SEX Question I must ask!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by WifeHasFMS, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. WifeHasFMS

    WifeHasFMS New Member

    Hi everybody,

    I havn't posted in a while but I've been reading up on FMS. My wife is still suffering the pain but not as bad. I do as much as I can around the house before she gets to it. If somethings not done, she's gotta do it. That way it gives ger more time to herself and she can rest.

    Before reading some posts on here I never realized the pain that some go through with FMS. You are all so helpful, helping me better understand what my wife is going through. She has been going through this but never complains, which makes it harder for me to understand how she feels. I began asking her questions if she is experiencing any of the pain I see others on this site do. She is telling me more about it now that I've been asking questions and knows I'm reading up on it. I did not understand it in the past and as I stated, she's not a complainer.

    Anyway, I must ask. I've read how some of you do not feel as sexually active as in the past because of the pain and tiredness it causes at times. I cannot complain but at times my wife (jokingly) tells me I better find a girlfriend. I know she is kidding and loves me as I do her but there are times I can see the pain in her eyes and feel bad. Do any of you have any suggestions how I can make her feel like a woman, pleasure, without putting her through the pain? If this should not be posted here just reply for me to delete it. I'm not asking for any type of details but would like to know of any suggestions someone, a woman, may have. The fire is still there but I hate to see her in pain and would appreciate any suggestions.

    I must thank all of you for the help you give me. You do not know how much I appreciate it!!!!


    [This Message was Edited on 01/15/2003]
  2. karen55

    karen55 New Member

    Kudos to you for even asking. If she's on pain meds, she probably won't express as much of an interest in sex, simply because those feelings are a bit "dulled" from the meds, at least that's how it is for me. However, the sexual relationship that my hubby and I have had has always been important to me. I've noticed that he is the aggressor much less frequently over the past few months because, as he says, he "thinks I am hurting", so he "doesn't want to bother me". True, there are times when I'm just too miserable to think about it. But there are times when I want it too! One thing that might help with your love life is spending some relaxing time with her, cuddling, rubbing her back or legs or neck/shoulders, or whatever hurts. If she knows you aren't "expecting" sex, and you can do this, this little bit of "intimate" contact may relax her and make her feel a little better and relight that fire. Maybe no help to you, but it works for me.
  3. FMwife

    FMwife New Member

    My husband was just diagnosed with FM. I have the opposite side of that question. I've noticed a little less interest in sex. Is that what happens for men too? I'm not sure how much to initiate. Any thoughts on that?
  4. kuntryhart

    kuntryhart New Member

    You are so right, Karen! When I am in a lot of pain, my husband is so good to massage the area of pain, and we usually end up, well you know.....if nothing else it makes me feel like he cares, and then the other feelings follow. Kuntryhart
  5. idiotsinc

    idiotsinc New Member

    I have the FMS but my wife is starting menopause. Right now we're probably having the best sex of our marriage because of it. For us it's about pleasing each other, the rest then falls into place. We usually spend 45-60 minutes (taking our time, I'm no superman). Sex is also a great way of producing endorphins to get rid of pain. Worry about pleasing your wife instead of your own needs and you'd be surprised what may happen. You have to give before you receive. Another thing, if one of us doesn't "finish" it's no big deal, we save it for the next time.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/15/2003]
  6. lisjhn

    lisjhn New Member

    If only everyone cared as much as you do!

    I live with my boyfriend and have been with him for 4 years now. I'm 34 and he's 52. He knows just by looking at my face if I'm having a bad day and don't want to be touched, so he won't even go there.

    But when I'm up for it, I never hesitate to call him up to the bedroom and say "Quick! While I'm feeling good!"

    Then when he gets home from work sometimes he'll ask if he can take his Viagra now. And then I reply "Go ahead but I can't guarantee how I'm going to feel in an hour...!"

    But it's funner now that we can communicate about it better and with a bit of humor. Meds do matter so vibrators are a must. I can't believe I just said that. But I'll leave it anyway, just to brighten someone elses's day......

