We’ve talked about the lack of a sex life, and when I say “lack of,” I mean I can count the times he’s touched me intimately on one hand. There has been no sex or sexual intimacy of any kind, however, for over four years. I just don’t know what to do or how to approach this. He’s not a physically affectionate kind of person. When he kisses me, he just kind of… puts his lips on mine? No feeling or anything and it’s over in an instant. I have to ask for hugs, and that’s about all I get.
When we started dating, I was 20, and it’s hard not to feel like I’m the problem. Am I not desired? Is something wrong with me? Am I not his type? When we first started dating, there was passion, but it fizzled out so fast, and I’ve been dealing with this privately ever since.
I love him to pieces, but I’m internalizing everything at this point and I’m so lost. I don’t want to ask him to take any pills as I’ve heard they hurt, and I don’t want him to be in pain at all! But now that I think about it, I don’t think he’s ever actually been aroused by me. I’m not sure what to do or where to go right now — any help is greatly appreciated. — No Intimacy
It’s not a coincidence that a 44-year-old divorced man pursued you when you were 20 and, four years later, you have a relationship that is completely devoid of intimacy. He preyed on you not because he felt a connection to you and fell in love with you, but because you met a need he had. I don’t know what that need is exactly – it is either the illusion of a (heterosexual) relationship and/or services you provide for him that he’d have to outsource to multiple people and probably at a cost higher than however much he spends on you. Do you cook and clean for him? Run errands? Do his shopping? You are definitely providing something for him that improves the quality of his life, and that’s why he’s with you. That’s it. He doesn’t love you, not in a romantic way – not in the way a man should love the woman he’s planning to marry.
How do I know he doesn’t love you in a romantic way? Because any man who did love you in a romantic way would want to be intimate with you, at least at this juncture of your relationship. Even if there was a legitimate reason he couldn’t or didn’t want to have sex with you, he’d want to touch you in an intimate way. If he loved you romantically, he would want you, at 24 years old, to experience romantic love in all its forms and expressions. He would want that for you, and he would do everything he could to give that to you, and if he couldn’t, he would let you go. At the VERY LEAST, he would communicate with you about all the ways you could work on this issue, and he would work on it. But, let’s be honest: It’s not work to kiss someone or touch someone intimately, to hold someone in your arms, to cuddle and be close. And if he has psychological issues keeping him from expressing romantic love in these normal ways, he shouldn’t rob a 20-year-old girl of the opportunities to have a healthy love life with someone who is capable of giving her one. This is not love. This is exploitation. You are being exploited by this man, and he preyed on you because of a combination of your young age, your inexperience in life, your naivety, and a vulnerability that made preying on you particularly easy.
How do I know you’re naive and vulnerable? Because you’re been “privately dealing” with a problem in your relationship that involves another person – a person you’re planning to marry. This isn’t a small problem either. This is an enormous problem that greatly affects the quality of your life and the health and success of your relationship. Only someone who is emotionally vulnerable would remain quiet about it, afraid that voicing any concern would rock whatever stability she has found in a deeply problematic relationship.
I know you’re naive because you believe “pills hurt” a man. Who even told you that? You heard that somewhere and, rather than explore what that meant and how that could be and what other options might be available if that were true (it’s not), you simply accepted it. Rather than even broach a single conversation about it with Jim, you have gone four whole years without so much as a passionate kiss in a relationship with a man who has easily convinced you that YOU are the problem. You are not the problem here. This is not about your not being desirable. This is 100% about Jim. Whatever his deal is is something he has chosen to hide through his relationship with you, and you were chosen specifically because he knew you wouldn’t question him.
I’m urging you to leave this relationship because this isn’t a question like so many ask about how to get the spark back or how to handle different libidos in a relationship. What you’ve described is an enormous red flag – a red flag so large it can cover your entire home. It’s a red flag that is accompanied by sirens and an air raid, and since you can’t seem to hear them, it’s my job to amplify the noise for you and warn you to get out, get out, get out. Get out of this exploitative relationship, seek a good therapist (this is non-negotiable—you must do this), and give yourself the gift of all the time you have left in life (you’re still only 24!) to have the kind of love everyone is deserving of – including you! Very much you!
I promise, once you get out of this relationship and you deal with the issues that made you such attractive prey to Jim, a whole new world will open to you. And the possibilities in this new world are endless.
***************Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram. If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.