Tonight I met with a very special couple.
I obviously can’t give too many details, but I will say that I found the woman inspirational. She has struggled with serious mental illness all her life, and was raised in an incredibly restrictive and dysfunctional family which bordered on the abusive. She lived through one very, very brief “marriage” when she was 21 which was quickly followed by divorce and a nervous breakdown.
Here’s why she’s an inspiration: at 30 she’s pulled her life together, has a job she enjoys, is remarried to a sweet, caring man and is planning on starting a family.
She came to us because she’s been married for 2 years and hasn’t been able to consummate her marriage. She worked seriously and in a focused way on her vaginismus while her husband struggled with the erectile dysfunction that often comes with vaginismus.
And they had intercourse for the first time last week!
Okay, it wasn’t perfect. She sat in our office explaining that it didn’t go too well. He wasn’t comfortable, she was nervous and awkward, he had a hard time maintaining an erection and there was little to no pleasure.
We sat together with the woman and her husband and went through all the possible mechanics that could get in the way or could help. We all laughed together as we discussed the awkwardness and reassured them that , yes, the first few times could be awkward, mechanical, uncomfortable and far from romantic. But we also reassured her that they would get there. She’s come so far – there’s no question in my mind that this loving couple will pull it all together. She is amazing in that no matter what the setback, she puts one foot in front of the other and moves ahead, with a smile that reveals the love and pleasure in her life.
They left holding hands.