Counseling, Have Any Found It Helpfull?

I'm curious if anyone has found success in counseling? Some success, no success? Has it helped you cope with the lack of intimacy and your feelings? What were any of your successes and positive things that came from counseling? My wife and I have been to 6 different therapists over the years and the only one who really understood both sides was one who deals with sexual problems specifically. She had and appreciation and understanding for what I was going through as the one wanting sex and intimacy and also for my wife who was not able to be intimate and, consequently, avoided sex. My wife always said that she was committed to change and working on our intimacy and sex issues and, while we were in therapy, seemed as though she was. But as soon as we stopped, things went right back to where they were before. The inconsistency and feelings of rejection and confusion always put me into a tailspin that took months to work myself out of. Each time it got worse. After the last time we went to a therapist, the one specializing in sexual matters, things seemed great but sure enough, two weeks after we stopped the two years of therapy, right back to square one. I spent the next 5 years trying, with no success, to employ the techniques we learned in therapy. It was too much for me to take. I just couldn't try anymore. It killed something in me. I didn't even feel human. I started to loath myself and felt unworthy of anything. A kind gesture or a compliment by someone, even a smile or a hello by a woman in the grocery store would send me into blackness. You have feelings and thoughts and desires for someone and you attempt to express them to that person (the one person in the world you SHOULD be able to express them to) and you get a blank stare back. My favorite was while we were in bed in our favorite little hotel in Paris. I got into bed and held her and said. "I really miss making love with you." She said, "I know" and rolled over and went to sleep. After something like that, you can't take the chance to try again because the hurt of rejection is too great. I’ve worked through most of it now and don’t feel the anger I did. The reason for this is that after 23 years, I have given up trying for intimacy with my wife and I have stopped blaming myself. It’s not me. It’s her. I don’t understand it but that’s the way it is.
Giuseppe Giuseppe
51-55, M
8 Responses Feb 24, 2009

I am not in quite the same situation. I still get some hugs and kisses, and my husband never leaves our bed. We have worked hard on our marriage in a lot of ways, he has a very difficult time with intimacy. I know he loves me the best he can. I think there may be past abuse issues that he can't admit to - but I am not sure. We have been together eight years, the majority nearly sexless (4 times a year). <br />
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I don't know what will happen. I have done many of the same things as you. I don't look to him for my physical comfort, I snuggle my dogs. It is a huge sacrifice when you are a sexual person to be in a marriage with a man who is not. I don't know if I can abide by this current situation forever. However, there are many good parts of my life right now, and I make the choice to be here.

I am reading this and almost seeing it as an echo of things to come for myself.<br />
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My wife and I have opted for individual therapy, ( sex - relationship therapists, an I was the one to start the whole thing ) but individually. I have been going for a while and find it very helpful.<br />
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My therapist seems very experience and I have decide to focus on myself, my own emotions, what I want in life and what kind of relationship I would be happy to live in, why I have accepted a sexless marriage for so long and what do I want to do about it.<br />
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I am not sure this will fix my marriage, actually, I sometimes feels quite the opposite. I am changing and so does my wife.<br />
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What I wish for now is for both me and my wife to find ourselves individually, then we can go about figuring out if we are still compatible souls.<br />
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Hope you get to find the answers you are looking for either via therapy or otherwise... <br />
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Time will tell I suppose!

As all know here , I do not believe a third person , a total stranger essentially , not in the least privy to the inner thoughts of the two partners can be of help. This, when these inner most thoughts have not even been exposed to one another in the privacy of their home.<br />
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A counselor is merely a sounding board echoing back the same sounds of two disjointed souls that could just as easily been made by whispering in one' another's ears in the marital bed.<br />
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With rejection comes disdain with that trust goes and when acceptance of the situation becomes the norm then no counseling in the world can bring it back. When love, intimacy is gone it never returns no matter hiow much counseling is used..

