Sunday, April 18, 2010

Problems and Solutions

I don't know if I should broach this subject here or not but it's something that's on my mind and I'd like to know how others feel about this issue, and what they would do, or perhaps have done if they experienced the same problem(s).

Can we talk? I mean, really talk, get real and be honest about something that has been bothering me, on my mind -whatever is left of that entity anyway.

The topic I'd like to discuss is lack of or loss of trust in a relationship, the effect it can then have on libido and why "significant others" can't understand how the former can cause problems with the latter!

In talking to a very close friend recently, she confided to me that she had lost all desire to DO anything with her husband. In discussing this a bit further, she also confided that there had been some serious problems over the past couple of years that had escalated -a whole lot -recently and although he had sought help for the issues he had that had begun this erosion, she found herself now unable to respond to him at all.

Having been in a similar situation myself -many years ago -it brought back a lot of painful memories to me.

I recall at the time, my partner was drinking more and more and also, doing a lot of other side activities -womanizing -with the result being I found myself losing any desire to have sex with him.

My withdrawal in that respect then created other issues -mainly that was a lot of emotional abuse. Accusations of infidelity, yes. Constant criticism of my parenting skills, my cooking skills, my housekeeping skills, my inability to have a job that paid any where near what he earned also became a target.

After about 2-3 years of the constant berating, my own self-esteem was lower than low and with it, also any desire to have sex with him at all and it sure didn't give me any ideas about picking up with anyone else either seeing as everything about me was deemed as totally unacceptable. (Oh and there were also a lot of charges levied about my abilities in the bedroom too -which doesn't exactly work to make a person feel like doing anything.

Why is it when one person in a relationship does something or a series of things that damage the relationship, create extra problems and stress, but then that person realizes maybe there was something wrong in those actions and takes a few steps to correct them, they also immediately think that everything that was going wrong or haywire before is now going to be automatically corrected and all will then just, presto magic, return to everything being just fine and dandy, as if nothing ever happened?

Or is it just me who feels this way about the damage a loss of trust can do and how it doesn't heal and things return to normalcy overnight?

Back when these things happened in my marriage, I really was on the verge of losing a good bit, if not all, of my sanity and I went for counseling. The counselor I saw at that time suggested something to me that actually was a lifeline, a real mind-saver, for me: Al-Anon!

Realizing that I was far from alone with those feelings of total inadequacy eventually helped me to begin the restoration process of my self-esteem as well as to bolster my courage too.

Granted, it wasn't enough to heal the depth of the wounds in our relationship and eventually we divorced, but it was enough for me to get myself a little bit back on track and back to some semblence of normalcy then -and I've used the tenets of Al-Anon and AA in my life as much as possible ever since then.

But,how can I help my friend? Simply telling her that I had experienced a lot of the same feelings back then -would that be enough?

What I'd really like to know is how anyone else may have handled the lack of desire issues that frequently come about from having the trust in a relationship broken.

And, do men and women both react the same way in circumstances such as these too?

My friend right now isn't sure what she wants to do -stay with him or as my daughters would say "Kick him to the curb?" She doesn't really WANT a divorce but at the same time, she's just not sure that she really can find the feelings needed to repair the damage that's been done to the relationship -especially since now he is exhibiting a lot of jealousy and accusing her of infidelity. After all, if she doesn't want to have sex with him, she MUST be getting it somewhere else, ya know.

I was looking online tonight, trying to find some information I could give her that might help her make some very tough decisions.

One thing I read was "Women give sex to gain love and men give love to gain sex" and you know, I do believe there is a whole lot of truth to that statement.

The crux of what few items I found on the topic of loss of trust and loss of libido that suggested stress, infidelity, various types of abuse could create what my friend is experiencing was that counseling was a good starting place. (Most of the articles I found suggested that for women, this generally is a hormonal type problem or one being caused by taking anti-depressants, or from recent childbirth or obesity. Hmmmm. I found that really sad as in my mind it makes too much of the blame then laid back on the woman in the relationship.)

So come on and let's talk about this issue, will you?

