Feeling like an object

Low or no sex drive?
little_sparrow
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Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:23 pm

I've been contemplating posting for awhile now, but I've been putting it off because I wasn't exactly sure what my questions were. I finally decided that I just needed to go for it and hope that posting this isn't a mistake.

For those of you who don't know or remember my background, for the first several years of our marriage I was the one with the higher drive. During that time, my husband's drive was not only low, but it was virtually non-existant. I was craving sex either daily or every other day at the least, and he was typically ok with it happening once or twice a month at the most.

After I became pregnant near the beginning of last year, my drive completely went away. Not only did I not desire sex anymore, but I would go so far as to say that I felt disgusted by the idea of it. I didn't want it at all. Ironically enough, my husband's drive began to go up around that time.

Long story short, my drive has yet to come back, and my husband's has only gone up. Our drives are essentially switched from how they used to be. The only difference is that when mine was high, I often tried to initiate only to constantly be turned down, and even though his is now high, he very rarely tries to initiate. (That's due to his personality.) There have been a few times that he has initiated, and although I usually still inwardly cringe at any form of physical touch from him, I never refuse because I personally know how painful that is. I've even initiated a few times, but inwardly I couldn't wait for it to be over. I know that I need to have sex with him despite the fact that I don't want to, but anymore I view it like I'm an object for him to use so he won't get tempted to cheat. I know that I'm supposed to view it as an opportunity to bless my husband, but while I know that, the aversion to any physical connection with him is so strong that it clouds that knowledge.

The sad thing is that, honestly, I'm more concerned with how it's going to affect our baby in the future than the fact that it's hurting him now. I have the knowledge that is hurting him, and I do feel guilty about that, but I'm more saddened by the fact that she will be hurt if [more like when] she senses that he and I aren't as close as we ought to be or when she picks up on the fact that Mama and Daddy don't show much physical affection. Thinking about hurting her like that scares me enough that I am willing to completely fake being happy with physical contact with him, but I know that 1.) That would be wrong, and 2.) That would likely make me resentful towards him.

All of that said, I'm still not exactly sure what my questions are. I'm aware that my loss of drive might be from the pregnancy and could eventually come back, but I also realize it could come from other issues. Either way, I'm not sure of the best way to handle the feelings of just being an object with the purpose of making it easier for him to avoid temptation. (For what it's worth, that's only how I have begun to view myself in relation to him, not in general.)

Edited to add (because I feel like it's relevant information): All throughout the pregnancy and even postpartum, I never felt bad about my body. In fact, I have never felt more confident and beautiful than I did while I was pregnant. Now that I've had her, my body is basically back to the way it was before I became pregnant. I'm not sure how that happened, but it did, so it's not like there are pregnancy-related body image issues in place.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby poetess » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:42 pm

Little Sparrow, is your relationship with your husband good in other ways now? For a woman, relational issues can definitely affect desire. And how old is the baby? Are you breast-feeding?
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Alistair » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:09 pm

Little sparrow

Welcome back!!

Have you forgiven your husband? Really forgiven him or are you still holding offense in your heart towards him for the hurts he has done to you?

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:26 pm

poetess wrote:Little Sparrow, is your relationship with your husband good in other ways now? For a woman, relational issues can definitely affect desire. And how old is the baby? Are you breast-feeding?


She's about 2 months old, and I am breastfeeding her. Thankfully I've never had any problems or pain with it, though. I am actually very thankful for that bonding time with her.

As for your other question, it is definitely better than it used to be in a lot of respects, but there are still some issues there.

Alistair wrote:Have you forgiven your husband? Really forgiven him or are you still holding offense in your heart towards him for the hurts he has done to you?

I believe so, although it is still difficult to deal with the issues that are still present or things I thought were no longer issues that have popped back up. Based on different things he has said semi-recently, there's definitely still lack of trust on my part, which makes me feel like I have to have a wall up most of the time. I don't think that's a matter of not forgiving him as much as it's a matter of not fully trusting him.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Vanna » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:03 pm

It's not unusual to feel "touched out" and in the middle of a season of low drive during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Your hormones are doing crazy things right now, but prolactin is notorious for mellowing you to the point your drive dips. It also suppresses ovulation (yay) by messing with your estrogen and progesterone cycles (boo).

The good news is that the effects are not permanent.

I'd be more concerned about finding the root of the resentment you are feeling so when your drive rebounds, you won't have damaged your foundation.
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:35 pm

Vanna wrote:I'd be more concerned about finding the root of the resentment you are feeling so when your drive rebounds, you won't have damaged your foundation.

