How do I fulfill my needs while my gf recovers from sexual trauma?
This is something I've been thinking about talking about for years but never took the steps to, but here goes. Long post time.
My girlfriend was molested as a child. She blocked it from her memory and was a fully sexual person when we first got together at 19, and we had a healthy sex life for the first year and change of our relationship. We started having sex less when she started remembering her experience, and over the course of 3 years the time between us having sex got longer and longer until it just stopped. In the first 6 months of that I was pretty irritable and put on 25 pounds despite no change in eating habits and daily exercise (I historically had super high metabolism and rarely put on weight, and could easily lose it, it's now been 4 1/2 years since then and I can't take the weight off for the life of me) and experienced some other mental and physical symptoms that are common in members of couples whose sex life is stagnated.
While it's hard on me, it's obviously not something I blame or resent her for. She's done a great job of recognizing her trauma and trying to take steps to heal from it, but it's a very slow process, mostly involving meditation, yoga, and guided thought sessions. It's now been 2 years since we've last had sex, and while I fully support the time it's going to take for her to heal and understand why she needs to abstain in the mean time, I've kind of hit a breaking point.
I know not to pressure her at all, but masturbating has become stressful and doesn't really bring me much pleasure anymore. It's nowhere near the level of euphoria the real deal is, and completely lacks the intimacy, and I've gotten to a point of genuine physical starvation. I recently proposed the idea of an open relationship to her since I felt trapped in a situation where I can't get the fulfillment I need, and having the opportunity to find it elsewhere while staying emotionally loyal and honest with her might help that. She understood why I proposed the idea, but wasn't comfortable with it.
We have a fantastic life together and I don't want the relationship to end. She's my best friend and we have a very healthy and honest relationship, and live our life as a team. I could never consider cheating on her, she doesn't deserve to be lied to and betrayed, but I feel like if an honest open situation isn't something she's open to, I don't know what else to do to find sexual fulfillment. She feels terrible about it, since she feels like at the rate she's recovering, it may still be another 2 or 3 years before she's fully ready to be physically intimate again, and she knows how much of a toll it's taken on me. I've recently started experiencing anxiety, and just snuggling and being emotionally intimate doesn't really satisfy it anymore. Neither of us know what to do to make sure we're both in a position where we're supporting each other and our needs are also met.