SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

April 8, 2013

Dear Abby: Woman’s childhood abuse casts long shadow over couple’s intimacy

:Dear Abby: I have been in a relationship with the man of my dreams for five years. Everything is great between us, except for one huge thing — we are no longer intimate.

I have recently come to the realization that this isn’t the first time I have had this problem. I always thought it was an issue with the relationship, but now I suspect it may be linked to molestation I suffered when I was a child. At that time, I was told “people who love you don’t touch you like that.” Logically, I know this is different, but my partner tells me I just freeze up when we are together.

I think I need professional help, but I’m embarrassed and don’t know where to start. Do I need a therapist? How do I locate a good one in my area?

Reaching Out in Cleveland

:Dear Reaching Out: Please accept my sympathy. Considering your history, what you’re experiencing is understandable, and yes, you need to talk to a therapist. The therapy should have started at the time you were molested. To find a “good one,” ask your physician to refer you to several so you can find a person you feel comfortable talking with.

Please do not be embarrassed to be frank, because most therapists have heard everything. It isn’t their job to judge you, only to help you. None of this was your fault, and your problem is fixable.

:Dear Abby: My husband, kids and I moved out of state seven years ago, leaving behind our extended families. Now, whenever we plan a vacation in our home state, we encounter the same issues. The first is trying to accommodate everyone’s schedule into our own. The second is dividing our time between my family and my husband’s. (His family is smaller than mine.)

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