If you are in love with a person with whom you have a friendship/sexual relationship, who is kind, compassionate and a “good friend”, but is unable to reciprocate your adoration, it can be extraordinarily painful to navigate that relationship in a way that is not consuming for you. It’s hard not to feel as if you are losing yourself. In order to be “in” it and keep it alive, you continually infuse life into the relationship, if you can call it that, by having to compromise your well-deserved longings for more. You try to convince yourself that you are okay with less in return, just to keep the connection. You may pretend it is not so, but this experience levels you and shatters you over and over. You become more confused about what you deserve and can have in this or any potential romantic relationship for that matter. It also heightens the desire, the incentive, the overwhelming “need” to win over this person once and for all so that your self-esteem will be “restored.”
After a period of devastation, loss, despair–a traumatic experience–as time passes, you may begin to feel better, safer in your own skin. You may even sense that you have grown stronger as the distance between where you are now and the painful experiences you have lived through continues to widen. During times when you feel okay, you may actually be able to allow yourself to relax into certain situations. You might even start to feel that your self-confidence is growing.
Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, your brain carries you back to a time in your history that evokes great shame and feels painfully unresolved. The images that flash through your mind cause a visceral reaction. Inside, you now feel destabilized, which pollutes the positive experience you were just having.
Like violent waves crashing against your very being, overwhelming, disorienting emotions overtake you during the breakup process. As time passes (often lots of time) the reality of the breakup begins to set in. For many, it is later in the breakup process that you begin to experience feelings of anger toward self, and other(s), including your ex. Anger is a healthy stage in the grieving process and should not be confused with blame, even though they appear very similar. Blame toward self or other indicates that you are stuck in a cycle. Blame at self or other for why the relationship went awry keeps you focused on outcomes that have already occurred.
In the beginning of a relationship, before a woman feels trusting and open, and both parties are working to deepen the emotional connection, the pressure can make it difficult for a woman to achieve orgasm. But it was shown long ago that one of the most arousing aspects of the heterosexual sexual experience for men is being able to turn on a woman. Many women learn through time that the more sexually expressive they allow themselves to be (or seem), the more their partner enjoys the sex. This means that, especially early in the relationship, women may fear that if they don’t orgasm during sex, they will appear to be unresponsive, deadened, and their partner will lose interest. Their anxiety, even shame at “how long it takes” may end up compelling them to fake orgasm.
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