Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Husband Not Interested in Sex After Mastectomy

Options
24

Comments

  • cathleen143
    cathleen143 Member Posts: 6
    edited June 2016
    Options

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sorry that you are not feeling feminine. You ARE still feminine, you ARE still a women. One day you will find the right man who will let you know that just because you had breast cancer, he is not being cheated.

    We are still not sleeping together, but I shared with him how it's been making me feel. We are still not sleeping together but we starting to snuggle for awhile before bed again. Just taking it slow.

  • cathleen143
    cathleen143 Member Posts: 6
    edited June 2016
    Options

    moderators

    These links were not helpful.

    I want intimacy and sex. I never lost my desire, my husband lost his for me once I had the double mastectomy. I chose reconstruction and to look at me you would never know what I went through, unless you saw my scars.

  • MtnMama3
    MtnMama3 Member Posts: 11
    edited June 2016
    Options

    Cathleen, thanks for posting. I agree that most of the sex forums are not helpful as this specific topic seems to be not that common? I'm kind of amazed if that's the case. Anyway, that's why I started a new thread.

    It's been almost 6 years now of my husband refusing to touch me. And still I have hope. Not sure why other than I don't want to break up our family. I don't want to believe we failed. But boy has it impacted my self esteem. And talk about self-sabotage...I keep gaining weight. It's an ugly dynamic. No one seems to have any answers for this sad situation. I guess it just is what it is and it comes down to how much you're willing to take. Sad fallout from breast cancer that not many people discuss

  • cathleen143
    cathleen143 Member Posts: 6
    edited June 2016
    Options

    MtnMama3

    I was gaining weight too, with the stress, low self-esteem and loss of appetite. My body was in survival mode.

    I finally found out that my Oncologist office offers a nutritionist. (3 years after diagnosis) I kept mentioning to my doctor I had trouble eating but he NEVER told me about the help that was available in his own office.

    Since finding a new job where I'm appreciated and seeing the nutritionist, I am ready to take steps to lose weight and feel better. I've decided that I am worth it.

    I believe that the energy you put out in the world is the energy you get from it, so POSITIVE , LOVING and HAPPINESS is my goal. I will send some out to you too.

  • centralperkeast
    centralperkeast Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2016
    Options

    MtnMama3,

    I had a Prophylactic double mastectomy and reconstruction on January 24, 2012 and in November of that same year a complete hysterectomy including ovaries, cervix etc. Now, I had a lot of complications during that year from surgery and allergic reactions to meds etc. Had been married, at that time, for 25 years and had 4 children. My husband disengaged very early and left my friends and mostly my 14 year old daughter at the time to wipe my butt and strip my drains (4 were in for months due to complications). She even had to give me shots in my legs for 2 weeks to prevent blood clots after another emergency surgery.

    Prior to all of this, he had been to all the consultations and was verbally supportive. My Mom had passed in 2009 from metastatic BC and my sister had been diagnosed with met BC in 2011 and died in 2014. After the genetic test confirmed I had the BRCA-2 gene, we were both anxious for the surgery.

    We had always...repeat always had a very and somewhat extraordinarily active sex life for people who had been married so many years. However, after my surgery and recovery he was more interested in "the tree in the backyard than me". When I got brave enough to confront and tell him that I was fine and wanted to be with him, he told me all kinds of horrific reasons why he was no longer interested. The most hurtful at the time was that the infection (that I developed while he left during a business trip) was all he could smell on my skin~9 months later. He only returned from his trip in time to drive me to the hospital for surgery (which was a great inconvenience).

    I had been relegated to sleeping on the sofa until last year when I finally put my foot down and said I had to have a bed. During the last 4 years, we've maybe had sex 9 times always covered with a shirt so he didn't have to see. To be honest, he has only "completed himself" once. He told me that because I no longer have nipples (despite virtually no scarring literally and much more beautiful breasts than I had prior), that he isn't interested. I had dodged him ever seeing my chest for years. Since we weren't sleeping in the same bed or room for that matter this wasn't difficult. I had to get up everyday and make up my sofa bed and cried myself to sleep many nights because I had no husband and no room in which to live in my own home. He was perfectly fine allowing me to live this way.