  7. fibolady

    fibolady New Member

    in the affects of fms on our "sex life" instead of making it "my problem." you are wonderful to be so considerate to ask for some real answers from people who have to deal with this in their marriage.

    karen's response of just a backrub or a little massage goes a long way. it really can lead to other things, the more relaxed we are, well..... the less we think about the pain and that can lead to some fun! my ex would never do this, only made me feel guilty because he wasn't getting his quota for the week! now you know why he is an ex! let's face it, the meds sometimes do make you feel not in the mood, and you just can't pop up and "be ready"

    during flares is the worst. if you can patiently wait on your wife until she is feeling better, she will remember this and you will score big points later, promise. my ex would only point out that "we haven't had sex in 2 weeks, as an example" then i read where some couples haven't had sex in a year and he was complaining about a few weeks!

    there are many ways to relieve tension, so some alternative ways might be helpful......

    now that my ex is well, an ex, the stress of him "wanting to have sex all the time" has been lifted, i find myself now being more in the mood. what an irony. i find this subject very touchy and wish my spouse would have looked at this part of our marriage as something we needed to work on together instead of the "what am i getting out of this" mentality.

    your wife is a lucky lady to have such a considerate man and one trying to better understand this dd.

    warm regards, fibolady

    p.s. find out the best part of her day, pain and fatigue level. maybe you can work around that! warm epsom baths always are relaxing, can you both fit in the tub!!
    [This Message was Edited on 01/15/2003]
  8. mterry8

    mterry8 New Member

    I'm a" newbie" here, but am a member of many of the other fibro sites (just found this one while researching) so I'd like to just say "Hi". My wife has had fibro now for around 12 yrs. Was misdiagnosed until around 6 yrs ago. It sounds to me like you're another caring person who deeply loves your partner. I've found over the years that the key elements in our lives is communicating(especially listening, which is something most of us men have a hard time understanding) & patience. I do as much as I can constantly around the house so my wife can have it easier on her. Also the massages seem to help ease pain for her her also. But many times during severe flare ups there just isn't much you can do other than to provide her as much rest as she needs to feel better. Our lives have as much intimacy as we've always had & is just as gratifying as always. I think we've mainly learned to "read" each other's signals better. I'd have to say honestly that there have been times when I haven't really been " in the mood" just like my wife. Fibro takes a toll even on us partners who don't feel the pain, but luckily, there are sites like this one where everyone can help each other out. Hang in there & don't be discouraged. You're going about things the right way as far as I see.
  9. VickyB

    VickyB New Member

    My husband often complains about the "not enough sex" department. Too bad there is not a pill for women with fms to help in this area, I would be first in line, it is very hard to relax with fms.
    Good luck, Vicky
  10. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    It's so great of you to care this much!
    Not to make light of your problem, but please be thankful your wife does not have vulvar vestibulitis, a problem affecting a sizable minority of FMS patients. Sex becomes painful enough to cause passing out, as I know from personal experience. I went through a period of several yrs. when my hubby felt intense guilt about his "needs", and in order to make him feel better about it, I had to choke back the tears and escape to the bathroom to cry in private afterwards. I usually had a limp from the pain for at least one day after. Then he developed Peyronne's disease, and I was permanently delivered from my torture, becaue now he had a problem also. Luckily, we had plenty of "action" when we were younger, and our marriage is solid enough to endure despite the celibicy. I hope knowing it could be a lot worse makes you feel a little better. I have no suggestions to add to the others.....they gave you good advice.
    Best wishes,
  11. tedebear

    tedebear New Member

    Your concern for your wife needs to be commended.
    I find that when I feel halfway descent I approach my husband. It isn't easy when pain is always existent.
    Get a feel with your wife on a daily basis how her pain level is that day. Cooperative questioning helps each other. My husband does massage before and after engaging which takes the pain edge off a bit.
    Happy to see that you show concern for her before your needs. Good man.
    Soft hugs to your wife.
  12. Julygal

    Julygal New Member

    Your timing in posting this is appreciated because my meds were changed & it's made a difference in how I've felt about sex.Just say it has "dulled" my interest. I am blessed with a loving & concerned husband, too, thank God. He is sensitive to my feelings, & I love him & care about how he feels, as well.
    We bought the book "Beyond Chaos" by Greg Piburn, whose wife has FMS,CFS. My husband & I have been reading it together.The book has been very helpful & is full of honesty about all aspects of couples dealing with chronic illnesses.
    Communication is most important, allowing ourselves the opportunity to truly DEAL with what's going on.Even still it is difficult. God bless all spouses of those of us with chronic illnesses who truly love us,support us, and care! It means more than words can ever express.
    Thanks to ALL of you for your postings to this important issue. It really helps!
    Love & prayers,
  13. JadeFire

    JadeFire New Member

    Actually, the really great thing about sex, is it releases endorphins (if she has an orgasm). My suggestion is probably one covered by many, and that is to find ways to make sure she's willing. She won't be desiring sex near as much as normal, because medications and pain.

