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A lack of understanding

Community Member

Hi all - I am not sure what I'm doing or even what I am talking about right now, but here goes.

I put up a thread a few months back about some of my issues - the short summary of that I have experienced pretty much every sexual issue a male can experience. It's been a result of many things- medication, weaning off medication, lack of confidence, feeling depressed/anxious, all of which get exacerbated by each other. It's made life pretty rough and but until recently I had a feeling of optimism that things could get better. I have been making lots of positive changes to try and improve my confidence and re frame my negative feelings towards intimacy that were created by repeated painful experiences. I truly felt like I was making some sort of progress. Our relationship otherwise has been really good - we are talking about getting engaged etc. We love each other despite the problems I have had. We want to get married etc. still. I feel like she is 'the one' as corny as that sounds. Furthermore, she still says that I'm a wonderful boyfriend.

She has made it clear to me that she isn't interested in sex with me . Other forms of intimacy are ok- but not that- too many bad experiences. I understand this and I don't think it comes as any surprise. There's only so much disappointment one can handle. Although deep down I knew this was probably the case - hearing it put so plainly really hurts. I'm still hurting now and I'm not sure anymore how I should feel/act towards her.

My partner has some challenging views about things such as depression and anxiety. She acknowledges that these are things that all people experience at some point in time, but can't recognise the more serious forms of it. I spent the other night in tears; and was screamed at for 'not dealing with things like a normal person' for instance. I am doing the best I possibly can to cope and put on a brave face but it's not good enough. I was vulnerable and down already, it just made things worse. This has happened on a number of instances about a number of issues; I'm expected to 'man up' and deal with it. Honestly, I wish it was that easy.

Now that I've actually wrote this down I realise things aren't so bad in the scheme of things- if anything I just feel so tired of trying to mask the way I feel and act like everything is fine. There's only so long one can do that before you have some sort of a meltdown.

4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Rhinoceros, I hope that you the two of you do get engaged, but from how I see your situation is that your g/friend doesn't understand how you are feeling, maybe because she doesn't recognise depression can't be overcome straight away, and by her yelling at you is certainly not going to help you, sure you may put on a brave fake face pretending that 'all is fine', however this will become too exhausting for you.
I do believe that she doesn't want to be intimate with you until you have overcome these problems, simply because being in a marriage this needs to happen, especially if you want children, and a marriage wouldn't survive unless the two of you have sex.
I'm not sure how you can get yourself better living under the same roof at the moment, because you'll be too scared to say anything on how you are feeling, even having a headache.
I know you want to get married and that's great but with the lack of any understanding is going to make it difficult.
Maybe you could take her with you when you see your doctor, they have the experience and the knowledge to say that you can't 'just man up' and 'screamed at for 'not dealing with things like a normal person', so what is the definition of a 'normal person', there isn't one.
Get the help you need and whether you want to tell your g/friend is up to you, but she must relax how she thinks. Geoff.

Community Member

Thank you Geoff ,

I feel like the intimacy issues will resolve but I have to confess that at this point in time, I don't feel all that comfortable around her. It's not that I'm not attracted it's more that I don't feel like I can open up to her. It's pretty hard to work through stuff like this when I am largely expected to fix it on my own. Just being able to talk openly about this stuff with her would make a world of difference.

The other issue is that at this point the relationship is very one sided - I am making most of the effort. There have been some fairly major stresses in my girlfriends life lately and I constantly stop and drop everything for her. I don't mind doing this, it's how I am- when you love someone it's what you do, and I don't expect anything in return. I'm helping her through her stresses, but there isn't anyone there to help me. This pattern causes me to feel insecure and in turn, makes the black dog worse. That being said I can completely understand my girlfriend feeling insecure/unwanted/unloved after the issues I have had. Honestly I'm surprised that she still wants to be with me, I'm struggling to see why to be honest :(.

hello Rhinoceros, thanks for getting back to me and yes you may still love her, however when people get engaged and then married then there's that excitement in planning to live together, talk about the future, plan on where to live, furniture tastes and then maybe a choice of deciding whether or not you want to have children and how many, all of these come naturally when the couple can talk openly without fear of any reprimand or reprisal.
At the moment this isn't happening, I'm sorry to say that, but I know that once the marriage settles down the r/ship changes, and for those who have just got married they're on cloud 9 and expect it to remain that way, unfortunately it doesn't.
At the moment you've said it's one sided even now before you're married, I don't think that it should be. Geoff.

Community Member

You're so right Geoff. When you start living together/get married, being able to talk openly is crucial. Right now I certainly don't feel that way. I have (I'm sure inadvertently) been made to feel like my depression is seen as a sign of weakness, something to be very ashamed of. That's kind of where I am at right now. At this point I'm really down, stressed out and exhausted. I can't openly say how I am going, and feel like I should be apologizing for all sorts of things I shouldn't have to be sorry for.

There have been loads of stresses from other issues affecting both myself and my partner in the past year (work, family, other complicated stuff)- this has taken its toll but we have managed to stick together. We've both grown together as a result of all this.

My advice from my counselor has been to focus on my own health and wellbeing and put myself first for a change. I think that's good advice, I don't remember the last time I actually have ever put myself first.