bipolar and sexual frustration in relationship

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grandpasmurf952
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/19/2009 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,

this is my first post here. I have read several threads but haven't found any with a similar problem to mine. I hope someone out there will have some helpful suggestions. I am at my ropes end (gallows humor)

I have been bipolar for at least 40 years. It did not really get bad til I married my present wife.
I love her deeply and really do not want to separate from her. The problem is her aversion to intimacy.
It started right after we were married and she suddenly stopped kissing me. When I confronted her she said I was imagining things but eventually said it was because of my having bad breath and she did not tell me the truth as it would hurt my feelings. When ever I tried to communicate how painful the constant sexual frustration was and it was really making my depression intense she would simply say "You were depressed when I met you" and that would end any meaningful discussion of the subject. When prozac came on the market we tried that and it seemed to work great. It seemed to dampen my sex drive enough that occasional masterbation helped somewhat. After her hysterectomy we no longer had sex except a few akward attempts that were distressing to both of us. The prozac probably saved our marriage. I have learned to accept and appreciate her other expressions of love and untill the prozac started to cause uncontrollable tremors everything went fairly smoothly. I even tried meditation and celibacy hoping that I could find a way to accept the painful situation that I find myself in. The celibacy (no masterbation or erotic thoughts) seemed to be working fine. In fact my energy level was going up and things were starting to look promising. I could look at a pretty girl walking down the street and feel no more than admiration as I would for any attractive lifeform.
Then I noticed that my wife was beginning to actually look younger and even more attractive than she was when we first met. If we brushed each other in the hallway it was almost orgasmic. It started to really freak me out! I was hornier than I had ever been in my life with no chance of any kind of sexual balance. I tried meditating more but things kept getting worse and worse. I started trembling, eventually recognizing it as suppressed rage. I tried to calmly explain it to my wife but as I stumbled over my words, she accused me of attacking her, my trembling increased and all I could think of was the many times I had tried to convey my pain and depression over the matter only to be smugly told that "You were depressed when I met you". I am now 67 years old and to bring up this distressing and unresolved issue and be met by the standard phrase "It will take time for me to relax" is scary! She has been saying this for 37 years. I know I contribute to the problem by holding my frustration in till it boils over and of course this perpetuates it but I fear time is running out. I only wanted for us to achieve spiritual intimacy together. Now all I do is wish and long for this horrible life to be over. I used to have hope, once she said to just leave her alone and let her work it out. I did not bring up the subject or pressure her for sex for 10 years. When I finally could not stand it any longer I approached her and she said "Oh! I thought you were not interested in sex any more!" I don't think I can deal with this much longer. I feel like I am going to explode.

ImDealing
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 8/19/2009 8:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't have your same experience, but I know from my wife with bp that during her hypomania, she is extremely sensitive like you describe. Slight touches can drive her over the edge to bliss.

I feel inadequate to really give advice here, but that has never stopped me before!

In its simplest form, you want sex and she doesn't. Unfortunately one of you got a bait and switch. Maybe you were truly depressed when you met, and she thought she was getting a deal where she didn't have to be intimate. Maybe she was intimate with you at the beginning with every intention of cutting you off once you were married.

Have you ever asked her in a totally non-threatening manner, with no intent on pushing your agenda, what her real reasons are?

Short of the usual advice to seek medical intervention or couples therapy, I don't know what can be done about this impasse.

In my opinion, you are not being unreasonable to expect a mutually pleasurable sex life with your spouse. Given that 37 years has already passed in the fashion you describe, it seems unlikely that you two will ever see eye to eye.

I imagine you've thought of all the possibilities. If you can't get it from her, is it acceptable to get it elsewhere? Does it matter so much to you that you would need to end your marriage in order to get it from a new partner? You've already lived this way for 37 years ... what's another 30?

grandpasmurf952
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/20/2009 4:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Perhaps I should clarify our relationship. We are "Soulmates" . We are literally best friends. We both want to spend eternity together. We all have issues on this goofy planet. Our current culture in this country appears to be continuously ramped up into a state of selfish "hyper sexuality" by the media in the name of profit. I recognize that our relationship goes far beyond the biological aspect and sex is just one of many expressions of LOVE. But my body doesn't. seem to want to cooperate!

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/20/2009 5:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi grandpasmurf952,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar board. I'm sorry that intimacy isn't a part of your life. You deserve it. Have you ever been to couples counseling?

