[Question #5347] Probably I'm stupid and/or insecure

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
23 months ago
There is no question here.  EWH---
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
23 months ago
I just was able to restore you question which was:

I’ve been living with my girlfriend for about six months. Before she moved in, I agreed to be celibate–I am divorced and haven’t had sex in almost three years now, so it isn’t like I was giving anything up. I mean, I like sex, but I love her and dont really need that to be a facet of our relationship, and she has her reasons. But Christmas last year, out of the blue, she asked me to wash her back in the tub and then surprised me in the shower so we could wash each other. I was elated, but since then she acts like she doesn’t want me to even see her naked–closes the door when she bathes, wont sleep in underwear anymore (although I know she has self esteem issues so I told her she doesn’t need to), and won’t even change in front of me. I haven’t pressured for sex, but I’d be lying if I said I never got an erection when we snuggle. I guess I’m just looking for some possible insight–I have been faithful and take care of my needs myself, always away and quiet so she doesn’t feel grossed out or I dont even know what, but I dont understand how it went from total nudity and being comfortable showering to just holding each other. I am probably being stupid but I dont understand. I dont need the sex but she is beautiful and I want her to feel comfortable again. We barely even kiss on the lips anymore. If I’m being honest, I’m worried I’ve just become a safe place to stay. So…insight please 

Response from EWH.  Clearly something is going on here.  It started with her request (I presume) to be celibate despite a decision about living together.  As you point out, this is beyond our usual menu of topics but it seems that there is an issue of communications which are at play here.  Clearly here approach to contact and intimacy is having some effect on you and is on your mind. If it is not addressed, it is more likely than not that your concerns will increase or expand, introducing tension into your relationship.  This is not a formula for a health relationship.   If you cannot address your questions and concerns in a one-on-one conversation, this is the place where couples counseling can make a big contribution.

Perhaps these comments are helpful.  I hope so.  I wish you well. EWH
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