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Loss of libido dreadful

User
Posted 28 December 2017 09:10:30(UTC)

Hello all, I am so grateful to have a chance to share with people who understand, thank you for all the posts which have brought me such a sense of solidarity. I am looking for some sage advice please. My husband (he’s 55 and I am 53) had his prostrate removed by robotic procedure 4 months ago. He had a pretty quick recovery, no incontinence at all and a reassuring path report confirming the cancer was 3+3 grade, is now all gone and both nerves are left intact. PSA now not measurable. No radiation or hormone therapy required. We were so grateful for this outcome, the best we could have hoped for.

He is a good man, a great provider and super father to our daughter. He tells me I am beautiful and he loves me. As far as sex is concerned, to be honest we have struggled for 5+ years before the cancer diagnosis with me feeling undesirable as his libido has been falling from a previously good level to a ‘not that bothered’ level. Now I realise it may have been his BPH medications to blame, although of course like most women, I blamed myself for becoming less attractive. I got desperate about the low level of intimacy a while back but fortunately we discovered the use of a vibrator. To be honest, it was a revelation for me. I am totally satisfied by this non-penetrative method, plus it took all the pressure off him and I thought he enjoyed giving me such obvious pleasure. I deliberately only used it with him so that he feels that he is part of the success, and it is true, I love him and his participation makes all the difference. Although not quite frequent enough for me, we had (I thought) developed great intimacy using this method followed by penetrative intercourse when he felt able, which was about half the time. That’s why when going into the op I felt positive that we could ride a period of ED, stay intimate and work on his recovery whilst keeping the relationship intimate and healthy. Needless to say I am willing to do whatever it takes to pleasure him.

But this is not how it has turned out. His libido seems to have dropped to pretty much absolute zero and I am seen as just a ‘friend’. He holds my hand in bed, nothing more. I see no desire in his eyes, no willingness to use the vibrator like we used to. He was prescribed daily Cialis but doesn’t bother as they give him a headache. I bought a Viberect for him, he has only used it a few times. He makes no effort to be attractive or romantic towards me, in fact he is retreating into his work/ telly/ music videos. Last week we had a pre-Christmas 3 day break abroad in a very swanky hotel, full on romantic atmosphere. After keeping my expectations low for the first two nights, by night three I was desperate. I told him that I’d packed the vibrator but he wasn’t interested. Said I should have ‘warned him’. To say I felt let down is an understatement.

My problem is anger. He is not responsible for having needed prostatectomy, of course not, but his reluctance to join me in trying to re-establish some sort of intimate life for us (no pressure for him to do anything than hold a vibrator) causes horrible feelings of despair and resentment in me. It seems to me sometimes that if as he gets nothing out of it himself, he can’t be bothered. Maybe I am being ungenerous, I wonder if I am being selfish. Perhaps he is truly repelled by me and can't help it? I realise that 4 months is not long. I know my anger and diosappointment must hurt him. But I feel if positions were reversed and I could not have sex for some reason, I would feel motivated to pleasure him in other ways, especially if he communicated his great enjoyment of these alternatives, as I have done. And I would do as much as I could to help myself recover, wheras I feel he is wasting precious time to keep things like blood flow going.

Should I just give up hope? Accept that we are heading for a celibate marriage? I have considered leaving him during these many years of declining libido, felt awful about this when I discovered he had PCa all along, but as we are at the next stage now and he is cancer free, surely he should make an effort to optimise his own recovery? I don't want another man, but would sometimes prefer to be alone than rejected. I feel he is simply not making the effort to keep me. His love for me fuels our family life, when it's not there I question why I cook and clean and make thiungs nice for him. The great shame of being repulsive to him has returned and my confidence as a woman is plummeting. After he turned me down on holiday I moved into spare room and despite a horrible Christmas it is a relief of sorts. But it could also be a death knell for the future. I am at a loss.

I was so confident we could manage the effects of ED together, but the deadly effects of loss of libido is another story altogether.

 Please advise! Or even just to know same thing happened to someone else? Thank you.

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User
Posted 28 December 2017 14:59:16(UTC)

You don’t really know whether you would be motivated to please him if the tables were turned. A hormone based cancer diagnosis is devastating because it brings into question who we are and what we believe to be gender identifying behaviours. He has lost his prostate and may be very frightened of trying in case he fails. He might be terrified of getting proof that he is no longer a man. He might (as another member on here recently disclosed) believe wrongly that getting sexy will raise testosterone and possibly encourage the cancer. He may think that it is better for you both to just learn to live with the situation. It does work the other way round as well - I have female friends who after breast cancer have become celibate because they cannot bear the thought of being rejected or of the man being repulsed - even trying is a risk that some cannot take.