Remember too, if you're afraid to discuss this because you don't want anyone to know you've had issues or feelings like these, you can always comment anonymously.

What would you tell someone who you are very close to if they came to you and told you they were having a problem like this anyway?


TechnoBabe said...

Trust is a huge one for me too. When the trust is broken, it is very hard to repair. In my first marriage, the father of my kids had 3 different girlfriends at different times in the 13 years we were married. Each time we sent to couples counseling. In the end, there just wasn't enough trust to keep it together. If a good friend confided in me the way your friend did to you, I would suggest counseling but not couples counseling at first, for her to get counseling someway and get in touch with what is going on with her. She matters. Her feelings matter. The hurt is real. If her husband is mature enough to hear how she feels and respect that she needs to work on becoming whole and healthy then maybe he will eventually go to counseling too. For him to pretend that she is not having a hard time dealing with his betrayal and for him to be accusing her of anything shows he is selfish and immature. He needs to own up and grow up. Lots of couples get through things like this and are better and happier after they work out their stuff. Hopefully, your friend and her husband can too. It is never as simple as just get over it nor is it as simple as just kick him out.

Mrs4444 said...

Men are just so stupid sometimes; it's like their emotions are not connected at all in times like those. "Well, I've forgotten about it? Why can't you?" seems to be their attitudes; so dumb.

ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) changed my life when I discovered it about 20 years ago. Without it (and some therapy for childhood sexual abuse), I never would have ended up in a happy, healthy marriage.

I would tell the friend to get counseling. If he won't go, dump him.

terri said...

Sex for men is mostly physical and for women, it's very emotional. And no matter how many times you tell them, they assume that women are just like them and if they're not "getting any" then they must be suffering.

Not so for women. When something happens to stifle the desire, we don't just wish to have the desire back... we wish for all those other emotional factors that first create the desire.

I don't know the answer for your friend, but would have to agree counseling is worth a try, especially if she doesn't necessarily want out of the marriage.

Smalltown RN said...

Recently I had a situation where I went to my sisters for one of my sister's response she wrote this...

Erica Jong quote: Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

When I think of that I believe it to be so true. I believe your friend knows what to do...but she just wants to say it out loud to hear what it sounds like.

Trust is a very hard thing to regain...I believe it is possible, but only time heals...and the individual who has broken the trust has to prove themselves worthy of regaining it.

Your friend has to ask herself does she even want to put the effort into allowing her husband an opportunity to regain her trust. He has betrayed her it would appear more than once...I don't know if that is something that can be mended...It's her turn to decide what she wants. The ball is in her court this time...she needs to take charge.

Jenn said...

I have a lot to say on this topic but I think I will go get the coffee pot going and sit in the lounge chair with the lap top. xx

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is quite different about your friend what i estimated about myself is really different then this too...

Can i share my thoughts and feelings. As u said Anonymously will do. So i m Anonymous male for you. My relation start at Internet chat. She told she gonna come to my country. Relation goes on in her wait. date was fixed by her. after 10months she gonna meet me. She already had ex-bf broke up. But her last relation was from childhood last for 10years. And i started chat and all things. Meeting her as friend. Her ex gone to other country from last 2years. And she was alone and i keep her feelings safe with me as friend at start.

Soon day came of her flight to come. And that day she told "i cant come..? my passport is with my father. He don't allow to come alone" I attempt to suicide. And then she told "u hate me". How could i?

Due u know what her friend poke to me - "His ex back to her country, so she wont come." But i believed my gf. And what happen was according to her friend spoken.

but i attempt to die cozy she not came and my trust lost. And i was saved by some1. In hospital around whole day. And then i call to my gf when i was in condition to spoke. she was in position to cry. And then she told "ok i still love u"

Now i going to her country. I told her not to spoke with his ex-bf. And she making me in confident that she is not speaking but all time she been with him? - was the words of her friend.

But now when i go there may be there ex-bf back to there country? Do i should trust her and marry to my gf? or i should trust her friend and who says - "her ex-bf still loves her" And she just playing game with me so i should go to there country. ???

How i should hold the things ?
And yes her friend is sister of his ex-bf.

yes its very complicated for me?