I have to admit that my relationship, which I have now been in for nearly 10 months, started off as a drunken fumble. (We did already know each other, but only as close friends.) I am going to talk about sex and how it affects my relationship, and my depression. I’ve wanted to write a post about this for a long time, but couldn’t find the right words, so here I go…
Sex is usually something that comes as the relationship progresses, it shows intimacy, trust and (sometimes) love. My relationship is a bit topsy-turvey in that respect, seeing as the relationship started in such a physical way. After my ex boyfriend, I thought that sex was the only way to keep a guy’s interest. I know this is stupid, but I’m being honest here! So we got together (properly) when I came home for Christmas last year, and things progressed.
Nearly 10 months on from that, I am in a non-sexual relationship**. I have found that sex now makes me feel like dirt. It makes me feel disgusting, used and worthless – these are the things I learnt from my ex, and now my current boyfriend has to deal with that. It’s not that I don’t ever want sex, I do, sometimes. The depression in itself has an impact on sex, as generally I (and many other depressed people) have a very low sex drive most of the time. It’s strange, because I used to have a very high sex drive, but I guess this is what happens when you are used by someone you love…
Anyway, as I was saying, it’s not that I never want sex – sometimes I do. Sometimes I just feel like it. But as soon as it comes to it, I can’t. I freak out. I tense up. I get scared. It’s ridiculous, and I don’t know why this happens. It is not my boyfriend’s fault, it’s nothing that he does. It just brings back memories of when I had to have sex***, and when it meant nothing except keeping him (the ex) for longer. Even writing about this now, I am becoming anxious, and feeling the fear creeping up on me.
My ex made me feel like sex was all I was good for. He made me feel like an object, and as if it was all anyone would ever want me for. Having a boyfriend who won’t carry on if it hurts me is strange to me, having a boyfriend who doesn’t mind that we don’t have sex was an alien concept at first – I thought he’d be angry.
I am incredibly lucky to have such a caring and understanding boyfriend. Many guys would’ve left me by now. And I would understand if he did. I can’t give him a sexual relationship (at the moment anyway) because it makes me feel awful. He says he doesn’t mind. I know that it must annoy him, and he probably is bothered, but even after me trying to end the relationship over it…he says he wants to be with me.
I think the most important thing with relationships is communication. When I typed that sentence, I was talking regarding sex and depression, however I also mean it in general – with or without the depression. If both partners know how the other one feels, the relationship is much more likely to succeed and stay healthy.
The other point I want to make is that you should never do anything that you don’t want to do just to please someone else. Here, I am talking about sex, but it applies to many other things too. (For example peer pressure to do drugs.) I wish that it was very unusual to be in an abusive relationship, or one where you are being used or controlled, but sadly it is all too common. A lot of the time, you can’t even see it if you’re in the situation, and the only time you do is when it’s over (because s/he left you..) I am asking my readers to bare this in mind in their own relationships, make sure you are being treated nicely, and you are not being controlled or taken advantage of, and if you see friends in a questionable relationship, although they won’t want to hear it, maybe it’s worth saying something to them…who knows, you might save them from a lot of pain and heartache.
So that’s it, Ellie’s thoughts on sex, relationships and depression (and how they all relate!)
*Original title, I know…but at least you know what this post is about! 😛
** Almost entirely non-sexual, for now anyway
***Just to clarify, it was never rape. It was always consentual, I just thought I had to, and I’m a people pleaser, so I did it.