Should I stay or should I go?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend and I have been together for a little under 4 years. When we first started the relationship I tried to be upfront and honest that I struggled with emotional connection and affection. I cared for him so much that I decided to see a therapist to remedy some issues that I had locked away for years. Needless to say after I opened the flood gate memories came rushing back.

During the relationship there were long periods when we didn’t see each other or would only see each other a couple of times a week for a few hours. This made it even more difficult to have that closeness. I went on to tell him that I had been physically attacked more than once and that it was a very sensitive subject for me. A year or so into it we started to emotionally drift from each other. Some of that due to the honeymoon period being over and other due to the stress in life.

Over the past year, I have worked very hard to get though my emotional issues and appreciated his patience with me. 6 months ago I was diagnosed uteran fibroids and endometriosis and now have physical pain when I attempt sexual activity. At this point he is very upset that we cannot be together and seems to be moving further and further away. I do want to be with him but I am starting to doubt if he trusts me or feels the situation will correct itself after I complete the treatments I am taking. Do you have guidance on this issue?

A: What a complicated time you’ve both had. Just when it looks like the emotional issues are getting resolved, you have a new medical problem. I suggest you take your boyfriend with you to see your doctor and have the doctor explain your diagnosis and prognosis. Fibroids and endometriosis are often treatable. Even if they are not in your case, communication and experimentation is the key to finding a way to have sex that is satisfying to you both. Educate yourselves by searching websites about the disease. Try out the suggestions in the spirit of adventure and exploration. Focus on intimacy and tenderness, not on rambunctious sex, as a way to deepen your understanding of each other. When two people love and cherish each other, there is always a way to give and receive sexual pleasure.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Should I stay or should I go?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/03/should-i-stay-or-should-i-go-2/