UK Relationships/Relationship Ending

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Hi Steve,

Firstly, thankyou for reading this email and I apologise for how long it will be, as this is the first I have ever openly spoken about my relationship worries.

I got together with my partner, Jonny who is 21, 2 and a half years ago. We now live together in our own home, which we have done for over 1 year.

We had a good relationship at the beginning, however we met under unusual circumstances. We had a one night stand, which lead to me falling pregnant ( i misscarried), we didn't decide to be together based on this, we spoke throughly, and decided we WANTED to be together, we didnt have to be together. Because I was pregnant through the beggining of the relationship, there wasn't as much fun as you would expect in a young couple.

My partner had a long term girlfriend of 2 years, who recently split up before we got together. I have always been confident and outgoing, however brought up as an only child in a male-dominated family, I have been taught to be very secretive of my emotions, show strength, no fear or weaknesses. So, speaking openly to my partner about my worries is difficult, as I dont want him seeing me in that light.

I have doubts in my head from the very beginning as to why hes with me, I compare about myself and his ex, what he did with her what he does with me etc etc.

He had a very high sex drive, as did I before we got together. However, he never had it with me, even thought before we got together he often mentioned he did with his ex. Your lucky if we have sex once every 1-2 months, which isn't enough.

I often bring it up with him, and get promises he will change it (never does), and we always become on breaking point. Because he doesn't show me this affection, I have become scarily self concious. I don't let him look at magazines, porn and freak out emotionally and angrily if he looks at other woman.

With this happening, I keep thinking of his preavious relationship, why can't he act like that with me etc. What is so different?

It's tearing me apart emotionally, and we have spoken about it to no avail. Hes a great boyfriend in other aspects, caring, romantic never cheated, doubt he ever would etc.

But, sex is a massive part of the relationship for me, it always has been. However, we are spekaing of spliting up due to this, what do we do?

If I picture him with his ex, or a future girlfriend, I am physically sick and uncontrollably anxious and emotional. Please help me through this situation and what would work?

Answer
Hi Kim

Really sorry about the delayed response. I've been a bit ill and then out of the country so not been able to spend as much time on the site as I'd like.
Firstly, you're right, sex should be an active part of most healthy relationships, particularly for a couple in their early twenties (you don't say but I'm assuming that you are of similar age).

For an older couple who have perhaps had older children, sex can often be infrequent but it's replaced by a closeness and tenderness. For a couple of your age though sex should still be an important factor.

What I would say though is this - its not at all uncommon , in fact its probably the single biggest issue (money being the other) that causes problems between couples. What this means, fortunately is that there is a lot of help out there.

Can I ask - and again you don't mention - but I assume that you had the baby and both of you now live with and raise the child? If so I can tell you this (as a father of two young kids 4 and 1) - anyone who has young children and claims that their sex life is as good as it was before is kidding themselves. Nothing reduces libido like sleepless nights , nappies full of poo and all the other baby delights.
Don't get me wrong I adore my boys and wouldn't trade fatherhood for the world but raising young children and an active sex life really do not go hand in hand.

That said, you need to fix it. There are lots of positives and lots of reasons to be optimistic. I always say that good sex will not fix a bad relationship but if the relationship itself is good, then bad sex can be fixed. And I think you'rein that place. It sounds like you have love , trust and all the basis for a good relationship so now you need to fix the sex.

You need to talk to someone. I know this can feel a little awkward but its worth it. There are a group in the UK called Relate. They have been counselling British couples for almost 75 years and have helped hundreds of thousands of couples in a similar position to you.

This link: http://www.relate.org.uk/common-problem-details/234/index.html

Is their page on sex related issues that affect couples. Have a read through it.
You can call them on 0300 100 1234 and also use the website to find the nearest office. Please do yourselves a favour and make an appointment - no one likes talking about personal things with strangers but if it helps save what sounds like an otherwise strong loving relationship then isn't it worth it?


And remember they are professionals , they're really good at what they do and they will do all they can to help.

Best of luck
Steve  

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Steve Wilson

Expertise

Any questions on families or relationships are welcome. As are any issues or problems that you have with communicating or simply being understood by those around you. I have voluntarily worked as a counselor in the past, both with individuals and families. I cant promise to have an answer to everything but will help as and where I can, without making judgements.

Experience

Both a former telephone counselor with a well known international support organisation and a former police officer within a major UK city. I've helped with numerous issues and worked with individuals and family towards conflict resolution.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts (Honours). I've received training in family and teenage counselling.

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