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User
Posted 12 Oct 2020 at 23:13

At times I wish I mad not had a “Ralp” but I’m still here after 29months. The worst thing is being rejected by a wife of (at the time 28yrs) 30 yrs in her words

”your not a man anymore”

so she has an affair!

not sure if life is worth living anymore.

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 17:29

Oh my goodness I am shocked! However it doesn't seem like the actions of a wife who was happy and still in love with you when you had the operation in the first place. Seems like she just used that as an excuse! To be fair to her it IS devastating for women too as it also means the end of their sexual life when things dont work out, even though they may still be relatively young and healthy. But to throw that "real man" stuff at you loses any sympathy I might have had for her. 

My man had RP in 2016. One nerve spared. We managed to resume relations after about 2 years using a pump. This September we had our first non pump assisted "bonk". His T went through the floor after the surgery and is only now recovering. Sadly we have had a biochemical recurrence and are facing our last "bonk" probably ever, this weekend. He is starting HT on Monday after SBRT didnt work and has been told it's for life. I am just over 50....still not in menopause myself and will never get to make love to my darling husband again. (He is an all or nothing guy so I know what way the land lies). But we will still love each other and have cuddles and hopefully a good few years of joy, as well as this awful pain, before he has to leave us as I know he will. I wouldnt dream of looking elsewhere and he is still and will always be, my man, my real man. 

Your wife has been a complete b***h and you deserve better. It's not your fault you got this awful illness. You have had successful treatment and now you must embrace life. You must be broken hearted to be treated so callously. But it seems to me this was probably in the works anyway...I do hope you find solace alone or meet somebody who will love you as you are and understand better what it means to be a "real man". I am so angry with her on your behalf...what a "nasty woman". I would give anything for my husband to have had a successful outcome after surgery. She doesn't know how lucky she is! 

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 16:01

Steve

She's shown you who she really is.   Would you really want to spend your life with someone so callous and uncaring.

Value yourself and be determined to love your life without a cruel person inhabiting it.

You would be more lonely living with such a loveless, vile person than being on your own.

 

V.

User
Posted 06 Nov 2020 at 05:15

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

...when men like you share the amount of time, energy, set backs , and communication it has taken you not to allow this cancer to define you, I see I’ve done neither one of us any favors by not verbalizing my need to be physically loved by the man I love so much....

YES! You got it. What I didn't understand before the surgery (or even in the first few months after) is that this is a MARATHON and not a sprint. And nobody gave me the route map for the marathon!

I have a preference for problems I can solve, and if not easily then by throwing intense effort at it. But this one has no clear solution ... it takes all those things you said: time, energy, endurance of setbacks, communication about things that are intimate and awkward and deeply confusing, and a kind of rewiring of one's core instincts about what physical loving really is. Patience and a sense of humour and more patience.

I have a new body now. It is different without a prostate. Both I and my wife are like virgins getting to know it after nearly 9 months of learning.

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 07:38

Brooke's,

It's not clear to me quite what his and your collective situations are. He may have tried to masturbate and found he couldn't get an erection (indeed, that's highly likely shortly after the procedure). He may have a sense of failure and dread at even trying that again, never mind sex with a partner. To prevent getting into that situation, he may have put up a barrier to being intimate in any way. (A lot of "may"s and guesswork here - I could be on completely the wrong path.)

I think there are a couple of things to try here.

Try to restore the intimacy, but with the pressure to have sex removed from the equation for now. You could do this in a couple of ways. Depending how well the two of you are communicating, you could discuss it as a plan, and agree sex is off the table for a month or two, but you want to get back to kisses, cuddles, stroking each others shoulders, arms, hands, etc, whatever you might have done in the past, except sex. Even if you both find such a session starts heading towards sex, don't go there - you need to get your intimate bond back fully working, and not at this stage try anything which might fail and knock it back. If that level of communication isn't operating, you could start by trying intimacy in circumstances where sex can't happen, such as in public, walking hand in hand, arms around each others' shoulders, having a good snog, etc. This might help you improve communication, but you'll need to work on that too.

This brings me to a communications activity I suggest for couples to try and help communicate again when communications have been damaged by distancing caused by loss of sex. Each of you go off separately with a sheet of paper and think of the following things to write down:
Think of a question to ask about how prostate cancer has affected your partner.
Write down an activity the two of you do which is important to you staying physically close.
Write down an activity you would like to do to make you physically close.
When you've both done this separately, come together, and discuss your answers one by one.
You can repeat this again in a week or two (decide and put a date in your diaries so it doesn't get missed), and you have to come up with 3 different points next time.

If you can get intimacy (without sex) going again, and communications going again, you should be able to come together and both understand each others' issues, and start formulating a plan. If you've wanted to continue on to sex during your month or two of intimacy with abstention, you should now be in a position to discuss if it's time to give it a go, or to understand why it isn't going to work (e.g. ED), and talk about what you might do about it. There are ways to have sex without an erection, and there are ways to get an erection with assistance, but you won't be able to talk about these or have the confidence to try and risk failure until you are back fully communicating freely again. You need to handle failure sensitively, as far as possible by maintaining intimacy, such that any failed sex isn't seen as intimacy ending in failure, but the intimacy continues.

Wishing you the best of luck.

