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Physically Close, Emotionally Distant

Dear Dr. Neder,

I read your answer on 'Trust' on the Internet and I hope you can help me.

I am engaged to be married this December. The problem is I feel that my fianc? is not emotionally available to me during love making. I know she has been emotionally hurt by her past boyfriend seven years ago when she caught him going out with another girl.

Deep down inside I think she loves me but I can't seem to sense the emotional connection when we make love. She basically gets straight to the point of what needs to be done during love making and get it over with. I feel like I am the female in the relationship where I need her to kiss, look and make love to me passionately.

My reasoning for going forward with the marriage are:

1. I do love her. I know her feelings for me are genuine. I ended other relationships in the past for this very reason: I didn't feel the emotional connection.

2. I think she has been hurt in the past so this is her subconscious way of dealing with that. But then again, we are getting married! What is there to be afraid?

3. She doesn't have a lot of experience so she doesn't know how to express herself. I don't think it takes experience to express oneself emotionally.

I am not looking for great love making skills here. I am simply looking for that gaze; that intimate kiss, etc. I can't recall the last time we looked each other in the eyes.

I have brought this up with her before but was met with angry replies: "I don't want to be told what to do" and "Everyone expresses themselves differently" etc.

I just don't understand why she would be so upset over this. To me it simply means that we are able to share our preferences and needs. Isn't that what marriage is all about; to get to know each other's needs, likes and dislikes and make compromises?

Please give me some advice on what to do.


Let's get this straight right here, right now: you are NOT responsible for what her ex-boyfriend(s) did or didn't do! Thus, if that's the excuse as to why she's "emotionally distant", both of you need to get over it right now. She's an adult, and as such, needs to deal with her past hurts on her own. You neither caused them nor are you the therapist that will solve them - especially 7 years later!

In fact, if you're going to marry this girl, I think you have every right to expect great loving making skills and intimacy! What has she been doing with her love life, just going through the motions like she seems to be now? What a terrible waste! Worse yet, if you're going to be her husband, then doesn't she think you deserve her best skills and closeness? Even more so, don't you think that she needs to be emotionally present with you - especially in bed?

I should as hell do!

You've got some very screwed up ideas on what is and isn't acceptable in a relationship, (let alone a marriage!) Let me set you straight on this:

1) Both you and your fianc? owe the other your emotional health and maturity. Without this, your marriage is never going to survive. I don't care how much you love her.

2) Both of your sexual experience up to this point should be leading you to giving the other the very best you have to offer. Neither of you should be holding back! That little habit is going to translate very directly into the marriage.

3) You've probably heard that sex isn't the most important thing in a marriage, but let me assure you of this: it's in the top 3!

4) Neither of you is responsible for the other's past. Likewise, neither of you should be trying to "fix" the other's past.

5) As a couple, you need to get the communication issues worked out BEFORE you get married! Right now, you don't seem to be able to communicate with her about this, or if you do, she doesn't seem to be getting it.

Finally, marriage is difficult enough without adding all of this to the mix. I strongly urge you to get this worked out right away BEFORE you get married Ė even if you need to postpone the wedding. This isn't just going to solve itself.

Best regards...

Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? I answer all email. You can write to me at dwneder@beingaman.com for answers. For more information about my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" (volumes I & II), and other products visit: www.beingaman.com. Check out the discussion group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beingaman.

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