Good Relationship but issue threatening depression trigger
Been a while since I’ve been on these forums as things improved a lot for me, most notably got a promotion and then a girlfriend for the first time in a very long time (to all the people struggling being single of which I was one definitely try online dating here are genuine people out there, the rest are fake!)
The issue I have now that had caused me to start to feel the stirring of depression again is my having failed twice to actually make love with my girlfriend. First time I sort of got might have been too ambitious, and then there was no opportunity for another month (don’t live together, illness in between etc.) second time didn’t work either from my side, kept ‘losing it’ and got really frustrated and defeatist cause I wanted to so much especially as we have had so few chances.
I feel like I’m totally failing her, and though she is super supportive her words don’t cut through and I’m worried about falling into a cycle of lacking any confidence. Has anyone else out there had similar issues and specifically know how this can relate to re-triggering depression, cause I’m also now worried that it will trigger another depressive period, and is difficult not to ruminate on failing twice?
Everything else between us is really good, emotionally, mentally and affection wise, we are both very affectionate/sexual people so not being able to do this is really disappointing.
While I have no problem going to a doctor if things keep failing…just looking for any advice anyone might have at the moment for the next few times and specifically around any ideas to try and ‘immunise’ myself form this one issue retriggering general depression (which for me takes the form of nihilistic apathy)?
I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of falling into a depressive cycle and holding onto the hope it will work itself out yet worried that a third failure will push me off….any advice?
Welcome back, it is quite a while since you have been here - and I guess that is good. Reading of your past troubles I can see there was OCD and intrusive thoughts, and maybe worst of all loneliness. All the promotions, achievements and so on 'going to waste' becuse there was no one to share them with.
A meaningful relationship - or lack of it - was one of the huge things in your life. Now I'm delighted to hear you have found someone , or they have found you.
I'm not as wise as Cornstarch so have no deep quotes to offer, however it would look like you are under enormous pressure, that new relationship pretty much needs to be perfect, on your part anyway.
Well it does not work that way. All that pressure can make being intimate a great problem, in fact two problems. First the worry about yourself, if you are ever going to be able to do what you want, and the resultant effect on your psyche if you do not. More pressure!
The other problem is the feeling your freind has not had the full benefit of intimacy, and you may worry that in time this could become an issue. More pressure again!
So if stress or pressure is the problem perhaps you can reduce some of it. A frank caring discussion with your girlfriend may allow you to find ways of being intimate that are pleasing. - One worry less perhaps
Seeking medical advice would be a good idea, even if it is not something physical it may lead to treatment for your original anxiety condition which may be a cause now.
Despite all I've said above I don't think your situation is all that unusual, in fact it may well be common than you imagine, I've heard the figure of a bit under one third of men having initial problems in this situation.
Since that original time years back I have revised expectations on relationships so don't expect it to be perfect and have been doing better because of that. Have definitely had frank discussions about it with my girlfriend and without going into detail are still planning to do things to feel more relaxed together and see how that goes.
But one thing that hasn't changed is how important being in a relationship is to me, which is why any kind of problem is so potentially distressing. We have had 'blips' on other things but soon worked them out as we are very open with each other so not expecting zero issues to arise.
I guess my main thing is how can I like 'box' this one issue, knowing it may take a while to resolve (sorting through if it is mental or phhysical and then getting help accordingly) I don't want it to 'spread' into general depression...like how can I better consider it as an issue independent from the broader relationship? Might be a vague or nuanced sounding concept though.