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Re: How to stop need ED meds for psychological ED - any advice?

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:23 pm
by confused_wife20s
Well, just over 2 years on and I thought I'd post an update! Thanks to all on here for your wonderful support, advice and prayers. It's taken a lot of work, patience and time, but things are finally good in our physical relationship! It had felt like we would never get to this point, but around 8 years into our marriage we made it at long last. Better late than never! There's still a compromise on frequency, but that's OK. We are both happy with the situation as is. Things finally work naturally, sometimes spontaneously even. When they don't work, we just cuddle, forget it and try another day. We've not needed the ED Meds in about 18 months. It did take around 10 months of using them regularly to help rebuild confidence though. I think the biggest thing in the solution was for both of us to understand the root cause of the psychological issues behind the ED, to forgive ourselves and accept none of it had really been our fault initially. We both exacerbated the issues and prolonged them by not knowing how to deal with them, but we were young and foolish and had a lot to learn.

Even now I still suffer extreme guilt and anxiety at times feeling i could have dealt with his ED differently and then it might not have lasted so long. I feel i did everything wrong that I possibly could have, with all my getting depressed and anxious over it. I also still sometimes feel like a fraud that we had these secret relationship problems for around 7 years. I am trying to work on acceptance and forgiveness of both of us, as we did really hurt each other and it got us to breaking point. I try to focus on the positive, that we were dealt such a difficult hand and we overcame the problems. We won. We hurt each other a lot, but we have forgiven each other. Over time, it's slowly getting better and happier for us. It doesn't make our relationship any less real or good, we had serious problems and we overcame them eventually. We failed a lot of times first in looking for solutions, but we are only human after all..

Recovering emotionally/mentally and rebuilding relationship after 7 years of hurt due to ED

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:19 am
by confused_wife20s
So, to cut a very long story short....DH and I have been together 12 years, married for almost 9. For the first 7 years of the marriage (in our 20s) we managed sex probably only a few times a year due to his ongoing ED. We tried counselling, various ED medications, investigated possibility of low T, all with not much success. Eventually it was causing so much hurt, confusion and resentment, he started to sometimes blame me for the problem and my attractiveness or say there was something wrong with me because I wanted to ML once a week. He also told me I was imagining the problem and it was all in my head. We both lost a lot of confidence, I started to suffer depression and anxiety due to these issues and his refusal to accept that he needed to do something about them. I also felt very guilty as I knew I had contributed to his issues by getting upset about the no sex thing, which then unintentionally put pressure on him. I was a mess and I was ill with anxiety and actually moved out for a couple of weeks.

Finally this prompted him to open up about his issues. It turned out he had been brainwashed as a teenager that sex was evil and he was very conflicted inside about it, which caused his ED. After this he said he'd work with me again to sort things out. It was always a compromise but I did take some control by insisting we use ED Meds to take the pressure off. So we then had a few months of him making me feel bad because the Meds gave him a headache, but he wouldn't look into any alternative treatments!

Anyway slowly but surely we managed to overcome the ED and have had about 18 months with no Meds where he can manage to ML about once a fortnight. It's fine and I'm happy with things in that area of our marriage. The only problem is I still feel significant anxiety and guilt at times about all the issues we had and sometimes like a bit of a fraud as to most people we appear to have the perfect marriage. It causes me a lot of confusion and turmoil inside and I don't even know what I feel anxious about any more. I guess I worry that lots of the problem was my fault and I should have been stronger and found another way through it before getting to breaking point and causing so much hurt to us both. I feel a bit of a failure in our marriage. I know if these issues come up again we'll deal with them better and be more mature about it. Sometimes I feel positive that we've managed to get through something so tough, but deep down I feel so damaged and hurt by it all. How do I move on and overcome this? Do I just need to give it more time??

Re: ED problems in 20s

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:08 am
by tjw
Sometimes I feel positive that we've managed to get through something so tough, but deep down I feel so damaged and hurt by it all. How do I move on and overcome this? Do I just need to give it more time??

I was the one blamed for my inability to be a "porn star". I didn't begin our marriage with ED, but it came later as the psychological toll settled in on me.
I knew that no matter what I did, I could never please her in the bedroom. I would always be considered, by her, less capable, less attractive, and less well endowed than her ex. She went home to be with the Lord 1990. I have been married again, widowed again after 18 years of marriage, and now married a third time for 6 years. Neither of my two later wives were as self-centered and steeped in promiscuity and pornography as my first wife. However, that doesn't matter.

From my experience, there is nothing. "Time" does not work. God's ministry does not work. The bible does not work, counseling doesn't work, prayer doesn't work, in fact, nothing available in "time" will work. The only thing I have that actually works is God's promise that in heaven THERE IS NO MARRIAGE, and therefore, it will not matter how capable I am. I will not need to judge myself over it anymore. In that way, His promise to "wipe away all tears" from my eyes can be fulfilled.

Re: ED problems in 20s

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:39 am
by Vanna
Challenges impact us all differently in life. Many times we make a bit of a mess sorting out stuff from our past, our fears, our hurts, our offenses... That is just part of the human process of learning.

The important thing is that you both came through it and learned and are stronger. Sure you'd do it different if you had it to do again, but that's the nature of wisdom earned in fiery trials.

