Last night we had a couple’s therapy session. This is the second joint session we’ve had in the last year. Generally we see the therapist individually to talk about our life challenges as an individual. We have gotten to a point in our personal ‘healing’ where it was time to do another joint session.
Not that anyone had the perfect childhood, we both happen to have parents that were in a loveless marriage (oh sure, there was love at one point or another, but not while we were around). Our parents handled this very differently, so we have also turned out very differently. Plus, we have the whole man vs. woman differences, so this makes our main battles quite difficult. The main battles are common, but they are getting in the way of moving forward and is effecting us on all levels.
#1 Issue – Sex
Of course there is the common woman/man difference – she needs to feel loved & safe in the relationship to have sex, he needs to have sex to feel loved & safe in the relationship. Conflict? Yes!
Our specific issues with sex? Some physical conflicts (TMI), some emotional baggage, and some just plain differences in needs and desire.
How do people manage to find their sexual matches out there in the world? Does everyone have these conflicts and they just deal with it? Do people not deal with it and hence have affairs? How do you have a happy and mutually fulfilling relationship with these issues?
In our session last night, E used a word that has not left my mind. He has used this word before, and he has described this feeling before, and it hurts every time he says it. He feels that we have a platonic relationship with occasional “benefits”. He feels that any interaction that I have with him that is something I could do with a friend (mind you I would not necessarily do these with a friend but he feels it is acceptable friend to friend interaction) means nothing towards our relationship. We feel very differently about our interactions.
If I make him the dinner he wants, or call him on the phone just to say hi, he feels that this is something you would do with any friend so it means nothing. For me, it means everything. Even kissing is not enough. It needs to be full-on making out with the intention of intercourse to mean anything to him.
If it’s not sex, or the interaction isn’t in a direct line with the goal of intercourse, it means nothing.
Which of course make him feel like I’m not attracted to him, which is NOT true. I don’t know what it is. I have had this pattern in relationships before, and I know I’m not the only one out there with this pattern. Lots of hot sex at the beginning, and then it pitters out and I just don’t have the need or desire except about once a month (hormones).
I feel that I have lost that passion for a number of reasons:
Emotional Baggage - past/preset mental crap that is hard to get past
Stress - Stress about work, stress about the house, stress about the possible lack of babies in my future, stress about money, stress about stress… you get the picture. Amazingly I have felt a lot less stress since I gave notice at my current job and finally made the decision about my next job (that was a very hard decision). I have been thinking about sex more, and have been wanting to get closer with E. I need to really manage this stress when the new job starts, because I cannot continue that kind of lifestyle as its not healthy for me or our relationship.
Hormones – I have often speculated that birth control pills are screwing me over in this department. I have tried a number of them and my libido is different on each one, but my libido was never higher then when I wasn’t on any. I’ve talked with my GYN about this for years and he keeps trying me on different doses and brands, but none really seem to do the trick. I also have trouble with incredibly heavy bleeding, break-through and bad cramps, so the brand/dose switching is also for those reasons. Recently he recommended that I start taking Fish Oil capsules to help with the stress and depression and just maybe the libido. He has also put me on continuous therapy where you only have your period once every 3 months. This may be good…. It may be bad. We’ll see.
Our possible biggest hurdle
Stalled out Relationship - this may be a big fat excuse or it may have some truth to it, I don’t know. Since our relationship has been in this maybe move forward, maybe end it state for so many years, I have a very hard time with the passion. But E needs the passion to feel like he wants to move forward. So I think I may need to just suck it up. Jump in. take the passion that I feel in my heart but not in other areas of my body, and make it real. We had a rough patch a few years ago when we broke up and got back together, and MAN the passion was amazing for a little while.
I think we will have plenty to talk about on our week long drive.