Won't Get Intimate
Q: I've been with my boyfriend for over a year, and he won't have sex with me, not even oral sex. He says he loves me but that it's not me. What should I do? I've tried every avenue. -- Ginny, 48
Dr. Susan: Men at midlife can find their diminishing virility extremely troubling. Even some who are long married will not admit to their wives what's going on. They feel ashamed that they can't get intimate in the same old ways with the same old dependability, and they decide to simply avoid the whole area of sexuality. Has your boyfriend has a physical check-up in the past year? Any number of medical issues and/or medications could be contributing to his difficulty (and I'm assuming that it's the physical changes in his own body that are causing his refusal to be with you that way).
If the two of you love one another and would like to have a life together, it's imperative that he open up with you about what's going on for him. He can't avoid telling you forever. It may be something that a simple pill will improve. Or perhaps you can find a way to reassure him that you don't have unrealistic expectations in that area but you would very much like to have some kind of intimacy with him. Quite simply, if he insists that he loves you and that "it's not you," then he needs to share with you what's going on. As things stand right now, it sounds like you have neither physical nor emotional intimacy in your life.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.