new here- need help

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  • #9095

    michael008
    Participant

    My name is Michael and I am in dire straits. I’ve been with my wife for 15 years and married the last 12 of them (this June). We have never been able to consummate our marriage. She was diagnosed with vaginismus early on and went to physical therapy several years ago but did not see it through. Last year she tried therapy again but discontinued it after a short period, citing too much discomfort. A couple of weeks ago she has decided to relieve herself of the guilt and pain by making her intentions known that she wants a divorce — to ‘release me’ as it were. But I love my wife and I know she loves me and I don’t want to lose her, but it seems she has made up her mind. I am lost, shell-shocked, devasted… no words can convey my broken heart as well as the pain she must feel as well. I was looking for a support group for gentlemen like me. I am not sure what I am looking for here or what to expect in return. I was just hoping someone here might help.

    #12397
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi Michael. Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post. I am so very sorry to read your story and want you to sincerely know that I am here for you as well as your wife. I suffered with primary vaginismus for 11 years of my relationship which included 5 years of my marriage. Many times, I felt terribly guilty and just so many emotions as I did not know how to cure it and lost all hope that we ever would. I tried dilating on my own and PT and neither worked which made it worse and me even more depressed and hopeless. It was a very dark time. I found out about Dr. Pacik through an on-line yahoo Forum and ed the office. From my first , I felt how much Dr. Pacik as well as all of the staff truly cared about both me as well as my husband. They included him in many of our conversations and so much in the treatment and after and, for the first time, made me realize that this was a condition that we were overcoming together. I was cured from my 15+ year struggle with this condition, including 11-year relationship/5-year marriage within 1 week of receiving this treatment and continue to be free of it today. I am not sure if you want to do this, but if it helps, please, please pass this letter on to your wife from me (see below). I am, again, so sorry that you both are going through this and please know we are all here to support you!!!!

    Dear Mrs. Michael:

    I am writing you this anonymous letter tonight from Boston, MA. I help to moderate the VaginismusMD Forum created by Dr. Peter Pacik in Manchester, NH. I had primary vaginismus for 15 years, which included my 11 year relationship / 5 year marriage. During this time period, I tried so many different methods of treating it. I ordered the kit and workbook from vaginismus.com. I tried and tried and tried and tried to insert even the smallest dilator but had no success with it. I completed the workbook in-depth and tried so hard to “just relax” as the doctors had told me to do and then it wouldn’t hurt, but it was still physically impossible. Every time I tried to insert anything at all, it caused excruciating pain and felt like there was a wall of resistance (“the great wall” as my husband called it). This went on for years. Every single Jan. 1, I always make a list of items I would like to accomplish in the coming year, and “FIX V” was at the top of my list for countless years. After no progress with dilating on my own, I tried doing pelvic-floor PT. I really liked the Physical Therapist but made no progress at all in the few sessions I tried because I could not relax enough to do the exercises and, again, felt like trying to insert anything at all was impossible because of hitting the wall. During this time, I felt terribly guilty and so, so many different emotions – depressed about the situation, anxious to find some type of cure, worried about the future, and very hopeless many times that I would ever be cured. I felt like it was taking a significant toll on me as a person and there were many times that I considered ending my relationship/marriage to release my husband because of the emotions that I was feeling having vaginismus. He was so, so supportive during this time and was there for me every single step of the way but he hated seeing me feel the way that I did then and we both prayed daily to find a cure.

    In 2011, I belonged to a yahoo Forum about vaginismus. I joined and never posted but read all of the other members posts. In May, I was fortunate enough to see a new post from one of these Forum members about Dr. Pacik and his comprehensive treatment program, which included Botox injections with progressive dilation as well as counseling.I remember reading and re-reading this post and then having my husband read it and then both deciding to the office and give it a try. I was afraid to make the call to the office but, after a couple of hours of waiting, did and from my very first , Dr. Pacik and all of his staff were so friendly, helpful, and kind and we both could tell how much they cared. Another welcoming factor for both of us was how much they knew about the condition of vaginismus and both the physical as well as emotional aspects that go along with this and what we had been going through. We then read his book together and I cried after reading the Stories. For the first time, I felt like there were other people out there with this problem too and we weren’t the only ones. I then met him for a consult in Manchester and the way that he was in our telephone conversations is the exact same way that he is in person – kind, caring, and so, so knowledgeable about the condition. I also had the chance to meet Ellen that day and she was the exact same way. I had so many questions (i.e. safety of Botox; extreme fear of dilating; fear that it would never work and I would fail; and so many more) and they both patiently and very thoroughly explained all of these to me in detail. It was so informative and I felt hope that I hadn’t felt in years. We booked the procedure for June.