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 16:47

Andy, you pretty much nailed it regarding my husband. That’s exactly what happened. He just gave up and closed the door on that part of his life.  Are you a counselor because you’ve articulated a very doable action plan for us now that I’m not allowing this subject to be evaded any longer.  Thank you for taking the time to help us. Being a woman I really needed a mans perspective, and I’ve gotten some very helpful and candid opinions from all you men that are refusing to let prostate cancer belittle you in any way.  I know this is going to sound corny, but I’m so damn proud of you all❤️

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 22:01

Thank goodness for Andy’s reply to Brookes situation. A well thought out suggestion taking into account how Brookes OH may be feeling  

The he’s selfish, man up comments were very insensitive as none of you know what he’s going through. We are all different in our responses to this bloody disease and that has to be respected.

I hope it works out for you and your OH Brookes. I also hope the OP of this thread is ok

Bri

Edited by member 05 Nov 2020 at 22:03  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 06 Nov 2020 at 05:21

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

I was proactive, ED clinic, pump, cialis, viagra, I got a cock ring to help, we've bought loads of 'toys' if I cannot focus enough to stay hard. It's hard to focus and remember to be tactile, hugs kisses cuddles because HT takes that feeling away but you just have to want to make it all work ...

Thank you Stalwart! You captured it - all this paraphernalia, works sometimes but not others, hard to focus - and so easy to compare with "before" when it all came so naturally.

I honour you for just persisting, trying each different way, staying with your core love and desire even though it manifests differently. I am on a similar journey and I yearn for the simple pleasure sex used to be - but like you it is still worth adapting for the sake of loving connection. And you're right that it takes a bit more conscious effort to be tactile, hug and kiss - I find that my uncertainty about my own body's responses makes me less confident of connecting with my wife. Still worth the effort!

User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 01:19

That really is kicking a man when he is down. The same thought came to me as to Misty and I also wonder whether she was happy with the relationship before the RP and this was just an excuse to have a relationship with somebody else. We don't know whether this was with a particular man she particularly likes, which is what sometimes happens with relationships that have become jaded or with any man because she just misses having sex. In any event it's clear from the additional information provided in sjp's bio that she wants a divorce and he must come to terms with that.

Naturally, sjp has taken this very hard and I do hope he receives support from friends and any other family members.   I hope sjp has other interests on which to concentrate that make him feel life is worthwhile, although this may be difficult during this pandemic.  In any case there is going to be a lot to sort out in the case of a divorce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by member 14 Oct 2020 at 01:46  | Reason: Not specified

Barry
User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 08:29
The s*** that was my X wife told me she was glad I couldn't do it anymore and fucked off anyway after 34 years. She also destroyed my neighbors marriage on the way out!

Turned out it was only her I couldn't do it with!

Don't give up if you are still keen for sex there IS a woman out there somewhere who will love you for who you are now and that will make s big difference. Plus of course you need to explore all medical options too, I did, had s great time doing it and just need a cock ring now 😁

User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 11:40
I agree with franci - my dad was widowed so slightly different but he was very worried about whether he would ever have another relationship because of ED. in fact, he met a lovely lady and they had a very loving (and sexual) relationship with her for many years until her death and now has a new partner who has also taken ED & injections in her stride.

There is life after being treated so badly, sjp. This is her failure rather than yours.

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

User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 17:00
Oi John Bollinge

40 years, isn't it time she made an honest man out of you?

What's she waiting for, Everton to win the Premiership?

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 08:27
Hi Brookes

You don't say if he is on hormone treatment? If he is that may have removed all his interest in anything sexual. If that is the case you may have to be pretty blatant and tell him what you want.

If he has "only" had a prostatectomy it may be he has lost confidence in his ability to give you pleasure and has taken the "easy" option and given up to avoid failure. In this case you will need to take a more reasuring line, this is particularly important if he has any of the other unwanted side effects (eg leaking urine when aroused) any negative reaction from you will destroy his fragile confidence. So you will need to be sexy and non threatening not as easy as it sounds!

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 09:17
Hi Brookes excellent advice above. I’m 5 and a half years on now from surgery. The only thing on my mind was getting things back to normal in the bedroom and we just persevered and persevered until it was fixed. But that’s me !!

During that time I had message after message from frustrated younger wives asking why their husband had just zero interest whatsoever and just locked themselves in a darkened room and simply didn’t try anything at all. I guess that’s the caveman in other men. We are each individual as are you ladies. If he isn’t on HT then only communicating will get you through. That’s what got my wife and I to where we are now and we still keep that key in our marriage.

If he’s gone 2 yrs without taking tablets or using a pump then it’s possible he has caused irreversible damage to his penis so penetration won’t be possible. But as you say if you were doing plenty of foreplay before then there is no reason why he shouldn’t be trying to satisfy you. Many men would be terrified of losing their wife.

So I suggest you write down 100% how you are feeling and make him read it , or read it to him face to face.

Move forward together or move on because you deserve to be happy

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 09:59

I "only" had a prostectomy back in March this year i.e no HT. I was very concerned that ED might be a possibility but I think we did a few things

1) We talked about it and definitely didn't let it get in the way of being close. 

2) After the consultant said at the consultation week 4 that I could start taking viagra I was straight down the chemists ( the 50 mg tablets are available over the counter) Its absolutely no big deal taking a pill. And we were able to give it a go at that stage. Not my best performance but at least we were giving it a go!!!

3) We used "aids" and being able to satisfy my partner one way or another was important to me. 

