Feeling like an object

Low or no sex drive?
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Hiswifeagain
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Hiswifeagain » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:23 am

Sorry, LS. I thought I remembered you saying he won't admit to the severity. My mistake. :(

As to your original question. I think you need to pursue counseling to help you learn to overcome the lack of boundaries and start thinking differently about your dh. You do seem to have resentment that's growing or soon will grow into bitterness. I recognize that very well. Trust God to convict him if he's not owning what he should as long as his behavior has changed. It would be ideal if he acknowledged what he did as abuse, but you have no control over that. Control what is within your power to control.

Sex only once in 2 months is not helping you be connected. I know how difficult it is to have sex when you're disgusted/repulsed by his touch. That is a huge clue that your heart isn't for your dh right now. You will have to address your part in the system you've co-created in your marriage. You brought baggage in, he brought baggage in. Work on your baggage and you'll be in a better place to support him while he works on his.

Your baby will learn to self soothe, a very necessary skill in development, if you let her cry sometimes when you set her down. Just make sure she's fed and changed and don't leave her cry for a long time.
Please, please don't let your baby come between you and your dh. That can and does happen when wives forget they were wives first and will be wives after their kids are grown and gone.


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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Vanna » Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:24 am

Unfortunately, while some of the problem is tied up in hormones and adjusting to being mommy- it's normal to feel exhausted, touched out, and uncertain about how to balance "feeding mommy" with "sexual mommy"... It's not particularly the norm to be able to describe your feelings as disgust for your husband's touch. That is most likely why the focus shifted from normal mommy stuff to root issues in this discussion.

The hormones will balance out, but the root problems won't.

I'm glad he stopped the abusive behavior, that's a blessing. I pray that you are both able to work through the fall out and find complete restoration. May the fruit of the Spirit grow abundantly in both of your hearts and draw you both together again into the destiny that God has planned for your home.
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby seeking perspective » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:56 am

little_sparrow wrote:As for my original question, if anyone has any suggestions as to how I can stop feeling like an object and not feel disgusted by physical intimacy with my husband, I would love to hear it. If you feel that I'll only get over this feelings when I stop breastfeeding or have any suggestions as to how I can not keep my mind off "what if our baby wakes up and needs us?" during sex, that would be appreciated.


Becoming a mom is an incredible transformation. When my first son was born, I had a very hard time feeling like a sexual being. Even when the baby was sound asleep, I was distracted by the thought of the possibility that he would wake up. I simply could not relax my mind enough to be sexual. I was breastfeeding, and I saw my breasts as objects rather than as sexual parts. My husband's attention to them was annoying rather than stimulating. I just couldn't reconcile my mommy self with my sexy self. It felt wrong somehow. I didn't manage this well at all and have no suggestions for you, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone in those kinds of feelings.

I don't think that they are related to your feeling like an object during sex, other than possibly in attention to your breasts. I really do think it comes down to working on having a heart for your husband. To a point, that is a choice. Here are some things that helped me.

Being sexual with your husband is for far more reasons than helping him avoid temptation, and it goes deeper than what you're supposed to do.

You might write out a list of God's truths about sexuality and marriage. Here are some examples:

I am a beloved daughter of God.
Sex is good for my body and mind.
Sex can be a source of joy and unity within marriage.
Sex helps my husband feel more emotionally connected to me.
Sex is a gift for me.
God designed me as a sexual being.

Start to tell yourself these truths, out loud if necessary, every day.

Pay attention to your mind and body. At what times do you find yourself most feeling like an object? Does this follow particular words or actions from your husband? Is there any other possible interpretation for those words and actions? I began to try to think of my husband as another hurting child of God, as someone in need of love. Thinking of him as a hurting little boy in a man's body made it easier for me to do things to soothe him than when I thought about him as my enemy.

What do you do the moment you have that feeling of being an object? I used to feel that way quite often, and here's what happened in my head: He made a comment about being [physically desirous]. That means he wants an orgasm and wants to have sex. I'm just a masturbation tool to him. He just treats me like an object. I don't want to have sex, but I guess I have to. I want it over fast. To work on those feelings, I first tried to become aware of when I had them. The instant I noticed my thoughts going that way, I would take a deep breath and say a prayer for peace and a better attitude. Then I would tell myself one of those truths I listed above. Or I would remind myself of something my mom always said about young children: It's when they're most unlovable that they most need love.

