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I’m Afraid My Boyfriend Is Masturbating while I Sleep

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From a teen in the U.S.: I have ptsd from a situation where I was sexually abused as a child, and recently my boyfriend has become a trigger and I don’t know what to do. I woke up a few months ago to my boyfriend masturbating in bed next to me, which severely triggered me. I had my suspicions that he had been doing it before that but never had proof.

Now, every night, I get paranoid he is going to do it again. I’ve spoken to him about it and he promises he won’t do it again, but even if I feel the bed moving at night I panic and just assume he is. I feel crazy because sometimes I’m so sure that he’s doing it and when I call him out he swears he’s not. Its causes a great divide between us and I don’t know how I can trust him again. I feel like I’m going insane here.

I’m Afraid My Boyfriend Is Masturbating while I Sleep

Answered by on -

A.

You are right to ask for help about this. Trust is the basis for a healthy relationship. Without trust, neither of you can relax. You are always on the alert for when he might be violating an agreement the two of you made. He can’t relax because he is aware that you don’t trust him and are vigilant for evidence that he is untrustworthy. Over time, such anxieties will chip away at your relationship until intimacy becomes impossible. The great divide you describe is inevitable.

It is not helpful to your relationship for you to demand and him to comply. To deepen your relationship, you both need to be able to talk freely about your needs and wants and how to accommodate each other.

The issue here is not whether your boyfriend masturbates. In some couples, one or the other (or both) masturbating while the other sleeps is an acceptable part of their relationship.The issue is that it is triggering for you.

You said that he promised not to do it. You didn’t say whether the two of you talked about it in a way that left room for him to explain its meaning for him. Is it simply a way for him to relax? Is it a way for him to satisfy himself without asking more of you than he thinks you can handle? Is there something unsatisfying about your sex life together? The answers to those questions is important.

On your side, Are you comfortable talking about your sexual needs and desires with your boyfriend? Have you done your therapeutic work and explored why it is triggering for you and whether there are ways you can reduce its impact? Doing your personal work in this area is very important, whether or not this relationship lasts. Knowing how to come to a comfortable agreement about intimate and sexual behavior is essential to any lasting loving relationship.

I hope you and your boyfriend revisit the issue and really talk about it. Yes, it may be difficult. But getting past the difficulty to a new and mutual place of agreement about how to express your love sexually is key to making your love last.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

I’m Afraid My Boyfriend Is Masturbating while I Sleep

TALK TO A THERAPIST NOW:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). I’m Afraid My Boyfriend Is Masturbating while I Sleep. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 28, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/12/24/im-afraid-my-boyfriend-is-masturbating-while-i-sleep/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 22 Dec 2019 (Originally: 24 Dec 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 22 Dec 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.