I’m going to be frank with you here. Well, no, frank isn’t my name, nor is it anyone I know. How about, I’ll be honest with you.
Silliness aside, chronic health, whether it’s mental illness, chronic pain, or some other chronic health issue, can really put a damper on not just sex lives, but relationships in general.
My husband and I use to have a very active sex life before the kid. If not a few times a night, at the very least every few days, few times. Once the kid came along (technically had two, read other posts on that) it dwindled to once or twice a week.
As time passed, and the kid got older and trouble happened, of course it changed again, this time to just a few times a month. Once the step demon was gone, it went back up a bit, only to drop as the pressures at my husband’s work brought him to his knees with depression and anxiety (a sort of PTSD type anxiety). By that point we were lucky if we managed once a month.
Then it happened. I became ill. At first we managed to try, but at the time (we found out a year later) my thyroid had crapped out horribly, and had asthma from allergies. That was 10 years ago? Give or take a year. For about 2 years we were lucky if we managed every few months. But finally managed to get my health under control, and for 5 amazing years we eked our way back to a few times a month.
When his work got so bad he had to go on medical leave, we once again fell to maybe every few months, and by the time my bowels and health problems became so worrisome I started having the doctor look into what was wrong? We were down to maybe twice a year? And now, with my health completely and totally out of control, on top of my husbands depression and anxiety spiking (due to my health, and money one of his biggest triggers) we hadn’t had actual intercourse sexual contact in … well, hmm. I think before my hysterectomy back in September 16th 2015! There might have been a one-off after that, somewhere?
I will give him hand jobs, and I do have some toys for myself, but even those are maybe every couple of months, if either of us actually feel like it? Sometimes one of us *coughMEcough* will tease the other with EVERY intention of following through, but 90% of the time, but the time we get to the bedroom (still have a kid at home) both of us have lost all steam, or my stomach decides that is the perfect time to cause pain, or a trip to the bathroom.
The bonus though? We we do have sex, it is usually very amazing. You’d think it would be over quickly because of the time between, but it is usually the opposite for us. It’s no marathon like in our youth (we rarely were done before 45 minutes!), but a good amount of time.
One of the other things about sex, is I am lucky. Or have been since marriage. Before my husband, I was rarely in a relationship (didn’t care for them back then), but did enjoy an active sex life. And I was not always able to take care in the “after sex cleanup” before I bolted home. So I suffered many UTI’s and yeast infections back then. Once I met the husband, They became so rare, I almost forgot the symptoms. I think the last one I had (not including from the catheter from my hysterectomy) was a month ish after I gave birth.
Imagine my surprise, when after GREAT care to make sure I “cleaned up” after our almost marathon of amazing sex the other night, I ended up with a UTI. On top of ALL my other health problems … it is not fun.
Oh, umm Right, to get back on track, As for the relationship part of chronic health, For many people it can either make things stronger, or break it so far apart it shatters and can never be repaired.
It seems to truly depend on the type of illness, just what direction the relationship takes, and of course the people. Mental illness, addictions, things that are NOT easily control with medicine seems to push people apart more so than physical health problems. I am not sure why, and this is only based on my small world, and personal observations. The ones that stick it out, seem to be more resentful, more distant towards each other.
I will admit, I struggle myself to keep our relationship close. I haven’t figured out yet when I am at my worst. When my health is bad? When my depression is rearing its head? Or when I am health, and feeling good? I know I am certainly shorter tempered when I myself am feeling bad, both physically and mentally, but I am much more angry and snippy when healthy. You’d think, suffering depression myself that I would be more understanding, and I really wish I could be. But it is so different from person to person. I tend to push through. “Tough it out” so to speak. Even at my worst, laziest, lowest moments, I tend to be awake more, even though I am exhausted, and while I don’t do much, or even want to move (seldom feel hungry, have to keep track to remember if I have eaten that day), I tended to want to be near my family, give and get hugs and reassurance. My husband tends to shut himself away. Not want to be near anyone.
Thing is? I have been told, holy fuck too many times, that sexual relationships helps to overcome the distance, to help keep relationships strong in those situations. I just don’t see how? You are forcing yourself to do something you just are not in the mood for. That just leads to resentment.
For us, and I am by no means saying this is for everyone, Actually let’s take that further, for ME, what is the best solution is to remind myself that I have been there. He has been there for me. And no matter how long it takes, eventually that darkness will lift. How would I feel if he didn’t stick by me, stand there, wait for me, be my light at the end of the tunnel? I love my husband, and while in this state it may not be “him”, I will always love him, which means being that light, having the patients needed to help him through.
Sorry this post is jumping around, so jumbled. I have had, what I call, “stupid brain”. It makes it VERY difficult to keep my thoughts in a straight row. Hard to get what is in my head, making sense. BUT, if I don’t get it out (easier in type, which is why I blog) then it just rattles up there, and adds to the problems with my thoughts.
That’s enough for today. I should be in bed, it is almost 4 am after all.