I'm breathing heavily.
Don't imagine things you are not suppose too because of the title of the blog!
I am breathing heavily: talking about our sexual life is not easy. So why talk about it? Because we are a couple, we have a sexual life...and biological needs too. It's part of life. And during our 13 years together, we had a sexual life that went from «crazy» to «absent» to «from infinity and beyond».
Don't you think that the combination sex and PTSD in a fortress is taboo?
Once again, since he is concerned on a different level, I asked my husband's permission to talk about it:
«As long as you don't say that I have a big libido because all women will be after me!». Of course, I would never say what he doesn't want me to say.
Yes, my husband has an excellent libido. He's not exaggerating when he jokes about it: I'm sure it's in his genes.
How can I forget the day he made love to me 8 times within a 24 hours period? I mean, there is no way this man could have been a spoke person for Cialis or Viagra. Based on the facts provided in those TV adds, I can fairly say that in that regard, I still can't believe a flag could be raised so strongly and so easily in this country at 40 years old.
As for me, I learned very quickly how to say «Present arm!» and «Attention!» and welcomed each and every one of these 8 demonstrations of manhood: I was 29 years old. I have an excellent libido as well and, just like my husband, it's in my gene too. Being sexually satisfied keeps me happy too., more loving...more patient.
At 42 years old, I have a different view about our sexual life but also about «sex». Today, I'll be honest, when it comes to my husband's PTSD, I also see sex as a tool. (I hear a cavalry of feminists coming to knock me out for talking like this..)
Yes, in my sexual life, sometimes, «I make love» and sometimes, «I have sex». Don't amplify the situation: it doesn't mean because «I'm having sex» that I'm not making love to him, in a way. And I'm not «having sex» that often.
But it happens.
And in my fortress, «having sex», once in while, is my way of loving him because it brings him relief. I strongly believe in the therapeutic effects of sex..for instance, my husband will sleep better after sex. He will benefit from the hormones that will ease his back pain...not to mention the psychological satisfaction of being and feeling «desired». It's the only time he forgets his tinnitus. It makes him take showers and shave more regularly. To me, it's a way to help him keep his anger to a lower level.
(I'm so sorry to all spouses who don't agree with me who's vet will tell them: «you seeeeeeeee? I told you so! You should talk to her!»)
I understand - and respect- that some women would strongly disagree with me saying that I sometimes «have sex» and most of all, that I use sex as a tool. The only thing I will say for my defense is: I live with Rambo, with my Rambo. You deal with yours the way it works for you.
Before I write more about it, I need to tell you that my husband is very respectful: when I say no, he respects. He was never the kind of man to trow himself into porn either. I am blessed to have a man who is truly a «one woman' man». The flag raises only for one woman: his.
From the very beginning, you can say that we were sexually a match. And that's the point: sex was/is an important aspect of our lives, as a couple. When things go wrong, the sexual life is immediately impacted. And when that point of reference is going down the toilet...
I remember the impact of some new medication. Physically, either the flag wouldn't raise...or his pleasure was different than usual: the feeling was not the same. Physiologically, he was panicking and worried that it would never come back.
I was the best spouse (sarcasm). I panicked too, but for different reasons. I thought it was «personal»:
- That's it! You think I'm fat, right?
- You don't love me anymore!
- If you'd love me, it would work.. I know YOU!
And most of all, since I had my own needs too, I even gave him the famous : «Don't worry about it..that's okay»...accompanied of a big sight when «it wouldn't work». The fact that I would express dissatisfaction would make him panic even more..convincing me more and more that he didn't desire me anymore...
We almost divorced over this because it made me, at one point, truly question his love for me. I never realized the effects of the medication on him. I never realized how much I was not helping him at all. Never. When I talk about «education»? This is what I mean. I could have known better. We could have talked about it...
Medication is one thing. Sometimes, it was his emotional state that would make him feel the desire.
But sometimes, it's Rambo who wants to have sex.
Rambo is not «making love» to me, meaning that the emotional connection is absent between us. Yes, sex is a tool for me when «I have sex» (because this is what this is) with Rambo.
First, Rambo is jealous. He's afraid another man will touch what is his. His first wife betrayed him 25 some years ago and this notion is stuck in his soul.. I live with some of his old fortress. (I will talk about jealousy in another text). So when I have meetings...he knows I am alone with mostly men, in their office.
He «accepts» it officially: he will drive me and wait for me in the car. He will support me. But it's also a «trigger» to him, in a way. His anger will turn into sexual arousal: that night, Rambo will mark his territory...I am his territory. How he will talk to me is different, how he will call me is different. How he will hold me is different. Even the sounds of his voice is different.