Personally, I think he is being selfish. Yes, its an emotional thing but it is for both of you, not just him. Has he said why he won't take the vaigra? I think you are being supportive and more than reasonable. Maybe it time for you to talk about some of your needs in the relationship?

 

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 12:05

Well done for hanging in there @Brooke's. I hear your love and care and concern and willingness to take actions - firstly to save your relationship and also to get what you need. That's only fair and I encourage you to go ahead. I think the main thing is for you to firmly let him know what you want (blushes and all) and let him know the consequences if he doesn't collaborate. For me as a man, I like my messages direct, i.e. not dressing up sexy and trying to get me to want it, just telling me straight what you want. 

And thanks to all those who have spoken out so compassionately for him as he faces his own demons. I am one of the lucky ones who has been able to talk and joke about it with my wife, and in fact benefited hugely about ten years earlier when I had a short bout of ED - that she compassionately said to me, let's make love even if we can't f***. Wow, that was a gift for me. 

My 2 cents worth on the male emotional journey (different for every man) - what I found was that I did have months of feeling like avoiding any kind of sexual situations with my wife, about 3-4 months post surgery. It all just seemed to be getting worse, not better. The idea of sex for me then kind of carried the hammer behind it of "you will be disappointed at the end." Also, it was much easier for me to get some sexual pleasure alone through masturbation than with my partner, I feel a bit embarrassed to admit. It's still a bit like that for me after 8 months, although the vacuum pump has given me back some erectile function. The huge learning for me and my wife was how much we are wired to f*** and how big of a rewiring it needs to do what I so glibly advised above - make love without any erection. It's emotionally scary and my wife and I can testify that it is possible.

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 13:54

I will be as blunt as some of the others here; I don't believe him if he is saying he feels no desire at all. Removal of the prostate may cause erectile function but it doesn't directly cause loss of libido. Loss of libido can be caused by the fall-out from prostate cancer (fear of failure, a sense of no longer being a man, mental health issues as a result of being told you have cancer, etc) but all of these are within his gift to do something about; professional help may be needed. Maybe when he was diagnosed, he knew that ED was a possibility but didn't understand the difference between libido and ED? But to make no attempt at all to address this is selfish on his part and does not bode well for the future and, as CJ says, if he has had no engorgement at all for 2 years it may be too late to recover proper erections and so other ways of making love will become important.

This thread may help https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t9839-One-wife-s-story-of-ED 

Edited by member 03 Nov 2020 at 13:56  | Reason: Not specified

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

User
Posted 04 Nov 2020 at 19:54

I'll be more blunt than others, he's been feeling sorry for himself for too long now and is just not trying he needs to snap out of it before your relationship deteriorates. Shameful lack of understanding of your emotions and desire for intimacy. I'm on HT, had chemo, radiotherapy, ejaculation of pure blood last month for weeks....God yes I felt down and sorry for myself at the very start but crying into my pillow every night isn't going to change anything. I have no libido at all but I still desire my fiance and want to be intimate with her. I was proactive, ED clinic,pump,cialis,viagra, I got a cock ring to help, we've bought loads of 'toys' if I cannot focus enough to stay hard. It's hard to focus and remember to be tactile, hugs kisses cuddles because HT takes that feeling away but you just have to want to make it all work but if hes not on HT then he has no excuse. You two need to sit down and you need to say what you need from him, if all you want is oral and toy play with no pressure for him to perform then let him know that, lay in bed together and take his hand and put it where it feels nice for you with no pressure on him. You need buy in from him or your going to start resenting him very quickly.

I know I'm blunt but it makes me so mad when some blokes feel sorry for themselves for too long and forget or totally disregard their wives/girlfriends feelings and needs.

User
Posted 04 Nov 2020 at 23:07

You are right; and I see now that there are so many more solution oriented avenues he could have gone through. I’m starting to understand surviving prostrate cancer is very different then not allowing it to steal your identity or your sexuality.  Because it was his body I thought I was honoring his struggle, but when men like you share the amount of time, energy, set backs , and communication it has taken you not to allow this cancer to define you, I see I’ve done neither one of us any favors by not verbalizing my need to be physically loved by the man I love so much. You have definitely earned the right to be blunt and I’m humbled that you took the time to tell me your story. Giving up was never an option when he was diagnosed, so why I left all our intimacy needs to die on that operating table I can’t understand.   Time to have a few jack daniels with my man and have an honest solution oriented conversation.   
Thanks for me giving that invisible but powerful fuel I needed: HOPE. 

Edited by member 04 Nov 2020 at 23:07  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 00:04

Thanks Lyn; long time coming ( no pun intended) but I can now see a way forward. It’s making me smile just thinking about adding this dimension back into the way we love each other ❤️

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 00:34
Contrary to popular belief I find booze helps my inclination and confidence. I guess because it removes some inhibitions and fear of failure? So the Jack Daniels may be a good idea!
User
Posted 25 Nov 2020 at 07:25

Hello there,

thank you for your post.  I appreciate your encouragement, but  Personally an

open marriage is an oxymoron to me. ❤️

User
Posted 25 Nov 2020 at 07:39

I'd like to share a resource my wife and I have found very helpful, very couple-friendly and yet cast in terms that are accessible to men: https://www.atouchysubject.com/ 

User
Posted 25 Nov 2020 at 21:01
That’s what I have missed most over these years as well, the lazy waking up sex.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

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User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 16:01

Steve

She's shown you who she really is.   Would you really want to spend your life with someone so callous and uncaring.

