Sex is an important part of any marriage. We’ve all heard this before, and many people have varied definitions as to what is “healthy” and what is not when it comes to intimacy and the frequency of having sex.
I grew up in a Utah community, and as you could guess (Mormon culture and all) sex isn’t something that’s discussed openly–at all. On top of that, we’re known for marrying young (approx 19-22 or your over the hill) and young = immature!
Entering a relationship with someone who has narcissistic traits when you’re at such a young age can really affect how you view sex and how you communicate about it (or even IF you communicate about it).
A woman who has been in a relationship with a narcissist is showered with love at first. You’re treated sweetly and groomed for the narcissist’s picking. You, of course, have no idea this is happening at the time. Oblivious to the control mechanisms that spin and crank behind the scenes, you might hear stories about how the narcissist has been cheated on or hurt. Or how he feels he wasn’t loved as a child. You feel it’s your responsibility to “prove” you’re worthiness and loyalty to him. Always.
When sex enters the picture, this can become a huge problem for you, the victim. For some women, the sex is never really about a mutual connection once the narcissist has entrapped you. For some narcissists, is only about the him and his needs. He doesn’t consider her need to be loved outside of the bedroom or if she has an orgasm or not. He only wants to get his and feel good. His needs come first. For other victims, it can turn into something dark and abusive.
The manipulation starts small. The convincing and prodding begin slyly and soon turn into comments of “If you loved me, you’d try X.” Some women are manipulated in such a way that they hear “You WILL do this for me, or else.” I know of a woman whose narcissistic husband made her give him oral sex once a week before he went to work. This was expected every week during their entire marriage. Expected. There was no wanting or desire on her part. It was what MUST happen.
Now that I’m in a healthy relationship that is vulnerable and connected and there is a mutual respect and love for one another, I thank the heavens above every day to have found such a deep connection. For the first time I feel safe. I feel sexy and I feel, for the first time, like a whole woman. A woman who enjoys sex and communicates about it with her husband.
For those of you who are coming out of a relationship where you were with someone with narcissistic traits, I’d like to share something I came across from one of our local TV stations. Laura Botherson is a family and marriage educator who shares her definition of a healthy sexual relationship as the following:
- Mutually Fulfilling. Lovemaking is mutually enjoyable and satisfying for both husband and wife. (This would include regular orgasms for both husband and wife.)
- Open Communication. Husband and wife communicate openly and honestly about sex-including their needs and preferences. This ability allows them to reconcile the many differences that will inevitably arise in the sexual relationship.
- Satisfactory Frequency. Both husband and wife feel satisfied with the frequency of lovemaking.
- Emotional Connection Beyond the Bedroom. In order for the intimate relationship to come full circle there must be good emotional connection outside the bedroom as well.
I always wondered if there was something wrong with me because I didn’t enjoy sex during my first marriage. In fact, I could have cared less if I never had sex again. I would hear over and over that I was the problem. It took me being on my own to see that the problem was that all 4 of these key components were missing in our relationship. It’s that simple.
Look at these 4 components and ask yourself if your marriage encompasses satisfaction, communication, and connection. If you’ve been in a relationship with a manipulative person, there’s a good chance many of these are missing.
If you’re trying to begin anew, and you long for a relationship that is caring, deep, respectful and fulfilling, have hope. You can find it. If you’re escaping a dark past, as the woman I mentioned earlier is trying to do, seek help through a counselor. The scars can heal and you can have a close, trustful relationship if you can get help. Have hope!
To see Laura Botherson’s interview, watch it here.