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Monday, September 1, 2014

Elizabeth Street

I'M AFRAID TO HAVE SEX WITH MY HUSBAND

Feb 17, 2014

I'm Afraid to Have Sex With My Husband

I am scared to have sex with my husband. It's not what you think. The last time we had sex was six months ago when we went out of town for the weekend. It was OK. I was annoyed that he was drunk and that he couldn't finish. I was feeling particularly generous and loving that day, so I asked him if I could help him finish. He agreed. I smiled at him while I did my "work." I wanted to make him feel comfortable and secure, not embarrassed. But inside I was annoyed and angry. He eventually climaxed and rolled over to take a nap. I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and then I got dressed to take a walk.

That is the typical run for us: We give it a go, I never fully love the way he is touching me but the rest of it feels good down below. Then after a little while he slows down. I can tell he is trying to finish; he gives it a few good ol' college tries, but then ultimately he stops. I privately roll my eyes with annoyance and disappointment. "I am so tired," he says. I don't buy it. Sometimes I truly think he doesn't find my body attractive enough to make him climax. Most times I think it is just a combination of his being too drunk and too old for everything to work properly down there. 

Aside from the ever-present sex issue, my husband and I have actually gotten along pretty nicely lately. I have been making a big effort to be sweeter, kinder and more supportive. And I am truly feeling more love between us. There have been several wonderful days during the last month when I have felt in love, attracted to him and quite horny. I have said to him on a few of those occasions that we should definitely try to make love that night after the kids go to bed. He would get a little shy, embarrassed, smile and say "OK," but I knew he didn't mean it. He gets uncomfortable, like a 14-year-old virgin, when I ask him if he wants to have sex. So when night comes I never initiate. His lackluster response to any mention of it and his hiding out downstairs in front of the TV rightfully deter me. 

The truth of the matter is, I am scared to initiate sex. We have been feeling really happy and loving and I am scared that if I initiate sex one night and he rejects me, it will throw me into a tailspin. I  know I am in denial: Everything else in our marriage is good so, in my mind, I feel like we are fine. If I avoid the sex issue, I will feel happy. But am I happy if I am not having any sex? He has rejected my sexual advances so many times over the years and I just don't know if I can take it again. I think his next rejection could turn into a huge, ugly blow-up that might force us us into therapy or bust.  

I also worry that if we do have sex, it will be so disappointing…again. And I will be so depressed about the sex that I am stuck with for the rest of my life.

But as long as I can pocket the "sex issue" for a little while, maybe it will just happen on its own and it will be wonderful. I hold onto that fantasy and wait for that rather than approaching it in reality which I fear will be quite depressing. 

I am not stupid. I know I am in denial. I know we must address this and talk about it if it is ever going to really improve. But talking about sex is a huge deal for us. I don't know if my husband can really even handle the conversation. I have big plans though to present it properly. I am going to plan a special romantic day and take us on a picnic and I am going to bring it up as gently as I can. I am hopeful that he won't shut it down. Wish me luck.

By Julianna Colt

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