    When we finally bought a house last year, that's when I said that I had to be in a bed. He moved to the basement. I did beg him to move back into the bedroom with me in April of this year. I told him no pressure for sex at all, just working on relationship. That took a LOT from me. He did for about 4 weeks. Then one night I was up until about 3:30 AM and he'd gone to bed. He has a c-pap and if I move or do anything and wake him up, he says he can't go back to sleep. So I opted to not disturb because he was resting so comfortably. He's since moved out and won't come back because I did that. That conversation happened last night when I asked why he refuses to sleep with me again.

    I've cried buckets about the rejection. If I'd gone through chemo too, he would've been long gone. When I was in the throws of all of this, I looked all over the internet to see if I could find anyone talking about it. I read lots of "he just doesn't want to hurt you". Well, 4 years later and living in a sexless marraige, I'm a whole different kind of hurt. I clearly have no advice for you on a remedy. But I can tell you that I'm finally making an appointment with a divorce attorney this week for a consultation to see what my options are. Because we are never intimate...honestly if we have sex one time in 6 months it's a miracle...I feel that whatever time I have left in this life, I must be more worthy of love than this. AND...I forgot to say, he's been well "alchoholed" during each event except maybe once. I'm saying 9 in case I forgot one extra time during the last four years that happened inside of a six month period.

    If you're still reading this, try to determine "the why". The real one. If you can and it's something that you can fix (and want to), then seek some counseling for yourself and together. Rejection is so painful. Prior to starting my journey, I asked him to leave me BEFORE if he wasn't all in. I had 4 children (4 adults now) that would need testing and the two youngest are girls (19 and 14 now). I didn't want them to ever think that a man would reject a woman because of breasts~or not having protruding nipples to be more specific. Now, that is exactly what they've experienced. I've given 4.5 years to attempt allowing him time to heal. He told me how hard it all was on him. Apparently the surgeries were much harder on him than they were on me. Not because of love, mind you. Because I was sick for most of a year, save 3 months. Now, I'm deformed. Without protruding nipples, they aren't breasts. I learned from him that breasts are actually just the nipples (to him).

    I'm a really good detective. I do not think there has been an affair. But, does it really matter at this point? My Dad used to say that "alienation of affection is tantamount to an affair". He hasn't been kind on a daily basis for the most part in 4.5 years. I don't mean everyday he's awful. I just mean most days he makes it clear that I'm not worth anything to him. I don't serve a real purpose, financially contributing (though I exclusively care for the home, grounds, hiring if something goes wrong, paying all the bills etc.) or otherwise. Basically my job is to do everything that isn't his outside employment.

    If I find this forum again, I'll keep you updated on all of this. I haven't worked really in 26 years, because I have homeschooled 3 very successful adults and one that will finish high school in 3 years. One income family. He was out of work since Jan. 7 this year, so we are almost hopelessly in debt. He started a job 3 weeks ago. We will see where this lands me after I consult with a divorce attorney. A loveless and mostly "hate filled" not marriage is no way to live. I hope for you that your story has a wonderful happy ending!!!! But, not every man is actually just concerned for his wife. That's really what I needed to say.

    There's more to life than surviving! I'm trying to remind myself that I have enough value to live life alone and happy, then with someone who doesn't want me. Nothing is lonelier than being with someone and being alone and unsupported in every way!

    HUGS!

  • cathleen143
    cathleen143 Member Posts: 6
    edited June 2016
    Options

    centralperk

    Thank you Thank you for sharing your story.

    I am sorry to hear of your lack of love and support from your husband. The man who 25 years ago who promised to love honor and respect through SICKNESS and in health.

    I know that it couldn't of been easy for you to confront your husband, but glad you did.

  • Smurfette26
    Smurfette26 Member Posts: 269
    edited June 2016
    Options

    Was so sad to read your story centralperkeast. I wish you health and happiness. Hugs Donna.


  • cathleen143
    cathleen143 Member Posts: 6
    edited November 2016
    Options

    moderators

    How come after all this time you still have not responded?

    Is there no support for the breast cancer patients who never lost their desire for intamacy and sex?

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,066
    edited November 2016
    Options

    cathleen143, we apologize that we hadn't seen your prior post asking for additional information. We have thousands of topics on our boards, and it is impossible for us to monitor all community activity. Please all know that you may send us a private message if you need assistance. Indeed, this is a topic that should probably be addressed on our site. It is unfortunately common, and deeply painful to those affected.

