Did you remember that I mentioned that Martha used to dread sex? Yes, she once had fear of sexual intimacy with her husband Matt. Her husband specifically told me that she doesn’t look forward to intimacy and she has refused to tell him why. He tried to be patient with her but he seems to be tired to cajoling her to make love each time he is in the mood. What was supposed to be pleasure has turned out to be spiced with a lot of pressure.
I took time out with Martha; it was all written in her eyes, that there was something she is hiding, a past that has refused to heal. Martha was raped by her maternal uncle when she was six years and that singular incident changed her life forever.
For twenty years she struggled with self esteem and dreads any man coming near her. It was a miracle that she agreed to marry Matt who she never allowed to touch her till many days after their wedding. I told Martha that the journey to having a great relationship with her husband starts with forgiving her rapist and letting go of all the hurts. She needed to seek healing because the past was tearing her apart.
One thing I made her do was to write a letter to her past. I made her vent all her stored up anger on the piece of paper. She cried as she poured out bottled up emotions in words to her uncle who took her innocence and stole her virginity. Matt who watched from my PA’s desk couldn’t hold back the tears either. I remember holding Martha’s hand as I told her to call forth her uncle’s name and declare forgiveness. It was a hard nut to crack yet it was great seeing her go through closure after many years of internal pain and trauma.
It was after this healing process that she started learning to love her body and accept Matt’s show of affection. Matt learnt how to be gentle with her as she learns to accept his touch and take it one step at a time.
Pains of yesterday should never be carried into the future. Hurts from past relationships can hinder happiness of future relationships if not well taken care of. We may not be able to stop people from hurting us but we can determine how long we want to feel the pain.