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boyfriend is upset that I don't initiate sex

 
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oddgrlout
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:01 am    Post subject: boyfriend is upset that I don't initiate sex Reply with quote

I have come so far in my healing. I am able to have sex with my boyfriend of 4 years, and actually stay present and enjoy it. I hardly ever cry or have to stop anymore; I trust him very much, and I have also been working hard to be where I am. The issue that keeps coming up is that I don't initiate sex enough. He feels like I am not attracted to him. I am attracted to him, but I am terrified of initiating. I freeze up when I think about doing it, or my attempts will be so subtle due to my fear (of what I am not sure) that he won't catch on that I want to have sex. At this point, even if he suspects I want sex, he is afraid of being rejected, so he doesn't respond unless I am extremely obvious. This issue comes up most of the time we argue about other things. I am afraid it will only get bigger, and eventually end the relationship. I do not want this #*$# to destroy another relationship. : (
I am wondering if anyone is having or has had a similar problem. I would like suggestions about what I can do to get over the fear, or make him better understand how deeply terrifying and difficult it is for me. Any advice or thoughts you have are appreciated. Thanks.
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mxkx
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Joined: 06 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I'm new here too. I actually have the same problem you do. I don't know why but I'm afraid to initiate sex. Just thinking about it makes me tense up and get confused about what I should do.

Have you talked to your boyfriend about why you don't initiate it? My husband was a lot more understanding about it when I explained to him that I didn't do it out of lack of attraction to him. At the time I didn't realize it was abuse related but he at least understood it was something that made me personally uncomfortable.

"I do not want this #*$# to destroy another relationship. : ("

Something I have learned well in codependency therapy is that problems don't destroy a relationship, people do. As abuse survivors we didn't gain the full ability to perceive danger in destructive behavior in other people so we have a habit of getting close to people that really aren't the best for us. It's not our fault, it's just a symptom of what we have gone through. Something that really helped me gain a better perspective on determining better companions was going through lists of healthy relationship behaviors, unhealthy relationship behaviors, and red flags for dating. I noticed a lot of behaviors that I either never thought of being warning signs or that I always doubted myself on thinking they were warning signs.

"I would like suggestions about what I can do to get over the fear"

For me this has at the core meant learning that I am safe with or without a companion and that I don't "need" anyone. Fear of rejection really boils down to fear of abandonment, and fear is just that - it's a feeling, not reality itself, even though it may seem like it is because it's so intense. If you can get in to a position to face your fear and analyze its roots, you can confront whatever it is (more than likely in your childhood) that caused you to have this fear and reason with it. Once you've been able to change the trail of thought you have on the matter, it will get a lot easier to manage the fear when it comes by simply using the same reasoning. It also helps to realize that this is now, not then, so you're not in any danger, you're safe where you are, you're safe as you are. Even if I'm frozen in panic sometimes I can just chant something like "this is now, not then" and at least bring myself back enough to think more clearly. Anyways, those just some ideas based on what worked for me - I highly recommend talking to your therapist or at least reading a good book on fear management though if you really want to resolve this.

"make him better understand how deeply terrifying and difficult it is for me"

Unfortunately in my experience they either get it or they don't. There's no "making" them understand me. How can they? They have not inhabited my body or (usually) ever came close to experiencing what I have experienced. Instead of understanding, they can either offer me their sympathy and support or they can distrust my honesty about my feelings and minimize the seriousness of my problem or they can (probably the worst of all) be completely apathetic and not care at all about my plight. They can't understand, though. They can listen and offer a hug, but they can't understand.
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peacesignsandsmiles
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Joined: 19 Jan 2009
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Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a similar problem and my husband is kinda shy and laid back so between the two of us we might never have sex. We now have a system for when one of us wants to have sex. We give each other a simple none sexual sign. For instance keep a bag of tootsie rolls around and when one of you is in the mood give the other a tootsie role. Itís not sexual so it takes away bad feeling. And you are not really putting yourself out there so you are not really at risk of being rejected. Its worked well for us.
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