This is actually a sad story:
This is an odd one. I’ve been with her for 3.5 years, though most of it long distance, so our time together was limited to a couple months each year. Recently she finished school and moved across the country to be with me, before she did I expressed my concerns that I didn’t want to be the reason she’d move and that I can’t promise we’d end up together. She moved anyways, we’ve been living together for about 6 months. Things have been going alright, but lurking problems with our sex life have come to the fore.
She has a health condition which limits her ability to move her hips and limits sensation – that’s as specific as I’ll get. Otherwise she’s very active and lives a normal life. I’m her first sexual partner, but she is not my first. Sexual contact and quality time are how I best “hear” the affection of a partner, I’ve always been a sexual person. She is not asexual, but due to her condition she simply doesn’t enjoy sex and never has – best case she has minimal sensation and worst case she starts to hurt. She isn’t vocal, can almost never finish (even on her own alone-time, due to a lack of sensation), and doesn’t see sex (or being physically intimate) as a big part of a relationship – I always have. I always have to initiate, and while she will reciprocate it almost always feels somewhat forced on her part, like a chore, which leaves me feeling utterly terrible. I’ve communicated my concern about our sexual incompatibility, several times over the past 3.5 years, and she’s always said she will try. My problem is that I’m not sure there’s anything to “try”. I don’t want her to have to “try”. I’ve tried to get her to open up, to relax and accept herself and be more sexually free, but when there isn’t sensation it’s just a nonstarter for her, which also means she almost never initiates anything and there’s never any romantic interactions outside of the of when we’re intimate – it’s not how she thinks.
My mind has begun to wander. I remember previous sexual partners and I miss feeling physically wanted and satisfied, I miss having an actively participating partner. I miss the feeling of being able to satisfy my parter, and the intimacy that a good sex life brings into a relationship. I cheated on a partner of mine in the past, immediately came forward with it, and felt terrible – I swore on my life I’d never do that again to someone I love. I’m going to seek professional help but the waitlist for therapy at my University is at least a month, and frankly the therapist is terrible. I’m stuck in a shitty cycle of 1) feeling like I deserve a sexually compatible partner, 2) degrading myself for labeling my girlfriend (in my head) as sexually incompatible with me despite all her efforts and her condition, 3) reconciling with the fact that she has a medical condition and doesn’t really have any control over the situation, and 4) trying to understand how to make things work or if that’s even an option.
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She is a possessive, so extra partners is not an option – and frankly not what I want. I want intimacy with my partner. Her mind has always been on marriage, but I don’t see how any marriage can work without intimacy and satisfaction for both partners. What can I do when we’ve already talked this out and tried to address it for years long-distance, and now months of living together? Do I just squash the part of myself that wants to give and receive intimacy? Am I wrong for thinking that is a requirement of a healthy relationship? Are there other things we can do? I feel like she has no choice due to her condition. I refuse to cheat. The idea of leaving her for something that appears so shallow, when we have an otherwise good relationship, ruins me and will ruin her.
Thanks for the help…
TL;DR! Girlfriend has a health condition that makes it so she can’t really move her hips and doesn’t feel much sexually – and her personality understandably does not weigh prioritize physical intimacy. I am very physical and always have to initiate intimacy – 3.5 years on it feels like I am a sexual chore to her – though she will never admit to it. We’ve always talked openly about trying to fix this, but nothing has worked. I miss the feeling of intimacy that comes with a compatible sexual partner and it’s making me doubt an otherwise solid relationship.
Edit: Just nipping any comments now in the bud that suggest trying to spice things up in the bedroom. We’ve tried everything you can think of. The reality is that when your partner doesn’t feel sexual pleasure that doesn’t give you much to work off of. Open to creative suggestions, but just putting that out there.
In summary, he has a big sex drive and his girlfriend doesn’t because of a medical condition. Given that it has been 3 1/2 years and they’ve “tried everything you can think of,” it doesn’t seem likely that it’s going to get better. He’s also said cheating and an open relationship aren’t on the table, which seems wise.
So, he seems to have one of two options. He can accept that this is probably the best it’s ever going to be and if anything, it’s going to get worse for her or he can break-up with her. Realistically, that’s where they’re at right now and in this post, he’s putting out a lot of signals that he isn’t happy because of this situation and is unlikely to ever be happy with it.
The sad reality is that he has a relationship NEED that she is never going to be able to meet and what that means is that they’re incompatible. That’s a hard, painful thing to admit, especially when you care about someone, but it is what it is. When you get into that position, either someone is going to walk away or someone is going to have to learn to live with not getting their basic needs met. At 27, would you really want to be in a potential lifelong relationship that makes you feel like you need to “squash the part of myself that wants to give and receive intimacy?” I know I wouldn’t.
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