Hi everyone. I stumbled across this site and I'm really hoping I can find some answers. I hope it's okay for me to post this here.
I'm 26, my husband is 30. We've been married 2 years. We have a 16 month old son and we're having another little boy in a couple months. I've been a Traditional Catholic my entire life. My husband was a fallen away novus ordo Catholic who came back to the Church as a traditionalist after we met. Currently my husband and I are members of an FSSP parish.
I was sexually abused in my teens. It's something that really affected me for about 3 or 4 years and then I feel like I just moved on. I didn't think about it anymore and was just a genuinely happy person again. I went to college, stayed close to God, met my husband and everything was great.
We dated for almost 2 years, got engaged, and married 6 months later. I really never gave sex much though at all. I knew it was something you could do once you were married, but I didn't think about it as something you HAD to do. I had no concept of a "marriage debt" or anything like that. I never even heard of such a thing.
We did have 4 marriage sessions with our priest. The topic of sex mostly revolved around being open to creation and lifetime fidelity. I suppose this was quite naive, but to me marriage was getting to live with this man I was madly in love with, getting to make a home with him, have kids, get old, etc etc. Sex was obviously never ever a requirement prior to marriage, I didn't anticipate this being something that would change drastically after our vows. I thought of sex in marriage was something we could do now and then if we wanted to, but not something that would be a big deal.
Fast forward two years. We have the most wonderful little boy who was born 9.5 months after our wedding. We're expecting another one in a few months. I absolutely adore being a mother, its the best thing that ever happened to me. I love my husband dearly and everything about being married. Except one thing, intimacy.
I've talked to priests about it in confession. I'm much too embarrassed to make an appointment to talk face to face although I realize a problem like this takes more than a few minutes in confession. Advice I have been given range from offering it up, remembering it's God's will, our marriage is still young and I probably just need more time to get used to it, and being told I owe my body to him to make sure he doesn't fall into mortal sin. I don't have any sexual/physical feelings at all. I do think he's really cute and attractive, but it doesn't make me want to have sex with him. I just want held and loved and to be with him! We cuddle, hold hands, and I love all those things. I just don't like anything beyond that.
It had become an enormous source of stress, grief, and sadness for me. I hate when he touches me :(:( I don't feel loved when he wants me in that way. I understand that this is God's plan for marriage and that He designed it and said it's acceptable, but KNOWING these things doesn't make me feel it. I loved my 6 weeks post partum when he wasn't allowed to ask. It's at the point now where I cry though the whole thing, he just does his business and its done. It's awful. I want so badly to be able to tell him to stop and that I don't want to, yet he tells me and priests tell me that I owe this to him and I'm not allowed to say no without committing a mortal sin. I don't even know how he can do it when I'm crying and he knows I don't like it. Sometimes I want to ask him "if you love me, then why are you doing this to me??." But I know saying that would hurt him tremendously which isn't my intention. I just don't understand.
I'm not bitter, angry or resentful towards him. But I'm scared I may get that way. I feel more afraid than anything. I dread weekends because I know that's when it going to happen. I've read sooooooooo many books trying to change my feelings, trying to make myself like it, and its just not working. I know logically that the way I feel is wrong, but I can't make the feelings stop. I'm starting to think this is just the way I am. I've also been either pregnant, nursing, or both the entire time we've been married. I wonder if maybe I'm just being emotional and my hormones are out of whack. I've been praying, and I'm at the point where I can pray and get through it knowing God wants me to, but it hurts tremendously. Before I was saying no, or avoiding him, or passively resisting. Now I'm just letting him, so I have the guilt lifted of feeling like I'm sinning by refusing, but its absolutely awful letting someone do that to you when you desperately want them to stop.
I guess my question is... does any of this ever qualify as a "just reason" to refuse? I'm not sick, I'm not damaging my health, etc etc. Those are the only reasons I have ever heard of as being just causes.
I don't want to make my husband sound like a bad guy at all. He is kind and sweet, and he's a really good father. I would marry him again in a second! I know he is tremendously frustrated, yet patient, with the situation. I know he wishes I could be like other wives. He's told me he feels like he's forcing himself on me and he feels terrible about it. Honestly that's how it feels to me too, but I know God's plan is for him to be able to have it regularly. I am trying to cooperate, but can I ever say no? I really think it would help me out emotionally.
I would really appreciate any advice. I am at the point where I would like to go and maybe talk to a priest face to face with my husband. Our parish is in a bit of upheaval at the moment with trying to get a permanent priest. There has been a different priest almost weekly. Our pastor was pulled out by the diocese after some bizarre allegation that he gave alcohol to a minor. I'm really hoping he comes back because I think I would be more comfortable talking to him than the visiting priests.