    I underwent the procedure on June 27, 2011 with my husband right by my side. Concerning the emotional aspects of this treatment program and vaginismus as a whole, Dr. Pacik and his staff treated us like no clinician ever had and we could feel in our heart and know that they cared so much. I experienced a tremendous amount of anxiety on the day of the procedure and I received a tremendous amount of support from Dr. Pacik and the staff prior to the procedure. I was also given IV Verced prior to going into the procedure room and this worked magnificantly to relax me. All of my physical symptoms of anxiety that I had experienced during my past ob/gyn visits weren’t there and I felt relaxed, supported, and ready to face vaginismus head on. I had the procedure and remember waking up with the largest dilator inside of me. This was the first time in my life that something was inside of me. My husband and I were both in absolute shock but so happy. I felt like I wasn’t broken and it really felt surreal that a large sized dilator was inside of me when I wasn’t able to insert a q-tip for so many years. I then relaxed in the recovery room with heated blankets and my husband sitting right by my side and holding my hand. I then practiced removing this dilator and re-inserting it. It was liberally coated with lidocaine/surgilube and the resistance feeling that I had always had (i.e. the brick wall) wasn’t there. I could now insert, remove, and reinsert these dilators. I then slept with the medium sized dilator in the evening of day 1. This did not cause physical pain but I simply felt strange at times because something was inside of me and a little uncomfortable/sore at times. I found that taking a Tylenol PM helped me a lot this night. On day 2, I returned to the office and practiced, again, inserting, removing, and reinserting the 3 medium to largest sized dilators. Also, on day 2, Dr. Pacik and Ellen provided us with comprehensive counseling regarding tips for transitioning to intercourse and building our intimacy within our marriage post-vaginismus. I recall returning home and practicing very hard with the dilators. I dilated for 2 hours per day and every other night and sent Dr. Pacik and his staff daily dilation logs which also addressed any issues that I had post-procedure with discomfort as well as anxiety. Thereafter, on July 4, 2011, seven days post-procedure, I dilated for 2 hours with the largest blue dilator and my husband and I decided to try intercourse. We both decided that there was no pressure if it didn’t work. We were intimate with the dilators and he removed the largest blue dilator and gently inserted himself in. It went right in with NO resistance and we even tried thrusting. WE DID IT AND FINALLY ACHIEVED INTERCOURSE!!!!!! Thereafter, it took us 3-6 months until we got into a rhythym and discovered how to turn robotic and just-happy-to-be-working intercourse into pleasurable love-making. This step also required post-procedure follow-up and communication with the office which helped greatly. Today, I am 100% cured from my struggles with vaginismus and believe in my heart that this never would’ve been possible without a physician and staff who truly cared and all of the important elements of the treatment program.

    I encourage you to join the VaginismusMD Forum and please, please know that you have a strong community of support in your journey of overcoming, including women who either currently have or have had vaginismus; family members and friends affected by the condition; and clinicians who universally work to better understand and treat vaginismus as a whole, including both the physical as well as emotional components.

    Sincerely,
    Heather

    #12403

    Janet Pacik
    Participant

    Michael, I am deeply touched by your post. I know that this is difficult, but hopefully you will be able to read Heather’s letter to your wife. I did some research and you might want to follow the links below. Our blog “Vaginismus: A Man’s Perspective” was written by Dr. Pacik trying to encourage men to become active. In the Forum Category “For the Men” there are many topics you can click onto. I have also included one of the Forum Thread titled “Advise” which will be helpful to you.

    Dr. Pacik and I feels strongly that vaginismus is a couple issue and sometimes the woman needs the help and encouragement of her husband to get started in the process of treatment. We have forms (questionnaires) that you and your wife can fill out so that Dr. Pacik could evaluate her condition to see if she is a candidate for the Botox treatment program progressive dilation under anesthesia. If you would like me to send you more information on the Botox treatment program the questionnaires, please let me know. If you wife is unable to fill the forms out, maybe you can help her to fill them out. Many of our men do that for their wives. After Dr. Pacik’s evaluation of the forms, he would offer you a complimentary telephone call or a skype call to discuss the treatment and to answer any questions you might have. Just a thought.

    Blog:

    Forum Category “For the Men”:

    Forum Thread:

    #12404

    michael008
    Participant

    Thank you so kindly for the letter to my wife — I will send it to her. I appreciate the quick response and the support and hope to get these things done.

    #12414

    johnny
    Participant

    Hi Michael:

    I saw your post and wanted to respond. Please don’t give up. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Like you, my wife suffered from vaginismus. We met in college, dated for four years, and then were married for twelve years while we battled with vaginismus. While we “had fun”, we were never able to have intercourse and it placed an incredible strain on our marriage. My wife was tearing apart on the inside, it it was tough for me too. My wife was not even able to insert a tampon! We attempted physical therapy, and sat through sessions with psychologists. Nothing worked. We lost hope. It almost ended our marriage too.