If you have read my thread "one wife's story of ED" you will know that I have been where you are except I took things into my own hands (literally) by giving J an orgasm on the day that his catheter came out ... I needed him to know as early as possible that orgasm was not reliant on erection. Have you broached a referral to an ED clinic with him? What dose of Cialis is he supposed to be on?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard


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User
Posted 28 December 2017 09:10:30(UTC)

Hello all, I am so grateful to have a chance to share with people who understand, thank you for all the posts which have brought me such a sense of solidarity. I am looking for some sage advice please. My husband (he’s 55 and I am 53) had his prostrate removed by robotic procedure 4 months ago. He had a pretty quick recovery, no incontinence at all and a reassuring path report confirming the cancer was 3+3 grade, is now all gone and both nerves are left intact. PSA now not measurable. No radiation or hormone therapy required. We were so grateful for this outcome, the best we could have hoped for.

He is a good man, a great provider and super father to our daughter. He tells me I am beautiful and he loves me. As far as sex is concerned, to be honest we have struggled for 5+ years before the cancer diagnosis with me feeling undesirable as his libido has been falling from a previously good level to a ‘not that bothered’ level. Now I realise it may have been his BPH medications to blame, although of course like most women, I blamed myself for becoming less attractive. I got desperate about the low level of intimacy a while back but fortunately we discovered the use of a vibrator. To be honest, it was a revelation for me. I am totally satisfied by this non-penetrative method, plus it took all the pressure off him and I thought he enjoyed giving me such obvious pleasure. I deliberately only used it with him so that he feels that he is part of the success, and it is true, I love him and his participation makes all the difference. Although not quite frequent enough for me, we had (I thought) developed great intimacy using this method followed by penetrative intercourse when he felt able, which was about half the time. That’s why when going into the op I felt positive that we could ride a period of ED, stay intimate and work on his recovery whilst keeping the relationship intimate and healthy. Needless to say I am willing to do whatever it takes to pleasure him.

But this is not how it has turned out. His libido seems to have dropped to pretty much absolute zero and I am seen as just a ‘friend’. He holds my hand in bed, nothing more. I see no desire in his eyes, no willingness to use the vibrator like we used to. He was prescribed daily Cialis but doesn’t bother as they give him a headache. I bought a Viberect for him, he has only used it a few times. He makes no effort to be attractive or romantic towards me, in fact he is retreating into his work/ telly/ music videos. Last week we had a pre-Christmas 3 day break abroad in a very swanky hotel, full on romantic atmosphere. After keeping my expectations low for the first two nights, by night three I was desperate. I told him that I’d packed the vibrator but he wasn’t interested. Said I should have ‘warned him’. To say I felt let down is an understatement.

My problem is anger. He is not responsible for having needed prostatectomy, of course not, but his reluctance to join me in trying to re-establish some sort of intimate life for us (no pressure for him to do anything than hold a vibrator) causes horrible feelings of despair and resentment in me. It seems to me sometimes that if as he gets nothing out of it himself, he can’t be bothered. Maybe I am being ungenerous, I wonder if I am being selfish. Perhaps he is truly repelled by me and can't help it? I realise that 4 months is not long. I know my anger and diosappointment must hurt him. But I feel if positions were reversed and I could not have sex for some reason, I would feel motivated to pleasure him in other ways, especially if he communicated his great enjoyment of these alternatives, as I have done. And I would do as much as I could to help myself recover, wheras I feel he is wasting precious time to keep things like blood flow going.

Should I just give up hope? Accept that we are heading for a celibate marriage? I have considered leaving him during these many years of declining libido, felt awful about this when I discovered he had PCa all along, but as we are at the next stage now and he is cancer free, surely he should make an effort to optimise his own recovery? I don't want another man, but would sometimes prefer to be alone than rejected. I feel he is simply not making the effort to keep me. His love for me fuels our family life, when it's not there I question why I cook and clean and make thiungs nice for him. The great shame of being repulsive to him has returned and my confidence as a woman is plummeting. After he turned me down on holiday I moved into spare room and despite a horrible Christmas it is a relief of sorts. But it could also be a death knell for the future. I am at a loss.