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


grandpasmurf952
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/20/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
hI Serafena,


The last time we both had counseling my therapist said I should leave her and her therapist said she should leave me. That was about 35 years ago. We are attempting to work on it together. Both of us have had very negative experiences with the psychiatric establishment.
Most people simply suggest we leave each other but that is not an option we will consider. Other than our sex life we interact as best friends and generally enjoy being together. I suspect that the sexual frustation leads to the depression and the depression turns my wife off. So it is a self perpetuating loop. The hyper sexuality in the manic state doesn't help either.

Sunday Morning
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/20/2009 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Granpasmurf

Would she be open to you finding someone to satiate your sexual desires since she seems incapable or has no desire to be intimate. I do not recommend this as it seems that it can really upset the balance of your relationship - It is just a thought - Also it might be good to talk to her after a nice restful period when you can ask her if sex interests her at all - she knows you desire it so find out if it interests her and if not, why - go at her speed and do this during a time when you are not desiring sex... this may take some time because if something bothers her about sex she may not just come out and tell you so go slow and if she does show interest listen and listen well to what she says - follow through and again go slow :) Maybe you bring it up while rubbbing her feet or doing something for her that she loves - and keep your moods (sexual frustration) tone out when you inquire

Remember go easy
Sunday Morning

grandpasmurf952
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/21/2009 5:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sunday Morning,

thank you for your suggestions. I have been dealing with this for our whole marriage. It is freaking me out more now as I am approaching the end of my life and nothing has been resolved. When she saw this thread she said she is going to see a therapist to see if she should leave the relationship. I have not been the best communicator over the years and being bi polar with a history of mental hospitals it is difficult to talk to her as she assumes I don't know what I am talking about and when I try to explain how the extreme sexual frustration is driving me crazy she refuses to believe it and misinterprets it as an attack.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/21/2009 8:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Grandpasmurf,

The psychiatric community has certainly changed a lot in the last 35 years, as you well know. Give therapy another try. Make it clear to the therapist you're not interested in leaving, just in finding some peace. But make sure you're on the same page with your wife about it first.

Hope this helps,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


grandpasmurf952
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/23/2009 6:31 AM (GMT -7)   
thank you Serafena,

My wife and I seem to be making some progress. The situation was complicated by what we suspect may be an old brain injury that has amplified my bi polar condition dramatically. She has emailed Stanford to see about a neurological examination. When I posted my orginal post, I thought It was accurate but I tended to slant it in a way that was not impartial and she lovingly answered my post in a non threatening way explaining some things that I had not been aware of. I would like to thank everyone for their help. Utimately LOVE is the only answer to all of our problems. Sometimes when the pain of a mental disorder such as many of us have on this thread is so intense, and the gloom so dark we fail to realize that the Sun is still shinning and give up all hope. It is because of the love of people like my wife that some of us are saved from the permanent solution of dispair.

mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 8/23/2009 9:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I envy you. You are lucky to have a wife that cares so deeply.
"Just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean
you have to run people over." ~ Fred Pausch


grandpasmurf952
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/24/2009 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
thank you mommy michele.

LOVE is the key. My wife was able to focus on LOVE in dealing with a problem that due to my pain appeared to be insurmountable. I suspect that it takes a saint to remain married to a bipolar person :)

grandpasmurf952
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/24/2009 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't want to imply that our problem is solved and we can get on with our lives. The problem of being bipolar and dealing with it in a loving matter is something that I have to continue to work on. Learning to trust my wife's LOVE as being real has been a tremendous step in growth for me. I need to continue to work on myself daily however, and prayer and mediitation are an essential part of my therapy. I will continue to post here on various threads to share in the important work of helping all of us who are struggling with this very real problem that has affected so many. As a bipolar person I am a victim of a malady but I must never forget that all of us are victims of any situation that diminishes the health of any one of us and we can only find real health together as a human family
thank you

bipolarempress
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 8/24/2009 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
granpasmurf952, thanks for sharing and for showing us that you are human with human needs.  My husband is 54 and he thinks of sex all day and I think of food.  smilewinkgrin I dream of being able to eat hot fudge sundays all the time! I am not a doctor but I think men are wired differently. They are always ready!  HA! I am bipolar and am on medications that lower my sex drive and I had a complete hysterectomy and that has made me dry up.  And I have severe sleep apnea and I get very tired especially having to work all day.   My husband and I do not have the big "I" which he really craves but he does accept other things from me because he realizes things have changed. We have only been marrried 10 years and it has been very hard on him dealing with all my changes.  But I am very attracted to my husband. And we are committed as you are with your wife.  WOW, 37 years!!  That's impressive! 

