Overcoming Past Sexual Abuse

Overcoming Past Sexual Abuse to Create a Sexy, Happy Marriage

My wife and I would like to share our thoughts on healing from childhood sexual abuse and still creating a happy and sexy marriage. I have felt like this needed to be shared for a while. I included part of it in an Ignite post, but I felt like an advice post could reach and help more people.  I am Tom, and my wife is Melodie, and we are both survivors of childhood sexual abuse.  For each of us, the abuse started when we were six years old and went on for years, ending in our early teen or mid-teen years.

The rate of childhood sexual abuse is around one in six males and one in four females, so many of us need healing from its effects.  That healing could come through Christ and prayer alone, but counseling or therapy can play a significant role as well. Not everyone has the same experiences in life, and we all react differently.  So if you were a victim of childhood sexual abuse, we want you to know that hope and healing are possible.  In fact, we prefer the term “survivor of childhood sexual abuse.” If you, your spouse, or both suffered childhood sexual abuse, do not feel that your life is ruined. Before we ever met, both of us sought out therapy to help us cope.  Without the therapy, we could not have had a successful sexual relationship in our marriage.  And our sexual relationship IS very successful!

We have read books on marriage, sex, and healing from sexual abuse and studied up online, as well as seeking more counseling.  (It was in therapy sessions that I learned exactly how often Melodie had been abused; it was probably around 1500 times.  I was abused by a male relative probably about 50 times.) We found most of our counselors helpful, but you DO need a therapist who is married-sex-positive.  We dropped one therapist who was not positive at all in that regard. She had been divorced for decades and said sex wasn’t very important.

If one or both of you is a survivor of sexual abuse, I encourage you to seek a good individual therapist.  Both of us first got help from the university counseling program when we began college (and before we ever met).  But a marriage and sex therapist may also help you and your spouse as a couple.  We prefer therapists who share our Christian values.  You may have to see more than one to find the right one for you. Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve had five therapists, but two of those changes were due to out-of-state relocations.  Melodie has had four personal therapists in her life, all before we were married. Since retirement, we’ve gone to three marriage/sex therapists, two of them a husband and wife team.  We wish we’d gone to the marriage/sex therapists sooner.  There IS hope for healing; it takes time, but it is worth it! And don’t forget the healing power of prayer.

Our married sex life was NOT ruined by the sexual abuse we suffered. We have healed, forgiven the perpetrators, and moved on.  Incredibly, Melodie forgave her perpetrators years before we met; she is an amazing believer in the power of Jesus and His atonement.  (Our abusers did not get prosecuted, though that clearly could have happened. But let me warn you that weird feelings can result for us victims when a former perpetrator dies.)  After finding out just five years ago how much Melodie was abused, I had trouble forgiving her abusers.  I had to pray for them in order to let go of my anger, and it took great effort and much prayer to forgive.  There is no excuse for what they did, but we also realize that they were also probably sexually abused.  But if you were sexually abused, it does not mean that you will be a perpetrator as well.  Many of us survivors make a conscious decision never to go there.  If the sexual abuse you suffered led to you becoming an abuser, then you must repent.  There is healing power in Jesus Christ.

I will admit that there have been some ongoing effects from the sex abuse we endured; it still leaves us with challenges, but our faith, therapy, and prayers get us through. Once in a while, during sex or other times, something will trigger bad memories for one of us. The triggered spouse will sometimes mention it, and the other spouse responds patiently, with understanding and comfort. But our marriage bed was not tarnished by the abuse we suffered as kids, even though we have to make some adjustments.  For instance,  Melodie is not usually very vocal during our sex sessions, whereas I am very vocal. Although I might wish she would make a bit more noise, I love her and don’t pressure her about it.  And she has some issues with giving me oral sex; she only feels comfortable doing it once a month (usually on holidays) and in the bathroom. This probably has something to do with the sexual abuse she experienced as a girl. Having suffered it myself, I can easily understand and accept her conditions.

