How to talk about sexual dissatisfaction
July 12, 2015 6:28 AM   Subscribe

My partner of twelve years is kind of selfish in bed, but also pretty sensitive about talking about it and hasn't taken any initiative after previous discussions. How should I approach this? Am I asking for too much?

(We're both in our 30s, cohabiting, otherwise in a stable relationship, I'm a woman and he's a man.) He isn't happy with our sex life these days because he thinks I never want to have sex with him, like I'm just not interested in him anymore. I've become much less interested in sex with him because he doesn't seem to have much interest in my pleasure in the bedroom. He knows I'm not happy with our sex life but he just never takes any initiative to do anything for my enjoyment at all (i.e. not in the direct immediate leadup to him getting laid) and I end up resenting having to ask for help getting off every time.

While he usually initiates these days, I have always done all of the work in the bedroom if I want any pleasure out of the encounter. His idea of pleasing me is letting me give him a blowjob while I pleasure myself. He finishes quickly when we make love, and when he's done he shows almost no interest in my getting off - I have to do it all myself, with maybe some halfhearted encouragement if he gets interested enough again. He's threatened by toys and makes comments about being inferior when they come up. I do think he feels bad about not feeling sexually capable, but only in the sense that he thinks it reflects poorly on him, not because he actually wants to change anything about it.

In the 12 years of our relationship, he's gone down on me twice. Basically every orgasm I've had in this relationship has been my own responsibility, with somewhere between no and a bit of help from him. I made it clear for years what sort of things I like in bed but honestly I don't think I should have to give him a to-do list of the bare minimum at this point - I'm just talking about simple stuff like talking dirty a little, getting me off first once in a while, going down on me maybe, fingering me or touching my breasts while I'm trying to get off, that kind of thing. I don't feel like I'm asking for a lot. I used to be more explicit about asking but he never really picked up the clues for next time - he just never does anything for my enjoyment unless I ask him to explicitly. But I'm not exactly asking him to read my mind, am I? Are those excessive things to want without asking for them every time?

We haven't talked about it frankly much lately because he shuts down and gets defensive about criticisms like this, and I just know it would end up with me comforting him about how he's not a terrible lover, followed by maybe one very "Is this good enough? How about now?" session that quickly fizzles and reverts to the status quo. At least that's what's happened most of the times we've talked about it before - nothing ever seems to change for more than a very short time, then it's back to normal. I have a hard time relating because if it were me, I think I'd at least start googling "how to please a woman" once in awhile if I felt so inadequate about it - but I honestly don't think he does it maliciously, or that he's a bad guy, he's just a little selfish and insecure, and maybe a bit clueless.

Things in the relationship are pretty stagnant in general, though (our emotional intimacy is about as low as our physical intimacy, and in much the same way), and especially after 12 years, I'm not sure I want to keep investing in a relationship with someone who still seems to have so little interest in my pleasure. But I haven't had many good relationships modeled for me, and I'm not sure if I'm asking for too much mind-reading or special-snowflake treatment, or maybe I'm just not communicating about this right. It's also possible that I'm not being clear enough about what I want from him. It's especially hard to get across that this is important to me with any sense of urgency without just making him feel bad. I know that ultimately this is about him feeling insecure somehow, but I'm not sure how to communicate my dissatisfaction without making him feel even more insecure.

How can I make it clear that this is a dealbreaker for me without feeling like I'm having to beg just to get my basic needs met after all these years? Is there a way to recover from having to keep asking for someone to be interested in meeting your basic needs like this, or is this the sort of thing I should be able to expect in a healthy relationship?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
You are not asking too much! You have tried and tried with this guy. Give up on him and find someone who's willing to try as hard as you are.
posted by chaiminda at 7:17 AM on July 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


Yeah, having a partner who cares about your pleasure is not special-snowflake treatment, that's pretty basic relationship stuff. You've talked about it with him, you've told him what you need, and he hasn't responded. After 12 years it's pretty unlikely that he's going to suddenly have an epiphany about this. If the rest of your relationship was good I might suggest looking into couple's counselling, but you say "our emotional intimacy is about as low as our physical intimacy, and in much the same way". I'm sorry, but I think it might be time to move on.
posted by lwb at 7:22 AM on July 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


This guy sounds like an asshole. After 12 years, that's not insecurity or cluelessness, that's pure selfishness. Not only is he getting everything he wants from this relationship without having to put any effort into satisfying you emotionally or sexually, he's programmed you to comfort him when you try to have an adult conversation with him about how he's not meeting your needs. He's getting defensive because he knows he isn't living up to his end of the relationship bargain and he doesn't want to do disturb the status quo.

