I was 24. All my friends were getting married. My mother was pushing me to get married. She kept saying that I needed to get married before I got set in my ways. I decided I would get married. With this in mind I started dating a woman at church. I got to know her family. I really liked them. Self-determined, creative, involved in the community, close knit. Her parents and grandparents were wonderful. I liked her too. I think I was more in love her family than her, but I saw it as a package. I thought that the best way for me to see who she was as a person was to get to now her mother. I was sold! Her mother was the best.
Until I asked her to marry me all went well. Then we started having sex. I felt it was a serious violation of God's will to have sex before marriage. After we had sex I felt terrible. It took me an couple of days to regroup and get my head straight. I was not well equipped to see what was going on with me, to make my peace with myself or with God. I essentially swept my feeling under the table. We were engaged for about four months. During that time we had sex at least twice. Both times I remember, I was very upset afterward. I am sure I didn't mention it to her.
In general I was not open with her or myself. I did not tell her I had been sexually abused. I had told other women and they drop me and left me so fast that figuratively I had not even hit the floor before they were gone. I certainly had not told her that I found men sexually attractive and that I masturbated frequently with fantasies of my friends.
The time came. Friends and family gathered for the wedding. We knelt at the altar in front of the man who performed the wedding. I had known him for years. He was a trusted counselor. In that moment I was overcome with emotion. My eyes streamed down tears, my nose ran, I could barely speak. I was seeking In my marriage a release from my sense of torment over my fear that I was a homosexual. I felt this was a gateway to being able to breathe, to be free, and make a new beginning.
The first night worked well. I made a big effort to be there for her and give her my best. I naively thought that sex is a natural thing that you can just take for granted and easily enjoy. I stopped making an effort to put my self into it and indulged my feelings. From then on sex was always problematic. I realize now that my experience before we married having sex with her was an indication of what was up for me around sex. I had thought it was related to the prohibition of sex before marriage and it probably was to some extent, but in reality being physically intimate scared me. Shortly after we were married, I slept in another room from her because I could not handle the physical intimacy. She was upset. She did not extend to me a compassionate understanding attitude and I don't know if it would have helped if she had.
As time went by we muddled through. About a year into our marriage her mother and a grandmother died. She was devastated. She became very anxious and started therapy. About the same time I accepted the fact that she did not want to have children. She had told me that she did not want to have children when we got married, but I thought she would change her mind over time. I realized that she meant what she said. Within a few month she had an operation to have her tubes tied. I entered the marriage chasing a dream of marriage and family that I could not support and that she didn't sign up for. In a few months we separated and then divorced.
I was discouraged with marriage. More than 15 years later I married my current wife. It took a while before I was ready again. This time I knew that I had to accept her for who she is and not try to change her. This time I knew that I had to be emotionally self-sufficient and I could not expect her to satisfy some fundamental emotional deficit. I know she loves me and I truly love her. I know I have to invest in our relationship. I know I have to consciously use sex to express my love for her. I can't indulge private fantasies when I am with her sexually. I have not told her about my sexual abuse or my sexual attraction to men. For me my sexual attraction to men is a result of my failed relationship with my mother and various traumatic experiences I have had in my life including sexual abuse.
No, marriage was not the hoped for solution to my sexual woes the first time. No, marriage has not been the solution this time either. I can say that my commitment to my wife and our children over the last 22 years has greatly strengthen my resolve to be the man I have always wanted to be. I do feel that The Lord has been and is watching over me and healing me. I have been in therapy these last four years and I happily continue to see positive changes.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post and offering any comments you may have. This is an important outlet for me and I have greatly benefitted from feedback to my previous post