Friday, January 15, 2010

Intimacy challenge - ARTICLE

My girlfriend and I have gotten back together again after a 1/2 year break up. She wasn't meeting any of my needs as I met all of her wants and needs. She said to me several months ago that she made a mistake and wanted back in my life.

At first I was reluctant, but soon after I let my wall down and let her back into my life. I thought that she had changed, only to find that she changed for a brief moment. We still don't kiss, hug (I very seldom get to see her without clothes on) and we haven't had a sexual relationship in 6 months (it was the same before or break up).

I am there for her when she needs support, help or whatever the need at that time may be. She won't say to me she loves me even though when I ask her if she does, she will say, yes she loves me. She never makes the first move to reach out and hold my hand or hold me and kissing seem to be a struggle for her. She says she wants to marry me, but now I fear I will have this struggle with her the rest of my life. I try to talk to her about it and it only upsets her.

I guess my question is, is she using me for her own comfort, taking me for granted because she knows I'm always there for her? I can't figure her out. What should I do?

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Here are some possibilities:
  • There could be something about you which turns her off: it could be your "sexual style", any uncleanleaness, bad breath, etc.

  • She does not feel comfortable with intimacy. This means that she would feel exactly the same with any man.

What to do? To solve something like that, you definitely need to work on it together. If she is not open for it, take a special moment to talk about it. Here is how you can present it: "look there is something I need to share with you and I don't know how to reach you. I really need to talk to you about it. All I need from you is 30 min. I want you to listen to what I have to say. Let's fix a moment, for instance Thursday evening 8 pm. It's okay, would this work for you? "
Don't simply let it go if she resists. Insist that it's something you need for the two of you. All you need is 30 min of her time.
Here is what you can do next: On that appointed day and time, open a bottle of red wine (or squeeze a fresh orange juice... Not sure of your tastes). Create a comfortable space for the two of you.
Give yourself exactly 30 min. Agree to stop the conversation no matter what at the end of that time.
Here is what you can say: "I have been facing a challenge in what you and I share and I am in the point where I don't know what to do with it. When we walk on the street, I have a natural desire to hold your hand, but I do feel some resistance from you and i don't understand this. I am not saying this to challenge you. I say this because I care and I know if I don't share it with you, it simply will stay in my mind..."
You get the picture, no challenge, no threat, open dialogue. You simply share what you feel without pointing your finger at her or blaming her in any way.
After 30 min of chat, stop! This is very important. Don't stretch. Finish it and go, do something else. If you finished the conversation but did not reach an aggreement or conclusion on what to do next, fix another time next week, same time and do this again. Create this special forum space for the two of you.
Take notes while you share ideas and feelings.
If during the week, you want to share something with her about what you already discussed, write it down on a white page and keep it for next "meeting".
During the week, don't mention what you already discussed. Give it space. Give her space to digest.
This might sound artificial at first, but the benefits of doing this are endless.
What you must realize now, is that what you face takes time and energy to be solved. Extra professional support would definitely help you break through this. You can get help from a sex therapist, a coach or eventually join something more challenging like a week-end tantra workshop to develop intimacy. You will need to consistently focus on it for 1 to 3 months. Make it your couple's priority number 1 for that time.
If you drop it, nothing will change and you might eventually split up because of it. Don't wait. Invest now. This is what it takes to break through this and give the two of you a real chance. Wishful thinking is not enough. You need to take real action here.