Lupine, thank you so much for your comments. I needed to hear it. I've gotten to the point of wanting to be active in church, but dreading attendance. I've experienced an outbreak of "awful comments" from LDS ladies in the past few years. It has been shocking! Not over a specific "lack" or event, just ME, who I am, how I talk. (??) I'm unsure. For example, one woman said, "When I saw you here, I thought 'I dont know how much (my name) I could take'!"
I really want to go back to church and try again, especially since I moved and am in a new stake. I have a hard time staying past Sacrament. I prayed about it all and found this in 2 Peter 2:12 "...(they) speak evil of the things they understand not..." And your comments, Lupine, made me think I'm not alone. Thank you.
Good grief! After 49 years in the church, I thought I’d heard every spiteful, nosy question/comment/piece of gossip that it was possible for many of our women (and men) to put out there. I say this having been through the whole kit ‘n caboodle of cultural insensitivity toward situations like childlessness, an inactive and mentally ill husband, widowhood, and then, being called a cougar on the prowl for daring to speak to younger, single guys.
But these questions reported here hit the bottom level of cruelty. I respect Camille and Jared for allowing their names to be included in such a sensitive topic, yet fear they’ve opened themselves up to an even greater risk of mental peeping Tom behavior by so-called friends, total strangers, and of course, relatives. Personally, I would not and have not reported such detail on any topic for a published article, but to each his/her own
As I heard a brother in our ward comment a couple of weeks ago, “There’s a highway to hell but only a staircase to heaven. That tells you a lot about the volume of traffic that’s expected both directions.” In the church, we can likely replace “hell” with the Telestial Kingdom.
There’s sometimes a cure for ignorance. They call it education. But there never has been and never will be a cure for stupidity. Please, brothers and sisters, put your brain in gear before engaging your mouth.
Thanks for sharing this story so much. There is an expectation for the perfect honeymoon, especially if you have waited and done everything "right." Rex, thanks for sharing your comments. It is true that in a long term marriage, sexual relationship/abilities vary & change and are not consistent for many reasons. I have heard of this girls condition and I wonder at several doctors examining her before and after marriage & not suspecting her having the problem and being more helpful sooner. That is sad. I have had a miscarriage, and so have some of my daughters in law, so I am sensitive about that (but never knew how traumatic they could be until I had one) My husband had prostate cancer and that can be extremely life changing & traumatic surgery/treatment for men/couples and no one talks about it at all hardly. The more we reach out to each other and share our experiences, the less alone we feel and the more we can help each other.
Every bride-to-be should have an appointment with a gynecologist several weeks before marriage. Often very minor surgical procedures can make the all the difference in the joy and satisfaction of those first sexual and sacred intimacies.
Thank you Camille for being brave enough to share something so personal. I just wanted to cry reading about you feeling shame and loneliness. I am glad you are giving a voice to this, and hope to other women. I remember after having my first child, and thinking I was nursing so well, only to find out my son had failure to thrive, and had lost too much weight. I, apparently, did not produce any milk. No one in my entire life had ever said there were some women who could not produce milk. I tried so many things to encourage my body to produce food for my baby, only to have it fail each time. I was miserable, and felt like I failed. But I realized, formula was great!! Bottles were wonderful. And a healthy, living baby was far more important than nursing. I had many people ask why I wasn't nursing, and I decided to make my voice heard. Of course there were many who gave suggestions I had already tried...I just smiled. You would be surprised how many women started telling me they couldn't nurse either. How had I never heard that before. It was just not talked about. Now I tell every young woman I know that you are not a failure if you can't nurse. You can still bond with your child, you can still have those tender moments together....but now dad can too. Just as mothering is more than breast feeding, intimacy is more than sex. Camille and Jared, you have learned from the beginning what most people take years to figure out. Powerful intimacy is having a deep understanding, and love of each other. I wish you two all the best. Please know you are not broken. My heart and prayers are with you both.
EVERY prospective virginal bride should meet with a gynecologist for an examination to determine whether simple vaginal surgical procedures should be performed early enough before marriage to avoid the pain and/or discomfort of the first sexual relationship and to experience the supreme joy that can be theirs. DO NOT feel embarrassed to read and study literature on this subject. PREPARE YOURSELF for what can be a holy experience.
