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    • #6975

      I know this is quite an embarrasing topic but I don’t know who else I could ask who would understand. I am struggling to get my head around the act of intimacy with my husband. It isn’t so much the act itself although there are issued there. It is the fact that my head says one thing but my body does another. In my head, I don’t want him to touch me, I don’t want that physical contact. I make excuses and put off having that contact as much as I can. However, when I do give in to him, my body responds in a way you would expect in a normal relationship. I can have tears running down my face yet my body gives the impression that I am enjoying it. How can this be? Does anyone else experience this?

      Intimacy is a huge problem in our marriage as he wants it far more than I and says it is not normal for a women of my age to not want it more. There are problems if he doesn’t get his way. I usually get called frigid, have the covers ripped off me and get told to eff off out of bed. I dread going to bed sometimes because of his expectation for sex and the fear of the consequences if I refuse.

    • #6976

      Hi Marthamoo,

      Sex is a really complicated subject because it can been used to show ‘love’ or ‘power/control’ game.

      I can only explain from my experience as I think the feelings and thoughts around ones own is very personal and sometimes hard to grasp how others feel.

      When my ex and I were first together sex was passionate and sometimes wild. it became very apparent that he was/is obsessed with sex and I believe he mixes sex up with love and hate. As time went on I would like you be going though the motions and I would cry how could I be turned on but be so upset at the same time? I guess knowing you want/love them but at the same time knowing in your gut this isnt right.

      I feel for you going to bed at night not knowing where you would be attacked verbally or physically if you didnt ‘perform’. I wouldnt be kicked out of bed but he would sulk or walk out of the room himself. At one point I felt almost raped by him just to keep him happy. We had a very active sex life right up until the end of our relationship but sometimes I used it to gain some control over him to show him I loved him and didnt want to lose him to the other women but that was bruised ego. So like you again I would cry. However I now believe the crying is of sadness, fear, dis-bear etc. but it shows them (him) power as he was so insecure.

      It is normal so dont worry about that but think about how you feel and what its doing to/for you, mixed up love and hate may be?

      Dont worry about what ever you need to post most of us have experienced very similar stuff so we kinda understand where each other are coming from. You are very brave to talk about this topic and i’m glad you found the courage too.

      I hope I have answered in the way that has helped.

      Big hug

    • #6977

      Hi Marthamoo

      It’s completely normal. My husband also used sex as a control – in my case a little different – I’ve always had a high sex drive so his was to severely restrict sex in our relationship. And outside of the sex he would treat me like he hates me and then when I started to withdraw from him he’d turn on the love and charm. It completely messed with my sexual identity, so now I get really turned on by the though of having sex with men who hate me and who deny my needs – the more I distance myself emotionally from him, the less this appeals. So yes, I think our biological need for sex does not alwsys cooperate with how we feel emotionally. When we initially split, I felt physically sick whenever I thought or dreamed of sex – was actually physically sick on a few occasions. I’m only sharing this because I’m anonymous on here. I’m really embarrassed about all of it.

      I think a lot of us on here have issues around sex – afterall we’ve been abused by the men we let into our beds. It’s a normal expectation for the person we are intimate with to treat us nicely, and they didn’t meet that. I think it’s an important thing to talk about, and thank you for helping me to see I’m not the only one.


    • #6980

      Thank you both for your messages and for understanding. It is such a difficult subject to talk about and it does help being totally anonymous on here. I have received support from an outreach worker but how do you start to discuss this sort of thing. The confusion created between our physical needs and emotional needs is really hard. In my mind it is almost rape but yet my body doesn’t say so. If I was to be examined by a professional they would conclude that physically the sex was consensual. Yet in my mind I feel so violated and disgusted with myself that I respond the way I do xx

    • #6996

      Hi Martha Moo,

      You aren’t alone. I normally enjoy the intimacy of a physical relationship, but in the end, it was a confusing act for me. I wanted the intimacy, maybe O even thought the act of sex would bring us closer, and that being intimate with me might make him more aware of me as a separate and valuable person.

      For a long time, I believed I still loved him, and I craved sexual intimacy asa chance to try to move him in some way, to awaken his softer side or awareness of me as an individual with my own passions.

      But as soon as the act was over, and in fact even during those intimate times, I felt very confused and unhappy. I didn’t feel a good connection, I felt I was being used as an object, and yet I was yearning for a better connection.