You shouldn't have to put up with this shit and you should stop tolerating it now. The things you're asking for in bed aren't outrageous and the bar for even adequate competence with them is very low. There's absolutely no reason a caring partner shouldn't be willing and able to do those things for you or think of them without being prompted. The very fact that he doesn't even care enough about you bother, and has been like this for 12 years, should tell you everything you need to know. He's never going to change.

I agree that if it your relationship was more equal that couples counseling might be productive, but he's not even trying to meet you halfway. This man is not willing to change. Don't stay and be unhappy for the rest of your life. You deserve so much more than this.
posted by i feel possessed at 7:34 AM on July 12, 2015 [35 favorites]


How can I make it clear that this is a dealbreaker for me without feeling like I'm having to beg just to get my basic needs met after all these years?

Tell him "You're being a selfish prick in the bedroom and after 12 years, this is getting to be a dealbreaker for me. You need to start showing a lot more interest in pleasing me sexually and you need to do that very soon or I'm leaving you."

If you say this, you have to mean it.

And yeah, you're not asking for a lot here. This is basic relationship stuff.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:38 AM on July 12, 2015 [27 favorites]


Tell him what you've just told me — everything you've just told me. After all, you don't even know me; if you can say it to me, you can certainly say it to him. Don't leave anything out in an attempt to spare his feelings. He needs a wakeup call, if he hasn't already gotten it.

If you haven't told him yet, see if that improves things.

If you've already told him and it's still like this after 12 years, he's hopeless and this relationship is not going to meet your basic needs. In that case, you owe it to yourself to find someone else.

It makes no sense for you to be regularly giving him oral sex when he never gives you oral sex (unless you're not interested in it — but you apparently are, or you wouldn't have mentioned it). That's a fundamentally misguided approach on his part. He isn't entitled to have you do everything he wants and not give anything back in return. What's your motivation to allow that arrangement to continue? Why are you still doing this?

Don't doubt yourself or make excuses for him. It's time to face facts.
posted by John Cohen at 7:42 AM on July 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


He sounds really immature sexually or like he's got some serious sexual hang-ups or kinks that he's pushed way, way down inside himself out of shame.

Either way, the real issue here isn't about the lack of sex. It's more about his absolute unwillingness to take on board what you, his partner, are asking for and telling him in no uncertain terms that you need. It's also about your emotional paralysis, this inability you have to take action to get out of a relationship that is this emotionally damaging for you.

Honestly? There are certain sexless relationships that have lots of other things going for them and are satisfying and functional. Some people have huge amounts in common, things they love doing together, ways in which they resonate with one another that are not sexual and, for them, amount to something as or more satisfying than sex. For some couples, health or physical problems prevent sexual intercourse, if not all sex play altogether. Some people have low sex drive, some people get sanctioned sex outside their primary relationship, some people are asexual, there are lots of reasons sex may have dwindled or be non-existent in a love relationship.

But the reason for lack of sex in your relationship is a profound lack of trust and intimacy and basic affection for each other. It sounds like you don't like each other, really. It especially sounds like he doesn't like you or himself very much at all. Your relationship sounds dead in the water. I doubt even intense couple's counseling could help if he has no willingness to open himself up to your needs.

You've had shitty relationship models. I relate to that. I've put up for long stretches of time with things that people with strong self-esteem and loving role models would never even find themselves contending with, all because I didn't know that those things were damaging or inappropriate or colossal wastes of time. You're not alone in this. But now that you're aware of it, you can't put your own head in the sand anymore about how unhappy you are. And fixing that is up to you.

You need to leave this guy and work on yourself for awhile with a good therapist. Prepare yourself; I would imagine there's a pretty deep well of anger inside you that will come as a quite a shock.