grandpasmurf952
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/25/2009 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi bipolarempress,

I was thinking this morning how complicated life can be. Each of us has to take into consideration our own biological needs for survival. To complicate matters further each of us is hardwired to respond to the needs of the whole human race even at the expense of our own existence. To complicate matters even further we have to consider the needs of those who we are close to as this is how LOVE grows. I than tried to visualize the whole picture and I realized that just as the Moody Blues sang in one of their songs, "See the world, that's what it's for, Understanding, nothing more." This short and confusing existence on this earth is simply a classroom where we learn the simple and joyous art of LOVING one another!

Eternity would be pretty bleak if we somehow missed out on this all important lesson :)


I especially like the words of Kahil Gibran on marriage:

"Marriage, master?"
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts."


I don't feel qualified to give advice on sexuality but perhaps if you and your husband discussed the importance of spiritual intimacy and how to express it you might find like my wife and I that some of the simple acts we perform in our expression of love every day can be just as meaningful as the classic wham bam. I realized that the most cosmic and romantic event that happened in my relationship with my wife was when shortly after we first met our hands kind of magically met and clasped as we were walking to the snack bar together on our first date at the theater. I suspect that the Patriarchal emphasis on the man's pleasure and the insane views of freud have done a lot of damage to a relationship that should always be defined by the two lovers involved instead of coke snorting mysogynists such as Freud!

When all is said and done LOVE is the only thing that is important and sex should just be one of many ways for Lovers to enjoy each other. The rules should be made by two in love, the experts should get a life and admit their theories are just that.

grandpasmurf952
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/25/2009 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
bipolarempress, I also would suggest if you have health insurance to get a sleep study and if your insurance company will cover it get a c-pap machine. I had the same problem along with dragon like snoring. Since I have had the c-pap machine my wife and I can share the same bed again and I sleep better. Also sleep apnea can be life threatening and cause strokes. Get it checked out as soon as you can.

Southpaw11
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/25/2009 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Your wife may also be depressed. The reasons are different for different people why they aren't intimate. You will have to ask her and not guess at what's the cause. She moght have been abused before, she might not feel good about her body, she might not feel she can trust you, she might have issues with hormones. There are a million reasons that can cause this behavior. You guys really need to talk and you listen awhile, then you talk and she listens awhile.


Women have to feel safe, happy, and they can trust you. What has she said that bothers her over the years. Sometimes women complain and their complaints go unanswered.



I found an article on the internet. There are tons of them about relationships and intimacy and no one can really advise you about your relationship because there are two sides. people behave a certain way for a reason.



but here is the article. hope it helps a little:




""Before you can physically arouse a woman you need to make her “want to be aroused”. To get most women in the mood, a man needs to “make love to her all day long.”

Be nice, loving, and thoughtful and call her in the middle of the day just to say you’re thinking of her. Buy her something for no reason. Women need to know you care. They connect naturally through the heart. Men are generally more outward–work and play oriented. They’re focused and don’t usually think about their relationship as much as women do.

Men, if you want her to be more enthusiastic about having sex with you, you need to make love to her all day long by showing her you care. Put a note in your appointment book to call her a couple of times each week and tell her you love her. When you see her, do little thoughtful things that tell her she’s special to you.

Touching her in nonsexual ways is part of making love. Looking at her with love in your eyes. Compliment her. Giving her soft kisses. Being thoughtful, sensitive and physically tender sets the mood for you to become sexual later. Don’t rush or make her feel pressured because she might shut down. Especially if your habit is to grope and grab. Let go of expectations and simply feel love for her. She’ll begin to warm up to you because, for her, sex and love go hand-in-hand.""

editor’s note: The suggestions above may not work for all couples. Sometimes a medical problem or depression is the underlying cause of loss of sex drive. Talk to your partner about it, she may be able to tell you what she thinks the cause is.""

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 8/25/2009 4:12:54 PM (GMT-6)


bipolarempress
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 8/25/2009 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   
WOW SOUTHPAW!  Can you give my husband some lessons?
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