When asked to discuss how vaginismus impacted her relationship she wrote:
“Wow, where do I start. Our relationship was fabulous when we dated. We were connected on every level, including physically. We both grew up in Christian homes. We were taught that sex was bad, only married couples did it, end of story. We fooled around, but never had sex. We were crazy about each other and couldn’t wait to be married so we could start our lives together. I was very much looking forward to our wedding night.
I was told by a friend of mine who was married at 17 that her first time was quite painful and recommended to have plenty of lubrication available. I had the lube, but no amount of it would have taken the pain I experienced when we attempted to make love for the first time. It was such devastating blow to me. I don’t believe Joel was too concerned at first. But I was — the pain was severe. I knew if I was ever going to fully consummate my marriage, the pain I was going to have to experience would be significant. During the honeymoon, I was able to get just the tip in. It was very painful though — the burning sensation.
After about 2 weeks or so, we finally had sex. It’s weird . . . you would think I would remember it, but I don’t. So basically, our relationship went from being extremely fulfilling on every level when we dated to our inability to make love and express ourselves to each other once we were married. This really began to take a toll on our marriage very early on.
The first year of marriage was tough. Joel tried so hard to get me to engage him physically – to at least communicate with him about it! But I had no answers as to how I could change things or make them better. I felt completely out of control and it was horrible because I couldn’t be the wife I wanted to be and that I knew Joel deserved. Not to mention, I was completely frustrated! I wanted to have amazing sex with my husband for goodness sakes! I loved him so much, I wanted to give myself to him and show him in that amazingly intimate way. So, I didn’t communicate to him about it. I shut down and cut it out of my life. I avoided any interaction with him that I thought might lead to sex. I would give in and do my “wifely duty” on average about every 2-3 weeks. Why would I want to do something that would cause me such pain?! And poor Joel, he knew it was uncomfortable for me to say the least. As I came to expect the burning/pain of sex, Joel became used to the sting of rejection when it comes to sex. I stopped looking to him for sexual fulfillment and our relationship became more like a brother and sister/roommate situation than a loving husband and wife relationship.
Over the years, our marriage has been strained. Eight years is a very long time to deal with what now has a name — Vaginismus. But through it all, at the end of the day, we couldn’t picture ourselves with anyone else. We love each other more than anything and very much enjoy being with one another. Imagine how fulfilling our relationship would be if we could come together physically!
In August, Joel was doing some research and found information on the condition and then came across Dr. Pacik’s website and treatment option. It was the first time in 8 years we had both experienced real hope when it came to our sex life — we are more than ready to try this!”
Ashley was treated with Botox for her vaginismus
Ashley was serious about advancing with the dilators and one week later emailed me:
“WE HAD SEX!!!!! It was awesome. I mean, in the sense that there was NO pain. None. There was a bit of pressure when getting it in initially, like there is when I put the blue dilator in. But once he was past the first 1/3 of the vagina there was no resistance at all. Thrusting didn’t cause any pain/pressure or discomfort. I practically didn’t feel it at all. Anyways, we’re thrilled!!!!!!!!!!! ~Ashley
Ashley’s story continues with Falling Off the Wagon