    If you take it slow, and leave the actual 'moving into the act' open, and keep things romantic, maybe she'll go the distance. Just a lot of kissing and holding would be great. The thing that isn't as addressed with FMS, is the feeling of 'alone' that comes with it. Even though there are so many others out there in pain, it isn't as easy when we're trying to explain how we feel.

    I'm a lot like your wife in the respect that, I tend not to talk about it. Although in some ways this helps, since I'm not dwelling so much on it, it also makes it harder for people around me to understand.

    Your methods of getting your wife to talk about it (from what you've said) sound really effective. The support you give her in that respect is a big thing. If you continue that support, and depending on how long she's had it, eventually she'll really come to lean on you and what you understand. When I was first diagnosed with FMS, without meaning to I moved away from a lot of people. The physical pain may not be the only reason for her lack of desire. Having FMS is like being a whole 'nother kind of person -- it's so easy to feel like an outsider, since simple tasks that everyone else takes for granted seem so huge and difficult for many of us. Making her feel loved and supported is wonderful. Letting her know you respect her courage is even more important. Showing your compassion and love means everything. She's bound to feel like she lacks as a wife and maybe a person. Having so much difficulty with life, from taking a shower, to being sexual, to putting shoes on be such a difficult task makes me personally feel a bit useless. Chances are she feels the same. Make sure she knows you too need her love and support. Being supportive is great, but recognizing what she does for you is a big deal.

    If you can get past those barriers she's set up for defense, be considerate and kind in the bedroom as well as everywhere else, she's more likely to come to you.

    When you do have sex, make sure she does get pleasure, if you need to, do some research on massage and erotic massage to make her pleasure even more wonderful and gentle. Try and use sex and foreplay to take away some of that pain as well, and do a lot of loving gestures to assure her that she's special and makes a difference to you as well.
  14. sofy

    sofy New Member

    No I'm not kidding. Oxytocin is released by touching of the right pressure. I think this is why a foot massage by your partner can be such a turn on. Move up to her legs with gentle but firm petting like you would a dog. Try this on her fingers as if each one is a precious but fragil object, move to the palm and then arm while you watch TV. If she gets the urge she will let you know. If now it will at least feel good to both of you because the pleasure is in the giving and the receiving. I gotta stop this.
    I think that part of the reason massage therapy works is because of the oxytocin release.
  15. JudieV

    JudieV New Member

    I think it's wonderful to have a hubby who really takes time to understand. The sensual part of my life almost died.......two people scared of the pain. It took awhile but we learned. It can be great fun.

    I haven't posted in quite awhile............seeing your post gave me a smile

    Keep trying

  16. JudieV

    JudieV New Member

    I think it's wonderful to have a hubby who really takes time to understand. The sensual part of my life almost died.......two people scared of the pain. It took awhile but we learned. It can be great fun.

    I haven't posted in quite awhile............seeing your post gave me a smile

    Keep trying

  17. lilwren

    lilwren New Member

    Your marriage sounds soooooo familiar! :) It is wonderful to have a husband who does things around the house to help with this life and this DD – it takes a huge burden from our shoulders – even though we feel guilty about it.

    I am always telling my husband to find a girlfriend for sex – and sometimes I really mean it - but I know he would probably end up leaving me.

    I am sad to say my husband and I have only had intercourse twice in about a year. It is painful to admit that and to even talk about it, but I would like to share my thoughts on this post. I am 39 and have CFIDS and chronic pain and weakness – it is a feat just to shower and get dressed. I have been off of pain medication (can’t tolerate it for the vomiting) for the last year so my time is spent distracting myself from the pain and depression. I am constantly agitated and just want to be left alone. I feel like I am 100 years old and cannot bear to look at my nude body in a mirror, and am ashamed for my husband to see me nude. He tells me I am beautiful all of the time, but I feel like a troll – this DD has warped my self image – I just feel like a useless lump of pain – like a freak - I don’t even feel human anymore. Your wife may have the same body image problems and for me that is what keeps me from even thinking about sex. I certainly don’t look sexy in baggy sweat suits, socks and greasy hair all the time! :) The second issue is the pain – not intercourse pain in my case – the pain in every cell of my body that makes it hard to walk or do dishes – let alone something as physical as sex. We both desire intimacy, but when we try to just cuddle and hold each other he invariably gets an erection and I feel obligated to satisfy him and then I get stressed because I know my body won’t let me. I hope my being graphic doesn’t offend anyone, but how else is one going to explain it? One thing we have tried is cuddling with some sort of body oil or lotion and caressing each other – I always demand candles or soft light because I don’t want to see myself. It usually results in orgasms for both of us - it’s not the same as intercourse – but it does satisfy the intimacy need and the sexual need somewhat. I prefer candlelight or low light and soft relaxing music, and sometimes for a little while I actually enjoy myself and forget I have this DD. A nice soft bed for her painful body is the only way to go – I have tried the tub and shower and it is too much physical effort for my body. Take it slow and be gentle and hopefully she can relax enough that she can enjoy herself for a little while.

