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He's an Adult and has Intimacy Issues

Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Female
my boyfriend and i have never had sex but we kiss sometimes and he is here everyday. we have been to gether for almost 2 years. he said not to force him sexually, because he was hurt so badly, that he no longer feels anything sexually, and does not desire sex because it deals with emotion and he says his heart is dead.

Can a man be truly dead inside so that he hates women. He says i'm nice and he loves me in his own way, but he teases me and shows it to me, but no sex. im going to couples counceling alone to try and deal with this. i know its his problem not mine but i love him so much i know i cant function without him. im 49 years old, so im not a kid.

RomanceClass.com Advice
Well first off, good for you for going to counselling about this. It's definitely an issue that involves how he *feels* and is dealing with life and the only way it can be resolved is for those feelings to be handled. Of course it would be better if HE went, but we all know that we do what we can.

He's playing word games here. He says his heart is dead, but obviously that isn't true. He cares for you, he spends time with you. His heart is quite alive and kicking. So what he MEANS is that he is AFRAID that, if he had sex with you, he would then be hurt by you. Somehow his brain has equated a women that is in a sexual relationship as being one that can harm him. And a woman who is NOT in a sexual relationship with him (i.e. you) is "safe". So he's built this arbitrary line in his mind and is saying to himself, "as long as she stays over on that other side of the line, I am safe."

Of course we know in reality that imaginary lines do not exist :) You are you and are a person he cares for regardless of whether or not you guys have sex. It's not like that act would "change you" into an evil person. But since that line exists only inside his brain, the only place it can be changed is in his brain. And since you've already been with him for 2 years, it's pretty doubtful that he'll just spontaneously change on his own, without some help. He's gotten used to this being "safe" and has no desire to risk his safety.

If you're going in to counselling already, it might be good to "ease him in" to this idea. Don't fight about it because that will only make him more afraid of the idea - i.e. it'll make him believe he's right that this sex-thing is going to destroy the relationship. Instead, make it more like a fun thing you've never tried that is pretty harmless. Set the stage for that. Go to a new restaurant in the area that you've never been to, and then talk about how fun it was to try a new, enjoyable thing. Go to a new park. Go to an art museum. Make it your "summer agenda" to go around trying new fun things together.

While you're doing this "explore new things together" kick, mention one of the weeks that your therapist thought it would be helpful to hear your opinion on something in therapy - that you'd like him to come along to share his opinions, *not* to be "therapized". So he'll see that therapy isn't a scary place, it's just somewhere you talk about things. Hopefully if you then start to combine the "new things can be fun to try together" atmosphere with the "therapy is a fun place to talk about things", you can get him to start actually addressing the sexual issue.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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