Value yourself and be determined to love your life without a cruel person inhabiting it.

You would be more lonely living with such a loveless, vile person than being on your own.

 

V.

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 16:09

Hi,

Ignore the thought about whether having an operation was a good idea.  You needed treatment  and there's always an uncertain outcome.   The situation now is all you can consider.

I've no experience of the subject but it seems to have gone a long way down the track.   Did you both talk it over  and seek any advice about your problems?  Was it in the wind before hand?   There is a lot of discussion about Erectile Dysfunction on here and of counselling for mental states.   You aren't the only one on here in a similar situation.

If you write more about your case and how you are it will help people to comment although I believe these comments are visible on a search so keep it a bit less specific if you think it might be used against you.   If those are your initials you might want to change it.

All the best
Peter

User
Posted 13 Oct 2020 at 17:29

Oh my goodness I am shocked! However it doesn't seem like the actions of a wife who was happy and still in love with you when you had the operation in the first place. Seems like she just used that as an excuse! To be fair to her it IS devastating for women too as it also means the end of their sexual life when things dont work out, even though they may still be relatively young and healthy. But to throw that "real man" stuff at you loses any sympathy I might have had for her. 

My man had RP in 2016. One nerve spared. We managed to resume relations after about 2 years using a pump. This September we had our first non pump assisted "bonk". His T went through the floor after the surgery and is only now recovering. Sadly we have had a biochemical recurrence and are facing our last "bonk" probably ever, this weekend. He is starting HT on Monday after SBRT didnt work and has been told it's for life. I am just over 50....still not in menopause myself and will never get to make love to my darling husband again. (He is an all or nothing guy so I know what way the land lies). But we will still love each other and have cuddles and hopefully a good few years of joy, as well as this awful pain, before he has to leave us as I know he will. I wouldnt dream of looking elsewhere and he is still and will always be, my man, my real man. 

Your wife has been a complete b***h and you deserve better. It's not your fault you got this awful illness. You have had successful treatment and now you must embrace life. You must be broken hearted to be treated so callously. But it seems to me this was probably in the works anyway...I do hope you find solace alone or meet somebody who will love you as you are and understand better what it means to be a "real man". I am so angry with her on your behalf...what a "nasty woman". I would give anything for my husband to have had a successful outcome after surgery. She doesn't know how lucky she is! 

User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 01:19

That really is kicking a man when he is down. The same thought came to me as to Misty and I also wonder whether she was happy with the relationship before the RP and this was just an excuse to have a relationship with somebody else. We don't know whether this was with a particular man she particularly likes, which is what sometimes happens with relationships that have become jaded or with any man because she just misses having sex. In any event it's clear from the additional information provided in sjp's bio that she wants a divorce and he must come to terms with that.

Naturally, sjp has taken this very hard and I do hope he receives support from friends and any other family members.   I hope sjp has other interests on which to concentrate that make him feel life is worthwhile, although this may be difficult during this pandemic.  In any case there is going to be a lot to sort out in the case of a divorce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by member 14 Oct 2020 at 01:46  | Reason: Not specified

Barry
User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 03:41
Her Loveliness (my fiancée of forty years in December) says she is quite relieved that I am no longer capable of penetrative sex.

She lost her sexual appetite after a hysterectomy. So it’s all worked out well for us.

Sorry to hear your story though.

Best of luck.

Cheers, John.

User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 08:29
The s*** that was my X wife told me she was glad I couldn't do it anymore and fucked off anyway after 34 years. She also destroyed my neighbors marriage on the way out!

Turned out it was only her I couldn't do it with!

Don't give up if you are still keen for sex there IS a woman out there somewhere who will love you for who you are now and that will make s big difference. Plus of course you need to explore all medical options too, I did, had s great time doing it and just need a cock ring now 😁

User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 11:40
I agree with franci - my dad was widowed so slightly different but he was very worried about whether he would ever have another relationship because of ED. in fact, he met a lovely lady and they had a very loving (and sexual) relationship with her for many years until her death and now has a new partner who has also taken ED & injections in her stride.

There is life after being treated so badly, sjp. This is her failure rather than yours.

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

User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 16:28

There was a guy I was talking to whilst I was on RT in march this year and his wife left him as soon as he got the diagnosis stating that she wanted a sexual relationship and was to young to be celibate, she didn't even wait until his treatment finished to see if he had any problems!

 

User
Posted 14 Oct 2020 at 17:00
Oi John Bollinge

40 years, isn't it time she made an honest man out of you?

What's she waiting for, Everton to win the Premiership?

User
Posted 01 Nov 2020 at 14:31

My heart goes out to you SJP. What I am going to say doesn't fix it but just sharing what my wife and I are learning and pointing out how much pain this cancer causes to both partners.

When we lose our erections after prostate cancer treatment, it is not just the source of physical joy we lose. Our partners also lose the signal that we are turned on by them. An erection functions as evidence that a man is attracted to his partner. When I first lost mine (RARP Feb 2020), this was what shocked me the most - how both of us were kind of pushed away from sex. For me, it was because I foresaw the disappointment of getting going. and then not being able to "complete." For her, it was a lot about feeling unseen/unacknowledged by me. We have talked about it, and my erection and sexual interest in her was something she really missed - more as an emotional signal than just as a warm body part that could penetrate her.