I'm proud of you.
Thank you both for being willing to be a “witness of all things” even something so very hard and personal. I believe that the more people will be REAL, the more comfortable we all can feel with our unique experiences in this life. Thank you for doing your part to help people feel safer to just be exactly who God made them to be. What greater good could there be? I hope and pray you will be able to find a permeant resolution as quick as possible.
I add my voice to all these comments. Thank you for sharing—so brave. There are dear people in my own family that went through something very similar. Also found a facility in NY that really helped them. I was saddened to find out about their difficulties but glad they sought help. Your article helped many, I am sure.
I am so proud of Camille and Jared for being willing to share. I admire their relationship and what a powerful positive force they are even just through their social media. And I feel such joy in knowing the individuals that will be encouraged and comforted through their willingness to share.
Loved the article, thank you!
THANK YOU! I've had two friends who have had to go through similar situations. How our bodies work and things that can go wrong with intimate situations definitely need to be discussed more. And I would estimate that probably 70% of the people at church have serious problems they're struggling with. But like you, they put on a happy face when they're in public. Just being kind and inclusive is so important. Thank you for sharing your story. That was very brave.
Very good article
Sis, i know I’ve told you a million times today but I am so incredibly proud of you for summoning up the courage and vulnerability to publicly share your story. You are not alone and these comments are evidence of the powerful impact you are already having for others. I hope that you will find some healing in sharing your experience. Thank you for being an example of resilience and a bright beacon of bravery.
Thank you for writing this article and a huge thank you to Camille and Jared for courageously sharing such a difficult trial in their lives. Most of us face private Goliath's that The Lord shares intimately with us. Disappointing to learn that doctors aren't listening to such sensitive and important concerns. The emotional challenge of changing our thought process from "forbidden" to "approved" in it self is something we should address more in our LDS culture. Also, in our culture is a sense of a marriage license being a license to have intimate relations rather than the promises and covenants to share life together in love and potentially bring spirits from heaven into our home to support, love and nurture. Thankfully we can turn to Him and trust His timing and healing powers to overcome the shame and embarrassment the world's views can inflict on our hearts and souls. Thank you for reminding us of the sacredness of these relations and the importance of patience, compassion and support in our marriage relationships with or without physical intimacy.
I feel that she is a very brave person to tell her story. I had never heard of this condition, and I am glad to know about it now. I pray that she will get better and that she can have a life with intimate relations. Bless her husband for standing by her. I learned a long time ago not to ask about these things and not to ask if people are going to have children. We never know what the situations are for others. Again, thank you for this article.
Who is asking such personal questions? Wow, I never had anyone ask but my sister who has no boundaries and she was told it was none of her business. What culture? Maybe it depends on where you live? I'm so sorry people were that invasive into your personal life. Also I was warned about taking it slow and so warned my kids about taking time to get intimate to the point of sex. Thanks for sharing.
My heart breaks for you. I don't know why there are these silly expectations in life from others, as we know life is not a fairy tale. Some may try to state their life is a fairy tale, though realistically I suspect or know.....it is not. The sexualization of our culture portrays sex in a fantasy realm. It has damaged our culture beyond repair. This is a difficult experience for you and your husband which will prepare you for more difficult times. You have the advantage now that you have both gone through such a difficult time. I see your strength and wisdom as well as compassion for others, as a wonderful trait coming from this trial. You and your hubby are remarkable people. Thank you so much for sharing this painful story with others (which I am sure was difficult in itself) so others can understand and learn compassion as you have. Bless you two wonderful kids!
Bless you both!! If only I could have read this 40 years ago. Through the years of tears and tender mercies I have come to learn and more importantly deeply understand that I am a beloved daughter of God and am blessed with a husband who has patiently and lovingly walked and supported me through a similar trial, my own path from which to learn. I echo the words of Elder Ballard.
Camille, thank you for being courageous enough to speak out. Your story will help others feel less alone. Too many just suffer in silence or give up on sex completely.
