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Author Topic: I have no interest in intimacy...  (Read 306 times)
Guts42
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« on: May 06, 2021, 09:36:42 PM »

Looking back a few years ago through the BPD lens things make sense.  Sex is something we'd end up fighting about a lot.  In fact our first fight was a time she wanted sex and I didn't.  The accusations from that were wild.

About two or three years ago something changed, and I don't know what, and suddenly sex became a real strain.  She wanted me immediately at attention or she accused me of not finding her attractive.  This new 'rule' felt out of the blue.  As a result I lost interest.  I also really enjoy foreplay and taking time.

Now we only seem to have sex if it's within the day or two window that she's interested and then she expects it constantly.  She'll want multiple times a night and accuse me of thinking she's ugly or overweight if I can't... rise to occasion a third time.  She also tries to 'trick' me into thinking sex was my idea.  When she first started doing this I just rolled with it- the intimacy was wonderful and who cares if she wanted me to think I was initiating?  Once we leave this window she really doesn't want to be touched (but then takes shots at me for not being affectionate...)

The other difficult part is that when if I put myself out there and make a move she almost always puts a stop to it.  I never get angry about it, I assure it's okay and that I still love her.  If I for any reason show no interest in her advances it's a trigger.  I suppose that's typical for BPD?

Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
I've just suspected BPD and know that I absolutely cannot say anything to her about it- or even hint- at least until she comes to some understanding herself.
Me not wanting sex has been a big trigger - but right now I'm so turned around sex is the last thing on my mind.

Any advice on how to diffuse a situation like this?
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2021, 08:44:12 AM »

If I for any reason show no interest in her advances it's a trigger.  

well, certainly people with bpd traits are highly sensitive when it comes to rejection, or perceived rejection.

even deeper than that, intimacy (whether it be physical sex or emotional proximity or both) is sort of the water of the garden of a relationship.

it comes between couples all the time, and it can cause an enormous strain on everything else.

it may be worth taking a look at two things:

1. you both may have different sex drives. almost all couples do. some are more aligned than others, some have to try harder to make it work than others.
2. sex may mean something a bit different to both of you, and how the two of you approach it may be very different. it may be for you that relationship security and intimacy are sort of precursors for sex. it may be the other way around for her.

what do you think?
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EZEarache
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2021, 09:37:31 AM »

In my experience, I was accused of using her for sex during a therapy session. That put me in a difficult situation where I have felt that I could never try to initiate it since. She never initiated, so we stopped making love six months ago.
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2021, 11:23:43 AM »

The deeper the emotional intimacy, the more threatening it is for someone with BPD who has an unstable self image. And imagine how vulnerable someone feels if they wonder about their sexual attractiveness to their partner.

Once sexuality starts getting dissected, such as “should I initiate?” “Do they feel used?” “How fast or slow should this go?” When the mind overrides the body, the fun can quickly be taken out of the experience. And when this happens repeatedly, then it becomes very unmotivating.
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Guts42
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2021, 09:59:24 AM »


2. sex may mean something a bit different to both of you, and how the two of you approach it may be very different. it may be for you that relationship security and intimacy are sort of precursors for sex. it may be the other way around for her.

what do you think?

Absolutely.  I don't feel safe or secure most of the time in both the relationship and the act of intercourse.  We frequently have to stop because her anxiety kicks in or she decides it's not worth it.

It's also hard to go from her having no interest 3-4 weeks to suddenly demanding it nonstop for a day.

I also have to examine myself here a bit.  It may be a small way of exerting some control in an otherwise chaotic relationship.  I've given her control over almost everything for fear of setting off an episode.  If I can prevent us from even trying (effectively subvert her aggressive moves before they start) we avoid the possibility of an episode.
Self fueling cycle, not sure how to stop it!
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2021, 10:44:01 AM »

Self fueling cycle, not sure how to stop it!

its hard.

these things become hardened defenses, and often understandably so. they become entrenched. and then, in the process, trust erodes, making it even harder to work together to get on the same page.

gottman suggests that when "boundaries" start going up around sex (in this kind of context, mind you, not that we should not have mutually agreed upon sexual boundaries), it can spell the end of a marriage.

at the same time, the solution is not "just do it".

in theory, it would probably help to sit down and discuss, and start out by confessing some of these things, and stating the goal of wanting to work together to improve it, and then to start by doing a whole lot of listening to build trust before you share your side of the equation. that might be easier said than done. would couples therapy be an option?
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Guts42
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2021, 11:01:05 AM »

. that might be easier said than done. would couples therapy be an option?

I've expressed interest in couples therapy a few times- once specifically for intimacy issues and recently during an episode.  She said the issue is me and I asked her if she'd be up to going with me to figure out what exactly my issue is.  (At least to get our foot in the door).  She's scoffed at the idea everytime.  There's always some excuse, some better than others.

I've purchased a few 'couples communication' books in hopes that after I've read them she might.  No luck so far.  (I keep 'Eggshells' locked away on my phone.  I'm about to start 'Hold Me Tightly'

We're both in therapy for different things.  I've brought up BPD with my therapist and she said she immediately suspected my wife had it after our first session but wanted me to come to that conclusion on my own.

I have tried to tell her about my intimacy anxiety and the response is "you deserve better than this- it's okay I understand why you want to leave me.  On top of everything else I'm a blob so I get it.". Conversation stops there.  She's also reported that i usually only have a limited amount of time to get things going and done before her anxiety voices creep in and shut her down.
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Hope4Joy

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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2021, 05:11:22 PM »

Is the day or two window right in the middle of her cycle when she is ovulating? It’s not clear if you have this identified or not. I have found tracking my cycle to be incredibly powerful. If she isn’t interested, I believe a guy could do a decent job tracking the cycle of his partner. You would just have to use more secondary characteristics. If you had a better idea when these days were coming would it help you? Look up fertility awareness methods.
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