      A lot of couples with difficult marriages- relationships might sleep apart for a period before a split, but my ex demanded intimacy until he left. When he left, he said he knew he was going to leave for some months. When I asked him
      why he had continued to be intimate with me and not told me, that I felt violated, he laughed. That made me feel even more worthless and violated.

    • #6997
      Falling Skys

      Hi MM

      After the first few years of marriage he could only manage sex when he force me. I found if I relax and let the juices flow it was over quicker. Sometimes in the end I was aroused and enjoyed it a lot of the time I was a throbbing mess that felt dirty.

      Its just another way to control and dominating us.

    • #7001

      Oh Serenity, are we married to the same man? That last paragraph really resonated. It’s why I won’t speak to him now – he has nothing to say that will make me feel any better, and he doesn’t deserve my attention.

      Right now, I’d rather not have any sexual feelings at all, but my body disagrees. I’m finding it very beneficial to just discharge those feelings by masturbating and only thinking about how it feels right now – that last bit is very important. It’s having an unexpected side effect – before my emotional entanglement with him was reinforced by what I thought of as love making. By having a sexual relationship with myself, I’m finding that the bond I have with myself is strengthening, and I’m becoming more capable of being kind to myself and to be self loving in other ways.

    • #7011

      It’s all about power and control. The only thing left in my marriage I could say no to and he just wouldn’t allow that. At the end of the day it’s basic biology and if you’re raped and have an orgasm, it’s just biology so don’t feel ashamed. It happened to me often. It’s good not to bottle these things up. Rape crisis have a helpline and they were fantastic when I rang for advice❤️ Aparantly marital rape is very common. We just don’t talk about it.

    • #7037


      Yes, I thought too that our abusers sounded similar when I read something that you mentioned in your other post.

      I was suddenly and cruelly discarded. Suddenly, my whole character was berated and ridiculed. Everything I loved and believed in was put down and criticised.

      He started to look at me with hatred, pointing out facial imperfections and cruelly looking for grey hair ( when he left, I noticed a first, huge white hair on his head, lol!). I could feel the sudden discard in every inch of my body.

      Apparently, according to him it had ‘been a bad marriage from the start’ and should have ended years ago, he knew he wanted to leave right years before ( but failed to tell me) etc etc…

      Hmmmm… This was the man who had told me some months previously ( in a nice moment- or manipulative moment, whichever way you want to look at it) that he’d never loved anyone like he loved me, that I was the centre of his world, etc..

      Truth is, I find and very much suspect, he was seen soon after leaving with a woman.

      They rewrite history, and make you out to be the baddie to East their consciences, because someone has stroked their ego and they are too weak to give into the temptation and are unfaithful.

      My ex (very much a mental abuser amongst other things ) was, I realise, hinting a few weeks before he left that he was having an affair or wanted to, and that I should turn a ‘blind eye.’

      My ex, I realise, also wanted me to be the passive victim of ‘gilded cage’ abuse, to an extent. I had always worked, and he didn’t care of I worked long hours ( as long as he wasn’t left babysitting) or all night, as long as it was a job where he knew exactly where I was, and was not very well paid, I realise now so that I had no funds of my own ( he made sure I was at zero at the end of every month) and so I wouldn’t meet people he didn’t know or grow in confidence.

      When I ‘disobeyed’ him by starting to train professionally for something, embarking on a course without asking his permission ( I did this course in addition to working, so my income didn’t drop, I just got exhausted) I think he began to feel scared. I think he felt I was growing in education, knowledge and power and he knew that he’d been hugely unkind to me for years- that my eyes would suddenly be opened, as they were ( I met lovely people in my job, people a lot kinder than him!).

      I recall him trying to put me off going to interviews, and actually trying to sabotage big events in my work by upsetting me beforehand, hoping to make me a trembling mess!

      I think my ex has small man syndrome. He is slightly built, and bigs himself up by bullying and manipulating people- me, his kids, his customers, his employees…

      If he is with this other woman, I don’t think it will be long before she begins to feel hurt and shocked by his behaviour, or he begins to devalue her for not being perfect enough for him.

      Good riddance to an arrogant idiot- who isn’t all he thinks he is! x*x

    • #7039

      PS when I say I experienced guided cage to an extent, I mean he used the fact that we had a nice house ( which I slogged away to maintain- not him) to argue that I should just be happy, shut up and put up with his behaviour, and not want anything more, like kindness or a career where I felt counted, and which enabled me to buy the things I or kids wanted and holiday. The kids and I should be happy being in the house, serving him like minions. He was a King of the Castle abuser x

    • #7044

      Oh my goodness, that sounds so much like mine. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if he’s a n********t, something I wish I could have spotted because I was brought up by one.