We also deal with some desire discrepancies, and we used to argue about the frequency of sex.  One of my responses to the childhood sexual abuse is that I’m rather hyper-sexual, while Melodie is more normal in her sexual desires.  So after working with a Christian marriage and sex therapist, we negotiated a sex schedule that works for both of us. We have sex every other day, with Melodie going for an orgasm every other time.  We call those times she doesn’t go for an orgasm “quickies.”  Then on full lovemaking days, we both go for (and usually have) 1-3 orgasms.  On non-sex days, Melodie orally and/or manually loves on my nipples as I masturbate to orgasm.  There are spontaneous sex events too, and those of you who read my stories know that sometimes I can persuade my wife to upgrade a quickie day into a regular (and intense) full lovemaking session.  But there are a lot of times when she insists we follow the schedule.  (No means no.)

Because Melodie was a survivor of sexual abuse, I was nervous that I might do something sexual on our honeymoon that would upset or trigger my new wife.  I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help me know what to do and what not to do.  Later, after our honeymoon, my wife told me that I was very kind.

So, I didn’t give my wife oral until four weeks into our marriage.  She loved it that time, but cunnilingus still is something that can bother Melodie.  I ask permission before feasting on her ladyparts, more especially her clitoris. We have discovered that although she has yet to orgasm from receiving my oral ministrations on her, she DOES get to orgasm faster in our sex session if I have done cunnilingus on her.  However, often she does not want to receive any kind of oral stimulation on her genitalia.  Those of you who read my stories know that I often just get a scoop from my wife’s leaking love tunnel after I have cum inside her.  Then I rub it on her nipples and have fun licking and sucking it off.  We use flavored lube so it tastes great.  THIS is one of our adaptations.

After the first time I gave Melodie oral, she insisted that I lie back so she could give ME oral.  Afterward, she said it bothered her to do it on the bed, and she suggested we do fellatio in the shower.  A couple of times a month, I’d stand on the interior armrests of the jacuzzi tub, and she would stand inside it. She’d gave me oral to edge me; then she’d bend over for me to finish inside her vagina. But that was before her leg surgery. Nowadays, to give me fellatio, she usually sits on a soft towel laid across the closed toilet seat, and I stand in front of her.  And yes, she has gotten to be VERY skillful at giving me oral love.

I never know if Melodie will let me fully come in her mouth; she only started accepting my semen orally about six years ago. I love doing it, but usually, she takes the first spurt or two in her sexy mouth and then finishes me with her hand. I’ve come on a hand towel, on her beautiful full breasts, on her cupped left hand, and sometimes a bit on her lovely and sexy face. All of those feel great. Once in a while, though, I get to shoot all of my masculine love-cream into her mouth. That feels wonderful and very sexy—but so do the other ways!  To us, this is evidence of progress.  Still, your spouse CAN just not like something, and you have to accept that.  So you adapt.

We don’t do anal sex, although once we tried some anal play.  We don’t think anal sex is wrong for a married couple, but we don’t do it.  I guess it is wrong for us.  My abuse always involved anal sex. Melodie was subjected to anal sex hundreds of times as part of her abuse.  Sometimes she had to give her abuser oral sex.  One of her abusers tried to do vaginal sex many times but he never succeeded.  So in spite of all the sexual abuse, Melodie was a virgin when we married.  I consider that a miracle.

I also want to note that if Melodie had lost her vaginal virginity via sexual abuse, I would have considered her just as pure when we married.  The victim of sexual assault is never at fault in God’s eyes, and we should consider a sexual assault survivor as innocent and pure.  The perpetrator(s) are the one(s) who are in deep trouble with God.  Yes, they can repent, but their actions were injuring one of God’s little ones.  If they don’t repent, then Jesus said that it would be better for them to have a millstone hung about their neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

So, you can understand why oral and anal sex were problems for my wife when we married.  She has, as I mentioned, become more comfortable pleasing me with fellatio, but it is always on her terms… as it should be.  We will probably never do anal sex, and I can live with that. Traumatizing my wife is not anything I ever want to do.