I wish you luck.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 7:56 AM on July 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


It's not too much to ask for sexual satisfaction from a romantic partner, but I'd suggest trying one more time before leaving him. You can't fix it if he is selfish, but you might be able to if he is just clueless. :)

First, bringing it up like a dealbreaker isn't going to help the situation (even if it's the case). Situations like this are very rarely fixed by talking at length about dissatisfaction. Bring it up to him that you both are feeling somewhat dissatisfied as of late and you want to jump start your sex life by trying new things. Tell him you want to experiment with being more dominant. Be proactive in getting what you want by telling him exactly what you want. Be clear and specific. Don't give oral unless you receive it first for the next few months, he needs to get this in his brain. Introduce toys immediately, but perhaps as a pair at first, one for you and one for him. If he resists toys for you, tell him that it's a requirement for you to try new things and he can support that or not have sex. If this doesn't get you on the same wavelength by establishing mutually beneficial habits, then cut your losses.
posted by KMoney at 7:59 AM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


He is not clueless after 12 years of you giving him clues. He is who he is. Do you know what it's like to be with someone who considers your pleasure a priority, not a chore or afterthought? Would you like to be in that kind of relationship? It's totally possible, but not with this person. You might love him but you're not getting what you need and you deserve to have your needs met. Read "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay".
posted by billiebee at 8:19 AM on July 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


His idea of pleasing me is letting me give him a blowjob while I pleasure myself.

what, no

In the 12 years of our relationship, he's gone down on me twice

just, no

it would end up with me comforting him about how he's not a terrible lover, followed by maybe one very "Is this good enough? How about now?" session that quickly fizzles and reverts to the status quo

You should be able to talk about your desires, needs, and concerns without him turning it into a discussion about him and how your expression of your needs is hurting him. That is immature, manipulative, and unhealthy. Good relationship models do not feature treading on egg shells around one's partner's feelings, and I somehow doubt that any amount of diplomacy on your part would fix his fundamental inability to empathize or compromise.

and especially after 12 years, I'm not sure I want to keep investing in a relationship with someone who still seems to have so little interest in my pleasure.

Yeah, neither would I. Sorry, but I don't know that any reason you might come up with for staying in the relationship trumps what you have said here. Leave, find someone who actively cares about you.
posted by likeatoaster at 9:28 AM on July 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


You're in no way asking too much; drunk one-night stands have consistently put more effort into getting me off than this guy is for you. I would've left years ago! But if you want to give it another shot, how about only having sex in which you get off first? Make that the new paradigm. Keep your hands/ mouth/ vulva away from his penis until you're done.
posted by metasarah at 10:05 AM on July 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


So let's see: he gets butthurt if you so much as mention toys because it makes him feel ~inferior~, but he's not actually making any effort to get better sexually, despite repeated requests. He's just a terrible, selfish person, full stop. He doesn't respect you and he's not into you; he's treating you like a fleshlight, not a partner and friend.

This is not an incompatibility and this is not fixable; he is a shitty, selfish, narcissistic person who only cares about himself. That cannot be ultimatumed away or "worked on" in therapy, especially not if the therapy was someone else's idea. In my experience when people like that change, and more often they never actually change, it starts from within, and usually after quite a few shocks when the status quo is completely yanked out from under them. If you stay and put up with the nonsense they will never change except to get worse.

DTMFA. He will not change. Stop occasionally rewarding this loser's terrible treatment of you with permission to masturbate with your vagina, because that is exactly what he's doing, and he's obnoxious about it too. You deserve so much better.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 10:42 AM on July 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


This would have been a deal breaker for me 11 years and 11 months ago.
posted by ktkt at 11:25 AM on July 12, 2015 [23 favorites]


Am I asking for too much?
Are those excessive things to want without asking for them every time?
...is this the sort of thing I should be able to expect in a healthy relationship?


I'm a single woman in my 30s who likes to have a good time.

You know how back in the 80s power windows were this cool new feature in cars that was used as a selling point? But these days pretty much every car has them to the point where it would be ludicrous to ask "Does this car have power windows?" I mean, every once in awhile you come across a model with the roll down kind, but you just think, "Whoa, more of a clunker than I thought," and move on.

Going down on a woman, sex toys and just generally being interested and involved in helping your partner get off are the power windows of sex. With almost all of my partners I've never had to ask for these things. The few times they have not been volunteered, I have moved on pretty quickly.

After 12 years, and if the emotional state of affairs is much the same, this is probably just the way he is. But if you want to give it another try...

