Feelings of desire gone away

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am 29 years old. When I was younger I grew up in the foster care system, because my father was abusive(so they tell me, i do not remember) and my mother, well my mother was not a mother. I was abused by her boyfriends, (again I do not remember), and I was removed from her care when I was 6 years old. I found love in the family that took me in, but what I also found was that I had aquired some disturbing traits. And I had a real problem with men. (so they told me) I lived with them for 5 years, as a kid then I thought that for sure that they would adopt me when my parents rights were terminated. They did not.

was then put into a book and was adopted by total strangers. This took alot of getting used to and caused many problems in my teenage years. I did not call my father “dad” for a long time. I was never good with boys and was considered a tomboy.

After high school I came out of my shell so to speak. I found that I loved sex and the way that it made me feel. I also loved that I was skinny and exactly what men wanted. I had many relationships but one that forever stays with me is when I was 19, I think that I fell in love then, and possibly only then. At least real love. He was everything to me and I adored him. We spent all our time together and we never disagreed about anything. I thought that he was my soulmate.

Well something went wrong and we seperated and came back together years later, while he was incarcerated. He was the one that I could never get over, and quite possibly would return to even to this day if he asked me to. Thru 8 years we were off and on even when I had a baby with someone else.(even though he too could have been the father). My son’s father chose to have nothing to do with us, but my guy did. He was basically the only father that my son ever knew.

Almost 3 years ago, my son was murdered by my boyfriend at the time. He was 4 years old. His killer is still loose and we have seen no justice. For the last three years when I get into a relationship, I find that I become bored easily, or can be distracted by another man easily. (cheating) After awhile, I feel as though in a relationship it becomes a chore to be with someone. Like it is something that I HAVE to do instead of something I WANT to do.

Such is my current relationship, my boyfriend and I have only been together for 2 months, but we were friends for over a year before we started a relationship. He is great. He is sweet, caring, attentive, and always there when I need him. And he is good in bed as well. But about 2 weeks ago, I found myself with one of my old “sex buddies” (someone I used to just have sex with)and though I tried not to give in to temptation, (he did not help the situation, he begged me and said amazing things) I ended up giving in and having sex with him. And I have continously for the last 2 weeks, and though we have tried to keep feelings outta the mix.

I think that I might start to feel something for this other guy. He is always on my mind. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my boyfriend…at least I think that I do. But he seems to drive me crazy sometimes and all I think about when we are together is this other guy. What is wrong with me? Is it even worth me being in a relationship if I can stray so easily? Why do I not stay faithful? And why do I seem to not feel for my boyfriends after about a month? Please help me cause I do not wanna hurt my boyfriend but I don’t want to keep giving him hope for being with me, especially if I can’t fix it.

A: Your life is a story of one loss after another. Your parents, foster parents, and boyfriends haven’t stayed. If that weren’t enough, your child was brutally taken away by someone you thought you loved. In an instant, you lost not one but two of the people closest to you.

Although you have done amazingly well in many ways, it makes absolute sense to me that you have difficulty staying in relationships. The only “committed” relationship you’ve had was ironically with someone who was unavailable to you most of the time you were together because he was in jail!

Women who have been through so much loss often have difficulty trusting in relationships. As much as they want to really love and be loved, they’ve had so much experience with being abandoned that they keep a piece of their heart out of the relationship. It just plain feels too emotionally risky to commit everything. Like you, they feel they HAVE to get out before they get abandoned yet again.

Being faithful isn’t magic. It’s a decision people make to be committed to the commitment of being together when the going gets a little rough. There’s a saying that when love doesn’t feel like enough to hold a committed relationship together, the relationship can hold people together until they find the love again. Relationships are rarely steadily romantic or passionate or even interesting. We move in and out of love’s intensity as we grow together with someone we care about. But for it to work, both people have to be willing and able to stick.

If you truly want to be able to have a long-term relationship, I suggest you find a therapist who specializes in trauma and loss. Such a therapist will help you resolve old griefs and learn to take emotional risks again. It will take time. But in my opinion it’s worth doing. You’ve had far too much loss in your life. You deserve to be cherished by someone and to learn to wholeheartedly love back.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Aug 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Feelings of desire gone away. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/08/12/feelings-of-desire-gone-away/