I was so confident we could manage the effects of ED together, but the deadly effects of loss of libido is another story altogether.

 Please advise! Or even just to know same thing happened to someone else? Thank you.

Thanked 1 time
User
Posted 28 December 2017 19:00:17(UTC)

Hi Trishy
Click my picture and read my thread. Also find the “ erecting the erection “ thread via the search. All good advice.
Four months is very early post op and I assure you with regular intimacy that a great recovery is possible later on. I’ve more or less fully recovered at 30 months post op. However it seems he was losing his desire before the cancer for any number of reasons , and this could be more the problem. My wife and I in fact maintained a higher level of intimacy post op than pre op to be honest , but my libido has always been extremely high. Yes an erection was missing and was very very difficult to get over. But lots of oral and manual stimulation is possible , and a whole raft of toys online that many men have only dreamed of sharing with their partner. It is GUTTING for a man to lose his erection and ejaculation , but it can be overcome. It seems you are lovely and willing and committed. I suggest you share some of the posts on here with him , or suggest counceling , or outright ask him if he is genuinely not interested in you anymore ?? I think you deserve that. It’s an awful disease with awful side-effects but it can be worked through with really honest discussion and willing.
Good luck x




If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade
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User
Posted 28 December 2017 14:59:16(UTC)

You don’t really know whether you would be motivated to please him if the tables were turned. A hormone based cancer diagnosis is devastating because it brings into question who we are and what we believe to be gender identifying behaviours. He has lost his prostate and may be very frightened of trying in case he fails. He might be terrified of getting proof that he is no longer a man. He might (as another member on here recently disclosed) believe wrongly that getting sexy will raise testosterone and possibly encourage the cancer. He may think that it is better for you both to just learn to live with the situation. It does work the other way round as well - I have female friends who after breast cancer have become celibate because they cannot bear the thought of being rejected or of the man being repulsed - even trying is a risk that some cannot take.

If you have read my thread "one wife's story of ED" you will know that I have been where you are except I took things into my own hands (literally) by giving J an orgasm on the day that his catheter came out ... I needed him to know as early as possible that orgasm was not reliant on erection. Have you broached a referral to an ED clinic with him? What dose of Cialis is he supposed to be on?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard


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User
Posted 28 December 2017 17:36:02(UTC)

Hello Trishy.
I have messaged you

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
User
Posted 28 December 2017 19:00:17(UTC)

Hi Trishy
Click my picture and read my thread. Also find the “ erecting the erection “ thread via the search. All good advice.
Four months is very early post op and I assure you with regular intimacy that a great recovery is possible later on. I’ve more or less fully recovered at 30 months post op. However it seems he was losing his desire before the cancer for any number of reasons , and this could be more the problem. My wife and I in fact maintained a higher level of intimacy post op than pre op to be honest , but my libido has always been extremely high. Yes an erection was missing and was very very difficult to get over. But lots of oral and manual stimulation is possible , and a whole raft of toys online that many men have only dreamed of sharing with their partner. It is GUTTING for a man to lose his erection and ejaculation , but it can be overcome. It seems you are lovely and willing and committed. I suggest you share some of the posts on here with him , or suggest counceling , or outright ask him if he is genuinely not interested in you anymore ?? I think you deserve that. It’s an awful disease with awful side-effects but it can be worked through with really honest discussion and willing.
Good luck x




If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade
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User
Posted 29 December 2017 00:22:11(UTC)

Trishy,

It seems from your initial post that the situation has been developing for quite some time so although PCa may have brought it more into focus, it is possible that it might not be the underling cause of the problem. After years of happy love making there are cases with both men and women coming to find sex less appealing, even though they might still find their partners attractive and wish to continue their partnerships. It is well known for example, that some women can experience this after giving birth. when the man not only has to deal with this but see some of the attention that was formerly given to him transferred to a baby. It is very unfortunate where the intensity and drive of one partner becomes quite different from the other and there comes a point where this could lead to the end of a relationship where this is not acceptable to the more active partner. As men get into their fifties a growing proportion experience ED regardless of PCa. Perhaps women accept this more than if they have a partner who seeks sex elsewhere? Partnerships/Marriages are almost always initially based on attraction and for those that last, love and understanding. How many of us after years together look at each other with quite the look and actions you see between young lovers? Perhaps we also sometimes take our partners for granted at times, yet we develop our relationship and love that goes well beyond frequent sex or in some cases no sexual intercourse at all. There are other ways to share and enjoy love where intercourse is not possible or wanted.