Unfortunately, I don't think there has really ever been a good foundation in the first place. I understand your point, though.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby mushels » Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:37 am

Every time I was breast feeding my sex drive was low. I never had issues with resentment or rejection though. I think I was just in so much contact with another human being (baby) all the time with cuddling and breast feeding that I didn't want to be touched anymore when baby was finally sleeping. Also there's a good chance your hormones have not returned to normal and you are probably dealing with a lack of sleep also which wouldn't help. I think the physical desire will change over time as your daughter grows. I would deal more with the issues of why you feel used or like an object in regards to your husband and your past feelings of rejection.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby FoxluvsBunny » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:32 am

little_sparrow wrote:She's about 2 months old, and I am breastfeeding her. Thankfully I've never had any problems or pain with it, though. I am actually very thankful for that bonding time with her.

Congrats on your precious daughter, Little Sparrow. I am not a mommy yet, but i i have a fertility awareness community and have read countless posts from women who have said the BF can kill sex drive- it surpresses hormones that leads to sex drive (and ovulation) like estrogen and testosterone, and skyrockets prolactin (and some have even written like they feel their breasts are like udders and not sexy). That being said, it's so good for baby (as i'm sure you know as a BF mamma :wink: ). I'd focus on the other issues for now. I can relate a bit (sorry if i'm comparing 2 things that are not the same cause i haven't yet BF) because after ovulation, i have a very low sex drive. It used to be an issue for us when we were having other issues in our relationship,where i wouldn't want it at all that week and a half and it was a big issue as we weren't connecting well in other ways. Now that we are in a better place, thank God for now, i still lose my sex drive, but I truly enjoy doing it for him at those times, even if it's somewhat uncomfy for me; not looking forward to this part of childbearing (the sex drive loss part, but i bet i'll be there at some point as my sex drive quite susceptible to hormonal changes it seems). Praying for you as you sort all of this out.
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:37 am

Ok, so I suppose it's probably just the pregnancy/breastfeeding, then.

Just to clarify, I only said that if I had to fake being happy with physical contact that it would likely make me resentful towards him, not that I currently feel resentful.

As for the feelings of frustration, they have nothing to do with his past rejection of me. I actually gave up caring about that near the beginning of last year. The feelings do, however, have everything to do with the fact that he has still never truly taken responsibility for or admitted the extent of his emotional abuse in our marriage. At first I thought he had, but now I realize he just made it seem like it at the time. (For the record, his behavior has changed, but the owning up to it never really happened.) The few times I've brought that up, he won't call it what it was and acts like it was just as much my fault as it was his. It's frustrating because I'm concerned that any progress he made could be lost at anytime.

Additionally, we now live in the [small] town where his previous church is, and the fear of running into some from there is always in the back of my mind because, in my opinion, he completely did not make it clear about why he was leaving, and based on what he told them, they (along with his family, which is a whole other story) likely view him as being the most wonderful guy in the world who gave up his work at the church because he "wasn't spending enough time with me." Therefore, his leaving was "my" fault, along with a boatload of other things. (Not his words, although I suspect that deep down he views it that way.) There's a lot more involved, but that gets my point across as to part of the root of my frustration.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby doug-h » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:39 am

LittleSparrow.

I want to touch on a few things in your last post. If I am mis-interpreting things, please forgive me.

You say that his behavior has changed, but he has never owned up to the issues of the past. I would like you to consider a few things. I am not trying to minimize your feelings, just throw out some perspective. I followed your original thread, so I am at least a little bit familiar.

What exactly could he say, that would indicate to you that he "owned" his previous behavior? I ask you that, because he did, according to you, change his behavior.
You can either take that as a total negative, a total positive, or somewherd in between. The simple fact is that it indicates a choice was made. It may well be that he still doesn't understand that he did anything "wrong", but does understand that it was hurtful to you and your relationship, and chose to make changes.

Second, you criticize him for not getting up on a podium and announcing to all his friends and family the hurts he has caused you. That, quite simply is an unreasonable expectation. You are upset that they might think he is a wonderful person. That doesn't even make sense to me.

I hurt my wife deeply, on a number of occasions, and I have confessed my sins to her, and some trusted people, but I do not feel obligated to stand on a corner with a billboard. If that is a problem for you, then you are indeed making conditions on forgiveness, and arguably, some of them are unreasonable. Look to his actions and his choices.

