Hugs! I’ve felt very much the same, especially since hitting menopause.
Intimacy is an important part of life for most couples, and when one has chronic illness and pain, that can be difficult to manage even when our natural hormones are still onboard.
The advice others have shared above is great, and through my martial years similar actions on my part have served my marriage well when my own body was just not up for intimacy.
My husband is my partner, and I don’t wish to think of him as my caregiver, and I want him to know I feel he is my partner. My disease progressed slowly, and was never taken seriously by doctors or me at first, therefore I spent many years wondering what was wrong with ‘me’ and like I was a failure at being an equal in our marriage. He’s always had to take up slack, and there were times I felt he resented it, though it was left unsaid if he did.
At this point in our lives, where my abilities are really declining, he reminds me I’d care for him exactly as he’s caring for me if our roles were reversed. Your husband likely recognizes that in your marriage, too.
For your own health and well-being, however, it might help if you look into bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) following your hysterectomy. I’ve found endocrinologists are usually the most well versed on this, though some gynecologists are, too. I researched well before even considering hormones.
For me, hitting menopause a few years ago sucked what little interest there was right on out of me. Before, it wasn’t that I had no interest, only that pain always kind of took over (SI joints especially, sigh), and we tend to not go looking for things that pain us.
There are risks to BHRT, and of course you need to understand and be comfortable with them, but since starting them myself, I think they’ve helped my outlook and attitude on life. Loss of hormones can affect so much more than just our interest in sex. I’ll never be an acrobat when it comes to intimacy, but that part of my life no longer feels completely stolen away. Lack of hormones can change the structure and function of the vagina, and atrophy and dryness both may make intimacy painful. BHRT can help change this. I currently have bio-identical estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone prescribed. For hysterectomy patients, progesterone isn’t always in the mix, however, as it is for menopausal patients. I was looking for relief of hot flashes… constant, day and night. Just feeling better all the way around is a bonus.
Finally getting specific treatment for PsA has also helped as I have a bit more relief from the pain now!
Incidentally, my endocrinologist has PsA…
I had no idea when I made the appointment with her.
Whether you consider hormone therapy or not, I hope you find something that helps you to return this normalcy in your marriage and to rediscover the reasons you fell in love in the first place.