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ask: My boyfriend has a low sex drive. How can I get it back in our relationship

By Anonymous
 
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My boyfriend swears that there is no issues in out relationship and that I have created the issues myself. When what I am experiencing from him is little intimacy. We have sex maybe once a week and when we do it, it seems really awkward and like we are just doing it for the sake of doing it. He has gained weight which I don't really have a problem with but it has all gone on his tummy which tends to get in the way and as soon as he has noticed this when we are doing the deed he will lose his erection. I also suspect that he is quite controlling and secretly is enjoying having me almost beg for it sounds awful but I know this is coming from a place of insecurity due to him not being able to be a 'real man' (his perspective, not mine) and being able to satisfy me. I, however wish he would just talk to me about it and we could try and work out why this is happening as it is causeing great tension between us both and I feel like it may eventually be the end of us. When ever I talk to him about it, he would get really defensive and try and blame me and tell me it is my fault because I am fuelling the situation by talking about it. Also due to being rejected when I have tried to be sensual and instigate love making I am now feeling low and un sexy and that I am begging for it which has put me in a submissive place which is unattractive to him no doubt. What can I do? potentilly we are great together but this is a big problem. I have to say in all my old relationships my guy has always been the one to instigate sex and I have been almost been fighting him off.

I understand that due to my boyfriend being 40 and the fact that he has gained a little weight probably has a lot to do with it but I canot be in a sexless relationship and I would eventually have to move on if I cannot get this sorted. I love him and I really don't want to leave him. Please help!

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I'm in an extremely similar situation however do not think at all that it's a health issue.
My boyfriend is approaching 40 and me being 10 years younger I am pretty sure that I have a higher sex drive than he does.
I have tried to not 'nag' when he continually denies me sex and sometimes I can just let it go. But it is all the time! And it does start to make me feel as though it's something deeper than just being turned on.
We also used to have a great sexual relationship however since returning from an extremely romantic holiday in July things have changed drastically. I have tried many different ways to instigate it all but everytime he tells me that 'he's not in the mood'; 'is watching tv'; etc.
One day he did say something which I took notice to and that was that he's just not feeling like having sex and it's a phase he hopes to get through quickly.
Do you think that maybe the issue is purely that - that he's just going through a 'phase'?
We've only been together a year but I am really happy with him and I don't want this to be the end of us...
Talking to him doesn't really help because not only does he get defensive but he shuts me out completely, rolls over and won't talk to me at all. He's not an emotional person and battles to talk about feelings etc.

September 26, 2010 - 5:42am
Alison Beaver (reply to Anonymous)

I think the last part of your story is the most important, and it is not related to sex.

"Talking to him doesn't really help because not only does he get defensive but he shuts me out completely, rolls over and won't talk to me at all. He's not an emotional person and battles to talk about feelings etc."

If he wants a mature, healthy and long-term relationship, he needs to learn to talk about his feelings, as well as show care and concern about your feelings. A person who rolls over, shuts you out, becomes defensive is not displaying respect, care, concern, maturity or fair-fighting (or fair-talking) skills. I am sure he does care about you, respect you, etc....but his actions are not showing these feelings.

I would take "sex" out of the picture right now, as the basic foundation of this relationship needs some work. Many of us have "been there", and it's up to both of you if this is "the end of us" as you said, or if he is willing to put in the work into the relationship. It is so much easier to roll over, watch TV, etc than to talk with another human being and "deal" with that other person's feelings..but that is what a relationship is all about. A relationship is about dealing and talking through some of the tough times together, so that you can have many more good times. If he is not willing to talk with you through the tough times and thinks ignoring the issues will resolve them, or they will be forgotten, he really needs to grow up! (I say this, as I am in a similar situation.. my husband is 46 and is 11 years older than I am). We had some tough times, too (as many long-term relationships do), and he did not want to talk through some issues. Now that we have gotten past some of them (there will always be issues in a relationship), we have a deeper understanding of each other, and a deeper understanding of how to communicate with each other.

This is a crucial time in your relationship, as this is the time you are both learning how to effectively communicate with each other. If he refused to participate in this crucial step, I am not sure how the relationship could move forward in a healthy manner.

