Her Past Interferes
Q: My girlfriend and I have been together for close to 15 months now, and our physical relationship has reached an all-time low. We are never intimate anymore, just a peck on the cheek every now and then, and I'm only 22! I thought it was her birth control that was at fault, but she believes that it's due to what happened to her last year when she was date-raped, and how her mom took it when she found out. Even when we would try to be intimate, she would not orgasm even after 5-10 minutes. I'm becoming frustrated with her, so I overreact and get jealous easily. But I also feel very bad after I become "angry' with her because she can't help it. This physical thing has been going on close to 11 months now, and she is going to counseling for this problem and a few others. Can the counseling thing work? What should I do? -- Bruce
Dr. Susan: Give the counseling some time, and if and when she's willing, attend some sessions with her. She may be having a rough time integrating this date-rape experience into her life, but it also could be a handy excuse she's falling back on. Your anger and jealousy only make things worse, as does your impatience at her "slowness" at achieving orgasm. Five to ten minutes is no big deal at all for a female. Maybe your pressure is keeping her from even wanting to try. And it's possible she doesn't want to kiss you because in the past, kissing has led immediately to full sex, which she's avoiding -- for whatever reasons. Give her the time she needs to work her issues through in therapy, and it wouldn't hurt you to learn better ways to express yourself than by becoming angry and then feeling bad about it. There is hope for your relationship, but it will take finesse, not fury.
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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.