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think it's time that you make him feel bad and inadequate, because he is. Stop going down on him until he starts going down on you. Start getting explicit about your requests again...and then after awhile, make your request that you shouldn't have to request anymore. If he doesn't know that this is exactly why you don't want to have sex with him, tell him that.
posted by unannihilated at 11:25 AM on July 12, 2015 [24 favorites]


We haven't talked about it frankly much lately because he shuts down and gets defensive about criticisms like this, and I just know it would end up with me comforting him about how he's not a terrible lover,

Oh, honey, he IS a terrible lover. He deserves no comfort.

Things in the relationship are pretty stagnant in general, though (our emotional intimacy is about as low as our physical intimacy, and in much the same way), and especially after 12 years, I'm not sure I want to keep investing in a relationship with someone who still seems to have so little interest in my pleasure. But I haven't had many good relationships modeled for me,

Please just go. And consider doing something "crazy" like getting drunk and going home with a "bad boy" you wouldn't normally give the time of day to. USE CONDOMS and try to not get an STD or pregnant, but there are better men out there. Most men will treat you better than this and a lot of men will be very understanding of your "I just don't really know how to do this relationship stuff." issue. Gosh, during my divorce, plenty of men were happy to volunteer to give me the education I needed.

My ex husband was 10,000 times better to me than this guy is being to you and, wow, was it an eye-opener that, yes, there are men out there who know what they are doing in bed, like giving a woman pleasure and so on. I learned that by being so doped up on prescription drugs and such a mess that I was willing to get next to men I normally would not give the time of day to. It was life changing.

Please just go. If at all possible, do so today. Don't waste another minute. This is pathetic. You deserve so much better.

(((HUGS))) (if you want them)
posted by Michele in California at 12:28 PM on July 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Unannihilated has it. The power windows of sex, indeed. I agree you need to tell him in no uncertain terms that he is not meeting your sexual needs, which is unacceptable.

If you do want to stay (do you?), give him one more chance to shape up in this department. And REALLY shape up, not just placate you and then revert to this dissatisfying "normal." I think you should make it plain this is a dealbreaker. Because it most definitely is.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 12:34 PM on July 12, 2015


Sounds like it's not that he doesn't care whether you get off - it sounds like he secretly doesn't want you to get off at all.
posted by tomboko at 12:58 PM on July 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you want to make a last-ditch attempt to help him get a clue, maybe buy him this book:
She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman
posted by Jacqueline at 1:19 PM on July 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Male here. On quick review reading this on a phone, I can't help wonder if there is a porn problem here. Because there is no more obvious medium than porn where men "learn" that women prefer getting off men by orders of magnitude more than in real life. Even telling a guy like this that you have real needs could easily be contradicted by the most avid porn viewing. Just a thought.

My idea (assuming the above premise is at least partly correct): tell him that your orgasm comes first. After that, you may be willing to be treated like a submissive porn actress for his climax. Forgive the concreteness of this suggestion and adapt as necessary. Your getting off regularly might carry over positively into the rest of your sex and emotional life. Give it a shot.
posted by teg4rvn at 1:30 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Tamanna's friend here, borrowing her account to tell you a story.

I could have been you, ten years ago. Years in a relationship with a selfish jackass who only cared about getting his rocks off, and would rarely and very grudgingly do stuff that was fun for me just often enough that I wouldn't dump his sorry ass. Any attempts to improve the situation were met with defensiveness and accusations that I was being a shitty girlfriend for doubting his commitment/sex skills.

We broke up for unrelated reasons, and a couple of years after that I fell for a guy who is the polar opposite of my ex. The sex is FANTASTIC. Why? Because my current man realises that there are two people involved in making love, and is committed to making sure both of us have a good time. In fact, he's said multiple times that getting me off gets him off. And a huge part of why the sex is so damned good is that he's big on communication, on making sure we both are on the same page, sexually and otherwise. His response to being told that there are things we need to work on? 'Okay, what's wrong and how can we fix this?'

TL;DR Dump this jackass. You deserve a man who will treat you like the goddess you are.
posted by Tamanna at 1:55 PM on July 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


What the hell?? He is right to be intimidated by sex toys - even with dead batteries they could do a better job that he does.

I ended a relationship (a marriage) partially over sexual incompatibility. The conversations are hard, and I can't pretend that I ever had the conversations honestly or to full conclusion (kinda like the sex, haha). But life is both too short and way too long to be stuck with an inattentive, selfish and uncaring partner.

Your question reminds me of this article I found through Reddit today, about advice to young women about sex. It's for women of all ages, really, though, because it's never easy to ask for what we want and then stick to our guns.