Now you need to forgive yourself for being human, for not being perfect, and understand that God gave you the victory in this battle so that you can focus on enjoying His gift of restoration. You are human, your hubby is too. Sometimes we mess up, but God can redeem all of that if you surrender it to Him and forgive yourself. When we are weak, He is strong.

Re: ED problems in 20s

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:29 pm
by Unfulfilled
I'm struggling to understand how HIM not telling you that he was essentially "sexually bullied" and I suspect ther could be possibility for sexual abuse of you husband, is somehow YOUR fault! He had years to tell you about the horrible sexual brainwashing he had. Years! That is on him. Yes you may not have reacted the best but you where also operating with half the truth. You need to apologize for your last behaviors and you most importantly must forgive YOURSELF!

Praise God that he finally felt you trustworthy enough to tell you the truth and seek you back. Praise God you know the truth or at least part of the truth. I suspect there is more to the story than "just" brainwashing. Do your best to learn from the past, but do not spend all your time wishing to change the past. Because it is impossible. Spend you time learning and doing the things needed to change your future for the better. I understand guilt and remorse and even a period of grief of what was lost in the past. Give some time to tha phase. But make sure it is only a phase, and not a rut you can't get out of.

Re: ED problems in 20s

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:41 pm
by confused_wife20s
Thanks all for your replies. They were really helpful!

Tjw, I am so sad that you are still so affected by these issues so many years on. It looks like you've already sought counselling, but do you think it's worth trying a different counsellor or method? Nobody deserves to live out the rest of their life feeling so bad about things that were never their fault to begin with. I hope your later marriages have helped in some way to restore your confidence as well.

Vanna, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I think we do just need to forgive ourselves, focus on the positives and enjoy our life now, which is good. You are right, we've learned a lot and had the victory in this area and I am thankful for this.

Unfulfilled, you are right. We did spend some time on making it clear to each other that we had forgiven the other for what happened. I think he is over all this now, I do just need to learn to forgive myself. I did do my best through the situation with only half truths as you say and it wasn't good enough in the end, but I'm only human. I do worry about why he felt he couldn't be honest with me all those years. We share on absolutely everything else in our marriage...?

Re: ED problems in 20s

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:29 am
by Vanna
Some topics are just really hard to be vulnerable with, and also there are times we don't yet see what a stronghold certain things have over us.

I remember my first serious conversation about concerns I had with our intimacy. We'd been together about 16 years, and done all sorts of things behind closed doors, we had great communication in every area but this one. We'd just never done it.

It took so much courage to talk to him that I couldn't even look him in the face, I was nauseous with anxiety. I sat by him and tucked my face in his chest and made myself get it out in the open. I felt so vulnerable and exposed, and was so worried about how he was going to respond. He had a history of shutting down and pulling away if topics were hard. Fortunately, he listened and heard and cared, and we worked on the stuff together.

There have still been other moments where I've hesitated to approach topics, but none quite as mortifying as that first time. It gets easier with each victory.

I know that for me, a lot of my fear came from a fear of confrontation, because I grew up in a home where it wasn't safe to speak you mind or voice your concerns. Someone was always there to tell you your concerns were wrong, or less important than theirs, or some other form of debate and minimization. But, as I look back, I know they were perpetuating what had been done to them by my Grandparents. Families pass down baggage, no matter how well meaning the family.

Your hubby may just be beginning to unravel what's going on in his head and heart, and just needs to learn that you can be a safe place for him to share without judgement or debate or rejection. It's not really as much a reflection on you as it is his own journey out of this stronghold (although it's always good to check you communication style and make sure you are listening, hearing, and validating instead of formulating replies while they share.)

It's really great he opened up, that says a lot about his willingness to break free and grow beyond this. I believe that your marriage will only get stronger and better as you walk through this together and keep your hearts knit lovingly together.

Re: ED problems in 20s

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:53 am
by poetess

I'm sorry you've had a bad experience with marriage so far, and that it has probably been at least as hard for your wives. Remember, though, that a husband is commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the church. It is your responsibility to act like Christ to your wife--you chose to marry her.

Re: ED problems in 20s

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:11 pm
by tjw
Not to hijack .... but this:

it has probably been at least as hard for your wives

Is the source of my greatest sorrow.

Re: ED problems in 20s

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:00 am
by confused_wife20s

Thank you so much for your encouraging and kind words. I can see how this would have been a very difficult thing for him to share on. Also it would have been a completely taboo topic in his family, whereas mine were much more open. I also see what you mean about communication in families. His have always had a habit of talking over people and not really listening. It makes me feel as though none of my opinions are worth listening to or valid. He probably just came to expect that growing up. I also think the extent of the brainwashing was such that he didn't question any of the ideas. He often said to me that it was something wrong with me that I wanted to ML once a week or more, that normal couples only do it once a month if that and anything more is only what they do on tv. It was my problem for believing what I saw on TV and that there was something wrong with my drive. It made me feel ashamed and dirty and wrong, which I guess was the effect of the teaching he had then being transferred to me! So I can understand how he would find it difficult to erase those feelings he developed so early in relation to ML. I guess I have some recovering to do myself from all this too!! Thank you for your support!