It's important for newlyweds to know on the honeymoon that if the bride is experiencing pain, STOP. Intercourse is not supposed to be painful. It may just be that technique needs to be better (a woman may need 20 minutes or more of stimulation before intercourse is pleasurable).Or the pain may be a medical condition like yours that needs medical attention. The wife may need to train her body to feel comfortable with touch. So don’t make the trauma worse. There may be a few weeks of touch training and dilators or more treatment resistant cases such as yours.
The couple may enjoy something else sexual if intercourse is painful. Nobody has to have intercourse on a honeymoon. It's more important not to have a traumatic experience and to get to know each other.
Much more shocking than this medical condition is that people (and it sounds like many!) would ask such personal questions. I was certainly never asked, or have asked, such an intimate thing. Might she have misinterpreted a general question of "how was your honeymoon" (after all, a trip to Peru sounds pretty great) to "how was the sex"?
I wrote the book And It Was Very Good for Latter-day Saints to help through the honeymoon (and beyond). The PDF version is free from me at [email protected]
Thank you for sharing such a personal experience! You will never know how many people you have touched through this article. I love that we need to stop the judgement and realize that everyone has a unique path. Asking someone when they are getting married or when they are having a baby is none of their business ...we need to use more appropriate ways to communicate ...May Heavenly Father bless you in your path!
People need to realise that what goes on behind closed doors is nobodies business except the husband and wife. Too often far too many details are shared with the world. As far as comments regarding the birth of children coming into a couples life is also way out of line. The church being a family oriented church makes comments so hurtful for those who may be facing challenges in these areas of their lives. People need to mind their supposed well meaning business.
Someone dear to me could have written this, in fact she wrote a term paper and was asked to present the material in her professor's other class. She frequently was asked why she was'nt 'pregnant already,' and even once was asked "why do you come to Relief Society, you don't have children?" These hurts are deeply personal. As Sisters and Saints we need to be far more sensitive to those around us. Such questions have no business being asked.
Thank you for sharing this! I suffered with vaginismus for years early in my marriage and can totally relate to camille's story! I found a treatment center in New York that are experts in vaginismus and vulvodynia. They cured me completely over 10 years ago. Please let me know if she'd like more information!
I sometimes feel like I belong to a different church!! I cant believe anyone would ask questions about your wedding night, your sex life or when we're you going to start having babies??!!! I don't know how anyone even dares to hint at those kind of questions! It doesn't happen here in our branch.
Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, Camille! You are an example of courage, faith, and strength to everyone.
While my situation was not as extreme as Camille's, I can definitely relate from our experience with infertility. People's "innocent" comments can be so hurtful. So I've tried to live by this standard: "Ours is not to question why; ours is to love them till we die." Not easily done, but surely the kinder path.
Thank You for this.
I got married in my mid-late 30's and people would wonder why I didn't get married sooner. Some sisters in our singles ward announced once that any brother "not married by age 25 must be gay." You can imagine how that went over with my friends and me.
My brother, before we were married, wanted to know my views on intimacy and birth control. I told him that since I was sin gle I didn't need to share those thoughts. When he wanted to know why I didn't date and marry girl "x" I asked if he married who he wanted and when he wanted. When he replied "Yes, I did" to both questions, I stated "Please allow me the same privilege." After our honeymoon when we were alone he started asking for details and I said "You've been married 17 years longer than me, so you already know everything about which you are asking from your own experience."
My daughter gave birth when married two years, then suffered a bout of infertility that lasted 5 years. She had to endure countless questions of "When are you having another child?" I told her to either ignore the question, or say "That's up to the heavens" or to change the subject.
People are NOSY about things that are, frankly, NONE of their business. That wouldn't be so bad but they are extremely insensitive about it, too. I don't entertain their inquiries and satisfy their curiosity about things that really won't matter to them one bit. I'm glad the person found medical help. I wouldn't feel to share my personal intimacy issues in an article because it's really a "personal thing." And I know several that have had fertility problems they have explained, but I never broach the subject. If they care to discuss it they can mention it first as I won't be bringing it to the forefront.