Please do not take this advice as an ultimatum with him. He could be a person who does not care anymore and does not know how to tell you he has lost interest, or, he could be a person who has never learned how to effectively communicate during difficult times, and may benefit from some couples counseling. It can take some time, but patience, care, appreciation and understanding from you will go a long ways!

Perhaps asking him to go to couples counseling would be helpful, as the third person helping you both "hear" and really listen to each other has been EXTREMELY helpful to me and my husband! That person can teach both of you "fair fighting" and effective communication skills...it will benefit both of you together and separately.

Good luck!

September 26, 2010 - 8:12am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

Hi Alison,

Thanks for your reply. I agree with you that he needs to learn to open up and talk about these 'difficult' situations but from day 1 he has always told me that he is not an emotional person and it has been the cause of previous broken relationships with him. He is such a great person and he does care - he just doesn't know how to show it and I can see that through his exterior and that's why I really want to work at this.
I will definitely sit him down one day when we're both relaxed and have a talk with him - he has moments when he opens up to me and I just need to time my chat with him.
And I've given this all a lot of thought since posting this and will try just put sex aside for now until I am able to talk to him...

Thanks again!

September 27, 2010 - 9:52pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have sinced tried to suggest he goes to the doctors to get himself checked out but his response to that was it is hard to be intimate with someone who moans all of the time and said that I am forcing him to go. Now this evening he has just gone for a walk without me and I am pretty sure he had gone down the pub for a pint which is one of the things which is causing his problem. I think there is nothing I can do with him if he is not interested in betterkng our relationship. Time to move on maybe?

May 24, 2010 - 1:39pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

I think Cary has give you great advice (although 40 is still young and many men don't have sexual issues at this age).

I'd like to add that I think you should start treating this as a health issue, not a sexual one. If you are "moaning" about it, he'll continue to choose the pub over you or getting some help.

Like his heart or his brain, this may well BE a health issue. Men are very reticent to go to the doctor for their sexual performance but may do for a health problem. This may be all sound like arguing semantics but nonetheless, it may work.

The time now is to put the "I want sex" talk to the side and consider you, as a couple, dealing with a health issue. I think it may be much more helpful. Think of it - if he does in fact has this health issue, making him feel even worse by talking about lack of sex, is going to push him away further.

It may not work but it's just an idea to throw out there!

I wish you both the very best - I know this isn't an easy time.

Susan

May 24, 2010 - 2:02pm
CarmenLocks_xx

i have exactly the same problem! i have tried talking about it but then get accused of tryinmg to make him feel shit. i have a hvery high sex drive and in previous relationships this wasnt a problem. we have been together3 years and at the start everything was perfect. we had sex more than 5 times a day without fail! however as expectred in most relationships it has went down but now its once a week at the most. I try and seduce him and offer it on a plate. i am slim have a great body! its at the stage now i feel rejected and hurt and am looking for other ways out. i love him dearly and wouldnt cheat but this is a joke!

May 24, 2010 - 7:34am
Cary Cook BSN RN

Hi Anonymous

The first thing you should know is this likely has nothing to do with you at all. Impotence is a touchy subject. Men feel it makes them less than a man, even though it does not. They are often ashamed and defensive about it. The inability to maintain an erection is a form of impotence. Knowing he is having trouble will make him want to avoid sex so he doesn't have to go through having that difficulty again, because he is embarrassed. It can become a vicious cycle.

I am concerned because weight gain, aging, and impotence together can mean a problem with blood flow. He could have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes or something along those lines. Those things cause not only impotence, but serious health problems. So I am wondering if he has had a medical checkup recently. If he has not, he should. There is a strong and well-studied link between impotence and cardiac problems.

It could also be that as he is aging, his testosterone level is dropping. This is not at all unusual. Women go through menopause, but men's hormones change, too. Low testosterone means low sex drive. This is something that can be checked with a blood test during his exam. Low testosterone will also make him more tired and mentally not as sharp, so if that is the culprit and his health care provider prescribes testosterone gel, he will feel a million times perkier than he does now.

The bottom line here is that it is very important for him to have a physical and make sure he does not have a health problem that could end up serious if not treated. I suggest he be checked out before either of you assume this is in his head. We also have a page on impotence: http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/impotence

Please let us know how you do, and thanks for writing.

May 24, 2010 - 7:04am
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