Sunday, May 8, 2011


When you're partners in an unconsummated marriage, there's a lot of anger.

You find yourself saying things you would never say under normal circumstances. You see yourself becoming bitter and horrible to your husband. You tell him this is all his fault and that any normal man would be able to have penetrated you. You compare him to your ex-boyfriend and laugh at him.

The reason you're so mean and vicious is because of how much pain you're dealing with yourself. You hate yourself. You hate yourself so much that you want to take out that hate on anyone you can and of course the only one you can is him because it's not like you can tell anyone about this.

So you spend a lot of time tearing each other down. Then you cry in each other's arms, because how did it get to this? You had such high hopes for this marriage. How can you possibly be in this place? How can you be destroying all those happy thoughts and feelings you had for each other? And yet you do it methodically, trying to burn it to the ground.

We've been yo-yoing back and forth between this for a while now. Some days are good days. A lot of them are angry days. We get furious, we cry, we try to pretend we're normal and this problem doesn't exist, etc in a cycle repeating over and over. Even things we can do, like making out, are hard for us to do because we're so aware of what's missing.

If we weren't such a strong couple, I have no doubt our marriage would be over already. But neither me nor my husband are quitters.

Aside from that, he's crazy in love with me. I have no idea why. Why would a man want to be with a woman who can't even sexually fulfill him? He adores me, though. He kisses my tears away and holds me and tells me we'll get through this. He says he won't leave me. He doesn't look at porn or do anything like that. He tries to comfort me in my inadequacy.

I'm more selfish. I know he feels inadequate and that I've been making him feel inadequate, but since I'm the one with the vaginismus issue (that's what it's called, by the way), I'm the one who feels defective. Like a broken thing that can't really be repaired. And it's making me hate myself.

The only feeling that's stronger than the anger and the fury I feel with everyone from my husband to the entire Orthodox system is my deep wish for this to just be over. 

I almost can't imagine what life will be like when it finally is.


Becca said...

i too jumped here from metafilter, and know very little about orthodox judaism, so i appreciate you educating me not only on vaginismus but on your religion. I hope you'll be patient while you receive yet more unsolicited advice from a random internet stranger (I'm putting it in this entry because this is the one that made me think of it).

Please, please, please try and relax. Try and reduce your expectations for what will happen and the speed at which it will happen. You'll achieve penetration eventually, I have no doubt about it, but feeling like you have to make it happen omgrightnow just stresses you out and makes you tighter. you and your husband love each other, and can make each other feel good; try enjoying that and just don't even try for penetration (i think orthodox judaism is okay with this?). i also had trouble with my first partner, though not as severe as you, and his assurance that i was just fine, and his confidence that it would happen eventually, did a lot to lower my stress levels and allow it to actually happen.

and if no one has suggested it, i'd also try achieving penetration with him lying on his back and you straddling him and lowering yourself onto him. this is how i first managed. it's great because it puts you and your body in control, and you control the speed. if it hurts, stop, take deep breaths, relax, pull back a little, then try again. gently. i suspect that if you just power through and shove your way to penetration, it'll hurt a lot, and then be even harder to achieve the next time around (because your body expects pain).

and last, i'll say that having a penis inside you is actually less painful (for me at least) than tampons or fingers. especially two fingers. penises have some give, they're flexible. fingers are bony and hard. so if your husband (or you) can get fingers up there, a penis can get up there. just keep taking breaths and relax, and call it off if it hurts.

apologies for the length of the reply, and the arrogance in thinking that i know enough about your situation to contribute advice. it sounds like you're doing all the right things (including going to the obgyn and the therapist), and you have a great husband. all the elements are there. just be patient with yourself.

Billy Boy said...

I read your posts, very sad.

I would look into Vaginismus:

My ex and I dealt with this, and we did not make it through it. But there is therapy and a solution at the end of the road. Best of luck

Anonymous said...

I completely understand the anger part. I had relationships before I was married, so I know what normal is supposed to be like. Let me tell you that it all ended on my wedding night. Yep, that's right. Sex was great for 1 1/2 years. Then on the wedding night, it ended. He couldn't climax ever again. It was the weirdest thing to me. Now, I'm typing this 13 years after that day and live my life in bitterness and hate. I truly believe he know exactly what he's doing through control. He has anxiety issues and I think it's psychopathic. I really, really believe he is completely aware of all that HE has done and is doing. I want a divorce but now he threatens me saying that I will live in poverty.

Anonymous said...

Hi dear,

I found your blog a couple years ago, and was deeply affected by it. As a Jewish girl who has also suffered from vaginismus, I know exactly how you have felt.

Before I got married, I was terrified of the pain of having sex or the first time. I had suspected something was wrong when I could never insert junior size tampons. I concluded taht was only because I was a virgin.

After the wedding, when my husband and I tried to have sex for my first time ever, I screamed so loudly and wriggled with such force that he immediately stopped....and that was how it was on our "romantic" honeymoon, and the first 6 months.

We agued nonstop. We fought, I cried, I screamed, we told each other what if we wouldnt make it through.

I am familiar with the modern orthodox community. I remained a virgin til marriage, though I had boyfriends and was not shomer.

My friends told me to "just relax!!!" when i confided my problem to them. They told me it was all in my head, that all i needed to do was drink a glass of wine and take a hot bath and relax! They told me I was simply scared of sex.

My whole world changed a month ago when made an appointment with a gyno. He had a somewhat dirty looking office, the staff was all students, but he was very professional. He examined me, inserted the tip of his finger inside me, and noted how I was shakingi n pain. He twisted his fingertip slightly and asked if I was still in pain, I truthfully answered no. He told me that the tissues inside of my vagina didnt have much elastic and were extremely stiff due to 24 years of never having inserted anything.

He prescribed me Estrace cream, a prescription estrogen cream. I read the wrnings on the label, but did not let it deter me. I was told to dap some cream nightly inside my vagina 1 inch for 4 weeks.

After 3 days, I was able to fully insert my finger with no pain, very easily. After a week, I began to easily use the small dilators in a dilator kit I had bought.

In my third week of using the cream, I am able to fully insert the fourth dilator and part of the fifth, which is the largest. When I felt slightly uncomfortable with the bigger size dilator inside, i would just let it sit inside of me forabout 10 mins, while I distracted myself with a magazine or surfing the web.

I wish you luck, and want to tell you that there IS hope. I previously believed that short of anasthesia I would NEVER be able to insert anything in me without feeling like a chainsaw was hitting a brick wall. Now, I easily insert medium size dilators. The solution may be a lot easier than you think;)