in partner sex, what would be a better description? Are we 'assisting' them when they have orgasms with us? Are we 'actively facilitating' their self-stimulation, with us merely being the privileged spectators to their orgasms? My wife and I have often thanked one another after our mutual orgasms. I think this is because we recognize that, yes, we have put a certain amount of real sensitivity, caring, and effort into pleasing one another. We could have gone through the motions with our minds on something else, but we cared enough to remember what our partner finds most pleasurable and we took the time to do it. Perhaps that isn't exactly giving a gift, but it's a form of personalized caring all the same. If it weren't, we'd all lock ourselves alone in our bedrooms with our favorite toys and leave it at that.

Another thoughtful and

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 11:48

Another thoughtful and helpful response.  I must admit that although I am not a "forum" guy I am really happy to have found this one and the responses have been quite helpful for me to re-frame the issue.  Thanks!

Thanks for the thoughtful

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:59

Thanks for the thoughtful comment, it is quite helpful and much appreciated.
I see your point about a man not being able to gift an orgasm.  But I still struggle to understand why she was so easily able to with "the bad guy" and simply unable to despite both our best efforts with "the good guy".
In any case, I will consider your suggestion regarding a therapist and in the meantime do my best to set aside any hurt feelings and see if together we can find a way to get her there.

Wishing you well.

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 05:01

With the best will in the world, none of us remember the details of our sexlives from 13 years ago with any great accuracy.

Your partner remembers a couple of orgasms with a previous partner who treated her dreadfully. She doesn't remember any physical problems but who can think back 13 years and remember the times it didn't quite work out. Maybe it was all drowned out by the cheating and emotional nightmare she was living through at the time. Try to let go of the comment and focus on the future.

It sounds as though she came to associate sexual pleasure with emotional betrayal. She may have just closed her mind to the idea of orgasm as a result.

Now that she's feeling more open and confident is a great time for the two of you to move forwards and build on your relationship. It is a tremendous compliment to you and your relationshio together that she trusts you enough to open up after all of these years.
Wishing you only the best.

Can she have an orgasm while

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 22:49

Can she have an orgasm while you watch?

That hasn't come up.  I think

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 16:21

That hasn't come up.  I think her inhibitions would not allow her to feel comfortable doing so.

Also please remember we

Sat, 07/25/2015 - 00:49

Also please remember we cannot always choose what are mind blocks out. 

She may have some things she

Sat, 07/25/2015 - 00:27

She may have some things she needs to work through and you shouldn't take her lack of orgasms personally. Those are her problems. I agree with everything NorthLondonHousewife and Patrik R. are saying. Although you guys have shared a life together, this has nothing to do with you. She is enjoying sex,, you are having sex and loving it. Only your wife can help herself.

It's well worth asking and

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 14:28

It's well worth asking and discussing.   Many women get to the edge through the touch of others but orgasm most easily by their own hands.  My partner watches me come with my vibrator after much cunnilingus and fucking it's the only way to fly for me.  [/b] His fingers in my vagina, stroking my vulva lips, and asshole, and talking dirty to me till I vibrate over the edge.    [/b]

She might suprise you by being willing to include mastrubation in your sex life especially if you find watching exciting.

Can she orgasm when you don't watch?

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 10:34

Dear Husband, 
it seems you and your wife have not yet tried to masturbate solo, taking turns.
It is an experience that brings partners closer to each other. It also teaches the similarities and differences of your sexual responses and makes you more self-confident lovers and persons.
One step in your practices towards this goal could be the wife masturbating to orgasm when you are in the room (or, better yet, in the adjacent room) not looking at her.
This sounds funny but it is a tried and true method in order to get rid of unnecessary inhibitions.
By gradations your wife allows each time you to come physically closer, on the condition, that she feels comfortable with it, and that she has succeeded in having done her masturbation routine until orgasm at the earlier distance. 
The advantages of this exercise are:
You need to communicate differently about matters sexual, you learn to examine and convey how you feel and what you want to do next.
The wife is able to relax from the perfomance pressure.
The both of you get leeway in your set bedroom roles and enjoy more openness and intimacy.
She can control her arousal and erotic images in her mind undistracted using her preferred technique, vibrator or hands, having her eyes covered or closed or as she wishes.
The focus during the session is also on the authentic male experience, as there is a special place and time for it during his turn.
This is a new angle for many men, to be entitled to be in the center of attention in this unprecedented context. And, this spectacle is always a powerful aphrodisiac for the woman.

Best wishes,
Lizzie Smith
(I'm signing here as your system, for some reason today entitles me Anonymous)

Celebrate the invitation to explore and deepen your bond.

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 12:47

Dear Hurt Couple,

     Yours is the most wonderful expression of love and bewilderment of connection and sex and how our past is always with us. Odd to think of the of all your EXs being right there in your house and bed with you both - plus mother in laws! etc. It's not just you contending with the
Ex-husband she is contending with all your memories of your EXs around the head
of your penis!

     We tend to think of love as sex and sex as love and they are not. However both are expressions or symbolization of the other, which makes matters very confusing especially in the case of the wife who climaxed with the Ex and not you. Sex is learned Craftsmanship made easier and richer by safer more reliable connection. And it's true unrelated pasts
affect us in the present.

     The most beautiful part of your story is your wife confiding in you, reaching out to you, telling you what is going on with her, asking you to be part of her subjective reality. The way I get it she is asking you to hear and understand her on an emotional level in the present,
which is the only place and time we can connect and change our reality. Forget
for a moment the mechanics of sex and climax they symbols of unmet needs for
connection and thus secondary.

     As I hear your dialogue with your wife she is asking that to develop a safer more secure bond where by you can discuses all manor of things "of how you are right now" and in doing so gain mutual understanding, increasing the likelihood both of you can self-examine,
taking responsibility by honoring the good reasons you both did things in the
past that lost or did not create connection between you, if you can reach that
state then it becomes more likely that you both can talk about what you can
offer to do to make it more the way you would like it to be. Better sex, orgasm
and more full and connective orgasm is really low on the list when you are
going through this restorative process of restoring connection and seeing the
humanity of each other.

     But sex is a very useful one. Forget the performance criteria of climax. The Body responds to pleasure so sex is more easily self-correcting, in that you can stay on topic, which in sex is
pleasure, compared to reconciling many distinct elements of difficult family

     I differ from my colleagues on consultations with therapists, as quality assurance is a real problem. You might want to check out the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg and NVC Non-Violent
Communication and works by Susan M. Johnson "Hold me Tight" as they
both have certification structures.  If you to explore these works, I think you will find nothing on "sexual function" but you would be learning how to hear, read, reach for, and "be available to each other". That would make sexual conversation and exploration more likely and thus fun and easier. The same goes for work relationships, have nothing to do with sex.

    Celebrate the invitation to explore and deepen your bond. Hopefully making it more likely
as a couple you can develop better
[= 12.0pt]sexual craftsmanship.[/]