I belong to him. I am Rambo's possession..and I don't belong to anyone else. It's animal. No emotions, except for his sexual anger I can hear and feel. His aggressive desire, almost. These nights, I «have sex» because refusing it will trigger him even more. He will start asking questions like «Did you kiss him?» repeatedly. These damn questions sound so ridiculous.
What, you really think I'm kissing and f******* MPs in their office?
Well, yes, he does.I cannot fight this idea. Rambo doesn't care about who I am, the person I was for the past 13 years: I hate his first wife for betraying his trust the way she did.
So sex is a tool. A tool to lower is anger. A tool to make that connection to the man behind Rambo and make him feel that I love him. The connection will happen after «sex»..when he's both relieved and convinced of my love. When he cuddles me and scratches my back, my husband is back.
In my life, it's putting Rambo to sleep. And between sex and an endless fight that makes no sense, sex is making me sleep better too... I'd rather hear the headboard bang the walls 20 minutes than slamming doors.
Again, I my point of view, I'm making love to my husband..by having sex with Rambo. Am I sacrificing myself and see myself as a prostitute, almost?
Absolutely not. In my fortress, I came to accept it...he's been like that for 13 years. In fact, I'll be even more honest, I have found a way to make the best out of it:
You are into your world, Rambo? I'll get into mine.
I still enjoy it. I found a way to enjoy it. When Rambo is raising his Canadian flag, I don't have all my old expectations anymore. I adapted to find some kind of balance between my own emotional feelings and needs and the reality of dealing with Rambo.
What can I say?
I know spouses who refuse any sexual intercourse without them «feeling the desire»: for them, it's a question of self-respect. I understand their position and if my daughter would express the same thing to me, I would totally agree with her.
I also know couples who don't have any intimacy whatsoever. For some, after 30 years of marriage and the impacts of physical + psychological wounds, they have come to a point where both of them are okay with the non existence of sexual intimacy. They have developed another form of rewarding and reassuring intimacy.
One veteran told me this week: «It's a way of life, you know». It's always nice to hear that some couples find their way It's not the case for everybody. I know some couples where the sexual intimacy is absent..but one of the spouses in not satisfied.
That's another story.
I don't judge people and it's not my thing to do so. But I know men who's wife didn't touch them..even just a hug..for 3 years. I know men who are into porn..massively. I know men who sneak behind to have sex with somebody else. I know men who wish their spouse would understand their needs.
I also know women who are frustrated: they have needs too. And let's be honest: the ability to have empathy towards other's needs is a challenge for someone with PTSD.
I know women who need to feel loved too..and desired. They want to feel respected when they say «no» to a «quickie» in the bathroom when the children are knocking on the door. They don't want to feel guilty because «now is not a good time». They don't want to feel obligated to do something they don't feel like doing.. the toys..the positions...
And let's be honest: feeling desire for someone who has a hard time taking a shower regularly, is not easy. Feeling desire when you make the connection between «he's taking a shower so he'll want sex» makes it so.. predictable.
Sometimes, they just want to make love. Women are won by emotions, I guess. A simple honest and sincere «thank you for being there for me..for everything you do for us, for our family» can lead in the bed..
But then again..I remember what it was like with 4 children in the house.. the job...the house to take care of...and the challenges of dealing with someone with PTSD. I certainly remember that period when he was haunted by terrible nightmares...
The «worst» sexual intercourse we had..I remember so clearly.... it was the night when he lost it completely. He ran into the woods, at night, for 25 kilometers. He thought his camera was his weapon..that the farmers would try to kill him. He saw my face when he was about to throw himself down the overpass.
When the police officers found him.. I picked him up..and for the first time, I saw Rambo.
I saw the disconnected man I was facing. He was cold, absent.
That night, alone in my fortress, I made love to him. I made love my husband who was stuck in Rambo's body. I was massaging a stranger when I let my hands explore his body..and ended up using my own... none of us said a word...Silence, complete silence. And while I was doing my job mechanically, apparently emotionless, I was desperate. I was panicking inside fully realizing that my husband had two personalities.
That night, I was not a wife who was making love to her husband;
I was not a woman who was having sex with a stranger;
I was a caregiver who used her body.
To anyone who would judge me saying that sex is a tool in our fortress and are offended because I say that sometimes «I have sex» with my husband, well..
The fact that I have learned to see sex as tool...is because that night, I was a victim, emotionally speaking.
And what can I say? I have learned to make the best out of the worst. We wouldn't be together if I wouldn't be able to adapt. Let's be honest: PTSD is the master of the fortress. To be able to survive, I had to learn how to respect myself living in somebody else's dark world.
I guess it's called.. resilience.