    Then we met Dr. Pacik. He changed our lives forever.

    Like you, I stumbled across his website. I struggled for a way to bring it up to my wife, but it found the courage and did. She went to The website and We were shipped a book … Which we each read cover to cover the day we received it. From both of our perspectives, it was our life to a T. We decided to attempt the Botox procedure. We traveled to NH … Nervous, but excited. Hopeful.

    My wife was put under and I watched the procedure. Dr. Pacik was able to show me, medically, that vaginismus isn’t a mental condition, but a physical one. She woke up with the largest dilator inside of her. She was tired … But changed. We both teared up … She was instantly empowered. Frankly, it was awesome to see her finally feel like she had control of her body.

    From that day, my wife practiced dilating every day. Approximately two months later, we has successful penetration. Over the past two years, we’ve made up for lost time. It feels so wonderful to connect with my wife emotionally, physically, and mentally.

    Oh, and we now have a wonderful six month old son!

    Don’t despair. Don’t give up. There was a reason the two of you got married. Please, dr. Pacik. Keep an open mind. He is a miracle worker, and he changed our lives forever. Good luck.

    #12415

    michael008
    Participant

    Thanks Johnny for the encour5agment. I’ve been reading around the forums and I’m finding such striking similarities between my situation and others. I garner solace in the company and strength of others. Like you, my wife and I had ‘fun’ with other things in the beginning — but any attempt at intercourse usually ended in tears and frustration. It didn’t take long until the ‘fun’ started tapering off, and has been pretty much non-existent for the last few of years. Six or seven months ago when she tried the therapy again, she told me at that time that if it didn’t work out then she was going to “let me go” — It was the first time she ever uttered those words and it was something I never asked for. But it also evoked a sense of immediately failure – like she was defeating herself before even attempting it. Last week, she told me that the first time she tried PT that at least she still had the sexual desire to want to do it, but that the last time she tried it was more difficult because, as she claims, all feeling is gone. And therefore has no desire to ever try it again. We are both in our latter 40’s, she claims she has no libido anymore, and I wonder if all hope is lost. I emailed Heathers letter to her a couple of days ago and she has not brought it up to me. I don’t want to bring it up to her as I don’t want to pressure her. But I cant help but think she might be turning a deaf ear. Still, I remain hopeful.

    #12422

    tr
    Participant

    Hi Michael, you should definitely pass the letter on to your wife and what’s more try to get her to browse this forum. My wife was just treated this Monday after going through multiple misdiagnosis and every possible treatment for vaginismus, vulvodynia, and vestibulitis. This was our last hope to reclaim our intimacy after struggling with this for the last 5 years. Naturally after so many failed attempts to fix things, we were trying not to get our hopes up too much.
    Immediately after the procedure, which I was in the room for, there was already a change for us. In less than 30 minutes it was all done and she made more progress than we had managed in the past 5 years. Now only 2 days later we’re already looking forward to trying to have kids later this year. It’s by no means an instant cure and there’s definitely more work to be done but there’s already so much progress for us and success stories from this treatment that we cannot help but look forward to not if, but when this is all a thing of the past for us.
    My wife has posted everything she’s been through to get to this point here[url]
    She’s also decided to document her post procedure treatment to let other women know what it is like since that is one thing that caused her some anxiety before the procedure [url]
    I would really try to bring this treatment up with her directly if she still hasn’t brought it up with you. There is still reason for her to have hope!! Please let her know that she is not alone and the is a cure!!

    #12442

    rachel
    Participant

    Hi Michael,
    My name is Rachel and I suffrered with vaginismus for almost 12 years before I stumbled upon Dr Paciks treatment, so I whole heartedly understand where your wife is coming from when she says she want to divorce you to set you free. Before I made the decision to take the risk of travelling thousands of miles to a different country for treatment that was new and to be honest, a little out of my comfort zone, I too was at the point of “letting my husband go”. I got to a point where I could see no future for myself and I was so low that I would constantly cry and grieve over the loss of my relationship and chances to ever be a mum and have children. I was so defeated and so exhausted with trying to remain positive and trying to find a way out of a nightmare that never seemed to ever come to an end. There were occasions where my mind was flooded with thoughts of sucide. I would think, “whats the point? Whats the purpose of my life?” The truth is, I believed that I had no purpose-I couldn’t fulfill my duties as a wife-I couldn’t have children and I didn’t feel like a woman anymore. I felt stripped of my womanhood and I didn’t see any point in going on. I would shout at my husband and push him away, because it was easier that way-it was less painful than the alternative of keep trying to make somethjing work that was never going to work.

