"My husband is angry with me", said a very sad Iris during our coaching session. She came to see me, together with her husband, Joost. "Yes", an emotional Joost said. "I recently found out that she was in pain whenever my penis went into her vagina. That's why we went to seek help." "Now it seems that Iris has undergone this for a long time already, in spite of the pain, which made the pain even worse." "So it's my fault that we are now not able to have intercourse anymore." "I am to blame", Joost says. "I should have noticed her responses had changed." "But she really didn't show she was hurting, otherwise I would have stopped immediately." "Why would I want to hurt her, that's not what I want, and it doesn't give me any pleasure either." Joost sighs and says: "So now what, what do I do?" "How can I trust that next time she will be honest about whether she liked it or not?" So who is responsible for continuing intercourse despite the pain?
This is about a couple that is very loving towards each other. About a woman who doesn't take her own body and her pain during intercourse seriously. Iris wasn't aware of the consequences. She thought the pain would pass. And she didn't expect her husband to become so emotional while telling the truth. Iris and Joost looked very defeated.
So what now? Because they were both given the space to share their feelings, they started to understand each other better. Iris realized that she should have mentioned that she was in pain much sooner. That she could have trusted Joost with this. Joost realized that he wasn't to blame, and that Iris wasn't fooling him. She didn't really know what to do with her complaint. They both began to realize the importance of being honest with each other. Based on that, they were able to come up with a plan. As a result, over time, Joost and Iris were able to have painless intercourse again and enjoy each other. How honest are you towards your partner, about what you like and enjoy during sex? Do you let the other person know if you don't like something, or if it hurts? And what about your partner?
What to do?
Do not continue when it's painful. I notice the consequences on a daily basis, during my conversations with women with vaginismus or pain during sex. Take the pain seriously. It is your body, and you are responsible for it. Try to find out what causes it. If necessary, ask for help. The solution is often closer than you think.
Jacqueline van de Bilt, Alphen aan den Rijn The Netherlands (+31) (0)6-49088912 firstname.lastname@example.org