    You mentioned that you have already had conversations with your husband. Have you tried to go to a marriage counselor together? Perhaps being together with a neutral listener/professional could help you both express your deeper feelings.

    Have there been any other forms of intimacy in your relationship, such as lighting candles during dinner; cuddling while watching a movie; spontaneous gestures like a hug, kiss, back rub; taking a walk together; holding hands?

    Naturally, as everyone else has mentioned in the thread, it is important for women going through this to also focus on your own health, body image, and self-esteem. If your husband isn't willing to see a counselor, maybe it would be good for you to do so on your own, if you aren't already. Your cancer treatment facility may even have a social worker who you could contact.

    Please, if anyone else has suggestions, please share!

    Hugs to you all, and remember, you are not alone with this!

  • treskow72
    treskow72 Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Did things get better, cuz I am in the same situation ?

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,066
    edited August 2017
    Options

    treskow72, welcome to Breastcancer.org. We're sorry you find yourself in this situation, but glad you've found us!

    This topic hasn't been active since Nov 2016. Just in case the member doesn't see your question, you may want to give it a try and send her a private message. Just click on her username and under the information at the top, you'll see the option to send a private message.

    Let us know if you need help with this!

    Best wishes,

    The Mods

  • Spinning11
    Spinning11 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2017
    Options

    is this thread still active? Sex has always been an important part of my relationships. I was diagnosed in March 2017, 6 rounds of chemo so far and the mastectomy September 11th. I am feeling angry, alone, rejected, sad...I've brought up a few times the desire to have sex with my BF but he's just not interested, he still cuddles me at night, he's been more than supportive through this whole journey but I'm really feeling the effects emotionally of not having the intimacy of sex. I lie crying after being rejected, tell him i miss him and he just says i know. I wish there were more men to give advice on how to approach the subject. I can't imagine going years without sex 😞 any insite would be gladly welcome.

    Ps: I've always had a higher sex drive than him, he was happy with once every week or 2

  • pupmom
    pupmom Member Posts: 1,032
    edited October 2017
    Options

    Spinning11, I would suggest you start a new thread. Regarding your concerns, I have the following observations. People who have low sex drives may welcome an "excuse" not to perform. This applies to both sexes. Also, if their sex drive is low, they may need a lot of visual and other stimulation. If you want this relationship to survive, you must seek counseling, in my humble opinion.

  • Fenni
    Fenni Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2017
    Options

    Hi spinning11,

    I feel for you and I think this should be discussed more. Mostly the info out there assumes that after mastectomy the woman will feel lack of confidence and lose interest in sex. That's not been my experience at all, but my husband has totally lost interest in me.

    I had a double mastectomy 18m ago ( no reconstruction). Beforehand I was worried that my husband would be freaked out by the scars but he looked at some pictures and reassured me it would be fine.

    From the moment I came home from the surgery he changed in his attitude towards me. Pre-op he would sometimes say nice things about how I looked if I was getting dressed or undressed, comment on my underwear, he would touch me on the back if walking past, - little signs of interest, and that all totally stopped the moment my breasts had gone.

    After about 2 months I confronted him and asked if we were ever going to have sex again. Pre-op I had asked him to initiate things when he was ready, but he never did. He pretended everything was fine, but he wanted me to be covered up with clothes and he couldn't even look at me. The rejection was so hard but I tried to keep things going between us for months. I bought new underwear (he never looks when I'm dressing now so he hasn't even seen it) I've taken him away to hotels for a weekend break, tried all sorts of things. When we have rarely had sex I feel he keeps me at a distance physically and emotionally. He doesn't touch me from the neck to the waist unless I say something, and then it feels reluctant and rushed to get it over with.

    I've had counselling to help cope with his rejection of me, and he agreed to go to counselling on his own but I don't think he talked about the sex issue.

    I've been left feeling that I must look pretty awful if the person who's supposed to love me more than anyone can't bear to look at me or touch me. I'm trapped in a sexless marriage and I feel that if I left no-one else would want me either.

    I really think my scars look ok, Contrary to all the websites you see, I haven't lost interest in sex (quite the opposite) and until I'd been constantly rejected by my husband I wasn't lacking confidence. And it's not that he's just gone off sex, without wanting to be crude, he still masturbates when he thinks I'm asleep. It's so humiliating.