I worked on my thoughts to change my attitude to one of generosity. It didn't mean I wasn't still hurt from some things in our marriage, but changing my thoughts and attitude helped me rise above that hurt.
You turned my wailing into dancing . . .
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby mamame » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:04 am

You can't fix the sex part without fixing the heart part.

Weren't you and your DH separated early in your pregnancy? How much was this discussed during the reconciliation?

You may be feeling resentment toward yourself and your situation that you reconciled before your relationship was ready for it. Your DH likely interpreted that as meaning he corrected the wrongs and you were moving forward from that point.

If that is the case, some of your emotional work is digging into your part in that. Are you a little angry with yourself for reconciling before everything was really cleared up?

I recognize many of the things you are saying. A good 80% of the anger and frustration I had toward DH early in our marriage, should have been directed at myself. I was being treated badly, that was for sure. But a good portion of that was because I allowed it.

THAT even made me angry. I felt cheated that I had to learn these boundary skills with my DH. Wasn't he supposed to be my protector? Wasn't he supposed to put me ahead of all others? Yes - but he wasn't born knowing how to do that. God provided him a helpmeet to learn those things. That was me. Trust me, that didn't make me happy to realize either.

I had to learn that I was a child of God first. My relationship and responsibility to HIM took highest precedence. My first earthly priority was my DH. That didn't mean going to church and saying I was a Christian met my "God First" responsibility. It meant I had to do some seriously painful work. I had to learn how to set and respect my own boundaries. I was raised that my part of the marriage relationship was to submit and have sex. Everything else was on him. Not so.

As I got more intimate with God, I learned that it was much deeper than that. I could not really submit to my DH unless I respected myself. (which I didn't) I could not be the wife that God needed me to be until I learned those skills. I was not functioning as true soldier for God.


In short, I encourage to dig deep and see if you are disappointed with yourself. Is it possible that God needs more from you than you are admitting to yourself? Could these emotions be tangling up and holding you down?

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Leah » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:09 am

mamame is spot on here. I hope you read her post several times.
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:44 pm

Thanks for your different advice, everyone.

For those of you who have been there, how did you find time for sex at all (let alone often) with a young baby who won't asleep until very late and typically doesn't take naps in the evening? (At least not unless I'm holding her) Also, how did you actually keep your mind involved without constantly wondering if the time will be cut off by your baby waking up?

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby mamame » Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:31 pm

We can give you tips about sex with a newborn, but it won't help - and it really does not fulfill our duty of teaching you how to love your husband.

You said this:
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.


That's not the same as "I miss the connection I had with my DH and I need help transitioning back to that"

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:32 pm

mamame wrote:We can give you tips about sex with a newborn, but it won't help - and it really does not fulfill our duty of teaching you how to love your husband.

Understood, but previously I didn't even care that it wasn't happening. I obviously still have a long way to go, but now I am at least trying to figure out how/when it could even work.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Hiswifeagain » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:54 pm

LS, the logistics aren't really that complicated and you'll manage them with just a little planning. Have you been looking for a Titus 2 type woman to help you learn how to be the kind of wife you want to be? One who will hold you accountable?


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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Leah » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:45 pm

Are you having pain, or are you just hormonally depleted?
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:56 pm

Hiswifeagain wrote:LS, the logistics aren't really that complicated and you'll manage them with just a little planning.

I appreciate your confidence, but if felt the answer was that simple, I wouldn't have asked in the first place. :D I'm very glad that it's simple enough for some people, but for us, and I'm sure for others, it's more complicated to figure out due to when our baby sleeps. Despite trying many different things, she has a hard time getting to sleep at night. Typically, she won't finally fall asleep until 1-3 in the morning. She will nap during the afternoon, but during the evening she's the most awake she is all day. She will drowse off in the evening when she's nursing sometimes, but as soon as I go to put her down, she will wake up. I was just hoping that some people who went through something similar could give their input.

