I’m afraid of sex with my new man
Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona answers your problems
Dear Fiona, Since my marriage broke up I have spent a lot of time on my own.
I wasn't ready for another relationship until recently, when I met a lovely man.
He is different in every way from my ex and we can talk together, laugh and joke.
He is kind, understanding and gentle and we get on like a house on fire but our love-making is a real problem.
Everything is fine at first but when he gets close, I freeze.
He senses this and everything is ruined.
He says I am not to worry and will just have to learn to trust someone again but do you think I will?
My ex-husband used to force me whenever he was drunk which may be something to do with the way I react.
Your ex-husband's behaviour almost certainly has a lot to do with your inability to relax and I think your new man is right to say you will have to learn to trust again.
Your past experiences are holding you back and I am sure your boyfriend (who sounds wonderful for being so understanding!) will help. Even if your mind tells you that this is someone you can trust, your body is having trouble believing it and letting go.
After all, at one time you presumably loved your husband and he abused that trust so why should your body believe you now? As long as this man continues to show you understanding and affection, I am sure trust will grow too.
If you want to help things along you might like to get hold of Treat Yourself To Sex — A Guide To Good Loving by Paul Brown and Carolyn Faulder.
The book shows you how to take the pressure off sex and how to learn to enjoy one another first.
It's been around a long time but is still one of the best books available.