Question: Dear Luise: I am 40 years old and am with a 48 years old man. He is a wonderful man and treats me with kindness, respect, and love. We have been living together for almost a year now. Everything is great except the sex part. He has a medical or perhaps emotional condition that makes any sexual interaction between us short-lived. A little history about him; he grew up in a poor family; so he started to work in a young age. During his teenage years, he was working while other teenagers were chasing girls. He never had that luxury. I believe he told me the first time he kissed a girl was when he was 30 years old. Unfortunately, all of his previous relationships were short term, until he met me. I found that he doesn’t know how to kiss me, touch me and needless to say, he doesn’t know how to make love. He said he is not a virgin. I thought he was nervous but now I know better. The way we “have sex” is not the way healthy, mature people do. It is manual and very quick. I had a normal sex life before and now I am not sure what to do. I am not sure how to talk to him about this topic. I have not cheated on him but I am very frustrated with our current situation. Thanks, W.
Answer: Dear W. Your guy has to want to resolve his issues. Even though they affect you drastically, they are not yours. He needs to see a medical doctor and a counselor who specialize in sexual problems. His history is unfortunate but a lack of socializing and the need for hard work during the teen years does not necessarily bring about sexual dysfunction. That’s an excuse; there has to be more going on.
Of course his previous relationships were short-lived. He is almost 50 years old and has either refused to address the issue or has been unsuccessful in his attempts to do so. He may not want to pursue it at this time, even if you talk with him about it and urge him to. There is also no guarantee that he will obtain satisfactory results. (He may even attempt to protect himself by saying “what problem.”)
What you do about the lack of healthy sexual expression, as you know it, is up to you. That’s the part that is your problem. You have to decide how deeply it affects you and whether you need to leave. Some women adjust and stay because the rest of the relationship makes it worth it; others feel rejected and unloved and/or angry and resentful and choose to move on. Your own health and well-being is what you need to focus on. A counselor may be able you help you sort through it.
What you do know, after a year, is that you can’t fix it. Blessings, Luise