- Dr. Love in the Media
Long Term Relationship on the Rocks
February 26, 2007 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Hi Dr. Turndorf,
I have been in a relationship for almost 6 years, and things have slowly gone downhill.
I love my boyfriend very much but for some reason I no longer have a desire to have sex with him or even kiss him passionately. My desire to be intimate with him ceased quite a few years ago and his frustration has now reached the boiling point - understandably!
What is wrong with me? I feel that I can't make myself have sex with him just to keep him happy. . . Help please!
You say you love your boyfriend very much, but that you suddenly stopped desiring sex with him a few years ago. You also say that you have no understanding of why this shift has occurred.
Since you've been with your boyfriend for 5 years, almost 6, that would mean that you stopped desiring sex with him between the second and third year of your relationship.
What I am about to say is going to shock you, but keep an open mind because I believe I do understand what has happened to you. The fact that you have no conscious understanding of why your sexual desire for your boyfriend has disappeared means that the reason why is unconscious. Keep in mind that most of what we humans do and say in life is driven by unconscious, not conscious, motivations, so it's not surprising that your problem would be fueled by an unconscious issue.
What's happened to your drive can be explained by the unconscious minds' tendency to turn our life partners and spouses into our parents. A'mother or father transference' usually occurs around the second year of a relationship. At this point in the relationship, a couple will suddenly begin experiencing problems and/or conflicts that never existed before. The reason for this is because the unconscious mind has turned the partner in a parent and suddenly all the unresolved issues that you had with your parent have resurrected with your partner!
Suddenly you're fighting and feeling miserable and you don't know why. I suspect that your unconscious mind has turned your boyfriend into your father.
Because society has strong incest taboos, it would make sense that you would suddenly lose your sexual feelings for your boyfriend, who now represents your father. I've treated many patients who have experienced what you describe. Don't despair. We can resolve this.
In order to do so, you must get in touch with your normal and natural feelings of attraction for your own father and you must come to accept them. One way that I can help you to accept your feelings of attraction for dad is to explain the incest taboo to you. The incest taboo was created precisely because attraction for family members is universal.
If people acted upon the attraction, however, families would be torn apart and society would cease to exist. The incest taboo was only intended to stop people from acting on their desires for family members.
But because most humans don't separate feelings from actions, the incest taboo has mistakenly been extended to feelings in general. Not separating feelings and actions is the real problem. Feelings aren't bad or good, wrong or right. Actions may be bad or good, wrong or right, but not feelings. Feelings are like the wind. You don't say the west wind is good, the east wind is bad. When you make a clear distinction between feelings and actions it is then all feelings are safe and acceptable. Then and only then can you feel incestuous urges and know that it's fine to feel them because you will never act upon these urges.
When the distinction is clear, you are free to feel. Being free to have all your feelings, including the incestuous ones is the salvation of the human race. It makes us alive and capable of love and joy. All emotional problems and symptoms can be traced back to not allowing oneself to feel.
In your case, not accepting your incestuous feelings for your father, results in sexual frigidity with your boyfriend. The only way for you to resolve the problem with your boyfriend is to truly accept the feelings you had for dad and feel comfortable with them. Then you will magically reclaim your desire for your boyfriend!
Let me know how you make out. . . . and I do mean that literally because I want to hear that you are making out and making love with him again soon.
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