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?