Abused, Addicted & Hate Sex with My Husband. What now?
Hi. Your organization seems to be wonderful and helpful to many people. Hashem should pay you all back thousand-fold!!!
I am not sure if you can help me with this but I'm a bit stuck and not sure where to turn right now. I had a sexual experience when I was a little kid - my older brother. He also did it to my sister and, growing up, my sister and I would do all kinds of inappropriate stuff. I was obsessed with anything sex-related, looked for stuff to read, pictures to look at etc., and I masturbated all the time. As a teenager, I managed to get porn on my mother’s phone.
Now, I'm married for about 9 years and I hate sex!
I do not watch anything inappropriate but all the things I've ever seen or watched are in my mind, and I often just go into that part of my brain and "watch" (or create new things) and masturbate. Being with my husband does nothing for me. Additionally, I just shut down emotionally and numb myself completely when I'm with him as I don’t want to think all these inappropriate stuff.
Am I crazy or what? How do I get all this stuff outta my head and stop masturbating? Also, I'm a woman! Isn’t this a man’s struggle?
Please advise me where to go from here if you can.
Yaakov from GYE Responds:
Hi. I'm sorry to hear your story. We truly live in crazy times, where things like this can happen in good frum families. See this video by Rabbi Shafier that discusses our crazy times.
Yes, when a person experiences sexuality prematurely, it is common to develop a warped perception of sexuality as a result. This is not your fault.
Although this is usually a struggle more by men, unfortunately, many women today struggle with shmutz and masturbation, as well. You are not alone. We have hundreds of women on our website, who make use of our special women's phone conferences, forums, chat-rooms and partner programs to help them stay clean and give each other much-needed Chizuk.
I encourage you to sign up to our website and join the women's community of GYE. See also this page for more resources for women.
Few more helpful resources for you:
- Please see this article titled "I want my past memories erased" in response to a woman who asked us about this in the past.
- Regarding building up the enjoyment of intimacy again with your husband, I would highly suggest some counseling with a professional who is trained in dealing with sexual trauma and/or addictions.
- I can suggest a good series of shiurim by Rabbi Simcha Feuerman called "The Chosson Shiurim you wish you had but never got". These shiurim may be helpful.
- Also, this booklet, written by a Rosh Kollel in Bet Shemesh, and reviewed by prominent Rabbanim, can perhaps help you restore your outlet of the proper approach to intimacy, in a fun and healthy way.
- Please also be in touch with our experienced moderators, Reut, Chavi and Shoshana for more guidance, advice and a warm welcome!
We must believe that everything that happens to us in life is part of our journey.
May Hashem be with you, and may He help you find a path to become the person you really can be, in-spite-of, and perhaps through this struggle.
Dov responds to Yaakov:
My own feeling is just to help her get to a professional sex and trauma therapist, ASAP. The rest seems like it'd just delay her and I hope she doesn't engage in anything else. Of course, in reality, these folks are often not ready for the solution, and their reaching out to GYE was the first step in getting there.
She is finding sexual interest in doing it with herself and feels nothing from doing it with her husband. So she is using masturbation instead of sex with her husband. Probably, if she stopped masturbation completely for a year or even ten years, it would still not fix sex with her husband even partially.
So the masturbation issue is a side show. It might need to be faced later, but it's unrelated to her problem, just a cover up. It’s different than a sex addict (guy or gal) where it is their substitute for life itself, her sex with self is just a substitute for her sex with her husband, not for her feeling alive.
This is a sex problem, and not anything like an addiction. I pray she goes straight to therapy, and she will be fine be"H even if she requires recovery later on. If she goes to recovery first, it will be a decades-long trip.
Yaakov passed on Dov’s response to Miri and she responded:
Thanks so much. I didn’t expect more than the initial answer. You people are really dedicated to this, I appreciate that. Hashem should reward you all tremendously.
Dov is quite right in his assessment; I guess I knew that, I just needed to hear it. Baruch Hashem, this is not my first step. I am in therapy close to 3 years with great progress. This issue, however, was very difficult for me and I only brought this up a couple of months ago. Just feeling a bit stuck right now. My therapist does not specialize in sexual trauma. I guess I know what my next step is. Thanks again very much and may you all have the strength to continue helping people. And may Hashem bless you that none of your offspring should struggle with any of what you are helping people with.