Sex...a subject that I haven't found to be mentioned on some of these blogs with authors who are spouses living with someone who has PTSD/TBI. Aren't we all grown ups and can speak of such a subject without the blushing, or the inward eye roll? I know there are more of me out there, so let's speak up shall we?
Sex used to be wonderful. My husband used to joke with me all the time that the reason I stayed married to him so long was because of the sex. Not entirely true, but the sex was the best I ever had. Perhaps love just made it that more fantastic or was just simply the other men (no, not a slut) were simply not that good in bed! Sorry guys!
Once home on R&R, the sex was incredible! Out of this world, because of course, being apart....we were literally starved for sex, completely dehydrated of one another and we just could not have enough. Now me? Far from being a sex addict and while I like my sex, there is only so much one woman can take! He went back to Iraq, I went back to my deployment routine and we both managed to make it through another five months.
Then he came home for good.....
Not sure what happened and for a long time I thought it was me. This was before I started to notice the more serious issues of PTSD. Long before the subject of TBI ever came to light. It wasn't bad, just wasn't the "toe curlin', can't get enough of you" sex. Of course, reintegration we had some issues with as there was a major role switch once he came home. The first week of him being home, I got pregnant. A month later, we both were shocked and I can safely say that he was none too happy. Now before anyone thinks badly of him, it just was NOT a good time. Reintegration, coming home to a world that didn't stop, and then another baby on the way? Bad timing, albeit a blessing to both of us. The anger, the adjustment issues and much much more just played havoc on our bedroom frolicking.
Pregnancy hormones this time just didn't allow me to have much fun, and well, his attitude towards me, my other two children and the issues he was having just sincerely turned me off. Once the baby was born, I had my tubes tied, and things settled back in...the sex was more like hallway sex....you know.....passing through the hallway and saying "screw you".
I then noticed the coldness, the lack of emotions, not to mention the nightmares and sleep walking in which kept me up all night. By the time bed time would roll around with two kids, a newborn and a husband who was slowly losing touch with reality...I was exhausted. Mentally, Physically and no sex drive.
Sex is occasional and has been since he has been to the VA and they medicated him. Not sure what all these meds do to him, if not for him, as it seems some things it has made him worse. He, being the macho manly shit head he is, doesn't want to tell the doctors the meds are making him impotent. Yes...I said it. IMPOTENT. Shocker huh? Now I know some of you are facing the same thing, so don't be shy. It happens. I just didn't think it would happen right now before we even passed through our pre-mid life crisis.
My husband has never been the one to admit the problems, and of course, the PTSD has made him paranoid, and defensive. I casually bring it up, he throws up the fists, and before I know it...it's my fault. I can shave my legs, put on something extremely sexy, give him the "come hither" look and go to the room to wait. We have a 13 year old, so the days of having sex in different rooms other than our bedroom are long gone. He says "be there in a minute babe".......
So I wait.
4:00 a.m. in the morning, he comes dragging in to bed, extremely doped up and partially wake only to flop into bed and begin snoring.
I turn over and with nice smooth legs, and pretty lingerie, go to sleep crying.
I know it's the medication. I know in my heart he can't help it. Yet dammit, I feel that it's me and don't know why! I go through this cycle of "am I not appealing to him anymore?", "not sexy enough?", "what's wrong with me?" all the time. The thing that frustrates me is that my husband has always had a high sex drive. He could probably mess around every single day if he wanted to, and more than once. Since he has been on medication, there have been excuses, there have been insults, and there have been "we don't have sex enough except once a month now".....
NOT MY FAULT!
So why is everything always turned around on me? I want to yell and say "hey dumbass, it's not me...its you" but I keep thinking that this is a serious blow to a man's ego, and I don't want to hurt him although he continuously hurts me.
Even when we do have sex, it just isn't that great. He talks of all the things he wants out of our sex life, but hasn't stopped to listen to me or take into consideration of things I want. I get ready, never see him as our recliner in the living room has now taken up residency in our sex life. There are days where I sit and stare at this damn thing wondering how much mess would it make on my new carpet if simply took a chainsaw to it.
