Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.
I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. You are clearly a loving and caring man. And you love Sara very much. But there are two issues here coming together that you need to be aware of: good men, men with good values, can tend to have a Knight in Shining Armor attitude--I'll do what it takes to save the damsel from her distress; and second, that she has emotional issues that are going to take a long time to before she's very different.
And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. I know you're patient, but what Sara is now is going to be what Sara is like even after some time of counseling most likely. There may be some improvement in the short term in how she can related in an intimate (emotionally) relationship; but therapy is not a quick fix. And if the cause of this is indeed trauma based as you believe, then it will take rather long term counseling of at least a year to two years. And if it's more based on childhood events and traumas, then therapy is a longer term effort on her part.
Again, that doesn't mean she won't be more emotionally open. But we're talking incrementally, not her being everything you love about Sara without all the standoffishness, etc.
So, this is where your being a good man really makes it tough. Knights in shining armor aren't supposed to put their needs into play; they're supposed to help the damsel in her distress. But you do have needs and you do have the right to have a relationship that is emotionally fulfilling, especially if it will be a long term relationship.
Therefore, I want you to recognize that you are a good man whether you choose to stay in this relationship or whether you choose to move on. Sara sounds like being with her the way she is now may be enough to make you want to have this be a long term relationship. But I do hear in your words a doubt, that you do sense you are not getting what you need. And so I am speaking up for that right within you to say that you have the right to seek what you need in a relationship.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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