    My counsellor suggested we go to couples counselling, and I suppose we could, but you can't undo the damage done by seeing someone look at you with revulsion. I'm not sure I can ever get over that. Part of what turned me on about him was that he used to really find me attractive, and now that's gone.

    You're in the early stages of this, and can I suggest that you sit down with this forum now and show your BF what you wrote and the answers. Don't let it fester.

    I thought we would get through this by doing things differently sexually, he thought we would get through it by pretending it hasn't happened. I loved the answer up the page from the lady whose partner puts cream on her scars, a sign of acceptance and love like that was what I'd hoped for.

    He might find it easier to read this rather than have you explain how you feel to him. He might believe all the websites telling him that women lose interest and confidence, but if you reassure him that he can help to boost your confidence it could give him a really meaningful part to play in your cancer recovery.

    Good luck


  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,066
    edited October 2017
    Options

    Hi Fenni-

    Thank you so much for joining our community, and opening up about your own experiences. We're so sorry for what you're going through, and hope that you find some support here.

    The Mods

  • Lisaf124
    Lisaf124 Member Posts: 2
    edited January 2018
    Options

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. To be honest, you are telling my same sorry. I am hurt, lonely and scared. WE have been married for 32 years and I am 55 years old. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy in March of 17. He has not slept nor touched, kissed me since then. He is a great man. He comes to appointments, educates himself on various topics and loves being with me, (outside the bedroom). Right now I feel like a roommate. I take care of our children, I work full time as a teacher and share household duties. I am a great roommate but long to be a wife. I am so sad because I worked very hard to through chemo and radiology, but nothing has changed. My biggest fear is to live out the rest of my life in a loveless marriage.

  • Fenni
    Fenni Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2018
    Options

    Hi Lisa,

    Hang in there. It sounds like he's trying to show he loves you but not in the way you need. Have you been honest with him about how rejected you feel?

    I emailed this thread to my husband and he asked if we could go to counselling. It was easier to email it than talk to him.

    We are eventually having counselling now and he says he just got freaked out that I might die and that when he looked at the scars all he could see was a reminder of the cancer.

    I'm not sure how much of it I believe, I think he just doesn't want to tell me that he can't fancy a flat chested woman. His behaviour doesn't correlate with what he says. I'd rather he was honest, but I think he's trying to spare my feelings.

    Try to remember all the good things he does for you. Maybe you could thank him for doing something but then say “but what I'd really like is for you to show me some passion".

    Resentment is easy to build up, in my case the sexual rejection came first and then i started to feel irritated about all his other annoying traits. Almost as if I'd been ignoring them before because I felt loved by him. And now I don't.

    You have been so strong coming through all your treatment and it's still early days in your post-cancer life. You can get through this problem too, but you can't do it alone. You need to confront it.

    Maybe you could start with small affectionate gestures. Have confidence in yourself and try not to feel rejected if he doesn't respond. It's been a long time and will take a while to rekindle things.

    Remember there's lots of stuff out there telling men “women often go off sex after breast cancer treatment". He might believe that's what's happening and not want to push things,

    Talking is the only way.

    Good luck xxx

  • pupmom
    pupmom Member Posts: 1,032
    edited July 2018
    Options

    GA1200, I think this is a very inappropriate post. It is over the top.

  • Egads007
    Egads007 Member Posts: 474
    edited July 2018
    Options

    **pulls up a lawn chair & snack to watch the slaughter begin**

    All comfy in my Homer Simpson pants

  • Cpeachymom
    Cpeachymom Member Posts: 249
    edited July 2018
    Options

    wow...

    ”remember ladies, always wear a foob and a top so your husband can fantasize that you have boobs...otherwise he won’t be turned on...”

    wow...

    Man, I Love My Husband!!

  • Egads007
    Egads007 Member Posts: 474
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Cpeachy - I hear ya! Oh and ladies, after having lost a breast(s) to cancer don't forget to have a sit down with hubby to get him to "open up about his thoughts on your problems" because at the end of the day it's all about him! .


  • trvler
    trvler Member Posts: 931
    edited July 2018
    Options

    GA1200: You have my permission to have an affair.

  • nancyhb
    nancyhb Member Posts: 235
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Scootch over Egads...wait, let me get my phone out of my crotch before I sit down.

  • Egads007
    Egads007 Member Posts: 474
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Nancy - ROFL!!! Cool....please join, lots of room, and I brought extra snacks. Ummmmm, you might want to do something about that low cut top that shows your scars.

