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.