Between him being gone, the selfishness, the lack of emotions or sympathy, the lack of help or just spending time with me or the kids, has seriously impaired my sex life. The meds and the recliner has seriously impaired him period. I have needs, he has needs, but somehow we both walk away and face unmet ones all the time.
Is this the way its going to be the rest of our lives? Will eventually I just forget about sex and the passion, or will it continuously ebb into a wave I can no longer ignore? Now I wouldn't cheat on my husband, but can't say I don't think about it. Hell, who wouldn't? I can handle the no sex, if I just had the love and attention. Something I think it has just gone forever....forever lost in the land of sand and camels. I used to have a sticker that said "Sexually Deprived for Your Freedom"...takes on a whole new interpretation now doesn't it?
Maybe I should consider looking into sex toys and installing a pool with a very good looking pool boy. Damn Iraq, Damn meds, Damn it all.
Uncle Sam's Mistress
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Let's Talk About Sex Baby
Posted by Uncle Sam's Mistress at 4:49 PM
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I've been wondering about this issue for a while now and I also haven't seen anyone else discuss it. I know it was probably a tough decision to make about going posting it publicly. But thank you for being the first. :)ReplyDelete
Wow. Thank you for posting this. Everything you said, I could have wrote it about myself and my relationship with my husband.ReplyDelete
Hey I am glad to be the first then! In my *best* Dr. Ruth's impression, "There is nothing wrong about talking about sex". I think the meds, the "offness" and the lack of emotions plays an important role in our sex lives. Everything as we knew it, literally just disappeared. Albeit, the lack of being turned on, on the man's part is a blow to his ego...but ours hurts if not more sometimes! Where does one draw the line between being hurt....and being understanding? Thank you for the comments, keep 'em coming! "What happens between military wives, stays between military wives".ReplyDelete
You said exactly what I have been thinking and it gets so, damn frustrating at times. I'm gonna say it toys are good but, then you feel bad if they find them because their egos get involved. What about us I'm in my prime and once a month sucks smh.Delete
Ahh 3 years of no sex due to injury and 1 year due to deployment therefore my marraige has been sexless. Your words have also been my words so many times. Thankfully the doctor finally listened and got him off the horrid Zoloft and put him on Abilify and Welbutrin. It has literally saved our marriage. He is no longer impotent and he wants it a lot. I told my husband I was going to send his psych flowers because she listened and fixed some of the problems. I hope this turns around for you. It really makes it miserable. Thank you also for writing about it as it is a very real problem.ReplyDelete
Hahaha on the flowers! I would totally do that! Zoloft made him vomit so much they had to switch and this one works good. However, the docs don't really care whether you have sex or not here. We tried talking with them a few months ago and zip was done. Now before anyone else who reads this and is not having probs, please don't look at us as if we are being selfish. A healthy sex life is good for any relationship. I love my husband and the sex does not play a major role in my life. Another words, I would not leave just because of the lack of sex. However, doesn't make me a bad spouse for wanting it.ReplyDelete
I'm in the exact same boat you are in. Glad to know I'm not alone, especially since my beloved toy has officially burnt out on me. I am another One of uncle sam's deprived mistresses. Our doctors have been hopeless say they can't help the sex drive because it stems from the TBI and PTSD and his inability to feel emotion. They told him it might get a bit better in the next 20 years. So looks like I should buy stock in the adult toy marketReplyDelete