Hiswifeagain wrote:Have you been looking for a Titus 2 type woman to help you learn how to be the kind of wife you want to be? One who will hold you accountable?

No, the thought hadn't crossed my mind.

Leah wrote:Are you having pain, or are you just hormonally depleted?

With a handful of exceptions, I've pretty much always had pain during sex. The pain itself has never caused me to not want it, though.

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Feeling like an object

Postby Hiswifeagain » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:03 pm

I did address it earlier. You don't have to hold her constantly. Letting her cry sometimes when you know her needs have been met teaches her how to self soothe.

I would guess you're not getting a ton of suggestions because 2 wise Titus 2 women (Leah and Mamame) have told you logistics aren't going to solve this. They have both been in your shoes and you'd be greatly benefited by listening to their wise counsel, LS.


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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:32 pm

Hiswifeagain wrote:I did address it earlier. You don't have to hold her constantly. Letting her cry sometimes when you know her needs have been met teaches her how to self soothe.

I was hoping for some additional input since both my husband and I have already agreed in deciding that we really don't feel right about doing that, especially at her age. I respect other parents' rights to make that decision for themselves, but surely there are others who agree with us yet were able to find another way to make it work. Those are the suggestions I was curious about since we don't feel right about just letting her cry it out right now, especially since doing so only gets her more worked up and she starts choking. Again, I respect other parents' rights to make that decision, but it's not an option for us.

Hiswifeagain wrote:I would guess you're not getting a ton of suggestions because 2 wise Titus 2 women (Leah and Mamame) have told you logistics aren't going to solve this. They have both been in your shoes and you'd be greatly benefited by listening to their wise counsel, LS.

It's not that I don't want to listen to their counsel; it's just that in the meantime while I work through things, I'm actively seeking to find a way to find time for it and/or a way to make it work that doesn't go against our personal parenting decisions.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Unfulfilled » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:53 pm

Get a baby sitter. Even for an hour.

Logistics solved!

So now you have an hour alone with your husband. Now what? How will you deal with that?

Heck, make love gently with you on your husbands lap while your holding the napping baby. The baby won't know a thing.

If you train your baby that she can only sleep while holding. The baby will QUICKLY learn that all she needs to do is cry and you or DH will immediatattwnd to her every beck and call. Trust me DW and I made this mistake with our first child and breaking that habit and behavior after the baby learns it is DRAMATICALLY more difficult later than it is to do right now. Having the baby learn to self sloth is as mentioned VERY important as previously stated. To not do that now will only make things MUCH more difficult later. Trust me. BTDT

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Vanna » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:24 pm

Baby will typically start sleeping more, and even almost through the night occasionally after three or four months with breast feeding. That'll help. Once baby can hold her head up, a swing or vibrating seat are good distractions and soothers so you can shower, clean, and have intimate time- etc.
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:26 pm

Unfulfilled wrote:Heck, make love gently with you on your husbands lap while your holding the napping baby. The baby won't know a thing.

No offense, but I sincerely hope that you're joking about that or being sarcastic. I would have been horrified at that thought even when my drive was still high.

As far as finding a babysitter for an hour, we don't know anyone anywhere near us to where that would even be an option. Even if we did I don't see how that would truly solve anything because it's not like we could get a babysitter multiple times a week even for an hour at a time. It would be like having to pay someone every time we were going to plan to have sex. In addition to that, she's EBF on demand (another joint parenting decision,) so I would not be ok with leaving her with anyone even if we had anyone who could babysit.

I realize some people probably think I am making excuses, but I like to think practically, and I realize that suggestions that go against our parenting decisions won't work. That said, when I initially asked for suggestions, I was being genuine, despite anyone's opinions.

ETA-
Unfulfilled wrote:So now you have an hour alone with your husband. Now what? How will you deal with that?

At first I thought that question might be rhetorical, so I didn't answer. Just in case it wasn't, I thought I ought to answer it lest anyone think I was purposefully ignoring it. I thought I had been clear that the reason I was asking was to try to find a time that would work for sex since it has been a lot harder to find time with a newborn in the picture, but I guess I hadn't. I'm sorry about that.
Last edited by little_sparrow on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:30 pm

Vanna wrote:Baby will typically start sleeping more, and even almost through the night occasionally after three or four months with breast feeding. That'll help. Once baby can hold her head up, a swing or vibrating seat are good distractions and soothers so you can shower, clean, and have intimate time- etc.