    You are both very lucky to have each other as so many folks with this DD are all alone. That type of bond will allow you both to learn and grow and have an even deeper love for each other.


    Sharon L
  18. j-bearmama

    j-bearmama New Member

    I have been wanting for so long to bring up this subject... glad you did!

    I have FMS ( dx in 94) Some of my first meds made me um shall I say drier than the Sahara. :)

    I told my Dr. and after some expiriments discovered Pamelor was best option.
    Paxil and Zoloft list "sexual dysfunction" as side effects.
    and WOW they are not kidding.

    Sometimes I'm too sore to have sex. Other times in the MIDDLE of sex my hip hurts. or my back.
    One great thing about sex is that when you "finish" endorphines are released. great cure for a headache too.

    One of our jokes is " honey my back hurts"... and my husband says "then we better have sex NOW! to make you feel better."

    He have had to try different possitions. reminiscent of late pregnancy.
    One possition that is quite comfortable is the "spoon possition". not only is it less stressful on my joints and back, but it allows for extra cuddling and "petting".

    although my husband does not do it often enough ( sigh) a nice massage before relaxes my muscles.
    Please tell your wife that IF she starts to get sore in the middle of it that it is ok to suggest a different possition.

    It makes things last longer too.
    although there have been times when I felt SO terrible I tell him to hurry up. ( that does NOT happen much.)

    oh and whoever said 45-60 minutes. PLEASE tell me that includes the "preliminaries". after 45 mins I'd be begging my husband to go find something else to do.

    a few times we have taken a shower together. I LOVE the feeling of having someone wash my hair. and NO ONE can really wash their back.

    we have discovered that it is too darn difficult to do it in the shower. we have a small "stall" shower in our master bath. and he's about 7 inches taller than I am.

    I also would like to point out that for me personally, the biggest turn on ( without physical touch) is seeing my husband CLEANING the kitchen.

    He KNOWS that earns him mega points. unfortunately he is rarely interested in these points.

    Another issue we have is that I have TMJ so kissing sometimes is painful for me too.
    so kissing someones neck is nice too. we don't seem to mind.

    I think normal for most couples is about 3-5 times a month and that's for HEALTHY couples.

    One thing that was helpful when i was pregnant. ( yes I had FMS when i was preg. although undiagnosed)
    was sometimes just "fooling around" and not having sex was fine too.
    Kinda brings back those days when we were dating and he could NOT convince me to give in. hehe

    After 10 years of marraige we find what works.

    We have made a "deal" that it is only RIGHT that we both get to finish. reguardless of who is first.

    lets not forget that it doesn't have to always be "perfect and romantic" sometimes a quicky is good enough to release those pain killing endorphines.

    It sounds to me like you and your wife have a fabulous loving relationship.

    Keep in mind that sex is a wonderful part of marraige, but it is not the whole thing. I think the older we get the more we notice that.

    I know many happy elderly couples and I know that it is rare for them to have sex more than a couple of times a year. due to medical conditions, sexual dysfunction or whatever. But they still have a wonderful happy marraige.

    Your wife is truly lucky. Most husbands, even of healthy woman really could care less HOW their wife is feeling. And it is also rare that they would ever selflessly offer to massage or help around the house.

    I don't get massages even when I ask most of the time.
    BUt when I do get one it not only makes me feel physically better.
    but also makes me feel more LOVED and more like a WOMAN, not just a wife ( housekeeper, bookkeeper, nanny, currier, etc etc.)