Well put

This is a very insightful story and I can relate to it from a woman's viewpoint. My husband and I have been in counseling at different times because he is the one who does not want to have a physical relationship with me. We have been married for eighteen years and there has not been any sex for the last fourteen. I have gotten angry at him. I have cried and threatened to have an affair and I get a blank stare and no response. He does get his sexual release in watching movies and looking at magazines and when I found this out I was very hurt that he would turn to this instead of a warm and willing partner. I felt degraded and less of a woman in his eyes. <br />
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My husband moved out of our bedroom fourteen years ago when my daughter went away to college. His excuse for doing this was because it "bothered" him to share a bed with me. I tried to understand and suggested that he just come to bed with me and cuddle and hold me before he went to his separate bedroom thinking that this would keep a kind of closeness between us and he did for a brief time and then even that ended. <br />
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I am an attractive woman with a warm personality and have many friends. I have had more intimacy with friends both where I live and on EP than in my marriage. No full blown personal affairs in a physical way but definite affairs of the mind and a connection concerning feelings and fears about my life. I have to admit that I have had some great phone sex so I know that my body still functions! LOL! I have even been approached by women that I know and always took this as a compliment and was not offended but always told them in a nice way that I am strictly a man's type of woman. Appreciated the offers but this type of relationship is not for me personally. <br />
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I just got done doing an interview about my experiences on EP and also what my marriage is like and how I cope with it. Due to an injury at my workplace I am financially unable to leave my marriage at this time but that will change in the future. So this is how I cope with my life. I find things that I enjoy and focus on them. Nothing can take the place with living in a marriage where I am rejected but I am choosing to concentrate on the good in my life and perhaps this is how I get through those nights when I feel so alone. I adopted a dog at a shelter and she is my daytime and nighttime companion. She snuggles close to me and I am comforted by her warm body next to mine. No kinky stuff here! Just a wonderful and faithful friend close by my side. <br />
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I try to live in the moment. To feel in the moment. I have pretty much let the pain of rejection leave my mind. I no longer cry myself to sleep at night. And I must admit that the pain meds help me sleep now instead of tossing and turning in frustration, however there is nothing better in this world than being held in the arms of a loving partner. <br />
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Two people join together to create a safe place where the worries and cares of life are left behind. The joining together of two bodies in the act of making love is one of the most precious gifts that two human beings can offer to each other. Making love is healing. Making love is total acceptance. <br />
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When I joined EP I was surprised at how many women are going through what I am dealing with. The loss of intimacy is not a gender issue at all. I take comfort in not being alone with this problem but I am sad that so many of us, both men and women, live lives so similar in this respect. And I wonder why life is like this for so many people? Is it the stress of modern society? I don't know. <br />
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I hope that all of you find answers to this loss in your lives. A way of feeling self worth. I cannot change how my husband feels about me but I can change how I feel about myself.

I believe counseling can help if we are open to it. <br><br><br><br><br><br />
Most mental health professionals are only as successful as the clients want them to be. My husband puts off therapy/counseling because he doesn't want to face the facts and keeps himself hidden. I have been in individual therapy 2 years and it has been a very rewarding journey ~~ I want to live a healthy life, in spite of my spouses' problems ... and yes, now I know that he has a problem in the sexual area, and I can embrace my own sexuality and not feel like I am oversexed or asking for too much.<br><br><br><br><br><br />
I relate to your comment about PARIS ~~ how sad to make us feel so lonely .. I agree, there are differences in marriages that sometimes just are and we have no control over another person's feelings about sex. That doesn't mean we have to sit it out .. especially when we get older and the passion is still burning inside of us. <br><br><br><br><br><br />
God Grant Me The Serenity .... I pray for both of us

Oh - I know how you feel. The rejection is so great when our spouse turns us down -- over, and over, and then they don't even have an excuse. Counseling did not help us. Our problems were WAY beyong the bedroom - so I am sure it's different. <br />
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Good luck.

U sure tried is all I can say !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!