That would be nice. She actually sleeps through the night now and has almost since the beginning, but it just takes her awhile to actually fall asleep.

She has a swing and a bouncer/vibrating seat now that she likes when she's already calm, but if she's fussy or starts to get fussy while in them, they don't do a whole lot. Maybe that will change as she gets older, though.

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby Vanna » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:59 pm

All six of our kiddos became quite content to sleep or play in theirs. Some liked one more than the other, but the majority slept happily in the vibrator seats. It was a lifesaver when I was worn out from baby wearing and needed to get things done. After six months they become much more inclined to self amuse in a port-a-crib with toys so you and hubby can reconnect with fewer concerns. That's not too far down the road.
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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby BHF » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:16 am

LG is now 9 months old. Sex drive still not back. Still unable to lubricate naturally. Still is a fog of tiredness. I just don't think people remember what the reality is like.

I'm with you on the self-soothing thing. I have done my research, backed up by scientific evidence and the knowledge that God has never left me to self-soothe. I also know that the term "self-soothing" never was supposed to mean what it means today, but rather "it may have been better to call them crying vs. non-crying awakenings" (https://uncommonjohn.wordpress.com/2014 ... -weighs-in). It has become a catch-all phrase to let your baby cry it out, and then insist that it is good for developmental growth. And it is so sad that many still permeate this lie. (Oh by the way well known baby sleeping scientist Dr. James McKenna also talks about the myth of self-soothing).

How do I do it? I remember telling hubby not too long ago that I feel like an object as well. I told him that after the kids are done depleting me, then he turns around and wants something more of me as well. I am constantly exhausted, but we came to some very important conclusions.
1) Leftovers are not good for anyone in our family.
2) The kids deserve better and my hubby deserves better.
3) I need to take care of myself, so that I am able to joyfully nourish my family.
4) This is only a season and for now each one does what he can without judgment from the other.

Take some pressure off yourself. I only have half an hour of me time a day and I totally enjoy it and I just replenish, (and no going to the toilet by yourself does not count). Time where you can just relax, or meet with your Creator or read or get out for a walk.

In my mind and heart I want to bless our marriage by celebrating sex. We have had to schedule it. Knowing that it must occur on that day helps me mentally prepare and remove obstacles so that it can occur. I actually find that early in the morning I am the most relaxed for it to happen. Set the alarm for an hour or 30 minutes earlier, because your daughter is most likely still sleeping. It leaves me relaxed and feeling so blessed and treasured for the rest of the day, with secret smiles and winks abounding. If your daughter does wake, I do turn around and change position, so that I am able to hold her while not skipping a beat. She usually drifts off pretty quickly though. We have also learned the art of stealing quickies because she is able to occupy herself far more now, and we will disappear for 5 minutes.

It does get better. I am so happy to see that you are so mindful of your relationship and your daughter. I see it in your posts. Congratulations!
"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy ...And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight" Phil 1:3,4,9

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Re: Feeling like an object

Postby little_sparrow » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:30 am

BHF wrote:In my mind and heart I want to bless our marriage by celebrating sex.

This is something that I know I need to want, and I want to want it again, but in truth I realize that I'm not at that point yet. However, I do view actively seeking a time to make it work since it's only happened once since DD was born a step in that direction. :D

BHF wrote:I actually find that early in the morning I am the most relaxed for it to happen. Set the alarm for an hour or 30 minutes earlier, because your daughter is most likely still sleeping.

As strange as it sounds, I didn't even consider trying to make time for it in the morning. I know that DH likes to get as much sleep as he can, but he might be willing to make an exception. I guess I didn't give a thought to it because he used to get mad when I would wake him up for sex, but maybe that has changed along with his drive.
That would definitely be the time when DD is sleeping the most soundly, so I could probably move her into her pack and play beside the bed without her waking up.

Thank you for the suggestion! I'll see what DH thinks about it.


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