I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Abuse and Intimacy

(This post comes from Roger Mann.)

For those of us who have been abused and exposed to some of the sordid sex practices, it’s difficult to be intimate with the woman we love. In our heads, sex has become something shameful and full of guilt. Sometimes the idea of intimate contact can bring up shameful memories and really ruin the moment.

Many times, I have spent the day at work thinking about coming home to the lady of my life and being passionate and affectionate. Then I’m driving home and, as I’m thinking about initiating intimacy, memories begin to creep back into my head. By the time I pull into the driveway, I’m a mess again. The spirit is willing, as they say, but the flesh is weak and difficult to respond.

In my teenage years and beyond, I became obsessed with sex. Discovering porn inflamed it even worse, until I realized one day that my wife and I had not been intimate in a long time. That’s when I began to look for help. I found help, but damage was done to the relationship and that marriage ended.

I swore I wouldn’t marry again, but eventually I did. I thought I was okay by then. However, during the first week of our honeymoon, I began to pull away and became irritable and angry and didn’t understand why.

Later, during a conversation, I looked at her and realized I really cared for her a lot. She was attracted physically to me and I was shutting her down. She became confused and hurt.

We’re doing better now, but there are still times when the memories intrude, and I have to push through them to stay with her in the moment. I do that by consciously focusing on just my immediate sensations.

My therapist suggested that I needed to re-sexualize myself. I think he's right, but it's difficult to do and talk about with my wife whom I love and respect. We get there, but we both have to be in the right mood at the right time. I suspect the only way to overcome this is talking it out together.

1 comment:

Mark Cooper said...

I have a great deal of respect for men, such as Roger, who despite sexual abuse, have sought to make marriage work. I also have respect for their wives who walk along side of them.

A significant contributing factor to my remaining single was the sexual abuse I experienced, plus my own sexual sin and perversions that I turned to, as I grew. The older I am, the more I feel the sorrow of having lived a single life.

Stories from married men, such as yours Roger, and yours as well Cec, offer encouragement for those who still hope for the joy of marriage, and for those who are dealing with the challenges of marriage in light of past abuse.