Question: Dear Luise: I am a 27 year old professional living with my 37 year old boyfriend. When we began dating everything was wonderful now after a year we barely have sex. I hate to complain because every other aspect is wonderful. I’ve tried to probe about his prior relationships to improve my understanding of him and in an effort to navigate this sticky situation. I love him and want to remain with him but not at the cost of my self pride. Sometimes when he rejects me the pain is so intense and while I usually get over it I’m not sure how to resolve it. I’m assuming it has something to do with his mother’s infidelity but I’m not sure. He doesn’t like talking about it and feels like he’s being unfair to me, yet he still won’t be physically intimate. He admits that he’s attracted me but just doesn’t feel sexual…..HELP PLEASE! I’m so confused. D.
Answer: Dear D.: I looks to me like what you are up against is a very basic and serious problem. Your boyfriend wants you to be different and you want him to be different. What has sent your boyfriend in this direction isn’t going to change anything unless it concerns him so much that he seeks therapy. (And there’s no guarantee there.) Beyond that, why he’s like he is doesn’t change what it is going to take for you to adjust. You are essentially writing to me about someone else’s issue. He has apparently accepted it and refuses to pretend beyond a certain point. Of course he doesn’t want to talk about it. It sounds like he has made peace with it and expects you to do the same. Can you? You wrote about what it is “costing” you. That’s where the solution lies, in your either adjusting and finding peace there or leaving in search of a more fulfilling relationship. If you do, it may be “off” in some other vital area like fidelity, finances, addiction, etc. There is no perfection, as you know, but you may truly require sexual nurturing. Blessings, Luise