Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Is there a name for this condition?(18 Posts)
I feel unworthy of being loved outside of being a sexual being.
What i mean is. I can't believe anyone would want me unless for a sexual purpose. I crave kindness, affection and real love - but can only feel worthwhile if I am providing a 'sexual element'.
I don't know if maybe I was abused when I was a child (have no memories) - I often wonder. I was definitely neglected as a child and not shown affection.
Having reached middle age I realise I've never had a really complete loving relationship and fear I never will, as I feel like the (unwilling) female equivalent of a man who is just interested in sex. I am not even that interested in it; I just feel that without it I won't be worth anything to the other party, there will be nothing else to hold their interest.
Hope this makes sense, I'm sure I'm not normal, but dearly wish I was. Really grateful for any advice / perspective.
What about relationships with friends?
I can't see at all why you, out if all the humans in the world, would be unworthy of love.
It's more likely that you attract men who see that they don't have to treat you nicely.
Relationships with friends I find quite stressful as I feel I have to be good company even when I don't feel like it or they won't want me as a friend.
I suspect I might have out good men off in the past possibly because they assumed I just wanted sex - as I had assumed that was all they wanted!
Catch 22 :-(
Sweet water, how then can I attract 'nice' men?
Well generally men, and women, do want sex in a romantic relationship. No sex and you're just friends. However the sex is normally within the context of a wider relationship. Of companionship, friendship, fun, romance, love and yes some negatives too.
If you wish real love it would not be usual to have it without sex. I'm not saying it's not possible, but normally it's part of it.
So I'm unsure what you're trying to say. Are you having sex with men you have no feelings for? Diving in too soon? Or that you wish a relationship that is platonic but romantic?
Bluntness - I want a romantic relationship but don't know how normal people combine real life / platonic parts (eg seeing with no make up on etc) with the romantic bits. I feel I always have to be looking perfect. I feel if I am with someone and I am ill they would not want me- that kind of thing.
I ended up marrying someone I did not find attractive or live in a romantic way because I wanted someone to look after me. As it turned out he was a controlling bully. But at least I didn't have to worry about looking immaculate all the time.
I feel very confused and as if I don't understand how normal partnerships work. I mean - in normal romantic relationship, partners will see each other ill, not in the mood for sex, no make up etc- but yet wouls still love the other would they not?
I am finding it hard to explain what I mean sorry. I do want a romantic relationship which includes sex but not based just on sex. I don't know how to navigate that.
I wonder if the name of your condition is not just low self-esteem? I have an inkling of what you're saying. If you value your whole self then others will too and you will also be able to see the whole of any man that you meet and know that many don't just want sex but also companionship.
Have you ever tried counselling?
I have had sex with men I do have feelings for but pretended I didn't as I didn't want them to think I was needy & scare them off.
The bits about seeing each other sick or without make up do tend to come a little later. Normally people try to present the best of themselves as a relationship develops.
It's really about getting to know the person, dating, spending time together, doing things you both enjoy, the loving each other warts and all comes later.as the relationship progresses, it's not usually immediate.
You've had a rough time, but Its not your fault. You sound like you have self esteem issues possibly due to your ex being a bully.
So is it ok to acknowledge straight away that you find someone attractive, if you do? They won't think you odd for getting sexual side of things started early on? I find it really hard to see the 'whole' person once have had sexual contact. If a man shies away from companionship / doing non sexual things then I guess that's a bad sign.
I'm sorry if I sound stupid or naive, but I honestly feel so muddled in my head. I think I do have low self esteem, although I am confident sexually. I suppose because if that confidence, I tend to fix on that side of things as that where I feel I am "ok".
But bluntness - if you were ill early in a relationship and the man was a good man he would not mind / be put off surely?
i have been you.
i had a lot of male friends as a late teen and ultimately they all wanted a shag, they were friends too, but they wouldn't say no, ya no... i came to the belief that guys only liked the idea of fucking me. i wasn't abused, i had a happy normal balanced childhood. i had one emotionally abusive boyfriend, then a physically abusive boyfriend, then later a boyfriend who cheated on me repeatedly. so maybe i didn't have a lot of good relationships early on.
i felt this constant pressure to look perfect, and would often say things that were off putting to push men away to see if they'd stick around. it was complicated. even in my head i didn't understand him.
i assumed at the time everyone i dated was only interested in sex, i didn't bring much else to the relationship. i didn't have any girl friends. i couldn't bring sex to those relationships so why would they be interested, so i never made any effort.
when i met my now husband it was definitely about the sex. we'd even said it was a short term thing. and then i got sick and had to be in hospital and i called him to say it was over, and he should go find someone else. he came to see me, he took care of me, we played games and laughed, watched tv together and when he asked me why i'd said it was over i told him the truth, he was sad i felt like that but he showed me i was worth more.
i'm not sure how to change that feeling yourself but u are worth more. i still have those doubts, especially with the men i encounter in life. but i have gone on to make an amazing girl friend, and some male friends who definitely aren't interested in sex.
if who ever u are with isn't showing you that you are worth more then maybe they're not right for you be kind to yourself
Thanks for that Tata, that does give hope. I don't put much effort into friends either as I assume they will be backstabbing bitches. I find it difficult to trust people or believe they will like me.
I know how you feel and I have been having psychotherapy for 2 and a 1/2 years - very painful. I wasn't sexually or physically abused. And interestingly, although I wasn't textbook emotionally abused, I was very much conditionally loved. I was good looking and intelligent but whenever I showed the "not so nice" parts of myself, e.g not wanting to do something, not being positive about everything, feeling low in spirits, I was aware (it was subtle) that those parts of myself were unloveable so I subconsciously repressed them - as an adult I became a high functionning neurotic - able to hold down a very good job but suffering from debilitating depression and anxiety in my personal life and finding it difficult to be close to anyone ( I realise now because I thought if they actually knew the real me they would stop loving/liking me)
I totally get the ill thing. I never tell anyone I'm ill - I take about 1000 pills to cover it up ( obviously I am working on this in psychotherapy!) and having had praise for many years on my looks, when I don't look good I am gripped by low self esteem.
I met my other half 14 years ago and I was lucky in that he fell in love with all of me. When we had dc. that's when the pain started and I decided to go into therapy.
Sorry for long post - just wanted to share that if you are deep down a sensitive person, sometimes it doesn't have to be full on abuse to result in problemes with the development in your true self
Ah! OP, how our stories match so perfectly right now.
I feel you've written all of my feelings for me!
Would you object to me showing my therapist this thread tomorrow?? Simply to put into words exactly how I feel! I've always known in my head how I feel but not known how to actually express it in a way people understand.
Great posts here.
The two pp's make a good point about therapy. If you are aware of a dysfunction in your behaviour then it's time to get in a head sherlock to work on following all the clues to solve the mystery. Once you, with a trained professional, uncover the clues you /one is astounded how obvious they were, yet we couldn't see them bcs we were so tied up in knots and confused.
You've taken the first step by recognising something isn't right and wanting to change it /explore what's going on. That's half the battle! The rest is relatively straightforward, if painful at times, as a pp says.
Wynter, no problem. It is a really difficult thing to express I feel.
I don't know if maybe I was abused when I was a child (have no memories)
Momentumista, you need to see a psychotherapist. x
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.