I am so proud of her for not being anonymous!!!!! That takes such courage! I love that she did it for the sake of others who are looking for hope & less shame! Life is an adventure! That’s all I can say when things just don’t make sense because so many things in life just don’t for now. Btw I know of someone who this very thing happened to & she did some procedures & it worked out for them & they now have a beautiful family. Much hope for this cute couple too ❤️❤️❤️
This was my experience when I was first married, and it took about 8 years for the physical pain to go away, and much longer for the emotional pain to lessen. In my case, it was compounded by close in-law family members being completely indiscreet about their very enjoyable intimate life, leading by husband to compare me to my sister-in-law and feel even more disappointed himself by the hand we'd been dealt. I wish this were more talked about. It caused so much heartache and made unrealistic and uneducated expectations for how a marriage should begin and evolve that much more difficult to sort through when things didn't turn out the way we'd expected.
Thank you for this article not only does this happen at the first of a marriage but due to medical situations that can come on anytime in a marriage physical intimacy can become difficult or impossible and it changes the marriage dynamics
Michaela, thank you for writing this and Camille thank you for your willingness to share your reality. Bringing daylight to a difficult story will be a great blessing for many.
Our honeymoon phase was also not so sweet but for very different reasons. We've been married for over 32 years which is a testament to love and commitment.
Thank you so much, Camille, for having the courage to let your story be told. It's a strong reminder that we all need to think before we speak when we don't know all the facts. And I really feel it's none of.our business to know what transpired - or didn't - on someone else's wedding night.and that it's anything but kind to even ask.
poor thing....as I read this story I realized that its all about expectations ..what we expect sometimes is what we see on TV or MOVIES ...and it just aint so....also the church has expectations and if we somehow don't fit that...people in church look down on that person for not following or being in that expectation esp those that have just joined the church. people who just join don't know what to expect and they go by what they see or the answers they get by asking. they really don't know. I have realized over the years that each person is different and God deals with them according to how they are not how everyone else is. for instance, not just one set mode. my oldest child my only daughter got married and she put off having children for 10yrs or so. she never had this special feeling. she was the oldest of 5 kids the rest were boys. later in her thirties she decided to have children and she had 3 kids each one 2yrs apart from the other. she is going into her 50;s and her children are in their teens. I have to say she tells me she is glad she waited because she loves motherhood. her husband who is 9yrs older has semi retired and is at home helping her raise her teens. she loves every minute of raising her kids and both parents are very involved in their lives. so as you see, one's persons expectations or desires do not always fit anothers. her younger brother had children right away and one of them just got married. who knows what they will do. we have choice and it was given to us freely by our Heavenly father so I believe that we shouldn't judge anyone or look down on anyone because of their choices made. God is the only one who can see into our hearts and minds. also I believe that we are all at different stages in our lives.
Dear Camille, you are not alone and you have nothing to be ashamed of, although we do feel ashamed. We did not create our bodies, but in the creation process we ended up with a physical handicap. You now know that many women suffer the same or similar handicap. I also did not develop breast and my infertility doctor said it was all connected. My dear husband has passed away now, but I still thank God for blessing me with a man who was so patient, kind, and never looked on me as less than a woman. I would have preferred to be “normal” but there are physical handicaps others bear that I was blessed not to. Thank you for your honestly and courage and I pray intimacy will become sweeter for you as your life unfolds.
Your courage is inspiring. Thank you for opening eyes and hearts and closing down those who unabashedly pry into private territory. It is their shame, not yours.
What a brave woman to share her story. I’ve never heard of her condition, but am sure others will benefit from this.
Oh my goodness. My heart goes out to that young couple. God bless them in this unusual journey. I hope the Lord will continue to help them and they will be able to experience the Lord's tender care.
Thanks for sharing your very personal experience, Camille and Jared. Your openness, strength, and courage will provide hope to countless others.
My father always stood as an example of faith, deep understanding of gospel doctrine, and great leadership experience. The thing he emphasized most in his speeches and lessons in the years preceding his death was the need for more empathy from the part of Latter-Day Saints, that is, "the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position."
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