I have been reading some of the posts around this subject and am looking for some advise. I am married to a wonderful woman who has PsA. for the past several months we have been having some pretty brutal discussions when it comes to intimacy and sex. I am going to be as honest as I can here about what is going on in hopes of learning, understanding and loving my wife in a way that makes her feel special. Apologies in advance if this makes some folks uncomfortable, but I cant be the only one experiencing these challenges.
I dont want to hurt her, make her feel insufficient or in any way add to her stress levels. However, I cant even bring up the subject of intimacy and my desires ( holding, touching, laying with each other without the expectation for sex) let alone actual sex without getting a very angry response in return. Some have been mellow conversations as my wife explains to me how her body feels, her lack of sleep, pain, headaches an overall anger and how she has changed. Others have been much more angry and escalated. I am trying to understand how to make this work...to be a better husband and a friend.
Our sex life and overall intimacy has become a source of major frustration for us both. We used to be very snuggly, touchy and active. We have always been very open, and adventurous in the bedroom. My wife doesnt want that anymore. Her pain come on very fast when we make love - and more often than not she is very distant and just "not there". She says she does it for me but that she doesnt think about sex, doesnt get turned on and that most days she is just trying to get through the day with as little pain as possible. She says that she relies on me to get her turned on but that she feels pressured when I try. It reminds her of how broken she is and she gets more frustrated and angry whenever the subject is brought up. We have tried toys and different positions and masturbation. Most times it ends without orgasm for her, and leaves her frustrated and angry. So I understand that this is something she doesnt want to do very often. I know if the tables were turned, and sex was painful for me, but pleasurable for her, I wouldnt look forward to it either. I have tried to just be there for her. Tell her I love her, show her in other ways that I am here and that she is not broken in my eyes, but still my bride, my love, my life. I know she knows I am hurting and missing our closeness, and I think this just adds to the cycle. I know she is hurting both inside and out. I just cant seem to reach her.
Here is one thing that I am trying to understand. Several times over the past months I have walked in and my wife has been masturbating. She would be lying there, reading her iPad - one of those steamy novels, paranormal romance, Fifty Shades of Grey type stuff. I was shocked at first and didnt say anything. I didnt want to embarrass her, make her feel shameful or otherwise interrupt. I was hurt and angry at first, but later realized how beautiful it was and was actually happy that she was able to have found a time, a space... a place when she felt secure enough, comfortable enough to relax and enjoy herself. I am totally ok with this. So I started to read the books too. I thought maybe I could figure out what was making her tick, so to speak, and maybe it would help. Some are good, some are just lame. Some are pretty hot and I can see how it might get her going. We share the same Kindle account, so when she bookmarks pages, I can see them too and they are ALL sex scenes. This too, I am totally OK with and love that she gets turned on by them. I was thinking to myself - wow, I wonder if we could do this together.
So...I asked. Whoops! One day I brought up the subject after hearing/seeing her and asked if it would be something we could share together. Do together without any pressure of her having to worry about pleasing me. No pain, no expectations no pressure. Just let me lie there with you and share this with me. That didnt go over to well. She completely denied it and said I was crazy. And she was as angry as I have ever seen her. Man I didnt expect that response. Then I got angry, frustrated and I was and still am very hurt by this.
My wife says that she doesnt think I know her anymore. She think she cant be the person I want her to be. She feels pressured, frustrated and tired. After 17 years together...she has never said anything like that to me. I dont know what to say or do. Walking on egg shells is the best way to describe it.
So I ask you fellow forum folks, those with and without PsA. What do you think? What am I doing wrong? What can I do better? Do I just drop it completely? Give her lots of space?
Are others experiencing similar intimacy issues?