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Eveningstargazer, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 155
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
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My daughter started a relationship 18 months ago which has

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My daughter started a relationship 18 months ago which has until recently been the most supportive and loving relationship ever. However, her partner is suddenly now stating that he doesn't want physical, intimate contact [ to give or receive it]. He is asking her for patience to see if this changes and doesn't want to end the relationship and tells her this has happened in his previous relationships. Any advise?
Good evening and thank you for your question. I will do my best to assist you with this situation. It is wonderful to hear that your daughter has had such a positive experience with her partner. Unfortunately when this sort of distancing from physical contact occurs, it is often a result of flashbacks or triggers from something traumatic that happened in the past. Because this is a repetitive issue, your daughter should be open to his struggles and the potential that this is spurring from a larger issue. She can have an open and honest conversation with him about what could potentially be causing this without making him feel threatened or cornered. This could be done by having a supportive conversation, showing her appreciation for how he has treated her in the past, and identifying a desire to work through these struggles. Reassuring him that physicality is a wonderful part of a relationship, but not essential to its continuation. If she helps him feel comfortable with the relationship as it currently stands. This may subconsciously be his way of "testing" her to see if she will reject him for his lack of physical desire. If she takes things slow and remains open and supportive, the relationship can continue to grow on an emotional level. At some point he may feel comfortable enough opening up to her about what is truly happening internally for him.
If you need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to respond below.
Hello, please do let me know if you need any follow-up information or if you have any further questions. I will do my best to provide you with the answers you seek. Either way, let me know: open communication is the key to getting this question answered to your satisfaction.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I completely agree with your response. Thank you.

The issue is that she is now not allowed to touch him and he wont touch her. Its very difficult for her to understand after a passion love affair lasting 18 mnths where both enjoyed this depth of intimacy . Would it be unreasonable for her to suggest counseling seperate or jointly. The reason she has not done this is because he probably would be stretched to afford it. Any books you can recommend to help her with?

I can see how this would be extremely difficult for your daughter as physical intimacy can seem like such an integral part of a romantic relationship. There are two books that may assist her both in understanding where her partner may be coming from, and the techniques she can use to continue building an emotionally intimate relationship with him.
Dating After Trauma : How to Find the Love of Your Life After Experiencing an Abusive Relationship, Rape, or Sexual Abuse by Emily Avagliano
Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition [Paperback]
Harville Hendrix (Author)
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