So regardless of the extent PCa plays in your present situation, I also feel it could be helpful if you have a full and frank discussion with your husband to gain a deeper understanding of each others feelings and explore what can be done to reconcile them. This could mean attending an ED clinic and possibly have independent professional counselling.

Barry
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User
Posted 29 December 2017 02:57:23(UTC)

Thank you Lyn

Yes you are right, I don't know I'd be under his circumstances. I think I am a little ashamed of seeming to force my own needs on him at a time like this. The problem is it is not really a physical need for me, it is emotional. His love and interest in me gives me the oomph to get on with the tasks of family life. For now I will have to find the oomph within myself rather than looking to him. I will try to take pressure of us both and hopefully will get a chance to follow your suggestion! It is a hard time for him and I don't want to let him down.

User
Posted 29 December 2017 03:37:06(UTC)

Thank you Chris J

Yes that's the part that hurts most -- maybe he's not interested anymore? I have been thinking that dark thought. Although there is evidence too that he very much wants us to stay together. How do we untangle loss of desire that may have happened anyway in a long marriage from effects of cancer? I don't want to let him down if he cannot help losing his desire for me. These are difficult questions. I feel  a bit stronger now having shared so openly and thank this community for giving me a sense that we're not the only couple experiencing similar issues. I was able to talk to my husband more calmly last night and feel more hope that things could improve.

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User
Posted 29 December 2017 03:55:20(UTC)

Thank you Barry

Yes it is good to hear a man's perspective. You are right, after giving birth I was not very interested for a time, I do remember that my husband was very understanding and this has added to me feeling guilty now. After our babies were born we were very close however, very much together and happy in other ways. I think that the probem now may not be the physical side that is missing but more the cuddles, shared tasks, laughs and emotional closeness - all of that I miss terribly now he is closed off and buried in work. Ironically around the time of his diagnosis and op we were close emotionally, I hope I was able to give him max support. The more I write the more I realise that it has not really been very long since the op and I am probably pushing for too much intimacy too soon. I can also see that my need to feel "attractive" again and worthy of his interest is putting a lot of pressure on him. Phew. What a learning curve this is. Today I feel so much more hopeful will get through it.

User
Posted 29 December 2017 07:57:17(UTC)
Hi Trishy

Really sound advice there from everyone and I’m glad you feel a little better just by starting to talk about it. I’ve messaged you too x
User
Posted 29 December 2017 09:07:29(UTC)
It’s really hard to put this into words. I was diagnosed with advance stage PCa back in May, widespread throughout the bones and incurable. I’ve gone from being superman, super fit, ultra marathoner to a completely emasculated male caused by the hormone treatment. It’s been truly horrendous and feels like I’m being punished and yes it’s had an effect on my relationship with my Wife. It isn’t that I don’t find her desirable it’s that I don’t find anyone desirable, never think about sex and I had a very high libido pre treatment. I feel totally robbed of something very important to me. Not only has our sex life gone but the treatment has devastated my running which is now 20% harder to be 20% slower. We have however found it hugely helpful to talk, as a couple, with the McMillan specialist nurse in this area. Via chemical intervention I can now get an erection but it’s pretty unsatisfactory and hasn’t led to orgasm during penetrative sex for 4 or 5 months. After a while of this it does have a mental impact in that you get worried about the lack of outcome and into a “why bother” state of mind, after all what’s the bloody point! It’s also difficult living with cancer that’s incurable as the spectre of an early death doesn’t fill you with desire either! Working with our McMillan specialist I have now been able to reach orgasm once in the last 2 months which was amazing albeit not with penetrative sex. I still find it very very difficult but am determined to maintain some intimacy as it’s important to us. So we keep trying. I, in my mind, keep failing and find everything unsatisfactory but the alternative is not being here so what choice do I have. I hate this bloody disease and everything it’s done to me/us but I keep trying because, although I no longer have the drive I do still have desire for my Wife and we’ll stick at it. For the record I’m 60 and my Wife is 57, far too young to be in this position but by no means the youngest on this Forum.
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User
Posted 29 December 2017 12:19:17(UTC)

Excellent post Tony. I’m simply bl***dy dreading the start of HT and Chemo. It utterly fills me with dread and makes me question if I want a sexless life at all. Thanks for sharing.




If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade
 
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