I'm a man in my thirties who has not had a relationship for about 15 years. I think I overreacted to getting hurt when my ex girlfriend dumped me and I spent many years thinking that I just didn't want ever want to have a relationship again. I remember actually hoping that I would never have strong feelings for anyone, and annoyingly it seems this has come true. I have become very lonely over these years and I really want to be close to someone, but the idea of a relationship absolutely scares the life out of me and I have made myself quite sick with worry when on a couple of occasions I have met up with a girl that I have met on a dating website.
Rather horribly my ex girlfriend from all those years ago was sexually abused as a child, and although she did not want this to effect her sexual relationships as an adult it did mean that sex was a bit awkward. I was never allowed to touch her anywhere intimate with my hands. This was not something that I minded, we found ways round this and I was really happy to be with her. However, during sex sometimes she would suddenly see me as the man that had abused her as child and so obviously we would have to stop immediately and I would try to comfort her, although at that moment she would not want me to be near her. This used to make me feel really guilty because I had been enjoying having sex with her, but she had not been enjoying it at all, quite the opposite, she had seen me as her abuser. I found that this freaked me out and I don't know how to feel about sex. I know that sex should be an enjoyable healthy fun thing, but when I imagine myself in a sexual situation it seems perverted and bad. I don't think I have the right attitude towards sexual relationships. I feel kind of bad bringing this subject up as she was the one that suffered sexual abuse as a child, not me, and yet I am feeling sorry for myself about it.
I have spent so long being single I often wonder if I might be gay. I have never had sexual feelings for men though, so I think this is just my own paranoia. The idea of myself being gay isn't something that I like. I don't consider myself homophobic at all, and I try to tell myself that if I am gay then there is nothing wrong with it. I think I'm quite open minded and although I have not had close gay friends for many years, I have had gay neighbours that I regularly chatted and joked with, but I just don't want to be gay myself. I worry that maybe I am gay but maybe I don't want to admit it because I don't like the idea of it. I worry that I don't really know my own mind or how I feel about things. I have also started wondering if I'm not gay, but instead something completely different which is bad, like a pervert or someone like the man that abused my ex girlfriend as a child.
I don't really have any ambitions, but I have always wanted to meet a nice girl, settle down in a rural area by the sea and have children. This is something I remember thinking since I was quite young. I think that I know this to be how I truly feel in my heart, but I find that more and more I can't be sure about how I feel.
Over these 15 years I have masturbated sporadically. Sometimes it will be once every two weeks, and sometimes there will be a week or two where I will masturbate 2 or 3 times a day. When I masturbate I think about a kind of mixture of memories of what sex was like, but instead of my ex girlfriend it will be a different girl who will be someone that I think I fancy, and this person has changed over the years due to changes in employment and changes in social circles. It seems that the girls I fancy tend to always be in relationships, and I wonder if this is deliberate because I guess its safe to fantasise about someone I can't have and I will never have to face the trauma of getting dumped or disappointing someone.
Something that I am not proud of is that very often over these 15 years when I have masturbated it has been over pictures of women in pornographic magazines, and these days on the internet. I think that this has messed up my expectations of what sex and relationships is about and it seems like I don't really have an interest in having sex myself, just looking at images. I often decide that I do not want to look at porn any more because I strongly feel that it is wrong and perverted, and so I will fight with myself and not look at any for a month or two, and then I somehow end up slipping back into it and starting all over again when something has upset me. I clearly enjoy porn, but at the same time I really, really, really hate it. Its something that I don't want to look at, and yet it is something that I find myself wanting to do. I wish that instead of this I was keen to flirt with girls and try and start a proper relationship, but I'm not sure what I really want, its as if my desire for a normal relationship has been broken and spoilt by porn. The porn I look at varies from very soft stuff with pictures of women with not much nudity to harder stuff where women will be having penetrative sex with a men. When I look at porn I fantasize about touching the women in the images sexually and I think that maybe this is because I was not able to do this with my ex-girlfriend, and I'm uncomfortable with that feeling.
At the end of the day I don't know what I really want or how how I really feel. I feel like I have completely lost touch with my emotions and am becoming more and more withdrawn. When I meet people I used to work with or old friends I find I don't know how to talk to them. I feel so out of touch with any feelings or joy and I have been thinking about suicide a lot recently, but I think that suicide is such a selfish thing to do to people who are your friends and family, or the person that has to deal with your body that I could not do that. I would upset a lot of people, and I don't think I really want to be dead, it just keeps looking like an option sometimes, but not one I can take.
I'm sorry that this isn't really a direct question that I have written here, but I needed to pour all this stuff out and I hope I have not annoyed the moderators of this website for writing so much. I can't tell anyone I know that I look at porn, and I have only briefly touched on other things with very close friends, but it has felt good to write this stuff down.
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