You guys have a lot to work thru, and I have no doubt that he has some faults that still need addressed. We all do. That said, just from what I am reading here, some of your expectations may well be unreasonable, and might be your problem to address, not his. I don't say that in an accusing manner. It is one of my biggest weaknesses, and it is a constant struggle for me, so I am not one to blame.

Again, if I am way out in left field, forgive me, and disregard what I said. On the other hand, probably wouldn't hurt to give it a little consideration to see if there might be a little truth in it.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:54 am

I apologize for not explaining what I meant well enough.

Of course I would never expect him to confess all that he did with a billboard, so to speak. However, it bothers me that he presented it in such a way that made it look like the only issue was that he wasn't spending time with me. Due to that, people believe it's completely my fault that he stepped down from that position. Others also are under the impression that it's my fault he didn't take an assistant pastor position around that same time in another church when it was, in fact, due to the decisions that he was making at that time. What bothers me that he allows others to be under that impression rather than owning up to his own actions and standing up for me. It's hurtful knowing that so many people see him as near perfect and me as the horrible wife who "wouldn't let him" fufill those roles in the church. I don't think that's unreasonable. Again, I don't need him to loudly proclaim specifics to everyone, but I do wish he would at least defend me/the truth.

doug-h wrote:What exactly could he say, that would indicate to you that he "owned" his previous behavior? I ask you that, because he did, according to you, change his behavior.

I don't really understand this question. I'm sorry about that.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Hiswifeagain » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:59 am

LS, God knows the truth. It might be good to reflect on where the desire for others to know comes from. Will it bring glory to God for them to know? Can you trust God to reveal it to all of them if it will bring Him glory?


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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby ledgemoor » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:28 am

Ok, so back when, you were high drive, he wasn't, and blew you off. Now he his high drive and you are low, and you are being more than generous with him, and you are resentful. Who wouldn't be?

Sit him down, tell him in a calm but firm tone that you are resentful because of his past refusal, and now that your roles are reversed, your generosity. You don't want to be resentful, so you need his assurance that he loves you, and that when you get your libido back (and you will), he will make pleasing you a high, high priority.

Your libido will likely return after you stop breast feeding, or perhaps sooner as your body adjusts. At any rate, if it doesn't come back, a bioidentical hormone replacement doctor can safely fix it.
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:29 am

little_sparrow wrote:What bothers me that he allows others to be under that impression rather than owning up to his own actions and standing up for me. It's hurtful knowing that so many people see him as near perfect and me as the horrible wife who "wouldn't let him" fufill those roles in the church. I don't think that's unreasonable. Again, I don't need him to loudly proclaim specifics to everyone, but I do wish he would at least defend me/the truth.

Wow, this I get! :( You feel like your husband will throw you to the wolves to save his own hide. Women need to feel security and protected. If a husband won't protect her in this manner, she (or I) really question if he would protect her against anything. It leaves her wide open, feeling very unsafe in life. I got awful sleep, for so many years, because I felt like I had to be the "protector" of our home and my family and myself. A wife needs to know a husband will fight for her, to protect her and defend her, and when she doesn't feel that, it really is hard to find a foundation to stand on. I may be way off for LS, but that was my experience.
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:42 am

ledgemoor wrote:Sit him down, tell him in a calm but firm tone that you are resentful because of his past refusal,

I'm actually not, though. I was hurt so badly for so long that I completely gave up on that about a year ago. It's not something that bothers me anymore. More current things, yes; that, no. I know it wasn't right of him, but I gave up caring because it was easier than hurting.

SeekingChange wrote:A wife needs to know a husband will fight for her, to protect her and defend her, and when she doesn't feel that, it really is hard to find a foundation to stand on.

Yes, exactly.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Hiswifeagain » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:45 am

Isn't him stepping down, him fighting for you? What would be different if he told people what you want him to say?


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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:00 am

Hiswifeagain wrote:Isn't him stepping down, him fighting for you? What would be different if he told people what you want him to say?

I'm sorry, I had missed your last post.

I don't see it that way while he's willing to let others close to him believe false information about me on his account. In my opinion, if a husband is doing that, he is hurting his wife.

To answer your other question, I honestly wish he would have either not said anything in front of the congregation or told them the complete truth rather than selective bits and pieces. I don't mean that he needed to get into every single detail, but I don't think it's right to pick and choose details that imply something false about a situation. In that case, I think it's better to not say anything specific at all.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:05 am

Here's my opinion, and if I am off, LS can correct me. It wouldn't be "fighting for her" if that is not the main reason he stepped down but that's the excuse he gave. He is hiding behind her, like throwing her to the wolves to save himself. A man (or anyone) should stand up in the truth (which the truth doesn't have to be detailed) and receive what comes. I would think a husband, as a protector God created him to be, would rather take the hits than his wife. But to LS, she feels she is the one taking the hits while her husband hides behind her. When a wife doesn't believe her husband will do that, it's damaging and it wounds.