      Trouble is, I only realised about my upbringing a few years ago, and I learnt strategies to stop being a n********t’s supply. Funnily enough I found myself using these strategies with him, but at the time I though it was because I was projecting my mother onto him.

      Then I started to feel better (had s****y mental health for years), and decided to apply for a job – it would have been the first time I’d have had any kind of career since married. Then all of a sudden, he started to say things that similar to yours / I don’t fancy you, I never did. I have no idea why I married you. Understandably I was distraught, and then the next thing I know, he’s sorry, he didn’t mean it, it’s because he hates his job. Then without consulting me at all, he resigns and starts contracting – its a lot of money but it involves working away from home. Then all of a sudden I can’t work, because it’s not fair on our daughter to have two parents suddenly less available due to work, and I don’t need to work because we don’t need the money.

      Funnily enough I felt as though I was living in a gilded cage, even though I wasn’t aware of it being a form of abuse or control. I felt huge guilt over feeling this way – I thought lots of women would happily swap with me.

      Then I was showered in gifts, taken out, sex was regular, and little did I know this was the build up to a planned discard.

      Im reeling. He suddenly thinks he doesn’t need to give me money. This has forced me to engage in the legal process less than a month after he discarded. I think our mediator thinks I’m deranged.

    • #7057

      Thank you all for your frank and honest messages. It is a very difficult topic to talk about but it is great to realise that I am not alone in what I have experienced and how I feel.

      I can totally identify with the ‘gilded cage’ comments above. To the outside world I have/had a perfect life. We lived in the countryside, had 3 cars, we had built a relatively successful business together, we had a nice standard of living. I stopped working after having our second child and that is when things really started picking up pace. Firstly he had me where he wanted me; at home all day tending to his needs. I never really got chance to spend any quality time with my daughter, as I’d planned, because he always put his needs before anyone elses. When I did return to work, partly because I could stand being at home any more, he made things very hard. He would get really angry if I worked outside my contracted hours or if I brought work home. The flip side to this was that when I was at home full time he made it very clear who was the bread winner. Everything suddenly became his. The car that has previously been ours suddenly became his and I should be grateful I was allowed to drive it. During arguments he would take the keys from me and ask me how I was going to get to such and such a place as it was his car.

      One more thing I would like to ask about intimacy is this. My husband is very hands on. What I mean by this is that during the day he will not think twice about putting his hand up my top or down my trousers for a little fumble. He doesn’t seem to care if the children see. If I go to get changed he will follow me and either ogle me or have another grope. He will quite frequently ask whether we will be having sex later. It’s as if he is booking me in. If later I refuse, he calls me a tease because I hasd agreed earlier. I suppose in any other situation it would be classed a sexual harassment. Where does a normal behaviour in a marriage stop and sexual abuse/harassment start? xx

    • #7224

      MarthaMoo, what you are experiencing is probably typical of sexual contact in an abusive relationship, it is certainly identical to what I go through and I particulalry relate to the fact that your body responds to the sex but when this happens, i feel sick and out of control. I feel that I am being disloyal to myself and satisfying his own ego when I orgasm (sorry if too much info) but as KIP says, my head isnt always able to control how my body responds although when I know I am not going to orgasm, I fake one just to get the act over quickly. I also try switch my mind off who I am having sex with my fantasising, not about anyone in particular but that i dream I am with someone who loves and cherishes me.
      Sex to an abuser is just that and that as his wife, you are a sexual being to satisfy his needs with little regard for your feelings. Myne too is constantly groping me, he asks for a cuddle but immediately his hands are drawn to my breast and bottom. Even in bed, he has to rest his hand on my bottom, even placing them down my pyjama bottoms, if I protest, i am boring or dont love him enough, you cannot win but it is totally exhausting. I am pressured to play act/dress up in the bedroom which degrades me but i do it to keep the peace. There is no enjoyment on my part but leaves me distressed and feeling dirty. Everything on my marriage is controlled by him even our sex life.
      You asked when normal behaviour stops and the abuse starts and I am unsure of the answer as I think there was always an element of control there but I just didnt realise. When you start a relationship with someone, i think it is partly expected that the done thing is to have lots of sex however most normal people would accept that the honeymoon period doesnt last forever but perhaps an abuser doesnt think so and expects his own way all of the time. It was probably only when he began being really cruel with me calling me frigid, boring, fat etc that I realised things werent quite right and i started to look at the other aspects of our relationship. I am still with my husband and working on leaving him but am really struggling. He is extremely insecure and seems to be clinging on to me for dear life.

