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 Wendy MFT Your Own Question

Wendy MFT
Wendy MFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 16
Experience:  15 years experience counseling couples, families, and individuals.
75332701
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Wendy MFT is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husband tells me that he is uncomfortable talking with me

Customer Question

My husband tells me that he is uncomfortable talking with me about sex. When we were dating before we got married and our first child, we used to talk dirty to each other all the time. We are now realizing that this has been missing. How can we get that back? I want it, he wants it, but is uncomfortable. How should I approach this?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Wendy MFT replied 12 months ago.

Wendy MFT :

Hi there! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I hope I can help you with your question.

Wendy MFT :

I think it's great that, for starters, you have opened the door to discussion and both realize it's a problem. I think it's also great that you are on the same page as far as your desires to get it back.

Wendy MFT :

This may seem overly simplistic, but sometimes the best way to get over our discomfort is to "step into it." In other words, you have to actually DO something outside of your comfort zone, repeatedly, and then it becomes more comfortable. I know this is very difficult for most of us, because we want to "feel" something first and then act, or we want it to come "naturally." But this is not always possible. In fact, often times, a feeling is created as a RESULT of "doing."

Wendy MFT :

So, I have a few questions for you that may help me answer you better. How long have you been married? How long did you date before you married, and how long were you together before your child was born? How old is the child now?

Customer:

We have been married for almost 14 years. We dated for a year before we were married, engaged in 6 months then pregnant 5 months later

Customer:

We have 3 kids

Customer:

13, 8, 6

Customer:

He tells me that now, it kind of feels like "talking to his mom" when we try to talk about it. I will send him a racy text and often I get an LOL (ie nervous chuckle)

Wendy MFT :

So, it sounds like this has been an issue for about 13 years then. Is that correct?

Customer:

I guess so...

Wendy MFT :

So, this recent discussion where the door was opened to the topic...is that the first time you have had an open discussion about sex in the past 13 years or so, or is talking about your sex life routine for the two of you?

Customer:

There was an affair 4 yrs ago... we went to counseling but didn't follow through but it did help us in the short term, but we need more help. I've reached a point, personally that I am ready to open up and get down and dirty with all this stuff. He recognizes it as well..

Customer:

I have been very reserved and uncomfortable about alot of things about me over the years, and I thought that I was feeling more and more comfortable with him in the bedroom as well...

Wendy MFT :

Okay. That's good for me to know, about the affair. It sounds like there may be some more healing to be done around the affair. And it's great that you are ready to get down and dirty with it. It will likely be difficult for the two of you to do, but finding a good counselor who will help you "go in to the pain" is really necessary for the long-term healing to take place.

Wendy MFT :

Also...

Customer:

It is the first open discussion that we have had....since our first child....I don't know if it changed his view of me to him and we didn't continue, with added stresses of new family, job, school, etc etc...that we never allowed time to talk like that.

Wendy MFT :

I think it's noteworthy that you mention you have been uncomfortable with yourself over the years. We generally tend to think that sex is about connecting with our partner. This is true, BUT, what is even more true is that sex is about connecting to our "self." Our ability to connect with another person through sex really is a window into how we are feeling about our self.

Wendy MFT :

Ahhh, yes. The birth of that first child can also impact a lot of how we view our selves, our roles, and our relationship to each other. So it makes sense that it occurred around that time. So, this is a long time coming.

Customer:

There may be more healing needed I have gotten through alot of it

Wendy MFT :

One thing I wonder about the healing of the affair....

Customer:

yes, yes it is..

Wendy MFT :

In my view, affairs are only a symptom of another problem in the marriage. In other words, the affair is not "the problem" per se, but the manifestation of an underlying issue in the marriage that has likely not been addressed. Was your counselor able to help the two of you identify what that was?

Customer:

We may have touched on it, but I don't think that we had gotten to a point that we could do anything about it. Here's a little more history - this is deep

Wendy MFT :

okay....

Customer:

on me - I was sexually abused at 7 years old. Didn't hit me until I was older and a little more "active" My parents were married - apparently happy... I had boyfriends, had sex at 16. Was a little risky for a small town girl in my first couple years of college, but not horrible. Most of my relationships were over 9 months long...

Customer:

He tells me that he was not as promiscuous in college

Wendy MFT :

Okay. That's all helpful to know. How much of your own work have you done around the sexual abuse and healing from that trauma?

Customer:

I don't know if I've blocked it out or what, but He tells me that we tried something early on, and I had a breakdown and that's when I told him about this abuse and he says it has hindered things since. There were times that we went once per month and had sex, now - more like at least weekly for the last couple years..

Customer:

I have accepted it for what it was, have done much reading...

