Q: I’m kind of obsessed with my therapist. It’s not a sexual thing (I’m straight and we’re both women), but I’ve Googled the heck out of her, and every time she gives me even the slightest tidbit into her life, I ponder it for days. I’m so curious about her and always wonder what she really thinks of me. If you say this is weird, then I’m really going to feel silly.
Not weird at all! Lots of processes go on in the relationship between therapist and client, and they’re usually quite useful to talk about. The feelings you describe are most likely a type of transference – you’re human, she’s human, and there’s something in your dynamic that’s meaningful to you.
Maybe you admire her like a mentor. Maybe you feel she cares for you like a mother would. I don’t know what you’re in therapy for, but if it has anything to do with relationship dynamics, it’s even more crucial to explore this. So if you can bring yourself to do it, talk about it. You’ll feel better getting it off your chest, and she’ll help you illuminate what meaning it might have. And understanding your feelings is one of the main points of therapy, no?
Q: My husband just doesn’t seem to want to be physically intimate anymore. He never had a huge sex drive, so it’s not a huge jump to go from infrequent to nothing. But I’m 37 years old and don’t want to be celibate. I try to initiate things and he is always apologetic but says it can’t happen that night. It’s hard for me not to take it personally – don’t guys supposedly want it all the time? But just as important, it’s very frustrating for me.
Not all men naturally have high sex drives, just like not all men act like the guys on beer commercials (thank goodness). And that’s before you account for the men with medical or psychological issues that dampen their sex drives.
Your first challenge is to convince him that this matters and get him to have a thorough physical and metabolic screen to rule out such issues. In the absence of a smoking gun, you might want to seek out the help of a couples counselor. Or, if he’s really motivated to change, it’s possible you can get on a better track simply by breaking the inertia once or twice. For many, sex drive is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition.
Andrea Bonior is a clinical psychologist and the author of “The Friendship Fix.” www.drandreabonior.com.
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