Alright, this has been a problem that's been plaguing me and my boyfriend for about a month and a half, at least, and I figure since we're having trouble coming up with a solution an outside source that doesn't know either of us personally would be the greatest help. (Because let's face it, while friends are very good for support and bias, even mutual friends will be slightly biased towards one, the other, or both.)
We haven't been dating for too long, only about a week and a half shy of three months. This is his first relationship; this is my ninth. (So I have a lot more experience dealing with stuff like this) Our problem is this:
I've obviously been in a lot more relationships than he has—despite him being about a year older (his 19 to my turning 19 tomorrow), I've got more experience. However, most of my relationships were abusive in one way or another, usually emotionally/psychologically. Its gotten to the point I have an irrational fear of showing aggression/dominance, for fear I'll be expected to act that way from that point onwards. (Its happened before, so...I guess its not FULLY irrational?) I'm already pretty timid/passive/docile/pick your term, because I grew up in an abusive home as well, so the fear doesn't affect too much. Or...at least, that's what you'd think.
See, the thing is, most people I've been romantically involved with, or who've wanted that from me (crushes, wanting to date me, etc.) have all wanted me to be something THEY wanted. I've very, very rarely found someone who's accepted me fully as being this way- flaws, personality, desires, preference, what have you- without any desire to change me, even on a smaller level. And....my current boyfriend is no exception. He wishes I was more aggressive, more forward, more assertive...etc. He's told other people before that he prefers to be the submissive role in a relationship, as well. And while he does understand that the trauma I went through growing up and the abusive relationships I've had are to blame for my current state, he still wishes I was more that way.
For me, its less of a want and more of a need- I've got a need to feel safe and secure, protected, and comforted, moreso than an average relationship has. Going through all I have has left me with countless scars and issues I'm still coming to terms with, and I need someone supportive and more dominant/controlling to guide me and give me a solid foundation so I can begin to fix myself; someone who I know when I have an emotional break I can come to for security. And...he's not like that, at least, not anymore.
We're barely affectionate ever since this problem arose, and we've been intimate a sum total of once since it started- in which I forced myself to be what he wanted, to show that I was capable of it in rare circumstances, despite not enjoying it really at all. I didn't really get any recognition for it- afterwards, it was never really mentioned and the sentiment/gesture was not and has not since been returned. And, I mean, its a little wrong to EXPECT it, but it just cemented home my fear that that's what he's going to want from me from that point on, so things've gotten awkward...
I know, you'd think the obvious answer would be to break up, but, he's the first guy I've dated in who knows how long who ISN'T a jerk or hurtful or abusive- I do love him and I am very much attached to him still. And, the other obvious answer would be to work this out- but how? The only solution we can think of requires one of us to ignore our happiness (Or, in my case, needs) to change ourselves completely to make the other person happy (or, again, in my case, fulfill my needs), and neither of us are really comfortable with that- either for ourselves, OR for the other to do that.
We're at an impasse. And the stress from this has been greatly impacting me- I haven't been able to focus on schoolwork, or drawing (I have backed up commissions, aaagh), or anything. Heh. Great birthday present, am I right?
Hoping to hear from you soon,
PS: If you need any more info or for me to go into detail, feel free to ask! I don't mind, really. Heh.
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Firstly, my sympathies to you for the pain you have suffered in your young life. The scars inflicted upon us in childhood mold us throughout our lives, and no amount of therapy can ever fully undo the psychological pain of a rotten childhood and abuse by people who supposedly loved us.
It is logical what you have written here, therefore, about your sexual preferences: the desire to play a more submissive role and to find a more comforting partner to take charge is natural. Now your partner wants you to be dominant and you need to be submissive. It doesn’t sound like he is willing to compromise in bed, and he didn’t even acknowledge the effort that you made to satisfy his needs.
While your current relationship might be the best relationship you have had to date, that doesn’t mean, Mix, that you will never find another mate who is not abusive like this one. I could suggest seeing a sex therapist, but somehow I doubt that would help you at this point. You say that the only way you think you could find happiness is if one of you compromises on what makes you happy, which is illogical.
If you are looking for a magic bullet, there is none. The two of you are sexually incompatible, and once you both realize that, you have one of two choices: continue a relationship that is sexually unsatisfying, with the inevitable outcome that one or both of you will eventually cheat in order to get what you need, or admit that this relationship cannot work and break it off now instead of wasting your time. You can remain friends, certainly, but a well-rounded relationship is impossible for you. Move on.
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