I think you're probably going to need to exit this relationship if it's been 12 years and he's as much of a jackass about sex as he sounds. I'd have one more conversation with him about it - "Sex is not working for me. Please put in more effort. Please imagine 12 years of sexytimes where you don't have orgasms and where a "special treat" is having to get yourself off alone while you go down on me. I need you to put in effort by doing [specific] to my [specific]. If you do not make effort to meet my needs in the bedroom, I will leave you and find someone who will."

Then do it. And be prepared for pantybombs by men who, while totally incapable of any kind of emotional connection whatsoever, make up for it by 1 - 3 nights of mindblowingly amazing sex. It's out there.
posted by mibo at 2:06 PM on July 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't like saying this, but you should be really honest with yourself about whether this problem possibly stems from him not being attracted to you quite enough

I've been in a similar place with an ex, where some sex acts were ones he was fine with, but others that made him too aware of my less-than-toned thighs or belly were ones he wasn't enthusiastic about performing. I thought it was a matter of him being selfish and entitled, and while both those things were true, the biggest issue was that he wasn't motivated enough to be more giving because he just wasn't that into me. Some people are cowardly like that, where they'll stay with someone who they see as being adequate as a human Fleshlight but don't entirely find desirable. Luckily I ended things after I'd gotten him to admit how he felt about my body, because there's really no salvaging one's sex life together after you learn that's how someone feels about you.

I don't know if this is what's going on in your relationship, but you owe it to yourself to find out. Someone who actually wants you is going to want to get you off - even if they're not terribly confident about their skills in bed.
posted by blerghamot at 2:20 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


No you are not asking or expecting too much. But to be honest, if you are willing to dump this relationship, you have nothing to lose by issuing an ultimatum and giving him the opportunity to go to couple's therapy with you. I genuinely believe that with the exception of abusive relationships, it's the least people owe the commitment they made when they got married.

You guys don't have the tools you need to communicate in your marriage. You can literally buy those tools. You may find that when you can communicate well and honestly, one or both of you doesn't want to be married any more, but you will at least have done your best by each other.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:51 PM on July 12, 2015


Fwiw I don't think the OP is married to him; she said they're cohabiting. So she doesn't owe him anything at this point, though I see what you're saying.
posted by billiebee at 2:55 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


FYI: I saw no mention of marriage. I think 12 years of the described pattern is plenty of time to conclude he is just not even going to try. I am usually the person saying "Give it one last shot, and here is how to do that" while everyone else says DTMFA. I think it no longer matters what his reason is, whether it is a porn addiction or extreme cluelessnes or whatever. There seems to be no children. There seems to be no marriage. There seems to be no reason to stay other than fear of the unknown and, wow, that seems so insufficient given this scenario. This is incredibly icky.
posted by Michele in California at 2:58 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I left my husband for exactly this reason.

My ex-husband had boasted about having hundreds of lovers before we met. He thought it meant he was good in bed. Now I realise it meant that only dills like me would stick around to keep having sex with a sexually selfish dude like this. It is like, as soon as he got hard, a switch went off and I became a tool for masturbation, not a partner in lovemaking.

On reflection, is was part of a pattern of emotional neglect from his side. I suggested, directed, requested, initiated, cajoled and then outright complained but it did no good. Oh, and the number of times I cried myself to sleep after sex is too sad to recall.

You have this internet stranger's permission to leave this man and find someone who gets pleasure from sharing your pleasure in lovemaking. It is your responsibility to yourself to do so.

PS: after I left him, he took up with a neighbour and later confessed that he would have cheated on me with her becuase, you know, I was getting too dull in bed.
posted by Thella at 4:02 PM on July 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I would dump him asap but before you do it, tell him you want an open relationship. When he asks why, say that you want to be fucked by someone who knows what they're doing and is a fantastic caring lover in bed. Tell him he's a selfish asshole in bed but you're ok with that as long as you can find a real man to please you. Cruel, maybe, but not nearly as cruel as twelve years of using you to get off while he ignores you. What an asshole.
posted by Jubey at 4:11 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the 12 years of our relationship, he's gone down on me twice.

This is awful. I'm sorry.

We haven't talked about it frankly much lately because he shuts down and gets defensive about criticisms like this, and I just know it would end up with me comforting him about how he's not a terrible lover

He should feel like a terrible lover. He is a terrible lover.