    • #7240

      Thanks Wandering Cloud. It does makes it easier to reconcile in my mind knowing that I am not the only one who thinks this way about sex. It still amazes me how similar abusers are and the tactics they use. We could all be sleeping with the same man.

      I found that my husband became really clingy when I was planning to leave last time. I have been told that they are so in tune to our moods and body language that they can sense when something is changing. I think we must grow in strength or our mind set alters (probably sub consciously) and they pick up on it. Keep planning but do it safely. I found it very hard to keep a ‘poker’ face and felt really bad that I was planning to leave behind is back. But, for most women its the safest way to leave. You are doing nothing wrong. You are doing what you have to do. Take care xx

    • #7462

      HI HUn

      These men just want full control of our mind and body, they cant accept wes ay no, even if we say no they ignore us and either make our lives hell by screaming in our face we must be getting it else where or they just take it anyway, my ex thought he had full control of me, he took sex whenever he wanted, he didnt care if i responded to him or not he just had to be in me as he said, obviously any reaction if he did turn me on and my body responded was i was enjoying myself , so whats big deal if i said no and he carried on, i just see my ex as sick , even if i responded he said was spoiling his enjoyment, if i didnt respond i was c**p in bed even though his needs were met, he just kill my soul, again all comes to control, i just felt like a poking machine with mine, something he could poke, didnt matter i didnt want it, was just about him. i wonder how when im with my next partner how i will be in bed, i used to love sex , in begining we had very active passionate sex life , but he just killed all my feelings, to feel anything feels wrong, dont feel embrassed to talk about it, they abused us and we need to understand what happend , by us talking about it , theres nothing wrong or no shame in it, proves our feelings were right they abused us and it was so wrong

    • #7465

      When he doesn’t respect the intimate boundaries you set, alarm bells should be ringing. When I used to say things like don’t put your finger there, I don’t like it. Low and behold, next time he’s do it again. It’s like he wants to annoy you so he can then further abuse you by calling you frigid, or turn the tables and say how do you think it makes me feel when you say no. I’m convinced it’s all about control. My ex used to go on and on when I said no, wearing me down, threatening etc. then he couldn’t perform but he still had a smirk. Just because I’d given in. Don’t try and work these monsters out because they just don’t think the way we do❤️

    • #7491

      Aren’t they weird how they carry on doing what u sayin u don’t like , u’d think they try something u do like to get better response

    • #7539
      Midnight Marbles

      Hi, I’m so glad you all shared this subject, for decades of years I thought there was something very wrong with me, to the point of physical sickness afterwards!!! All the names, groping everything!!! Are they all do similar?

    • #7562

      I think for these types of men it is all about control, manipulation and entitlement. Control is a bit part of my husbands abusive behaviour, in and out of the bedroom. I also relate to KIP’s post about the smirk they get when they win. Or when they say something like ‘I told you you wanted it’. It makes me cringe! x

    • #66335

      Glad i came across this thread. Wow. At first i put loss of libido down to menopause or chronic pain. Now as the years go by i know its down to how he treats me yet still expects me to be a willing participant in the bedroom. What confuses me is how ready i am yet im screaming inside for him not to touch me. Ive almost had a panic attack midsex. Thankfully its usually over quickly now, possibly cos we dont do it as often. Hes not forced me but hes nagged and pleaded til ive given in. He has needs you see! In the beginning we were very adventurous, thought id met my sexual equal. Didnt mind dressing up, but then he started asking me to do things i wasnt comfortable with. but i was besotted with him, so i did things i wasnt comfortable with. He always says he cant keep his hands off me, yet hes made me feel ugly and hate my body so much now. He calls me frigid, or accuses me of getting it elsewhere. He used to threaten me with finding someone else, now i no longer care if he does.
      When we do do it, i get,thats good isnt it, see you needed that, i missed inside you. But what im ALWAYS aware of is that once hes got what hes wanted, usually he starts niggling away again til hes almost losing control but not quite, or it calms him down for a week tops. Men and their di..s😂😂😂 im glad its just plain sex now, i can just about manage that at times. I miss nice him so much but i can’t let the wall down, cos he always resorts back to namecalling and threatening behaviour. Nice him doesn’t last long. I’m so sad it’s came to this, but hes broke us, not me

    • #66351

      My ex used to help himself. I had nothing to give because he just took it. Disgusting creature. He doesn’t understand consent. My being there was enough to imply consent. I too thought it was maybe menopause. It wasn’t. It was him. His filthy moods, his use of me as a masterbatory tool. It was horrible. Then of course it was my fault.