Wow! JUST discovered this post, and although it's almost 2 yrs old I can't get over the fact that I'm not alone in the pain I've felt. My husband returned from Iraq in June 2009 a stranger. He looked the same, but all emotion was gone. I eventually found out he had suffered a TBI (documented combat injury). One of his buddies told me - he had kept it a secret. How you ask? Well, on the days that he had to travel to Ft. Gordon for appts at the TBI clinic, he just left for the base like normal. Since I work f/t too, I just assumed he was at work. He was also diagnosed with PTSD and loaded up with meds. He still takes heavy duty sleep meds nightly in addition to 2 anti-depressants, an ADD med and anti-anxiety pills when he needs 'em. Like you, our sex life had always been amazing, Now? Nothing, or almost nothing. I have done (after he promises we'll have sex) the shave, shower,perfume, sexy teddy routine only to lie in bed and wait and wait....eventually he falls on the bed, having taken a sleeping pill, and passes out immediately while I cry myself to sleep. The only real emotion I see from him these days is anger - toward me and our son. He is so much kinder to strangers and the guys at work than he'll EVER be to us. Like you, I wonder...is this it? I'm tired of trying to seduce him, begging and sometimes pleading for sex. My self-esteem is shit these days, even though (logically) I know I'm still attractive. I'm too young to be forced into a life of unwilling abstinence. It's not just the sex either - I feel disregarded as a woman and as a partner when he treats me with cruel disdain. Anything and everything I say seems to make him defensive/angry. I feel like he hates me much of the time, but when I tell him this he says I'm being stupid. He wants the appearance of a marriage (still says "love you" and gives me a quick kiss when he leaves in the morning) without the emotional or sexual connection that a real relationship should have. I now have a year to figure it out, as he deploys again (yes, even with all his issues) this summer. Part of me keeps wishing, hoping, praying that the man I fell in love with is still there. The other half of me says to get out now while I can. If I did that though, I'd feel so guilty. The TBI and PTSD came because he was serving our country - so how van I leave him? So sad....ReplyDelete
Thank you for writing this, I am currently facing the same situation. I am desperately searching for a well of help for our love life and it seems that in self-help and relationship books PTSD and intimate relationships has not been addressed. My veteran boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years. He was in active heavy fire combat in Iraq and is very negative and angry at times. Like with any relationship, in the beginning all was great. He could not keep his hands off me, and always hinted about how attracted he was towards me...However as time has passed and we settled into being comfortable with each other, he has no interest in me sexually. Its gotten to the point where i have just stopped asking him for it because i can't bear the rejection anymore. When i ask him if its because he doesn't feel interest for me anymore or finds me unattractive, he gets angry and tells me that it him not me...However I can't help but feel that way. In turn, i get very angry at times, because i want what other couples have, love, affection, passion, and a deep connection. He is currently attending counseling sessions at the VA hospital, and I dont want to leave him because he is so great, generous, caring, and i can't picture myself with someone else. But I can't help but think, is this what i have to look forward to for the rest of my life? Its so hard and i know sex is minimal in the large scale of things, but love is not, and i can't help but thinking that I dont want to lock myself into this for the rest of my life. I just want us to be happy, I figure that since we are not married yet and still moving things ahead, this is supposed to be the time of our lives where we enjoy each other the most. Any advice will help, and if there are any book suggestions please advise, I want to be happy.ReplyDelete
I have to say as a woman suffering with PTSD after years and years of abuse rape and stalkings... I have had many wonderful years with my husband where our sexlife was fine. Then suddenly a few horrid events happened to loved ones in my life all at once and I started having flashbacks feared leaving my house to go certain places and I have pain with sex. It can be just as shaming for the sufferer as it is for the spouse. There isn't a day that goes bi that I don't hate myself for bot being stronger for not being there for him like I used to be able to be. But I have to wake up every day and realize that I can o my do my best. And each of us has to decide if our marriage makes us happy or if we can stay committed and wait for each storm to pass. And I believe and hope with all my heart it will pass.because my love is there sex or no sex. I love him completely. I fight the urge to give up every week that I fail him every week I end a sexual interaction in tears. But then I remind myself if I didn't love him I wouldn't try so hard and feel so bad. I'm sorry you all have to go thru this and I cannot speak for your husbands but I can hope their love for you is so string that they desire you so ibtensly but just have no ability to show you it at the momment as it is for me w my husband. I pray whatever you chose you do so w out blame and hurt and in the kindest way. Because PTSD I'd already more than most can bear.ReplyDelete