I would also guess that this is not a one time occurance. If it was, it would be easier to work through. I would guess, from my own experience, that there have been little (or big) things along the way, things said or not said, little (or big) actions done or not done, but this brought it all to a head.
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Unfulfilled » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:37 am

I may be completely off base here. But I have a totally different perspective.

Seems to me that LS is feeling that she was the scape goat. That she is the reason and at fault.

Yet her husband and apparently leader in the church in front of everyone in the congregation and said that he was giving up something many people would view as valuable (career or position within the church etc). And he "sacrificed" those things on the basis that he believed his marriage and his wife was more important. He gave the entire church an example of sacrificial and servant love.

So he was viewing possibly that he was actually honoring his wife. Showing and proving to the world the incredible importance his wife and his marriage meant to him. And instead his wife views that same action as throwing her under the bus. I would be willing to bet he has absolutely no clue that you resent the very action he believed was honoring you.

Granted the reason why he left may have many components. But as leader of the church, he left with a message of love and respect for his wife and not resentment and blame towards his wife.

How and what exactly would you have wanted him to tell the congregation that day if you could have written his departure speech?

LS, you say you are not resentful, but it is very clear to me that in fact you are resentful.

As far as emotional abuse. Clearly that is also an unhealed wound. Not sure all the background there but I think that is a place to go back to and work on together. I know personally I struggle enormously with understanding emotional safety and this its sister of emotional abuse. As if a person doesn't understand the boundary, it is easy to cross that boundary . A boundary that is obvious to you may be COMPLETELY invisible to your DH. So you are (rightfully) upset for being violated, but you see no empathy or acknowledgment on his part and that makes you resentful. However it may simply and honestly mean he doesn't even realize what"rule" he has broken. So if that is the case, it is perfectly understandable why he would act as if he did nothing wrong. From his perspective he didn't do anything wrong. you cannot apologize for stepping on your toes if he has no knowledge that he in fact stepped on your toes. If he does not recognize that he has crossed a boundary,nor course he won't apologize or recognize he crossed the line he didn't know existed.

I'm trying to say what seem blatantly obvious to you as a woman can be completely unknown to your husband. Likewise things that are blatantly obvious to your husband is just completely foreign and unknown to you.

When we expect that it is "so obvious " that the other "has to know" what they did wrong, yet they make or show no awareness of making that "obvious" mistake, it is easy and natural to jump to resentment. Because you believe the lack of recognition is being done on purpose or to spite you etc.

In this case LS, you seem to have had a VERY clear expectation of what your husband should have done and should have said. Could it possibly be the case that When he did NOT meet your unspoken and unknown expectation, you took offense and built resentment. Causing you to feel like he was "blaming you" and his leaving was all your fault.

I'm curious what the congregation "take away" was with his departure speech? Did they come away feeling that you are at fault, or did they come away with the feeling that this was a very loving man who was stepping aside out of his immense respect for his wife and the marriage and out of sacrificial love? That in fact his departure was honoring to you rather than casting blame and fault upon you.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby poetess » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:46 am

It's also possible that each spouse heard what was said through his/her own filter. That for the husband, he meant it to be something like "I'm not spending enough time with my wife and making her the priority she needs to be in my life" whereas his wording was just enough "off" of that that a hurting wife heard it more like "My wife is demanding all of my attention, and to appease her I'm going to leave this ministry, even though God is blessing it."

Little Sparrow, there has been plenty of pain in your story, and I can't assume that your husband did any of this with the right motives . . . but you have chosen to stay in your marriage, have your first child with your husband, and forgive him. And I think part of that needs to be assuming the best motives possible in each situation unless you have really strong evidence otherwise. He may well have really miffed the announcement, he may have done it as well as possible but you heard it through distorted lenses based on your own pain, or something in between. At this point, though, it is over and done with, and the more important thing is he chose to quit, and he did it for you. It seems good at this point to accept it as a gift, forgive any part of it that needs forgiving, and move with your husband into the future and not the pains of your past. And ride out this season with your hormones, and with the blessing of a new child.

PS Unfulfilled wrote while I was posting, and expanded my thoughts more completely, and probably better, than what I said.
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