How can I help her better?
October 27, 2017 at 1:45 am #22007
I adore my wife. When we met I knew I had found a soul mate that would last a lifetime. We’ve been married almost 10 years now and my love for her gets stronger every day.
We first discovered her condition on our honeymoon. It was very confusing for both of us, and distressing for her!
We’ve been married nearly 10 years. We love one another, are still best friends, and we both work together at the same job helping with children in our community.
My wife is heartbroken because she feels like she will never be able to overcome this. Reading a book didn’t help, she has not been motivated to work with the dialators, and our sex life has been very sporadic. The past year we honestly only have a 1-2 sexual encounters a month, 3 if I’m lucky. My drive is very high, but hers is at an all time low. I’ve shared my desire for us to work together on this many times. I’ve always tried to be compassionate and patient. I’ve tried to put my needs aside to help her not feel pressured. I know what she wants more than anything is to overcome this mountain and become a mother, as well as share a normal sex life with me!
My wife is a wonderful woman but this is her greatest struggle. The hardest thing for me is, because her sex drive is so low, she is not really the one to initiate and does not show physical affection that often. Nearly all physical is iniatiated by me, and I am often rejected. I don’t fault her though because I know how painful psychologically this all is for her. She’s watching all of her friends have kids and it is so hard for her.
She’s admitted to me her biggest flaw in this is she is not a planner, and she is often unmotivated to pursue things that are challenging. She knows working on this will be a challenge and painful.
How can I help her better? I try hard not to push her or cause her emotional pain, but I know saying nothing is probably not the best answer. Please help me help the love of my life, if any of you have any suggestions!
JackOctober 27, 2017 at 10:26 am #22008
Aimee Goldman, RWHNPMember
Jack-Please reassure your wife that Vaginismus can be cured and that she is not alone. My hunch is that she never initiates sex because she is suffering from both anxiety and despair surrounding Vaginismus.
Having you as a supportive partner will make the recovery process so much easier.
I think that she would benefit a lot from a 10 minute free consult that we provide here at Congtythamtu.
Encourage her to reach out to us when she feels ready.
Wishing you much success as you and your wife take the first steps to overcome Vaginismus.November 7, 2017 at 4:33 pm #22037
Nicole Tammelleo, MA, LCSWModerator
I have met many partners who feel just as you do. You feel for your wife, but at the same time you have a healthy normal sex drive. If she is suffering from vaginismus she can be cured. However, like most women who have vaginismus they find it too daunting to use the dilators on their own, and find the assistance of a medical practitioner very helpful in their recovery. Wishing you all the best.November 9, 2017 at 10:36 pm #22040
I second what the doctors of the Congtythamtu clinic have so wisely said – a battle your wife has been fighting this long cannot be won alone. I know how difficult it is to be the partner of someone dealing with this and feel like you can’t help them. As hard as this is, the decision to change has to come from within your wife. A part of her likely wants to get better but doesn’t know how, or sees the challenge as too great to overcome. The most helpful things you can do are to support her in however she’s feeling along the way and to help show her the steps she can take toward a happier life. She doesn’t have to beat vaginismus in a day.But you can give her the number for the Congtythamtu clinic and she can make a 10 minute phone call. That’s one step. Then she can do the next thing. Ans the next. And the next. And little by little she’ll get there.November 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm #22071
Hi Jack. I completely agree with Aimee, Helen and RGQ posts. Vaginismus can be successfully treated and overcome. You sound like a really great and supportive partner which is so wonderful and I’m glad you posted and hope our replies help and lead you both toward the path of treatment and overcoming vaginismus. I had vaginismus during my 20s and early 30s which and had a very supportive boyfriend, now hubby. I wanted to overcome as did he want to help but I didn’t know how to do it. We also read a book and ordered the dilators but I never could get past the wall of resistance to be able to practice with them. I had periods of trying to avoid the issue but I always wanted to overcome and, even while outwardly ignoring it, I thought about it daily. I ended up having the Botox treatment for vaginismus with Dr. Pacik up in NH. He, so importantly, involved my hubby in every aspect of the treatment which helped him and the both of us. We were able to finally use the dilators without the normal resistance/pain and he, too, could see this and know he wouldn’t hurt me once we tried intercourse. We were able to make love 2 weeks after our procedure date and were able to start our family after this, a dream of both of ours. I would strongly encourage you guys to call Congtythamtu and work with them in any way. Dr. Pacik trained their group in the Botox treatment program and, so importantly, like his program for overcoming vaginismus, they too involve the partner and treat both the real physical aspect of not being able to achieve penetration as well as the emotional aspect of the condition for both partners. I also think it would be great for your wife to have an email partner through the process and someone to connect with who has also gone through vaginismus. I would love to email back and forth with her if this is something that you think she would be open to and would help. Please know that you both have my support.November 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm #22124
This is such a tough situation for you, and I wholeheartedly understand how you feel. It seems like you are sooo encouraging and supportive, which is very important, and I hope you can continue to be supportive, loving, and patient. It is also important for your wife, if she does want to overcome vaginismus and eventually be able to have comfortable sex, to take steps to do so!
I agree with others that it is important and fair for her to take some action (even if small steps at first) to overcome vaginismus and her fear of penetration that comes with it. Since it seems she already has the dilators but is unmotivated to try them, this next step could be in the form of: doing the phone consultation with Congtythamtu to talk about her struggle/get advice, making an appointment with a vaginismus/pelvic floor therapy clinic or specialist like Congtythamtu, or even starting out by looking through this forum to read all of the success stories to give her the confidence that she WILL be able to overcome this. Vaginismus can be a lonely and shameful thing until you realize there are many others going through the same thing, and SO MANY who have overcome it.
Others mentioned the Botox procedure, which I agree would probably do the trick. I think initially though, you should encourage her with the dilators. Has she seen this forum? Many people who can’t get a tampon in (me) were able to overcome vaginismus with the use of dilators WITH the help of a specialist (Congtythamtu for me).
Her having vaginismus is *not* a bad thing (at first I thought it meant something was super wrong with me and I wasn’t ever going to be normal)! Vaginismus is completely treatable!
I hope this thread has helped – definitely let me know if you have any questions or concerns 🙂 good luck and we are all here for you and your wife.
I would also feel guilty not mentioning: there is the possibility that her extreme avoidance is coming from something deeper, like a traumatic experience. Even if not (I know you two have been together for 10 years), I would be sensitive to that!
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