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Advice on a new relationship

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I am really in need of some advice so would really appreciate any thoughts or responses.

I have been with my new boyfriend for about 4 months (we dated for 3 months before, before making it official - so a total of around 6 months or so now). Our sex life was good at first, very active and good for both of us. However, since around the end of Feb we have not had sex. There have been a number of big issues that could be the reason, he has recently (11 months - which is before we knew each other) lost his mother.
He was also cheated on by his then girlfriend at the same time, and only until recently has come out that he has a drug abuse problem. (I knew he had taken coke on a few nights out - but was completely naive and didn't know it was actually being taken every day without me even realising). He is also living with some horrible house-mates and hates where he lives, although due to move out in a few months. And finally, his work has really suffered lately, which now is clearly because of all his drinking and drug-taking. All of these are huge red-flags I know.. but after a long talk, with both myself and his work, he is stopping the drugs, is finally going ahead with bereavement counselling and is making more effort to spend time with me and going out to exhibitions and places that I have been wanting to go to for a long time (not the pub!).

To jump back a bit, about 3 weeks ago after being pushed away every time I initiated sex, or an excuse like 'I need to wash up' cropping up whenever a kiss was leading to more, I got the courage to confront him about why he doesn't want to sleep with me anymore, to which his reply was he didn't want to talk about it, and lay with his head down in embarrassment. He did tell me that this happened with his last girlfriend too, that he was so ashamed and embarrassed he didn't know how to tell me, but the thought of sex was so off-putting, he dreads when we are in a situation where it could arise, and he doesn't know the reason why. He said it is not a concious decision, it's low self esteem.

Of course I appreciate his honesty, but it left me feeling completely clueless - and the more I asked him questions, the more he snapped at me to stop talking about it. We didn't talk about it again since, until last weekend when he came clean to me about his drug abuse the past month. I asked if it could also be related to his loss of desire for sex with me, he said he didn't know. I asked him to explain to me how he feels and why he might think he feels the way he does.. he got shy and embarrassed again and literally repeated word-for-word what he said last time, that he isn't in control of it, and thinks it's his low self esteem.

I just feel so confused and upset by it. I feel like there is a proper reason and he is holding it from me. When I asked what he feels low about himself and his esteem he snaps that he doesn't know - surely if you know or think it is about that, you would have a reason to do so? I love him dearly, and think he is beautifully handsome. It's confusing as when we are in public, or a situation where it wouldn't be likely that we could have sex, he is incredibly touchy-feely, and even in bed we sleep cuddled the whole night, we kiss all the time, and he often touches me in a jokey-lad way which is almost teasing to me. I worry that he is not attracted to me.. but he said it has nothing to do with me.. I know this is not a physical problem because he often gets erections when he kiss or hug, or in the morning etc. He also has been watching porn, from his laptop history, which just confuses me. I know that it's different to sex - but the elements are still there?
I thought it could be to do with his mothers death.. but then he said this happened before she passed too.
I thought maybe his ex-girlfriend damaged his confidence, but we were fine at the first few months.

I don't really know how to handle this. I feel unwanted, and sex to me doesn't just mean a fuck or two, it makes me feel close to him and loved. I am thinking of talking to him soon and just tell him everything from my point of view - rather than grill him on his view of things. Is this wise? Or is there a better option?

I know that when I chose to get into this relationship it would have it's troubles, but I am a very caring person, and I love that I can make him feel better. I also did something I hate myself for yesterday, and checked his facebook. I guess I was looking for an answer, maybe he confined in a friend or mate, but what I did stumble across was flirty messages he had sent to some girl friends. Although these 2 girls live in other countries, it hurt a lot to read. The only comfort I can take in it is that these were sent at 2/3am during last months drunken-cocaine period.

I don't want to just give up on this relationship - and while writing this it makes me question myself. But of course this is just a few negatives on what actually apart from them is a lovely and happy relationship. We love each other a lot, we get on great, we have met each other's families and got on really well. I just don't want to be fooled, I don't want to feel hurt, or unwanted, and most of all I want him to be happy, and healthy.

The last 2 weeks since he has come clean and taken a concious decision to be healthier, to then have a healthier mind, I have stayed with him pretty much every day. I cook him real meals, instead of his take-outs, I made him lunch to take to work, we travelled to work together sometimes, we get to hang out more and watch movies, go for dinner etc.. I am hoping that this, combined with the professional help he will soon be having, will all have a good outcome on this.

I am very sorry for such a love message - I would really appreciate some advice or guidance perhaps from someone who has been through something similar.



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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You need to ask yourself is he worth it? It seems like he's put you through a lot in what is a relitively short amount of time. For a relationship to work there needs to be trust and honesty, and it seems neither of those things are present.
    If you do really want to stay with him then I don't think sex is the issue, I think before you sort that out you need to try and connect with him on a deeper level.
    Have a nice romantic dinner one night, and then hopefully you'll get talking and he'll be in a comfortable environment and feel able to talk to you.
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    *Holly**Holly* Deactivated Posts: 140 Helping Hand
    Hey Sophie_

    It looks like you've got a lot to get off your chest and just the act of writing everything down was helpful in itself. That is precisely why we have these boards, so don't apologise for a long post. :)

    There seems to be a lot going on, as Broken-Angel says, in a relatively short relationship. And, from a relationship-guidance point of view you appear to be doing everything right! With talking things through, being patient et. I suppose what may be worth pointing out is you're written an awful lot about this guy, his problems, and getting him happy and healthy again - but you've not written a huge amount about yourself.

    Do you think it may be worth taking a step back from this relationship and working on yourself a bit? You say you're spending a lot of time with him, cooking him meals etc. - but also that you're feeling upset and insecure by the sex issue. It sounds like he has a lot to sort out and work through, and it may be beneficial if you leave him to it a bit. That way there's less pressure on the physical side of things, but also you can work on your self-esteem and building your own life too? How does that sound? I'm not suggesting you break up, but maybe spend some time apart. A week or two to remember what it's like just thinking about you. It may be that the space helps you feel clearer about the partnership. You've mentioned the 'red flags' and that writing all this has made you question yourself - it could be getting away from it for a while helps clarify what you really want.

    Remember relationships are 'supposed' to be positive additions to your life. And, whilst you say most of the time it's great, being in any situation where your self-esteem is being compromised is worth giving some assessment and analysis to. Which is what you're doing.

    Feel free to keep posting whenever you need to let things out. We're here to support you whatever you decide.

    Big hug *hug*

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is a very simple one. And I am not trying to be condescending and I am privy to info very few people are.

    Check out EMDR therapy online.

    Good luck!!
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