Wendy MFT :

Hmmmm...that's very interesting - that incident that your husband remembers, but you don't. It's also significant that he is pointing to this incident as the one that changed things. The frequency of sex is not necessarily an indicator of having healed. Does that make sense?

Customer:

ok

Wendy MFT :

So, as for your healing, you have done some reading. But you haven't done any sort of therapy? Is that right?

Customer:

Yes.

Wendy MFT :

Let me give you a little insight into what I know about survivors of sexual abuse, or any kind of abuse for that matter. When we are violated in such a profound way (in essence, our soul is "punctured"), there has got to be a way for us to heal from that wound. And it is much more than an intellectual endeavor. Reading is helpful, in that it may help normalize some of the things you feel and the behaviors you do. However, until we can go into the pain and feel the full range of emotions around what was done to us, we cannot be truly WHOLE.

Wendy MFT :

I'm sure it is difficult to hear this, because I'm opening up a door that I'm challenging you to walk through.

Wendy MFT :

And that door is the one to your own wholeness and healing. Once that is accomplished, I think you will be in a much better position to rekindle your sex life with your husband.

Customer:

I understand that. I have grieved that fact.

Wendy MFT :

Have you felt anger towards your abuser?

Customer:

yes

Wendy MFT :

Okay. So it sounds like you've already begun your healing journey. Good for you.

Wendy MFT :

:-)

Customer:

:)

Wendy MFT :

Perhaps the incident that your husband was referring to so many years ago was very upsetting for him. Perhaps he does not know how to deal with your status as a survivor of abuse. Is it possible he was also victimized? If so, your revelation may have hit his own "stuff." (But I don't get the sense that's the case).

Wendy MFT :

And it sounds like he did not feel he could ever talk to you about it again after it happened.

Customer:

It was...

Customer:

And, yes.... so he went to have that need fulfilled..

Customer:

I don't know if he was victimized...

Wendy MFT :

So, perhaps one place to start this conversation about your sex life is to get back to that incident, the thing he feels triggered the change in your sex life, and rebuild from there.

Wendy MFT :

So, could you ask him, point blank, if he was?

Wendy MFT :

He clearly needs to share how he feels about what happened to you.

Wendy MFT :

You can then share with him what you have done to heal so far.

Customer:

sorry for the delay

Wendy MFT :

No problem. I'm going to have to sign off in a minute, but that doesn't mean we can't continue this via the regular Q&A format, if needed.

Wendy MFT :

Before I go, though, I have a book recommendation for the two of you.

Customer:

hold on...

Customer:

I will ask him point blank. and we have briefly talked about that incident...

Customer:

I have shared how I feel about myself now as opposed to longer ago..

Customer:

I feel much more secure with mysefl and how he makes me feel as a woman and safe.

Wendy MFT :

That is great. It really sounds like you have grown a lot and have done a lot of your own healing. That is an important ingredient in the two of you being able to move forward.

Wendy MFT :

So, sometimes, reading a book together is a GREAT way to get the ideas and conversation flowing. It provides a springboard for all sorts of relevant conversations. The book I'd like you get is called Passionate Marriage, written by David Schnarch. It is incredibly deep and powerful. But I think it would be an excellent place for the two of you to begin.

Customer:

Our openess in communication has been lacking over the years for sure...

Wendy MFT :

Okay. Well, then re-learning how to communicate again is also going to be key. Communication is never "THE" problem, but it is an essential tool that is necessary in order to be able to get to the problems.

Customer:

He says that he loves me and that he feels that he has more to give, but doesn't know how to get through over the hurdle of what we've been discussing

Customer:

Do you think that this book will be helpful?

Wendy MFT :

Dr. Schnarch takes a very different approach than most counselors who try to help couples. But, in my opinion, and in my experience over the years of working with couples, he hits the nail on the head. In addition to helping your relationship be better, his approach is ALL about each individual becoming more whole themselves. I think it's a wonderful book and that it will help. This is not a "fluff" book; like I said, it's deep and it may take you a year to get through it. But the timing doesn't matter. As long as you are progressing forward, it doesn't matter how long it takes. These kinds of changes occur in baby steps anyways. And sometimes it's two steps forward, one step back, so don't be discouraged.

Wendy MFT :

Set aside some times for yourselves, even if it's only 15-30 minutes per day, and read this book and talk about it together.

Wendy MFT :

Your other option is to find a good counselor - one who is specifically licensed in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Wendy MFT :

But the book is a bit more economical. :-)

Wendy MFT :

So, I've got to run for now, but if you need to talk more, or have any further questions, please let me know. I will check back throughout the day. I do hope this has been helpful thus far!

Customer:

I'm not worried about cost, but it sounds like a good start..