    I agree that you should find out what time of day is usually your wife's best feeling time. for me it's usually within about 4 hours of waking. then I start to go downhill and need a nap.

    I would also urge her to discuss with her dr. about the meds.
    Since some meds cause you to get dry mouth... that is NOT the only DRY area. YOu may need to use things like KY. I didn't, but I also know many older women who need it. as well as the menopausal women, and women who have had hysterectomies.
    I have experienced it, and know many woman who have too... occasionally a woman just CAN'T climax. so find out if your wife ever has this "issue" otherwise you could maybe strain something trying. LOL

    another thing... I don't recall the name of it. but I saw a book on FMS and it mentioned sex in it. it had little stick figures showing a few possitions that are more comfortable.

    One thing for sure. I really can't do it anywhere but it bed. I HAVE to be comfortable. So creativity and spontinaity are not what they used to be. My husband misses that. But I told him it's better than not gettin' any. :)

    I hope I didn't mispeak in here that would offend anyone. If so I'm very sorry. The way I see it, God gave married people the gift of sex in marraige. God must want us to enjoy our gifts! If not, it wouldn't feel good.

    God bless!
    Sounds like you two have a very heavenly marraige. I think that is just AWESOME in this day and age.

    My husband and I have been married over 10 years now. I started with FMS symptoms 6 months after we were married. after car wreck and I was a few weeks pregnent then too.
    It has not been easy as he is a Navy man. Sea time really stressed a marraige. But we are stubborn and decided long ago that we were going to prove EVERYONE wrong when they said we'd never last! We got married at 19. And it was a bumpy ride the first 4 years. But since we reached 10 yrs.

    It feels more like a journey and we can't wait to see where it takes us!

    ( yeah now I get philsophical on you. LOL)

    Sorry to have rambled on.

    Wishing you a strong and loving marraige and many many years of happiness.
  19. WorldFalls

    WorldFalls New Member

    Being a lesbian, I don't know much about heterosexual sex and what is painful to fibro victims and what isn't. But I think I can offer a few suggestions...

    First of all, it's ok to ask her what works best for her. Always keep the communication open. She's very lucky as you seem to be an incredible and supportive partner to her. I think many people with chronic pain experience certain times of the day when their pain and fatigue are less. Mornings tend to be rough for me, but late afternoons aren't as bad. Perhaps your wife has her better times.

    Also, certain foreplay activities can relax her, ease her pain, and even turn her on. <I'm making myself blush!> For example, as someone suggested, nice sexy massages will make her feel more relaxed, and less full of pain...and it will probably help get her in the mood. Also, a nice hot bath before intimacy could help as well. Hot baths for some are almost as good as pain killers! If you have a bathtub large enough for two, this could be a wonderful thing....a few candles, some nice get the point! :)

    Good luck to you. I think it's wonderful that you care so much about your wife. She's very lucky!
    [This Message was Edited on 01/16/2003]
  20. cioc1212

    cioc1212 New Member

    Ok, I can say that even with FM and CFS and after being married 10 years plus, the sex is still fantastic(and getting better all the time) and frequent(3-4x a week). Even with young kids,a busy household, two full time jobs,etc. best suggestion is:

    1. Help her around the house as much as possible. The better mood she's in the more receptive she'll be to sex. An angry wife doesn't make a good bed partner!

    2. Massages. It's been suggested above several times but I went online and bought good quality but not expensive scented massage oils in large quantity. Scented with essential oils so it's not offensive if you're sensitive to smell like many of us are. There aren't too many men who would balk at a naked wife and a bottle of warmed oil and for someone with FM a massage can be a godsend with the chronic pain. And the relaxation is very condusive to good sex since sore muscles are much looser before you get started. One of the big problems with FM is tight stiff muscles.

    3. Orgasm is a natural pain reliever. Remind her. Work hard. (Ok, I couldn't resist,lol)

    4. If she has any medical problems going on that are making sex uncomfortable encorage her to get it taken care of. Go with her to appoinments if you need to. Acidophilus is very helpful to many of us if yeast is an issue(itching).

    5. I don't know how long you've been married but if you've gotten into a routine with lovemaking, get some books and try new positions. Sometimes certain positions are less painful if the person with FM has back,knee or hip pain. Work around the sore areas to find positions that don't bother those area's. Be creative!

    6. Don't forget to talk to her and ask what you can do to make it more enjoyable for her. There may be something you're not thinking of.