As promised, here’s a personal story that I received in my email. I hope her transparency and pain blesses and inspires those who are also struggling with the same issues.
Thanks for your blog post More Sex. It was timely and necessary for me! I know I don't know you, so I feel like you're someone I can share this with. This is an area I've struggled with for many years.
Sex is something that is a difficulty for me. When I was a teenager, I was assaulted by a friend and was afraid to tell anyone, as I had it in my mind that no one would believe me and that I would be put through the ringer if I were to ever press any charges. He walked away from the whole thing scott-free and I carried the pain. (He thought so little of the whole thing, I've lived in fear of ever seeing him again and he had the audacity to friend request me on Facebook). After that experience, I remained pure/celibate until I met my husband. Part of this was my decision to do so because of my relationship with God and part was because of my "fear" relating to sexual relationships because of what that friend had done to me. Once my husband and I opened the door to that aspect of our relationship, everything was great...until we started trying to have a baby...for a year, it was trying to get pregnant fairly casually...then I conceived and then because the pregnancy was in my fallopian tube, we lost the baby and I had to have emergency surgery to save my life. So, then there was the healing time...and then the trying again...and trying...and trying with no success. Then it got to be an obsession...there was no spontaneity in our relationship...it was taking my temp every morning and charting when I thought I might be fertile and spending loads of money on a fertility monitor and timing our sex to try to get pregnant and making sure he was "saving up" if you know what I mean, for the right time, etc. It was a chore...even if the last thing in the world we wanted to do was to be intimate, I was begging him to please try again. It took all of the romantic aspect out of it all. Then, we hit rock bottom when we found out part of the reason I wasn't getting pregnant was because my pelvis was full of tumors and had to have a hysterectomy before ever having children. There was so much pain with these tumors that intimacy was the LAST thing on our minds and then the healing time with the hysterectomy.
After the hysterectomy, which also included losing my ovaries, my libido was zilch. Also, because I immediately developed scar tissue where my cervix had been removed, intercourse HURT! So, not only did I not want it, it hurt me. Major turn-off. Once I was pretty much healed from the incision, our miracle of adoption came through and then the focus became parenting and days that were so stressful that the LAST thing we thought of was intimacy. I'm telling you all of this to tell you that DESPITE all of this, I know that I withhold from my husband. It hurts some, yes, but really not that much, but I honestly feel so un-feminine with my missing female organs and lack of ability to conceive a child that I hide behind all of that. Where we used to be active multiple times per week, when I read your blog post yesterday and thought about it, I was ashamed to realize it is more like once every couple months. My husband is persistent and if I show the SLIGHTEST interest, he is interested...so I never show interest. But this is because I make it all about ME...my past w/ the assault...my past w/ the obsession over getting pregnant...my slight discomfort from the hysterectomy...and my insecurities. I haven't been thinking about HIS needs. He is so kind about everything that he never pressures or pushes, and because he's not nagging me, it's easy for me to let it go. But I was convicted by what you said. After I read it, I spent some time alone with the Lord and asked Him for help with this. If this was important to Him to help seal the bond He created in our marriage, then I needed to put myself and my wants behind my husband's needs. Then the next obstacle came my way. Because of my insecurities, I am TERRIBLY uncomfortable talking about this, and have NEVER initiated anything, and I knew that despite my commitment to change things, I wasn't ready to take that step, so I told the Lord that He would need to help me, and the next time that my husband initiated anything, I wouldn't fake sleep or tell him I didn't feel good, even if I didn't feel good. God tested me and I followed through...and while he has always been sweet and kind to me, I know that as inadequate as I felt, it meant something to him to renew this bond.
I haven't told him about your blog as I'm not ready to talk about it with him. And it is VERY unlike me to discuss something so personal with someone else, but I guess I just want to let you know that you helped me...even with something so personal as this. So, thanks for being so real and transparent on your blog. God used you to speak to my heart!