How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Steven Olsen Your Own Question

Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience:  More than 20 years of expertise in counseling, relationship resolution and family therapy.
45885103
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Steven Olsen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my wife and i have been married for 11 years.she grew up in

Customer Question

my wife and i have been married for 11 years.she grew up in an abusive home[sexual,physical,emotional].she thinks of sex as something casual,and has no feeling of closeness or connection w me when we are intimate[which is very in sparse,maybe every 6weeks.she says that the only reason she does have sex with me is because its expected.after saying all of this she has,several times in the past,been attracted to others.she also masturbates,and claims that sex is just to get off.i fear that our relationship is in danger.she feels that because other aspects of our life together[good job,healthy smart children etc.]are good,that there is no problem.i want physical touch and acceptance.she says that it wouldnt bother her if i found someone else to "get off" with.i want this with her.she also claims that she is in love with me.scared and confused.im afraid to even innitiate sex at this point.she is a stay at home mom[1 child 5yrs]she views sex w me is a chore.she enjoys watching programs like tough love,and real sex.she also has told me that she thinks sex is dirty.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 2 years ago.

Your wife is the victim of a serious trauma and is showing many of the signs of sexually oriented post traumatic stress. This reaction, often seen in abuse victims, is a way for them to distance themselves from the feelings and impact of genuine sexual intimacy.

 

For your wife, right now, the only way she can handle sex is to make it immaterial, distant and cold. Masturbation reduces sex to an activity, a thing to do to release an urge. Telling you that she does not mind if you go out on your own and satisfy your sexual needs with another is a defense mechanism. In no way does she, at a real level, mean this; this is the trauma and fear talking. If you actually did, the odds that she would leave you in the future are very good. This is only a lie that she is perpetuating to help her deal with the real problem, a fear that the closeness of real sex would bring.

 

She is afraid, most likely petrified, of abandonment and what that would mean if she got close to you, as would happen with "real" sex. Keeping you at arms length sexually is her way of coping with that fear. It works to an extent, Yet, it is a terrible way to deal with the pain she has experienced, and it resolves nothing.

 

A typical couples counselor usually is not enough in these cases. She has emotional trauma, and a trauma trained therapist is needed. Techniques such as EMDR, (a non medically oriented verbally based therapy for trauma victims) and other skill sets are used to assist those affected. The person does not need to have high motivation to do so, just a willingness to try. Your family doctor should be able to help you with a referral to a counselor who uses these techniques.

 

For you, I would highly suggest reading Overcoming Childhood Sexual Trauma: A Guide to Breaking Through the Wall of Fear for Practitioners and Survivors by
Sheri Oz and Sarah-Jane Ogiers. This resource will help you work through things with your wife and to understand deeply what she is doing, why, and how you can support her through the therapy process.

 

This can be resolved, but the first step is to see a trauma trained therapist. This reaction is able to be stopped, and she is showing the classic signs of the problem, but with the right help she can be whole again. Steven

 

Steven Olsen, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience: More than 20 years of expertise in counseling, relationship resolution and family therapy.
Steven Olsen and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
one other issue is that she says that she is fine with the way she is,and doesnt need to feel a connection w me through sexual intimacy.she can experience intimacy through doing yardwork w me,watching a movie,playing w our kids.i do love her and would never cheat[has crssed my mind though]and want to remain marrried.but with her views on this i feel as if i am being forced to sacrifice my desires.
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 2 years ago.
THIS ANSWER IS LOCKED!
You can view this answer by clicking here to Register or Login and paying $3.
If you've already paid for this answer, simply Login.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency