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My boyfriend and I's sex life has dropped drastically

By November 29, 2010 - 11:09am
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My boyfriend and I will have been dating for 2 years in March but we just don't have sex like we used to. I know in the beginning it's the "honey-mooner days" so we could barely keep our hands off of each other for more than 30 seconds but in July 2009 it really just dropped off. I originally became really self-conscious and decided to talk to him about it where he informed me that he had just been switched over to some new medication (for his migraines) that drops his libido. I decided I would be patient and wait to see if anything changed. It's now November 2010 and the sex life is still where it was before. I feel like we have sex once every two weeks, if not longer. When we do have sex, it's passionate and very much the whole "i love you" type sex as opposed to the some fun quickies, but having that slow more intimate sex gives me hope that at least when we do have it the love is still there. I would like to increase sex on all levels as well as our sexual experimentation. I have been patient recently because he is clinically depressed and I know that when one is depressed sex drive takes a hit. It's not that he just won't have sex either, becasue when I initiate it he still gets hard and he'll still be down for it. There's the option for me just to initiate it more often but even in the beginning of the relationship I was doing that and that worked well until he just started turning me down so now I don't go for it as much anymore. I really worried and concerned, I know that lack of sex in a relationship can mean that the relationship is failing and that spark isn't there anymore. I myself and quite the nympho and want sex everyday as much as I can get it so for me it's been quite a challenge to be patient about this for so long. I miss the frequency of having sexytime 1-2 times a day but I realize that we probably won't get up to that. My biggest issue with the whole thing is that he just plain doesn't initiate it. I don't know what to do at this point becasue I've already talked to him a few times and I don't want to be hounding him about it, but I really want us to be close and intimate. He barely even talks to me about sex either! In the past I have brought up fantasies, fetishes, things that we're into and he never really continues the conversation nor does he try to initiate anything new in the bedroom. Help.. I'm concerned, worried, paranoid, upset, and most of all sexually-frustrated!!!

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HERWriter Guide


Go on line for sex toys. They are very private and discreet (if that is your wish) and look like a regular company on your credit card statement (in other words, it's doesn't say "BIG OLE VIBRATOR PLACE FOR THE LADIES!!!" on paper!) and the shipping is also very discreet. There won't be pictures on the outside! :)

As far as things are going, your boyfriend needs to just stop with putting the "maybe we should break up" thing over your head, when it suits him or when it's easier to say that rather than really talk about the problems (because you know that's why he's doing it, right?) as he cannot bait and switch like this, it's utterly unfair to you. Next time he does it, tell him to put his money where is mouth is and explain how hurtful and stressful that is.

Oh and your boyfriend may not like the idea of you using a vibrator but many men like to join in the fun so see how it goes.

Keep strong, Korri!

December 3, 2010 - 1:12pm

You know, now that you mention it he does always clean up the house and is always there to pick up slack on rent or whatever I need. So maybe I'm just not noticing the things he is doing to show me he loves me, and they're just in more subtle ways.

HAHAHA! Funny you ask! His family did come from Ireland so he actually is Irish! :P

I have many friends and I do go out occasionally. Probably not as much as I should, but that's just becasue I enjoy spending time with him. I have very, close, supportive friends who I can talk to and are here for me, so my support system is good. =)

He isn't in to any treatment yet, we're working on getting his insurance squared away. Though on the positive side, him and I identified his depression together and he has acknowledged it and admitted that he needs to do something for it. At first I thought he would be reluctant to going to an actual doctor so I found more natural remedies, but he approached me later and said that he thinks he needs to actually get prescribed something. He does not exercise, though he does want to start. I hope he does because he's gained like 30lbs since we've been together. >.< Not that I'm any less attracted to him, just makes me worried that it could continue down this path.

With talking to you I think I have realized that his depression seems to be the brunt of all of our issues right now. He's always very irritable and quick to anger with me. We recently had a spat the other day and as the fight went on we got off topic of the actual issue and he began saying things like he "wished I didn't love him so I would leave him and he wouldn't have to deal with this stuff anymore" (referring to the stress of the argument) IT really hurt my feelings and freaked me out when he said that, I get the feeling he's trying to push me away as he has already done so to some of his friends. I think as of right now I need to be supportive of him and put my problems on the back burner until he is in a better place. I don't feel that he has the ability to put the effort forth to focus on my issues because he's wrapped up in his own..

I know this is what you do, but thank you so much for talking to me. I've talked to so many people that know me personally but I really needed to get some help on our relationship from an outside perspective.

December 1, 2010 - 3:43pm
(reply to Korri)

Well not that I am all knowing but its seems that lots of women go through this problem with the sex decrease, romance decreasing, men getting defensive when we as woman try to discuss how we feel about it. It's almost like to them that women are ragging and complaining or putting them down. Which I know as a woman that is not what we are trying to do. We just want to talk out our feelings and figure out where the problem lies and resolve it. Men just are not the same as us. Its seems feelings, emotions, are basically "Drama" to them that they don't need. I think your on the right track on being patient and if you really love him you will put your needs and wants aside and love him unconditionally. If you be sweet, don't bring up the sex issue, ask him how his day was? Get more involved with his feelings but be settle about it. You'll discover allot. I have had depression issue's and have take med's. The med's did not fix me, I fixed me through therapy, excersize, surrounding myself around posative influences and starting doing things like hobbies that I like for me. My man telling me he likes the house its clean or my dinner I cooked was great or telling me I look hot, constant posative helped a bunch. Your boyfriend is not happy with himself, something is deep seeded, perhaps from childhood. He puts himself down and since he is miserable he will sometimes take you down with him. Let him know next time he makes a hurtful commment like that to you that you love him even more since you have to love him because he doesn't love himself right now. That for every door that closes in our life another one opens and there is always a tomorrow. Sometimes depression causes suicidle thoughts and being posative and expressing there is hope really does help. You plant a tiny seed in his head everytime and it will grow. Last I suggest you buy yourself a christmas gift, a "vibrator." They have silent ones and there small. He does not need to know you have it because some men get upset with the woman buying one but hey you need to take care of that and boy do they work great. Don't use it everyday as it will desencatize you. Maybe when he is not around. I wish you the best of luck and if you stay posative that will rub off on him. Its hard to deal with a love one suffering from depression and you can only be supportive, give love and posative feed back but it will be him that will need to make the change to get better. He has to want it though. That is all, I hope I said something that will help you along this chapter of your life.

December 2, 2010 - 8:02pm
(reply to MiaBella)

That is EXACTLY what happens when I try to talk to him about the romance, intimacy, etc. He seems to think I'm just "causing more problems." I think you're correct in the fact that he's getting defensive and I think when I do talk to him about that stuff he WANTS to be able to attend to my needs and feels bad that he can't so he gets upset.
Since writing on this forum, (which has been incredibly helpful by the way, thank you all so much) I have started asking more about his day and plain just shutting up so he can talk. I don't have a problem listening, but I do have a problem keeping my mouth shut, I like to talk. >.< I've noticed tiny improvements over the past couple days since I've been paying close attention to his needs as well as showering him with love and affection and telling him what an amazing person he is. We even had sex last night, and it was awesome! lol
I know that medication will not fix his depression alone, he will have to work at it himself to get better. Right now, I think he needs the medication to boost his attitude up a little bit, because right now he doesn't even have that attitude to START changing anything. I myself am on medication for my mood swings and I was amazed how much better my attitude was and how happy I was everyday when I woke up. I still have to make a conscious effort to keep myself from getting TOO irritated with people but if I can do it I know he can do it too!
Thank you for the advice in regards to the hurtful comments. That sounds like a really good idea and I'm going to try it next time. Every time we've fought, since the beginning of our relationship he gets SO angry and then starts alluding to breaking up even though I've told him to stop and him and I both know it's not what he wants. It's just tough for me because then I think "Well, what if he really DOESN'T want to be with me and feels stuck in our relationship." I really don't think that's what's going on, but I can't help get paranoid because I love him so much and I love us together.
I will look into a vibrator or something. I've been to sex shops and have always wanted to buy some toys, but for some reason I'm just slightly embarrassed to do it! I'm not the type of person to get embarrassed either. Thank you so much!!!!!!! You have no idea how much it means.

December 3, 2010 - 8:58am
HERWriter Guide

Hi again Korri!

The fact that he's more cuddly and tactile with you is great news! Some men are not "romantic" in the way novels talk about: surprise champagne dinners/vacations/flowers etc but their idea of showing their love could be taking care of the home, fixing things and making sure his partner has everything she needs. Is he like this?

I so know what you mean when he says "If two people can't do it on their own they're not made to work." (He's not Irish by any chance, is he?!!). It's makes perfect sense to him and is completely frustrating for you!

His reluctance to go out socially may certainly have to do with his depression. As he goes through this, do you at least have a social life of your own? Friends you can talk to and go out with? That's really important for you, Korri.

Also, what treatment is he on for his depression? Is he on medication or in therapy? Does he take exercise? We cannot just live with depression. Depression does not heal itself. What steps is he taking in this matter?

December 1, 2010 - 3:12pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Korri

Thanks for you post and welcome! I'm sure you have seen that your problem is our most common sex and relationships question here on EmpowHER.

Yo are probably right - your boyfriend being on medication for clinical depression is probably the biggest factor in the demise of your love life and you no longer are sexually compatible as a result.

He may be able to have his doctor tweak his medication somehow but if it's working for his depression (or migraines) and changing it may not help him in that area, it may not be a good idea.

You are going to have to continue to show patience. He has a disease and sex may not be on his mind much anymore - that's what often comes along with depression. Is he also going to counseling for his depression? I can understand your frustrations but also remember that his depression may be blocking him from understanding where you are coming from. He may also be very embarrassed about things, since he used to act quite differently.

Since you are still having sex, continue to help him out by initiating things and you have also said the sex is loving and compassionate. This is excellent news!

Talk to him about perhaps heading to couples therapy to increase your feelings of closeness but don't harp on the sexual part. It seems that the quality is great, it's the quantity that's lacking so take heart in that. That's a good thing.

You'll have to tread very carefully between your wants/needs versus what he can actually offer right now, based on his clinical depression. You both deserve a great sex life but as a couple, you're not on a level playing field at the moment.

How do you feel about couple's therapy? Besides the sex, how is your relationship? Do you talk, cuddle, go out, laugh etc?

November 29, 2010 - 1:57pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

Wow! I wish I would have come here earlier, this is amazing.

Last I knew he WAS on medication for his migraines but since being together he has been able to get off many of his other medications so I will actually have to check with him to see if he is even taking the medications that affected his libido before. Only recently had he identified and acknowledged his depression, he does show interest in getting with a psychologist but we are waiting on insurance (he recently got a new company) and he can procrastinate on some things... especially the doctor. I've grown up with many psychological disorders in the family, depression being one of them, so I'm familiar with the symptoms and much more understanding than others which I am fortunate for.

As far as our relationships, we've had a few bumps in the road but for the most part I'd say we're pretty good. We're currently working on handling our conflicts maturely and rationally. In the beginning I was the one being unreasonable, but with his already short fuse and recent depression his patience with me wains quickly and our conversations quickly turn into a one-sided yelling match. I can happily say, since our last major argument this has improved greatly, but still a challenge that I am confident we can work through.
The second issue most pressing is the overall intimacy and sex. I have spoke with him a couple times on the decline in intimacy and affection between us and he becomes defensive as usual (maybe because he feels bad) but has acknowledged it and said he would try. I began to get afraid because with the troubles we went through financially and with losing a roommate it kinda put a lot of stress between the two of us, and then things that we used to do all the time stopped, holding-hands, kisses lessened, etc. Since he's not very romantic (which I have also talked to him about, he says "he just doesn't do those things") I get real freaked out when the things that we do share start to decline. Recently I have started being more cuddly, touchy-feely, initiating hand-holding, so on, and he seems to be following my lead, so I have been happy with that as well. :)
Other than that we still talk everyday, miss each other when we're apart, cuddle every night, kiss, laugh, hug, say i love you and all that. We don't go out.. much.. ever.. at all.. It really drives me insane, possibly related to his depression as well?

As far as couple's counseling I have suggested it a few times and his response is "If two people can't do it on their own they're not made to work." I'm dealing with a very stubborn, prideful man. lol

November 30, 2010 - 3:50pm
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