Greetings Dr. Laura,
Thank you for all you do!
In response to the caller who lost her virginity to a rapist and now finds intimacy with her husband difficult. I am the 26 year husband of the victim of a date rape. When we first married, everything was as it should be for newlyweds. But all of that abruptly changed one night. When I write abruptly, I mean in the middle of intercourse. I lost the girl I had courted and had her replaced with an emotionally and physiologically frigid woman who would even go so far as to strike me in her sleep if I touched her in specific ways. It took the next 13 years to figure out what had happened and after she dealt with the trauma, she stopped punishing me for being the same gender as her rapist. Mostly...
But I must say this, the only reason she dealt with her pain was because I returned the attention and affections of a female co-worker and left our home for a few months. I returned and left again once but could not stay away from my children, so I made the conscious choice to stay by deciding I would find joy in Fatherhood and make believe I simply had a live-in nanny. But my infidelity did get her attention and our physical and emotional intimacy did get better. But not quite...
I still miss the girlfriend I proposed marriage to. I can have sex with her anytime I want, but her heart is not there and it feels I am merely allowed to use her body as a receptacle. I am NEVER approached for sex and there is still very little friendly patting, hugging or smooching which is one reason to be married. I am still being punished for being a man. Intimate kissing still produces a repulsed response.
But I find joy in our family. I am a strong Father to my daughter and sons. They open doors and she waits to have doors opened, but is strong enough to call a cab when the door stays closed. I fear the day when my sentence is up and the loneliness returns as our youngest is 18 in 4 years and I will most likely leave the nest when he does.
Caller, do your husband a favor and either leave him now and keep your misery to yourself or allow yourself to heal! My best advice is the latter. Heal! Our therapist said, if you are holding a hot poker, drop it! It was terrible what happened to both you and my wife, but neither I nor your husband is guilty.
Let us be men! Let us open your doors! Let us provide! Let us be your friend and confidant. Ask us to send you to the moon and PLEASE take us along for the trip! I do not want to leave my wife as I truly cherish her. But I need to be cherished too and it is easier to live without anyone to cherish me than it is to live with someone who does not. My scars will demand a single life, because now I too have been deeply hurt and have no desire to repeat the episode. But I will not put anyone through what she has put me through. It’s just not nice.
I wish you the best and hope you consider my words as your husband's and heal. Both of you will be happier!