    You see, when you suffer with vaginismus, you carry around so much guilt about how you are destroyign the life of the very person that you love and it is torturous. Everything inside of you wants to remain with your partner, but the guilt of the pain and suffering that you are causing your loved one makes you want to end the relationship. I know this, because I went through this cycle so many times, but everytime my husband would beg me not to end it-I felt so confused as to what was the right thing to do. Dave would actually get angry with me. He quite rightly reminded me that it wasn’t just my life that had been affected but his to. I remember him saying, “Rachel, I have stood by you from day one and I have committed myself to you in sickness and in health and now after 12 years you want to walk out on me!” I had never thought about it from his persective, I had only thought about how living with my own guilt was ripping me apart on a daily basis, but I never looked at how me leaving him would affect his life in a negative way. I just thought that I would leave, he would be upset and then move on with his life and find someone else. What I failed to realise is that vaginismus had left scars on him too. I failed to realise that by leaving him I was not allowing him to find any resolution and any closure. That wound would forever remain open and unresolved. So, my only other option was to find a solution to my problem, but this was proving difficult.

    One night, I went onto and typed in vaginismus. I was so desperate to find someone who understood and who could solve my problem. I longed to see a real life human being that was like me. This is where I found Dr Pacik and little did I know that my life was abopit to change. It wasn’t an easy decision to make because on top of having vaginismus, I also struggled with phobias about taking medications and losing control. So making the decision to allow a doctor to inject me with botox was a big decision for me, but one I will never regret-it truly did save my sanity and my marriage.

    I have overcome vaginismus now, but thats not to say that years later we are still working through dealing with the scars that have affected our relationship. But I can truly say that I am so glad that I stuck it out and overcame my issue with my husband. We later found out that my husband was infact infertile, so we had another big storm that we had to deal with, but hey-thats life. We have grieved our loss and we have moved forward together and I can truly say that we are best friends and our marriage is stronger than many couples who have always been able to have sex. Our relationship has something special about it that many couples will never experience. Today, I couldn’t see myself being happy if Dave was not by my side. He has remained by my side through the good and the bad times and to me, well, I count myself extremely blessed. Many couples who are able to have sex from day one give up after the first hurdle and usually over something way less than living with vaginismus.

    Why not give getting help one last shot before you decide to end your relationship. If the treatment didn’t work (which is unlikely), you can both at least say that you have tried everything. We decided to make our journey memorable by making it a holiday alongside the treatment. We couldn’t afford it and it did put us into finacial debt, but our thought was that either way we were going to enjoy it and make it memorable. If the treatment didn’t work then we had a good holiday with good memories and we would have ended our relationship with some happy memories that we could chersih. If the treatment did work (which it did), then we could class the holiday as our true honeymoon which we would celebrate in future years and the start of another era of our marriage.

    If your wife would like to talk privately about this I am happy for her to me via email which Dr Pacik will be more than happy to pass onto you. I know that in the coming weeks and months she will have many ups and down and confusion about whether she is making the right decision. So both me and Dave are happy to talk with both of you at anytime.

    Dave knows how it feels to be on the recieving end of having his wife say that she is thinking of leaving him amd I know forst hand how it feels to live with the guilt and depression that rips you apart everyday.

    #12489

    michael008
    Participant

    Good afternoon, forum members.
    I wanted to again thank you all for your support and letters of testimony. I have forwarded them to my wife and shared with her what I know and my desire to seek help. I have implored her to consider the botox treatment. It is with much regret to inform you all that she is going ahead with the separation anyway. She is moving out next weekend. We will likely get a divorce and our house is up for sale., She (we) tried physical therapy early on in our marriage but she never saw it through. About 7 months ago she tried again but failed. As a last resort I joined this forum seeking help and shared with her of the testimonies of success behind the botox treatments. but she says she no longer wishes to try PT and will not even consider the botox treatment. Instead, choosing to leave her husband to rid herself of the guilt and shame. Again and again I tried to convince her to stay, to consider the treatment, but she has made her decision. We have been together over 15 years and married almost 12 years now and we have never been able to consummate our marriage. Vaginismus is an evil curse and can rob those affected by it of their joy, the things we most richly deserve. When Kristie was 9 years old she was sexually abused by her older brother. As sad as that is, she has never resolved her issues. I have been patient, supportive and understanding all these years, I have been there for my wife — but I’m afraid it was to no avail. It is with such confusion, sadness and emptiness that I concede defeat.
    Your friend,
    Michael

    #12497
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi Michael. I am so sorry for what you are now going through. I wish so much that my husband and I could meet with you and your wife and talk face to face. We have been in such a similar position while having vaginismus. Please know that you have our complete and total support and always will!!!!

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