      I think we take too much responsibility for the ways we are treated sexually. It is very difficult to speak about and horrible things become the norm.

      I used to pretend he was someone else I might have liked. How he thought I was able to consent to being poked and prodded in my sleep baffles me.

    • #67028

      A woman can be raped and her body can still respond in the same way as having consensual sex. That’s just the body doing what the body does. It’s the mental element of being forced or coerced into sex that is painful and I think that the pain carries on even years after it’s all over.

      My ex used to call me frigid, a lesbian, a-sexual and all kinds of other names. I would just lay there while the act was taking place and then rush off for a shower afterwards. I would dread sex so much. It would usually hurt and it was always horrible, even if my body did somewhat react. I just felt gross and it look away what little strength I had left.

      After I left, it took me months to be interested in sex and men again. I left actually convinced I was a-sexual.

      Looking at it on a much more simple level, years out of my situation, if a male ‘friend’ told me he was going to steal my car unless I had sex with him, I think I would consider that coercion or even rape. Especially if that friend had first convinced me that I couldn’t survive without the car. So why is it different that when we consider ourselves in a relationship, that we somehow convince ourselves that it’s anything less than that?

    • #67036

      This thread really helped me to understand my own experiences.

      It has made me feel that I am normal and that I am not all of the nasty things that I was previously called.

      Like a lot of you I also cried during sex, dreaded going to bed and was woken in my sleep countless times to have sex. If I didn’t agree he would do it anyway and if I felt strong enough to leave the room he would start shouting and slamming around the house in an attempt to wake the kids up. Therefore I would agree to keep the peace. I felt disgusted in myself during and afterwards.

      Our sex life was really passionate and good at the start, it felt really loving and my body responded to him in a very positive way. That was when the nice him was still around. After our first child was born the sex changed, the frequency was more, the demands for sex increased and I was called frigid, a lesbian, ugly, fat etc. He accused me of cheating on him, many of times he said I must be sleeping with other men as my ‘performance’ had improved. I was judged by how my body looked, how well I performed in the bedroom and on how well I could please him.

      I am only now starting to feel like my body is my own, as I felt like I was owned by him before. He would touch me when he wanted, perform sexual acts on me in my sleep, have sex with me in my sleep and on a couple occasions he performed sexual acts on himself and covered me in you know what whilst I slept. I felt worthless, ashamed, humiliated and a sense of why is he doing this to me. He didn’t think any of this was wrong as I was ‘his’ and as his girlfriend it couldn’t be classed as rape or sexual assault.

      I hope we can all keep posting and talking about this subject, as it really has helped me to understand my own feelings. I haven’t told anyone else the things I have mentioned in this post and being anonymous helps.


    • #67037

      My OH touches me while I’m asleep too. Due to meds it takes me a while to be aware of what hes doing. He’ll usually say when he comes in from work, did you feel me touching you this morning, to which I’ll either say no or that i was sorta aware but wasn’t sure. He’s not forced the issue but i feel so uncomfortable that he thinks this is okay. It’s when he’s on top of me and even though I am saying no,he really thinks if he carries on that I’ll give in, which i usually do because it’s quicker to get it over than continue refusing. He doesn’t think he’s raping me and neither did i. Thought it just a battle of wills. I’m not so sure now. How did i allow this to happen, why does he not listen to me😭 i know he’d be so hurt if i told him that’s how i feel but what about my feelings. Sex should be a loving act not one-sided. I have had 2 instances where i initiated sex. Both were traumatic events leading to me needing love, comfort and reassurance. Now i think i could actually live quite happily without it. If i really look hard at our relationship it was all based on sex, without that there is no relationship. I’m struggling to go through life and the day to day. I miss the cuddles, but i know if we did that simple thing, he’ll think we’re going to have sex. I’m so struggling to do that now. I’m a few years into my 50’s but see nothing ahead but emptiness.
      He fulfils the providing of a home needs, paying his share of the bills, even gives me money jyst for(he is generous on that part)but when your emotional needs arent met or worse disregarded and contempt fir him sneaks into the relationship. There’s no coming back from that.
      I cant see the light just now, it’s blocked again. It’ll come back.
      Thanks to everyone on here who gets us all through these days. It’s not like having a bad day in a normal meaning of the word. It’s just… not
      Thanks fir listening

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