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Author Topic: She was sexually abused as a child  (Read 104 times)
Akita
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« on: January 18, 2019, 02:54:08 PM »

My wife is diagnosed with bpd.  She was sexually abused as a child.  How can I help her sexually?
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 04:50:18 PM »

hi Akita,

can you tell us more about the issues this presents in your marriage?
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Akita
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 07:27:01 PM »

She struggles to be sexual with me.  I want her to instigate more.  She is aroused by me treating her badly but psychologically hates how it makes her feel.  How can I help her come to terms with this?
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itsmeSnap
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 08:49:15 PM »

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She is aroused by me treating her badly but psychologically hates how it makes her feel

Rules and safety are a first.

Expectations are a close second.

Maybe she's feeling guilty about enjoying "roughness" due to her "early experience". Validate the feeling, there's nothing wrong with her, you are not her abuser. Make her feel safe and loved. Even then she might not believe you, so don't take too harshly to it.

My BPDgf/ex who I suspect also was abused used to tell me about wanting "good pain", I told her I would never hurt her and that some "fantasies" were off limits for me, but I could deliver what she needed. It was agreed, no limits crossed, we both enjoyed ourselves.

You need to talk through what is it about that makes her feel bad about it. is it guilt? is it the memories? does she feel unsafe sharing this difficult time in her life with you?

Go easy on her, don't push it. If it comes up, talk it through as she allows it. You know her better, yet still and always take your time to get to know your partner.
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Akita
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 11:26:07 PM »

Any other advice?  I really want our sexual relationship to improve.
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itsmeSnap
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2019, 12:00:42 AM »

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Any other advice?

Anything specific on your mind? In what way would you like it to improve?

Sorry to answer a question with a question, specifics help a lot in delivering a relevant answer to your situation.

Just trying to help.
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2019, 12:11:04 AM »

Sex therapy has become a legitimate medical practice in recent years. We will certainly support you  here,  but this might better be addressed by professionals.  If you don't have access to this,  you might want to look up resources to help.  

From what I understand, it's helpful to comprehend that a sexual relationship involves both parties,  even if one party hadn't had an issue with previous sexual partners.  This can be very frustratimg to the partner who hasn't had issues previously and hard to understand.  

It is tough to be in a relationship with a survivor of sexual abuse. Victims can go multiple ways:  hyper sexual and promiscuous, cut off, or desiring but hard to arouse or traumatized.
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Akita
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2019, 11:20:37 AM »

I just want her to seem like she wants me.  Her words say one thing but her actions something else.  I think she is the desires it but is traumatized.  Her initiating is lying her head on me.  I want foreplay and she doesn't.  She dislikes feeling aroused and just wants to have sex instead.  And even then she doesn't always seem to enjoy the sex.  It's very frustrating.  She has been diagnosed with BPD for years now and has been I. DBT therapy for 6 months.  Will this DBT therapy help her sexually?
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Purplex
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2019, 12:48:37 PM »

Hi Akita,

Me and my BPD partner are struggeling with sexual issues as well and I can relate a lot to your feelings of frustration and your wish to find a solution and finally be able to give and receive the intimacy you long for. Nevertheless, sexuality, especially in connection with sexual abuse, is a very complex subject and once engrained, certain feelings and attitudes towards sex are very difficult to overwrite. To change those patterns, a lot of trust, patience and sensitivity is needed and therapy might be necessary as well.

This is how I see your situation:   

To me it sounds like your wife is having sex with you mainly to please you, not because she enjoys it herself. Physical arousal and psychological desire to have sex are two different things that don't necessarily go hand in hand. With erectile dysfunction for example there often is a strong desire but this desire doesn't guarantee a physical reaction. There might be medical reasons of course, but psychological issues can be the cause as well. And for your wife it seems to be the other way around. She does react physically, but this reaction is not in sync with her emotions and attitudes towards sex. This  would explain why she hates feeling aroused and also her dislike of foreplay. If she doesn't enjoy sexual intimacy but still wants to please you, the best solution for her might be to 'get it over with' as quickly as possible.

Does this sound reasonable?

If she just started DBT 6 months ago she is probably still in the process of learning basic skills and how to apply them in day-to-day life and situations of crisis. Its definitely an option to bring this topic up in therapy but she needs to be ready to confront it on her own accord and it might be too early for that.

Does she talk to you about what she learned or experienced in therapy?

How often do you talk to her about these issues? In what context? How does she react when you initiate conversation?
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Akita
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2019, 04:23:41 PM »

I try to get her to explain what she said or is doing in therapy but she has transient cognitive impairment. She struggles to remember details or whole events or conversations.  She tries hard to relate everything she can recall.  She does feel like she just wants to to end sometimes and is relieved when there is no sexual contact but loves when there is just physical closeness.  She doesn't want to discuss her sexual abuse history with a therapist and dislikes discussing it with me.  I'm not sure if she needs to discuss this in therapy...is that part of the DBT process?  I just want her to show more interest in me and enjoy our sexual life.  Any help is greatly appreciated!
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