Am I asking too much?
I have been feeling increasingly anxious lately and feeling like I'm not wanted.
My partner is someone who is not overly affectionate and I know this, which is difficult as I am a very affectionate person, particularly physically. I have felt more than ok normally but recently there has been some trauma that has halted our physical intimacy and now without that I think it has been playing on me a lot more as there is little intimacy outside that.
We have talked a about it but the main response is "I don't know how to help you without making myself ubvomfortable" which is something I wouldn't want to do. There's still laying on eachother on the couch, a quick kiss and an I love you occasionally, so why do I feel like this?
I'm sure I'm not the only person who has gone through this. How can I go about removing this feeling? Does anyone have any strategies?
Welcome to the forums and thanks for taking the time to reach out. I'm really sorry to hear that your anxiety has been increasing lately alongside feelings of being unwanted. It must be difficult trying to have your own relationship needs met whilst ensuring your partner also feels comfortable. If you don't mind clarifying, when you say that recently there has been some trauma is this in reference to you, your partner, or both?
Although I can't draw upon any personal experiences, I think maybe just letting your partner know (as you have done) that this is something that is affecting you given that physical intimacy is a important for you and how you feel connected and wanted in a relationship. Also, just reiterating that you also don't want them to do anything they are uncomfortable may be helpful in ensuring your partner feels supported and not pressured. Although it may not seem like it, it's likely that this is something your partner feels bad about and is trying to internally fix even if they don't vocalise it. It's also possible that your partner has been dealing with some personal issues, which has consequently halted their desire for physical intimacy. Maybe your partner just needs a little bit of time before they feel comfortable again. Maybe seeing a couple therapist may also be helpful? They could be useful in mediating any conversations between you two and allow both sides to be raw and honest without judgement or reservations. Just a suggestion!
Please feel free to give any updates whenever you feel up to it!
Wishing you the very best ~
Thanks for this conundrum regarding maintaining intimacy through physical trauma.
Firstly, I hope the trauma you mention is not permanent and that recovery, in time, will resolve this aspect of your relationship. Presently, however, you have an opportunity to broaden the foundations of intimacy beyond the scope of physicality; building stronger emotional bonds through shared experiences and reevaluating what makes you feel comfortable together. What other things bring you joy, or are there new activities/interests to pursue to bring you closer together?
The scope of intimacy is far reaching, and simply showing understanding and support can alleviate feelings of inadequacy or guilt which may be leaving you feeling alienated unintentionally.