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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I recently got back together with my ex (Catie). We'd

Customer Question

I recently got back together with my ex (Catie). We'd previously been together for 10 years and took an 8 year break. We've now been back together for 6 months. We love each other lots. But sex usually doesn't work. Most of the time she feels disgusted by the idea of experiencing pleasure (has nothing to do with me or our relationship; she experienced a kind of emotional/sexual abuse as a child and as an adult she says she has little to no sex drive.
I prefer sex two to three times a week; once a week, if it's based on good emotional connection, would be ok. And emotional connection is critical to me. She wants it maybe once a month. Maybe. It's only ok if she initiates. If she offers me "quickies" in the interim then she resents it. And then i'm frustrated by her anger. If I don't ask for the quickies, then I become physically and emotionally frustrated and my resentment builds. And then hers does. And then we talk about splitting up and it's miserable because we essentially feel like the other is the love of our life.
We talk about this with each other all the time. Too much sometimes. But we always get stuck. We want to stay together even when we're ALMOST ready to throw in the towel. She even suggested I find a f**kbuddy to take the pressure off her. Which is not my style.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello, I am sorry that your partner is experiencing this level of disgust and resentment towards sexual intercourse. It sounds like the trauma of the emotional and sexual abuse she suffered as a child has led to this issue with experiencing sexual arousal/pleasure. Has she ever thought about entering into psychotherapy with a professional that can help treat the underlying causes from the past abuse so that she can move forward and experience sexual pleasure fully?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
over the past 15 years, she has been in psychotherapy approximately six times, including twice with a duration of over a year each (both couples and individual). She has expressed frustration with each of those experiences and reported that she did not feel that any of them were helpful. She is not willing to do this again. She maintains that she is not interested in experiencing sexual pleasure at all and considers herself asexual, and does not want to be pressured to feel otherwise. We both attempt to remain as positive and mutually supportive as possible, but she feels my frustration and this angers her because to her it feels like pressure to perform. She does, however, express a strong interest in our relationship being successful and wishes that my sexual drive would go away (it won't). Given this, I am in a state of constant painful frustration, and as much as I care about her, this frustration interferes with my ability to focus on what IS working in the relationship. She feels my frustration, and we find ourselves in a constant spiral of anger and frustration, even though we continue to communicate openly and caringly about all of this. I think we're done......
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response. Unfortunately if your partner is not willing to work on this issue or is content with being "asexual," than there may not be a lot you can do to help the situation as this issue is with her and that means only she can work to resolve it. If she is not willing to do that than that is the choice she has made and one she wants to live by for the immediate future. Your frustration is completely natural as sexual intimacy is a major part of any healthy relationship, so you really do have a limited choice of options on if you want to stay with her where most likely your sexual frustration will continue (and may worsen) or you have to consider ending the relationship and moving forward with your life because not all of your needs are being met. I know it is a difficult and one can say unfair choice, but your biological needs for sexual intimacy is natural and most likely will not go away any time soon, so you will have to focus on what is best for you here. I truly wish you all the best no matter what decision you make.

I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.

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