On the surface, it seemed that much of the problem for Doug and Linda was rooted in the fact that they stopped spending time together. "When we spent time together, it was a lot of those logistics: 'Who's doing what? What do we have to get done?' You know, kind of domestic stuff," Doug says.

When Dr. Berman took Linda's sexual history, an even bigger issue came up. Linda told Dr. Berman she had once been forced to have sex against her will. "I could have put him in jail, if I had told someone," she says. "I was essentially raped."

Linda says she's never told Doug about her sexual past. "With Doug, [sex] is just something I don't want to do that often."

When Linda finally told Doug about the rape, he says he had mixed emotions. "I was angry and empathetic at the same time. I was kind of back on my heels and wanting to be there and not sure what to do, you know? I was just kind of looking at things through a different lens at that point."

Rape changes a person's relationship with sex, Dr. Berman says. "Your power is taken away, and it's a major sexual trauma. So not to have told anyone, not to have had a chance to work through it in therapy, not to have had a chance to heal and be carrying that secret around, the weight of that secret—when she knows that that was part of what was making her hold back—that was part of what was helping her shut down."


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