The best marriage/sex therapists we saw, (the husband and wife team), helped me realize that I should be grateful. For the past 3-4 years, I have been cultivating an attitude of gratitude about our sex life.  No matter what we do in our lovemaking session, I choose to be grateful for it. After all, we have frequent sex. My wife and I love each other; many people out there have far less.  When I shower before sex, I always pray, asking God to help me and Melodie to feel fulfilled.  And that prayer has been answered every time.  After all, if sex were your favorite buffet, would you storm out because the dishes they serve can change sometimes? They always have the familiar standby dishes, but if a certain thing is off the menu on that particular visit, would you get mad and leave the buffet restaurant and miss partaking of all the other yummy things? That is how sex with your spouse is. The items can be added to the menu over time, or what was on the menu three days ago may not be on the menu today. I have learned to be grateful for what’s being “served” today.

The therapists also pointed out that my wife can be passionate and raring to go for it some days and yet, another day, be more passive.  This is very normal for many women—and some men. Even on days when Melodie is more passive, she always has at least one orgasm if it’s the day for it.

I feel that the stories I read on MH should be viewed within the buffet analogy:  Another couple’s restaurant is not Melodie’s and Tom’s favorite restaurant. The MH stories could be considered as a restaurant or buffet review. We might sometimes try out some of their dishes,  but it does us no good to be jealous of the other couple and what is served in their favorite restaurant.  We rejoice that others enjoy THEIR sexual buffet, and we continue to enjoy OURS!

Now, as seniors with health problems and medications that can have sexual side effects, we have adopted the motto, “If you can, then do it.” This translates to “If Tom feels he’s going to be able to come, then he needs to do so and not wait.”  We also have to adjust sex positions sometimes due to arthritis pain and neurological pain that we both often have. Simultaneous orgasms are rarer now, but rip-roaring, delightful sex is still part of our shared sexual menu.

This past year of the pandemic, I was very thankful for sex with a beautiful, sexy, smart, kind, and wonderful wife. God has blessed us so much. Sex is an integral part of our love. Still, the kindness and dedication we have had for each other, our shared faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement for us, and our understanding of each other’s and our own issues are all part of what has made our married sex into true lovemaking.  You should know that I still see my wife—and I will always see my wife—as a great treasure that God has given me.  She says that she feels the same way about me.  We hope our example of healing and adapting will help any of you who have also struggled.

 

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9 replies
  1. WeldersWife says:

    This story had me all in my feels! As a survivor, I was terrified of being rejected for “not being a virgin”. My husband was so so wonderful though as he was kind and gentle and asked me a dozen times if I was ok. Afterward we cuddled and I confessed my fear to him and he simply held me tighter and said “nobody has the right to take that from you. It’s yours to give and I’m honored that you trusted me with it”.

    • LovingMan says:

      WeldersWife… your comment brought tears to our eyes. “Welder’s” statement, “nobody has the right to take that from you. It’s yours to give and I’m honored that you trusted me with it.” …was absolutely beautiful! God bless you both!

  2. WeldersWife says:

    Thank you lovingman. It was a breathtaking moment. Even as I look back on it now, it touches my heart. It also took me by complete surprise to hear something so genuine and mature from an 18 year old man. He’s definitely one of a kind 💘

  3. Hotnorthern says:

    This touched my heart. I was molested as a child for years also. When I like a guy or am dating someone, I’ve wondered many times if he would be able to handle it and wouldn’t either reject me or dismiss it as meaningless.

    It’s been my biggest dream and hope that what happened in my past would not destroy my ability to have a happy and successful sexy marriage. I’ve been to therapy, I’ve read countless books. I have no idea if things will crop up though when I’m actually married. If certain things will be triggers or what. I’m very hopeful though. And I‘m truly hopeful that I’ll get to experience that relationship someday.

    • LovingMan says:

      We pray that your prayers will be answered. Know that if you are triggered sometimes when you are married you CAN successfully deal with it.

  4. beyondSexTrueLove says:

    Your words were perfect, sweet and wise! Thank you for sharing your experience. I feel happy you both could heal and have an amazing sex life after all!

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