Has my boyfriend lost attraction for me?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Well, I’m 21 and have been with my boyfriend for 6 years. We have a 3 year old son and another baby on the way.. My concern is that he has lost attraction for me, or worse, just isn’t the faithful type. Earlier on in our relationship he has cheated several times.. each time with someone new. I have contracted two STDs from him in that time. I thought we had gotten passed it, but recently I have been finding him browsing the internet for strippers, sexy teen dances, lap dances, booty dances, webcam girls, teen thong dances and so on.. he tells me i’m paranoid, but I have witnessed him being flirty with coworkers and friends.. all people of which i didn’t even know existed until his friends mentioned them. I don’t know what to do.. he tells me he loves me and is attracted to me.. and that if he wasn’t we wouldnt be together.. but i just cant help but feel betrayed by him .. our sex life sucks.. repetitive and seldom.. he spends his time watching teen strippers even if i run to the store for only a couple minutes. When and if we fight, he will lash out and call me fat.. only to apologize shortly after saying he didnt mean it. I am so lost.. the thought of leaving him hurts me.. but i am getting so depressed and my confidence is disappearing. I am currently 6 months pregnant and suffering from massive heartbreak over this. I go to bed knowing he is up watching teen strippers in the bathroom. Also, he refuses to add me to facebook, yet when i browsed his friends list he has all of his ex girlfriends, ex flings and all the girls he cheated on me with.. amongst tons of girls i dont know, who live in the same town we do. I ask him and he just replies “men are from mars, women are from venus.. you just dont understand how men think”. please help me..

A: What a painful situation. You are trying your best to be a good partner and mother. But your boyfriend doesn’t seem at all ready to man-up to being a husband and father. There’s a difference between how men and boys think and he’s thinking like a boy. He seems to want to be a teenager, involved with other teens. Keeping you off Facebook relationship status is a huge message about where he is emotionally. With a second child on the way, most men would be talking about marriage, not keeping track of “exes.”

You didn’t mention how the two of you are supporting your family and whether he has a relationship with his children. If you are contributing in a big way to his support, I’m worried that he stays because he likes the comfort of home, not because he is committed to making a family. If he isn’t spending time with your 3-year-old and patting your stomach lovingly, I worry that he isn’t accepting his role as a dad.

As scary as it may be, as heartbroken as you may feel, it may be time to consider whether life would really be worse on your own. You are already pretty much alone. If you think there is a seed of hope for the relationship, you could try some couples therapy. You are getting nowhere talking to him by yourself. A therapist might be able to help him make the shift to adulthood that has so far been too hard for him. I hope you have family and friends who can offer you emotional support and practical help. It looks to me like the next year is going to be tough no matter what you decide.

I do wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Aug 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Has my boyfriend lost attraction for me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/08/29/has-my-boyfriend-lost-attraction-for-me/