What has really helped us is to talk about this, and to really tune into the joy of loving each other and connecting any way we can (still only managed penetrative sex a couple of times and I'm past my 8th month). I keep reminding her that just because I am flaccid doesn't mean I don't love and want her! And I am also having to retrain myself to really feel satisfaction from whatever sexual connection we are able to make - and not one-track on penetration.

And I am still sorry that your wife clocked out, instead of staying with the challenge of transforming love making to suit the new bodily circumstances.

User
Posted 01 Nov 2020 at 15:40

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
Oi John Bollinge

40 years, isn't it time she made an honest man out of you?
What's she waiting for, Everton to win the Premiership?

Well, there were those two hurricanes in 1995, one which destroyed the beach hotel where we were to be married in the British Virgin Islands, and another in Sint Maarten which destroyed our honeymoon accommodation.

So instead, we went to Thailand on ‘honeymoon’, but once I met those Ladyboys...😉

Cheers, John.

P.S. We support Coventry City, so by your criteria, our nuptials are a long way off!

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 03:52

Hi there,

my lovely strong husband had prostrate cancer 2 years ago; we went through as best friends the operation and recovery,  the lymphodema that followed, and then  the urine  infections,  and then the scar tissue that resulted in another procedure to allow the flow to return. He is now symptom free but the one side effect I see mentioned a lot here; erectile dysfunction. The doctor prescribed him viagra and he simply wouldn’t take it. So, after 2 years of absolutely no sexual interest in any way shape or form, I brought up the subject of maybe just creatively being apart of helping me who still is young and very much in love with him.  I really really don’t understand why he can’t see that even though his interest is gone, that a part of loving me would be to interact sexually with me on any level. I’m looking for a bloke to honestly answer this question for me politely.  I am at a complete loss as to what to do. Hope I haven’t offended anyone. Just looking for some help. 

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 08:27
Hi Brookes

You don't say if he is on hormone treatment? If he is that may have removed all his interest in anything sexual. If that is the case you may have to be pretty blatant and tell him what you want.

If he has "only" had a prostatectomy it may be he has lost confidence in his ability to give you pleasure and has taken the "easy" option and given up to avoid failure. In this case you will need to take a more reasuring line, this is particularly important if he has any of the other unwanted side effects (eg leaking urine when aroused) any negative reaction from you will destroy his fragile confidence. So you will need to be sexy and non threatening not as easy as it sounds!

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 09:17
Hi Brookes excellent advice above. I’m 5 and a half years on now from surgery. The only thing on my mind was getting things back to normal in the bedroom and we just persevered and persevered until it was fixed. But that’s me !!

During that time I had message after message from frustrated younger wives asking why their husband had just zero interest whatsoever and just locked themselves in a darkened room and simply didn’t try anything at all. I guess that’s the caveman in other men. We are each individual as are you ladies. If he isn’t on HT then only communicating will get you through. That’s what got my wife and I to where we are now and we still keep that key in our marriage.

If he’s gone 2 yrs without taking tablets or using a pump then it’s possible he has caused irreversible damage to his penis so penetration won’t be possible. But as you say if you were doing plenty of foreplay before then there is no reason why he shouldn’t be trying to satisfy you. Many men would be terrified of losing their wife.

So I suggest you write down 100% how you are feeling and make him read it , or read it to him face to face.

Move forward together or move on because you deserve to be happy

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 09:26

Thank you for your candid answer. He is not on any hormones. He has simply lost all sexual feeling and it seems all interest; but you may be on to something.......I have felt that doing or wear anything sexy would be like rubbing his nose in the fact that he has no urge if you get my drift; I would never make him feel less of a man; to me he’s so much more of a man to have kicked cancers backside, survived and is as strong as ever.  I try talking to him about just participating ( can you feel me blushing ) out of loving me, but this backfires because it seems like it reminds him of what we used to be able to do together.  Is dressing  up going to help if you have no sexual desire anymore? What words can I use to reassure him that all I want is intimacy however that looks right now.......

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 09:29

He is my lemonade and my lemon right now, and there lies the rub..... or lack of I guess 🙃

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 09:59

I "only" had a prostectomy back in March this year i.e no HT. I was very concerned that ED might be a possibility but I think we did a few things

1) We talked about it and definitely didn't let it get in the way of being close. 

2) After the consultant said at the consultation week 4 that I could start taking viagra I was straight down the chemists ( the 50 mg tablets are available over the counter) Its absolutely no big deal taking a pill. And we were able to give it a go at that stage. Not my best performance but at least we were giving it a go!!!

3) We used "aids" and being able to satisfy my partner one way or another was important to me. 

Personally, I think he is being selfish. Yes, its an emotional thing but it is for both of you, not just him. Has he said why he won't take the vaigra? I think you are being supportive and more than reasonable. Maybe it time for you to talk about some of your needs in the relationship?

 

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 10:08

Thanks for that. He never ever has had to take a pill for anything  believe  it or not, so viagra seemed like poison to him. This forum, and you gentlemen’s comments has helped me already, as I just told him I’ve joined this forum to help us, and I think he should to. Talking to a few of you guys would probably help him a great deal. So in one day of reaching out on this forum Ive managed to say that we will not survive this if we continue to ignore it, and I’ll give him the information on how to join.   You guys are stellar; it’s not an easy thing to go through or to talk about with strangers, but you’ve made the latter much easier with your kind frankness.  