I'm going through the exact same thing. I'm sorry you all are going through this too, but I'm just glad I am not alone. And that this is common with PTSD. To the poster, thank you for writing this post.ReplyDelete
I recently starting dating an ex-Marine who suffers from PTSD and TBI. There are so many things that I am starting to love about him - sex is wonderful right now, but not as often as I would expect with the 'new relationship high'. I am just starting to research PTSD and TBI and learning so much. Any advice would be most helpful.ReplyDelete
I'm in the same boat. We've been dating now for 9 months and I feel like the sex drive died on month 2. I feel like we've been married for 10 years and not a new couple. I'm getting weak and seriously thinking I am not strong enough to handle him. I'm curious is you stayed or have you decided he's better off finding someone else?Delete
I have to suggest to everyone on this blog to seek support groups. Sufferers and cosufferers alike. There is no help like group therapy. I suffer from ptsd and support groups helped where others did not. Spouses and significant others need to get in a group as well so they do not introvert the feelings back on themselves because if you do not seek help you cannot live a happy life yourself. The sec will not increase until the affected gets help it will just decline and they will become more and more emotionally or physically removed from the relationship. Nicole SchrettlReplyDelete
You ladies are not the only ones going without. My wife and I got married just before her deployment to Kuwait. Deployment is bad enough. War is worse. But when the enemy is in your own camp it is the worst. My wife was was an awesome Troop. You know, the one that blows the bell curve. In 16 years as a medic with our unit she never lost a troop. A year after she retired and no one would step up to replace her, our unit had something like 127 heat casualties on a two week AT. Truly we had a unit with outstanding leadership!!! While My wife was in Kuwait she was punished for reporting issues she was having with a male soldier. One of three to do so against the same soldier. Well to keep it short , I'll just say tons of pressure was applied to my wife with no regards to the damage that was being done.ReplyDelete
A year after her return she was hospitalized and diagnosed with PTSD MST. Now remember, we got married a month before she was deployed. That was 15 years ago last week.I have have had sex 3 times this year. It is now July. Nothing in the last 4 months. It would also be really nice if she would participate when we did make love. It has been like this the entire marriage. The VA has been little help and for years made it worse. The nurses did not even know what PTSD was. It only took 9 years to get my wife's disability or at lease part of it. 3 more to get most of the rest. No stress there. In any case, not meaning to be crass, I just want to get laid once in a while. I walk on eggshells all the time in hopes I will get lucky. There are those I hold responsible but lucky for them My Bible tells me to run from temptation so I do. This life sucks!!!
I'm going through the same thing. They say PTSD and TBI can affect hormone production. ...so I am looking into that now. Specifically testosterone, since PTSD affects the hypothalamus.ReplyDelete
Wow, this is exactly my story minus the new baby! It has been almost 2 years since my husband was injured, and things have definitely gotten worse. Just today actually I asked him if he's just not attracted to me anymore. This has become a regular conversation in our house. I miss the feeling of being wanted more than the actual sex. Even getting a hug from him is a huge deal. He tells me it's the meds, but I still have a hard time not taking it personal. I feel alone even when he's here. I feel jealousy, anger and hurt when I see other husbands show their wives affection. All of the things he enjoyed before are a thing of the past, and most times I feel like a single mom.ReplyDelete
I can so relate to the recliner. He has a love seat recliner in the "man cave", and when he's home, it's pretty much the only place you will find him except when he has to eat or go to the bathroom. I have started to despise the couch as if it's the couches fault! I struggle everyday to try and figure out what to do next. I don't want to leave him when he needs me the most, but I don't want it to be at the expense of my happiness and a healthy environment for our children. I am so happy I found your site. Thank you for writing this and letting us other spouses know we are not alone.