Customer:

He has a bad taste in his mouth about the last counselor. Would it be wise to let him choose this one?

Customer:

This has been very helpful. And its good to know that we're pointed somewhat in the right direction.

Customer:

Do you think that having him read a book together would be shoving this in his face?

Wendy MFT :

THE MOST important thing when choosing a counselor is that you BOTH feel comfortable with him/her. Without that, the counseling will go nowhere. So make this a JOINT decision. Don't just let him choose, you both go. Think of your first session as the two of you "interviewing" and getting to know the counselor as much as the counselor is getting to know you.

Wendy MFT :

As for the book, I was assuming that since both of you are on the same page about the problem and your desires, he would be open to it.

Customer:

I think he would

Customer:

maybe its just my fear of response that I need to get over.

Wendy MFT :

I would simply just tell him that you've "chatted" with me, and this was a suggestion for the two of you. Again, don't buy it and then say - "here let's read it." Tell him about our conversation today and see what he thinks about you buying it. Then, again, it's more of a joint decision.

Wendy MFT :

Yes, it may be fear....hard to get over when you have not been open for so long.

Customer:

Thank you so much for your guidance, It was most helpful... Is there a way to contact you should I have further questions regarding this matter?

Wendy MFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 16
Experience: 15 years experience counseling couples, families, and individuals.
Wendy MFT and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Wendy MFT replied 12 months ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Wendy MFT replied 12 months ago.
I am so glad that you felt this was helpful! I really hope that you and your husband will be able to begin working towards fixing some of the issues that are bothering you both, and in having a healthier stronger marriage!

If you want to contact me specifically to follow up on this matter, there are two ways you can do this.

1. You may submit a question through the question box located in the my Expert profile. Just search for me (Wendy MFT)

2. Or you can just come back to the Relationships category to ask your question and ask for me by name in the post. It's helpful if you put my name as one of the first few words in your phrase, so that I and others can see that. Another expert may try to help, and you can just tell them you'd like to wait for me.

Thanks again, and take care! I'll probably follow-up with you in a few days to see how it's going....
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Thanks!! We'll see how it goes... :-/

Expert:  Wendy MFT replied 12 months 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.
Expert:  Wendy MFT replied 12 months ago.
Hi there, Lynn:

So, did you talk with your husband and tell him that you and I chatted? If so, how did he feel about the book, and/or counseling?

Would love to hear how it went.

-Wendy
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Yes we have talked and of course, have much more to do. He was going to evaluate it while he was gone on business and we would likely have another talk sometime later this week (wed on sometime....) He did mention that he didn't want me to be pushy or he would be sure to pull away.. So, I wait. It seems like an eternity. Very hard to me not to reach out to him, as I know he is trying to sort through things too...We finally had a talk about the affair!! We identified the "why" I think...and I think that I have figured out some things about myself that provided an additive effect to other issues. I guess some of my old habits die hard, and I'm ready to put them to bed, for good!! Would love to talk more to you if I could. Thanks again!

Expert:  Wendy MFT replied 12 months 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.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
So, we have been in contact while he's been gone, and he's made the effort to call at night. He is actually going to drive home from where he is traveling from, rather than the flight he had originally booked as he will get home earlier. I am hoping that it is because he wants to get home and be with me and the kids sooner. But, I am nervous. I don't want to do anything wrong to drive him any further away. But, I also want to be genuine. Any words of advice?
Expert:  Wendy MFT replied 12 months ago.
So, it sounds like this nightly calling is different for the two of you while he is a way. That sounds like good news, and progress....a baby step towards trying to re-connect a bit more. And him wanting to get home earlier, that also sounds encouraging.

What is it you are nervous about? Can you identify it?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'm nervous about the distance, about the potential for him to leave. I know what I want and that is him, no doubt in my mind. He wanted to get home earlier, and he did - some.... but, his kiss is different, like he's trying to pull away. He'll pull me in close, kiss my nose and my forehead, we hold each other tight at night for most of the night. He'll tell me he loves me. We even have sex. And he says he enjoys it with me. I have been much more forthcoming with what is on my mind rather than holding it in. But, I can't overcome the incredible feeling that he's trying to pull away. He said last night "not to try too hard". Like he's made a decision of what to do. I simply told him that I wanted to share with him what was on my mind. I want so bad to get him to talk to me, but I know that I can't do that. How do I handle this? I am so trying not to let it affect me and my focus with job, kids, life, etc. but, I feel so unsettled. I really am trying not to be so desperate for him to see, it is INCREDIBLY hard. I'm hoping that he will talk with me soon this week. He said he will. Help!
Expert:  Wendy MFT replied 11 months 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