Edited by member 03 Nov 2020 at 10:11  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 12:05

Well done for hanging in there @Brooke's. I hear your love and care and concern and willingness to take actions - firstly to save your relationship and also to get what you need. That's only fair and I encourage you to go ahead. I think the main thing is for you to firmly let him know what you want (blushes and all) and let him know the consequences if he doesn't collaborate. For me as a man, I like my messages direct, i.e. not dressing up sexy and trying to get me to want it, just telling me straight what you want. 

And thanks to all those who have spoken out so compassionately for him as he faces his own demons. I am one of the lucky ones who has been able to talk and joke about it with my wife, and in fact benefited hugely about ten years earlier when I had a short bout of ED - that she compassionately said to me, let's make love even if we can't f***. Wow, that was a gift for me. 

My 2 cents worth on the male emotional journey (different for every man) - what I found was that I did have months of feeling like avoiding any kind of sexual situations with my wife, about 3-4 months post surgery. It all just seemed to be getting worse, not better. The idea of sex for me then kind of carried the hammer behind it of "you will be disappointed at the end." Also, it was much easier for me to get some sexual pleasure alone through masturbation than with my partner, I feel a bit embarrassed to admit. It's still a bit like that for me after 8 months, although the vacuum pump has given me back some erectile function. The huge learning for me and my wife was how much we are wired to f*** and how big of a rewiring it needs to do what I so glibly advised above - make love without any erection. It's emotionally scary and my wife and I can testify that it is possible.

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 13:44

Appreciate the honesty. We have tried each to our own but together and he was so disappointed in his body that it was not a great experience.  Can I ask you a brutally honest question; if you ended up with absolutely NO sex drive or inclination, would it be the woman that should take the initiative to gain some sort of intimacy;  because feeling it’s a chore and not a pleasure to him even if it’s only to please someone you love is a big turn off for me.... I’m stuck here. I don’t even know how to begin.  Vicious cycle 

Edited by member 03 Nov 2020 at 13:46  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 13:54

I will be as blunt as some of the others here; I don't believe him if he is saying he feels no desire at all. Removal of the prostate may cause erectile function but it doesn't directly cause loss of libido. Loss of libido can be caused by the fall-out from prostate cancer (fear of failure, a sense of no longer being a man, mental health issues as a result of being told you have cancer, etc) but all of these are within his gift to do something about; professional help may be needed. Maybe when he was diagnosed, he knew that ED was a possibility but didn't understand the difference between libido and ED? But to make no attempt at all to address this is selfish on his part and does not bode well for the future and, as CJ says, if he has had no engorgement at all for 2 years it may be too late to recover proper erections and so other ways of making love will become important.

This thread may help https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t9839-One-wife-s-story-of-ED 

Edited by member 03 Nov 2020 at 13:56  | Reason: Not specified

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

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 14:44

I agree with LynEyre - libido is actually love of life, and losing love of life is not a thing that comes from physical sources. 

In answer to Brooke's question: I have found that I've wanted more attention from my wife and more of her initiating things since my surgery - and we have both been surprised how much of a change that is. Perhaps we didn't realise how much I was "always on" sexually or "always up for it" and how that is actually a resource for the couple. It seems we are now both learning new ways - for her, to actually spend more time focused on my body, and for me, to accept that. The one thing that is constant for me is that I love my wife's body, and I love doing anything that turns her on (even though some of those options are limited by my lack of erections). I still have skin, hands and a tongue after all.

I wouldn't be surprised if your man is kind of betwixt and between - on the one hand, needing more attention and on the other bemoaning his lack of "performance" - it's a kind of lose/lose where he can't accept favours or let himself give them. For me it is still weird and destabilising to reach out sexually, yet not be accompanied by that automatic swelling. I miss it.

And I support LynEyre's challenge: to your husband I say, there is no shame in getting professional help to get over these difficulties somehow. After all it is not your fault the rug has been pulled from under your feet. It is just that bodily changes in this area affect us all over body, mind and heart.

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 14:52
Brookes that was a really good comment. Many men on here end up on HT which completely kills their libido in most cases. It’s awful for a couple. Especially one that was really sexually active still. I guess if the woman doesn’t make the move then nothing happens. And yes if she does make the move it could make the man feel worse and inadequate and end up with him pushing her away completely which is awful. I’m desperately in need of HT in my life right now but I’m still failing to take the leap because of these side effects. I feel passionate about not being passionate anymore. Ultimately I’m shortening my life maybe stupidly , maybe not.

I just find it strange that in 2 yrs he’s done nothing. Did you communicate well before? We were so determined to get thru it that we were doing anything to keep things going. Our bedroom ended up like a dungeon- more fun than before tbh.

I feel so so sorry for you. I genuinely do. I’m lost as how to help. If he won’t help himself then there is not a lot you can do. As I said before a really big sit down , tears and all , and get it all on the table. It’s not too late for intimacy to resume at all , but as I said 2 yrs without use may have had bad effects on his penis. Nothing a good harness couldn’t get over ;-)

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 03 Nov 2020 at 23:01

It gives me hope because when we first met he had difficulty and we were creative and suddenly his Ed vanished. This was before the cancer, but maybe he’s back to thinking

“if I don’t have the key I’ll never be able to start the car” but I am not pressuring him like that, he is. He has tried once in 2 years 
I learned to really enjoy the partnership of being able to hot wire the darn thing to finish the metaphor. It has so much to do with honestly and love. Thank you a guys for your candid sharing 