I just came across this blog post. THANK YOU! I am glad to see I am not alone in my sadness and wish you all the best.ReplyDelete
My husband and I have been married for 6 years as of this March. He just returned home from his 3rd deployment August 2013. His lack of sexual interest has been a constant issue in our marriage. So we went and had him tested- ALL of his hormone levels are within the normal ranges- going into this I would've bet dollars to doughnuts he had low testosterone. But when the results came back that that was not an issue, I was so disappointed because I wanted an answer and was sure I had it figured out and therefore a means to fix it. His urologist knew he was a veteran, his 1st deployment (prior to us getting together) being a combat tour. It was only then, earlier this year, that his urologist suggested his lack of libido could be attributed to PTSD and that he should consider counselling. I would have never thought PTSD could be the culprit. He doesn't exhibit other PTSD symptoms any more, and he's never been on any antidepressants so I knew medication side effects were not an issue (most of what I've come across in my research relating to veterans with PTSD and lack of sex drive is the cause being side effects of medications). He feels his PTSD is under control now but still, there's no interest in sex. Like many women, I automatically take responsibility as it being something wrong with me which he adamantly refutes. He acknowledges that he's the problem. My issue, however, is that he shows no motivation in finding a resolution to this. Until now, I felt very alone in this. So it gives me hope that there are others who unfortunately share my frustrations. I think we are going to try to find a counselor and hope that we have a breakthrough. Thank you for helping to bring this to light!ReplyDelete
On our 7th anniversary last week my husband announced he's no longer interested in sex. I asked if that meant with anyone or just me (valid question, right?). He says with anyone.ReplyDelete
He also has PTSD (3 deployments, combat issues, etc) and is in counseling as well as in the process of separating from the USMC after 10 years. After each deployment he became more and more distant.
Up to now, we were down to having sex about 8xs/year and I am frustrated with that as well as his indifference to looking for a solution.
I also feel unwanted, unattractive and alone.
I don't know how long I can stay in a monogamous relationship that is in fact. celibate. I'm open to lots of possibilities to resolve this but if I'm the only one looking for a solution, I'm not sure why I should bother.
We did do a couple USMC sponsored marriage retreats (both were useless). It's a huge problem no one talks about but until it gets addressed it will continue to be us just suffering in silence.
woooooow this really sounds like.....me, sadly. I just got married on June 6 and I feel like my marriage is going on the rocks. When my wife was my fiancee the sex life was awsome I guess because at that time we barely seen each other since she stayed in Mississippi and I was here at Ft. Hood. I've been in the Army for 4 yrs now fresh out of high school. In 2012 I held went through the horrible event of my soldier commiting suicide in my armsroom. I returned from my first deployment from Afghanistan in November 2013 and after that my life has really taken a rough turn from then to now. Trying to balance that military and personal life is very difficult. My wife loves me very much this I know and I feel the same way. I just cant show it. I try but I know it's not enough even though she says just being with me is good enough for her. When I get home from extra duty at 2100 she quickly attaches to me because she hasn't seen me all day and I'm just so detached and annoyed right then and there because I don't want all the extra stuff plus I want to at least get settled. I notice that I'm very irritable and short-tempered and I don't like it. I've been on Zoloft and now taking sleep meds. I'm now in the process of getting proscribed anti-depressants to help me. I really want my marriage to work but I know the results will not just pop up overnight. I just hope she'll still be there.ReplyDelete
So glad I stumbled on this....it's the middle of the night and I feel lonely, sad and unloved. Met a wonderful man 4 months ago. Our attraction was instant and we had a million things in common. Our sex life wasn't great since he has diabetes - related erectile dysfunction, but we worked around it and in short ordee, we decided to move in together. We're in our 60s and figured, why wait? Well, now I know why. Our sex life has all but disappeared. He's had several minor ailments and he frets over them to the point where his libido seems to have disappeared. I've tried talking to him about it but he gets defensive and testy and tells me I'm being impatient. It's been weeks with no definitive end in sight; how patient am I supposed to be??ReplyDelete
I sit here listening to my fiancé snore and cry as I read all of these posts. Together for over 8 years but not married. Alone with no support during deployment as just a girlfriend and unrecognized by the military. Now tbi and PTSD has me a caregiver of this man that I love with all that I am that receives nothing in return. I am there for every need and have exhausted myself to educate myself, him, our kids and anyone close. I feel so empty and unloved that it has seriously affected my mental health. He is so withdrawn that my attempts to tell him what I need always turn into fights with me feeling a million times worse that when the discussion started. I've tried everything to communicate my needs. He makes me feel selfish and reduces the importance of my feelings in a split second. Despite the lack of love, touch and emotion; I still love him more each day. Will this ever get better???ReplyDelete