  • micmel
    micmel Member Posts: 9,915
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Hi ladies ~ this is such a raw deep topic I have a fiancé of 16 years. We always had an extraordinary sex life filled with love laughter and happiness. He is the love of my universe beyond just mere words. I went through the heaviest chemo you can get. 4 rounds of AC chemo and 9 abraxane and in the middle of it all,my liver needed resection with 55 staples across my at the time six pack stomach very fit. My hair was gone g-o-n-e. I was in horror. Crying uncontrollably and so embarrassed to look at anyone. He came to me and held my face and kissed me and told me he didn't care what I had on my head. He said he didn't much care for the wig. The hats he said made my femine look of my face un hidden. When my breast was gone, he kissed my scars. When I considered reconstruction, he said don't do it for me, because it doesn't bother me. I love YOU. No matter what. We don't have a lot of intercourse, because I am on oral Chemo so timing is impeccable and sometimes doesn't work out with the calendar( we have two houses his son is almost 18 so he Is at our house here. and then our other place there part of the week until graduation time). Maybe 4 times in 2 years we've had intercourse.i have bone mets in my spine and it really does hurt terrible. I always make sure to take care of him, it's important for me to not forget his needs and the fact that not only did I get cancer, but so did he. If someone can't love you unconditionally, then maybe seeing that attorney will give you some knowledge and power back. Because not only your health is so important. But you have to be in a stable environment. I wish you nothing but strength and courage to do the right thing for you. There are men. Out there that don't act like that. You deserve better. I wish you well. Hugs to you all going through something like this. Cancer ruins everything it touches. I so much hate it. ~M~

  • Egads007
    Egads007 Member Posts: 474
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Micmel - Now that's what it's all about....bless your heart!

    Heart

  • waytooanxiousmommy
    waytooanxiousmommy Member Posts: 5
    edited July 2018
    Options

    These types of things are very complex and you both figure into it. It is a possible that he may be getting unconscious cues from you about how you are feeling about your body. Sorry I hope this does not sound like I am blaming you, I am trying to focus on what you have control of and you can't do much about him. I've always found that in every situation there are always things I do have control over even if the outcome is not up to me and doing those things has always had a powerful positive effect for me.

    Try doing things that make you feel sexy. Ironically, I feel sexier now after chemo, surgery and rads even though I don't have eyebrows, have bald patches in my hair and my left boob is all banged up. Sexuality is a mental thing more than physical. Exercising, eating well, going to support groups, wearing makeup, fussing over my skin and having fun are all things that are making me feel sexier. You know that you are feeling sexy when guys you meet start asking for your number. Is happening to me more after my breast cancer experience at almost 50 years old than it did in my younger years!

    If that doesn't work try counseling and find someone good who will work with both of you

    Best of luck


  • nancyhb
    nancyhb Member Posts: 235
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Micmel, thank you for sharing your story, it's beautiful and warms my heart and soul. My DH is so very much like yours, and I know I'm blessed beyond words to have a partner that cares so very little about the war zone of my body, rather loves and is attracted to the depths of my heart. It transcends the superficial, and grows stronger with each passing day.

    I'm being crass because I'm angry and frustrated with this poster (ETA “this poster” was GA1200, post now deleted. How dare he say these unhelpful and unkind things, make blanket assumptions and spout his ignorance, offer less-than-helpful suggestions and viewpoints, to women he knows nothing about? Possibly a troll, definitely not worth any more of my energy.

    Egads, hold down the fort. I'm taking my phone and going to the topless beach.

  • Egads007
    Egads007 Member Posts: 474
    edited July 2018
    Options

    I rarely let a misogynistic asshat get me angry, I've got more important things to get angry at, dusting is more important than the rubbish he spouted. It was all so ludicrous that I found it hard to not to see the humour in it. That may not apply to others here that are truly suffering, and to them I send my warmest support in their plight. The overwhelming feeling I have boils down to sadness....for his wife. My heart goes out to her, if this was actually real and not a troll.

    Nancy, surfs up! I'm right behind you!

  • micmel
    micmel Member Posts: 9,915
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Good grief I clearly missed something. When some one says asshat! Or analpore. Would that suithim as well? When someone says his poor wife. That's bad. Lol. And I agree 0 postings. No bio. Looks like a troll to me too. Apparently knows How to act like one also