User
Posted 04 Nov 2020 at 19:54

I'll be more blunt than others, he's been feeling sorry for himself for too long now and is just not trying he needs to snap out of it before your relationship deteriorates. Shameful lack of understanding of your emotions and desire for intimacy. I'm on HT, had chemo, radiotherapy, ejaculation of pure blood last month for weeks....God yes I felt down and sorry for myself at the very start but crying into my pillow every night isn't going to change anything. I have no libido at all but I still desire my fiance and want to be intimate with her. I was proactive, ED clinic,pump,cialis,viagra, I got a cock ring to help, we've bought loads of 'toys' if I cannot focus enough to stay hard. It's hard to focus and remember to be tactile, hugs kisses cuddles because HT takes that feeling away but you just have to want to make it all work but if hes not on HT then he has no excuse. You two need to sit down and you need to say what you need from him, if all you want is oral and toy play with no pressure for him to perform then let him know that, lay in bed together and take his hand and put it where it feels nice for you with no pressure on him. You need buy in from him or your going to start resenting him very quickly.

I know I'm blunt but it makes me so mad when some blokes feel sorry for themselves for too long and forget or totally disregard their wives/girlfriends feelings and needs.

User
Posted 04 Nov 2020 at 23:07

You are right; and I see now that there are so many more solution oriented avenues he could have gone through. I’m starting to understand surviving prostrate cancer is very different then not allowing it to steal your identity or your sexuality.  Because it was his body I thought I was honoring his struggle, but when men like you share the amount of time, energy, set backs , and communication it has taken you not to allow this cancer to define you, I see I’ve done neither one of us any favors by not verbalizing my need to be physically loved by the man I love so much. You have definitely earned the right to be blunt and I’m humbled that you took the time to tell me your story. Giving up was never an option when he was diagnosed, so why I left all our intimacy needs to die on that operating table I can’t understand.   Time to have a few jack daniels with my man and have an honest solution oriented conversation.   
Thanks for me giving that invisible but powerful fuel I needed: HOPE. 

Edited by member 04 Nov 2020 at 23:07  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 04 Nov 2020 at 23:59
I do hope that you find a way forward Brookes 👍
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 00:04

Thanks Lyn; long time coming ( no pun intended) but I can now see a way forward. It’s making me smile just thinking about adding this dimension back into the way we love each other ❤️

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 00:34
Contrary to popular belief I find booze helps my inclination and confidence. I guess because it removes some inhibitions and fear of failure? So the Jack Daniels may be a good idea!
User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 00:39

That’s what I was thinking.  A drink or two to help him have a conversation without the unnecessary defensiveness. We are great friends and after a few drinks he’s much more able to hear and deal with emotional things. We need a plan of action.  Then we need to plan the action 🙃

Edited by member 05 Nov 2020 at 00:40  | Reason: Typos

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 07:38

Brooke's,

It's not clear to me quite what his and your collective situations are. He may have tried to masturbate and found he couldn't get an erection (indeed, that's highly likely shortly after the procedure). He may have a sense of failure and dread at even trying that again, never mind sex with a partner. To prevent getting into that situation, he may have put up a barrier to being intimate in any way. (A lot of "may"s and guesswork here - I could be on completely the wrong path.)

I think there are a couple of things to try here.

Try to restore the intimacy, but with the pressure to have sex removed from the equation for now. You could do this in a couple of ways. Depending how well the two of you are communicating, you could discuss it as a plan, and agree sex is off the table for a month or two, but you want to get back to kisses, cuddles, stroking each others shoulders, arms, hands, etc, whatever you might have done in the past, except sex. Even if you both find such a session starts heading towards sex, don't go there - you need to get your intimate bond back fully working, and not at this stage try anything which might fail and knock it back. If that level of communication isn't operating, you could start by trying intimacy in circumstances where sex can't happen, such as in public, walking hand in hand, arms around each others' shoulders, having a good snog, etc. This might help you improve communication, but you'll need to work on that too.

This brings me to a communications activity I suggest for couples to try and help communicate again when communications have been damaged by distancing caused by loss of sex. Each of you go off separately with a sheet of paper and think of the following things to write down:
Think of a question to ask about how prostate cancer has affected your partner.
Write down an activity the two of you do which is important to you staying physically close.
Write down an activity you would like to do to make you physically close.
When you've both done this separately, come together, and discuss your answers one by one.
You can repeat this again in a week or two (decide and put a date in your diaries so it doesn't get missed), and you have to come up with 3 different points next time.

If you can get intimacy (without sex) going again, and communications going again, you should be able to come together and both understand each others' issues, and start formulating a plan. If you've wanted to continue on to sex during your month or two of intimacy with abstention, you should now be in a position to discuss if it's time to give it a go, or to understand why it isn't going to work (e.g. ED), and talk about what you might do about it. There are ways to have sex without an erection, and there are ways to get an erection with assistance, but you won't be able to talk about these or have the confidence to try and risk failure until you are back fully communicating freely again. You need to handle failure sensitively, as far as possible by maintaining intimacy, such that any failed sex isn't seen as intimacy ending in failure, but the intimacy continues.

Wishing you the best of luck.