How can I make it clear that this is a dealbreaker for me without feeling like I'm having to beg just to get my basic needs met after all these years? Is there a way to recover from having to keep asking for someone to be interested in meeting your basic needs like this, or is this the sort of thing I should be able to expect in a healthy relationship?

Your expectations are completely reasonable. Your mate is not. Your best bet may just to be like, "Have you ever noticed that you never get me off? How would you change that? Let's hear your ideas." Hearing you say that will likely be terrifying to him. This is good; he should be terrified. He is close to losing you and he should be aware of that.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:24 PM on July 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


You're approaching this like the two of you have mutual pleasure and a positive relationship as a shared goal, but after 12 years of this nonsense that's clearly not the case. That his response to your complaints about not getting off is to get you to comfort him about his delicate feelings rather than caring about your totally reasonable concerns says it all. He wants everything to continue being about him and for you to stop bringing it up because as long as you don't bring it up, everything is fine to him.

It's normal to want your partner to enjoy sex. He only cares about your willingness to get him off.
posted by bile and syntax at 5:42 PM on July 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you give him an ultimatum and he promises to change, to ensure that he follows through then I think the new rule should be that he makes you come BEFORE his dick goes in you.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:47 PM on July 12, 2015


No kids?

Buhbye.
posted by flabdablet at 9:40 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


He's awful. He won't listen to being asked about not being awful. He makes you feel awful for questioning his awfulness.

In my opinion having orgasms as often as you want is a requirement of a decent relationship, not a perk.

Goodbye manchild, back to the forest with you.
posted by French Fry at 7:08 AM on July 13, 2015


Male here. This man is really really insecure about his skills as a lover. He got this idea in his head, from porn and other guys, that one's quality as a lover is all about strength and prowess and nothing more. He knows deep down he is not a good lover, either because you don't respond (understandably) to his lackadaisical efforts or he isn't as strong as these macho models he's trying to emulate. His insecurity is why he can't talk about it.

Sex is first and foremost about communication.

As far as I'm concerned, you're well within your rights to DTMFA, and you are absolutely entitled to someone who values your pleasure. But if you do decide you want to try to figure this out with him, remember that this all comes from a place of not feeling like he is good enough, and remind him that he has it within himself to be a better lover. It's not about innate skills or gifts, it's about working on it and talking about it.

But I really think he's had his chance.
posted by dry white toast at 11:34 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think this comes from a place of insecurity. It looks like it comes from a place of really extreme narcissism. My ex husband was fairly narcissistic and I had to really work at getting through to him that I wanted to be included in the conversation when we talked. We had one conversation where I said "You might as well be talking to the wall instead of me."He promptly began talking trash about how terrible he was. I interrupted that to say "I was not asking you to dis yourself. You are still only and exclusively talking about YOU. Saying bad things about yourself does NOT include me intheconversation." That got through to him and he was better after that.

And this guy makes my ex look like Don Juan. My ex was terrible about certain things, but he did feel a duty to make sure I had an orgasm when we had sex. The man described here is narcissistic in the extreme, making everything about his needs, his feelings, his desires, etc. He is not insecure. He feels securely entitled to use the OP to get his needs met and do nothing in return. That shit about having reassure him that he is not a terrible lover when he is, in fact, a terrible lover is just another way to make everything about himself and do NOTHING for her. This is why the OP should just walk. Twelve years of this shit has only served to convince him he can get away with this.

This is the kind of person I sincerely feel should just hire a sex worker. He will never do what a relationship requires. He has no interest in such an arrangement. He should stop lying to the world about that fact. He lies to the world about it because it is a way to get over and get someone to do it for free while he convinces her it is her fault she isn't satisfied. It is kind of scam. He's a con artist in a sense. He isn't ever going to come around. It doesn't matter how hard she tries. It doesn't matter if she brings in a therapist. It doesn't matter if she works on learning to communicate her needs. She isn't the problem. His extreme selfishness is the problem. Putting more on her about how to accomodate him only helpos keep her his victim.

If the OP wants to stay for some reason, I have written comments in other Asks about how to deal effectively with a narcissist. Being nicer does not work. Insisting he do what you need before you do anything for him is critical. And it isn't my idea of a good time in bed.

Best of luck tothe OP.
posted by Michele in California at 12:06 PM on July 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


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