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Laura Writes:

Question:

I’m 33 years old, married 15 yrs, and have 2 children. I quit drinking 6 yrs ago and have continued a recovery program. I’ve also been in therapy and have worked on several issues, including childhood sexual abuse, witnessing physical abuse of my mother, father’s alcoholism, neglect and abandonment by mother. The aftereffects that I deal with are traumatic memories, flashbacks, dissociation, difficulty with intimacy, and chronic tension headaches that are frequently disabling. Like I said, I’ve been in therapy and have actually come a long way. I consider my life to be quite good. I’m sober, I have a great supportive husband, wonderful kids, and a career that is very satisfying. My dilemma is this, I find myself occasionally becoming emotionally bonded to certain women in my life and I have trouble knowing what it is I actually want from them. These women usually are people I look up to and respect, such as a therapist or a supervisor. I feel very needy and clingy towards them. In a maternal way I want them to take care of me. I feel very little and almost desperate for their attention. It doesn’t stop with that though. Eventually I begin fantasizing making love to them. I want them to love me and make love to me. Also these women I choose are almost assuredly straight. this is very frustrating for me. I constantly question my sexuality and it causes problems with my relationship with my husband. What can I do to quit falling in love with unavailable, straight women? Or if I am gay and just in denial, why am i not attracted to gay women?

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

Perhaps you are confusing friendship with love. Maybe your attractions are misconceptions. You seem to be “falling for” any woman who shows compassion toward you. Could it be that you’re using these women to fill voids from your childhood? It’s not unusual for heterosexuals to be attracted to someone of the same sex. Many times women share a special bond with each other which can easily be confused with other feelings. It sounds as though you missed out on some of the social skills we learn in childhood such as reciprocity, and knowing the limits within relationships. Could it be that you are willing to give more than your fair share in a relationship? Try to focus your attention on learning from these women instead of loving them. Learn to love their admirable qualities, and make them your own. Work on resolving the issues from your childhood. You can’t look towards the future when issues from your past keep resurfacing. Best of luck! – Anne

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