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 16:47

Andy, you pretty much nailed it regarding my husband. That’s exactly what happened. He just gave up and closed the door on that part of his life.  Are you a counselor because you’ve articulated a very doable action plan for us now that I’m not allowing this subject to be evaded any longer.  Thank you for taking the time to help us. Being a woman I really needed a mans perspective, and I’ve gotten some very helpful and candid opinions from all you men that are refusing to let prostate cancer belittle you in any way.  I know this is going to sound corny, but I’m so damn proud of you all❤️

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 17:29

Brooke's,

I'm not a qualified counselor or a clinician. I do some voluntary one-to-one work with patients, and I see the same pattern come up quite often.

The two of you should probably ask your GP for a referral to sexual counseling, which you are entitled to as prostate cancer patients. However, there's usually a long wait, and if you can afford to go privately, you might consider doing that.

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 19:45

Well you’ve been listening well then. We don’t need professional counseling at this point but thank you for letting me know that’s an option. My man would never be able to talk about these personal issues with strangers. That’s why I’m doing it for us😊.  

User
Posted 05 Nov 2020 at 22:01

Thank goodness for Andy’s reply to Brookes situation. A well thought out suggestion taking into account how Brookes OH may be feeling  

The he’s selfish, man up comments were very insensitive as none of you know what he’s going through. We are all different in our responses to this bloody disease and that has to be respected.

I hope it works out for you and your OH Brookes. I also hope the OP of this thread is ok

Bri

Edited by member 05 Nov 2020 at 22:03  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 06 Nov 2020 at 05:15

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

...when men like you share the amount of time, energy, set backs , and communication it has taken you not to allow this cancer to define you, I see I’ve done neither one of us any favors by not verbalizing my need to be physically loved by the man I love so much....

YES! You got it. What I didn't understand before the surgery (or even in the first few months after) is that this is a MARATHON and not a sprint. And nobody gave me the route map for the marathon!

I have a preference for problems I can solve, and if not easily then by throwing intense effort at it. But this one has no clear solution ... it takes all those things you said: time, energy, endurance of setbacks, communication about things that are intimate and awkward and deeply confusing, and a kind of rewiring of one's core instincts about what physical loving really is. Patience and a sense of humour and more patience.

I have a new body now. It is different without a prostate. Both I and my wife are like virgins getting to know it after nearly 9 months of learning.

User
Posted 06 Nov 2020 at 05:21

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

I was proactive, ED clinic, pump, cialis, viagra, I got a cock ring to help, we've bought loads of 'toys' if I cannot focus enough to stay hard. It's hard to focus and remember to be tactile, hugs kisses cuddles because HT takes that feeling away but you just have to want to make it all work ...

Thank you Stalwart! You captured it - all this paraphernalia, works sometimes but not others, hard to focus - and so easy to compare with "before" when it all came so naturally.

I honour you for just persisting, trying each different way, staying with your core love and desire even though it manifests differently. I am on a similar journey and I yearn for the simple pleasure sex used to be - but like you it is still worth adapting for the sake of loving connection. And you're right that it takes a bit more conscious effort to be tactile, hug and kiss - I find that my uncertainty about my own body's responses makes me less confident of connecting with my wife. Still worth the effort!

User
Posted 18 Nov 2020 at 00:24

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
I brought up the subject of maybe just creatively being apart of helping me who still is young and very much in love with him. I really really don’t understand why he can’t see that even though his interest is gone, that a part of loving me would be to interact sexually with me on any level.

Hi Brooke,

It looks like I’m late to this exchange, sorry.  I think communicating with your husband on a very personal and intimate level is a necessary start.  Try doing this gradually ... not too deep too soon.  You deserve to bring about your own happiness in any way you can.  It looks to me like opening your marriage might be a way for both of you to get what you want.  I have a bit of experience in that kind of discussion ... read my blog post "The rules can change".  Hope this helps.

Albertacam

User
Posted 25 Nov 2020 at 07:25

Hello there,

thank you for your post.  I appreciate your encouragement, but  Personally an

open marriage is an oxymoron to me. ❤️

User
Posted 25 Nov 2020 at 07:39

I'd like to share a resource my wife and I have found very helpful, very couple-friendly and yet cast in terms that are accessible to men: https://www.atouchysubject.com/ 

User
Posted 25 Nov 2020 at 19:57

Yes an open marriage is an oxymoron for me too. I often think about how nice it would be to encounter what I used to encounter in the mornings 😁😁 but unless its attached to my husband it's no use!!

Edited by member 25 Nov 2020 at 21:36  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 25 Nov 2020 at 21:01
That’s what I have missed most over these years as well, the lazy waking up sex.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 25 Nov 2020 at 23:18

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
I often think about how nice it would be to encounter what I used to encounter in the mornings 😁😁 but unless its attached to my husband it's no use!!

Well said  😄 !  I certainly get it.  I just don't want to be one who constrains my wife in any way by my situation.  I believe she see thinks exactly the way you do, but we all evolve.

Edited by member 28 Nov 2020 at 18:44  | Reason: spelling

User
Posted 29 Nov 2020 at 13:55

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
That’s what I have missed most over these years as well, the lazy waking up sex.

Have you tried just going ahead with lazy waking up sex, just without the erection part of it? My wife and I both in our sixties, find the mornings are best. And learning a lot about loving sexual touch without requiring that particular part of me to be fully hard.

User
Posted 29 Nov 2020 at 16:05
I think you would need to read my threads to understand it fully but 10 years post-op, J has never made any attempt in the morning that is unlikely to change; although he no longer has PCa-treatment related ED and he does wake up with an erection sometimes, the mind tricks are too great to overcome.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

 
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