My boyfriend and I (both 41) are in love & totally committed to each other for the long haul – but are trying to overcome mismatched libidos. We do discuss this & he’s recently started seeing a dr. for low T treatment – but he also faces stress (from work, financial issues, family issues, etc.), and intermittent pain from other health problems. He claims he wants to please me, but recently said he feels he can never fully meet my needs. He has also asked that I back off a little and let him initiate things (kissing, sex, etc.) – but when I do this, he still doesn’t initiate anymore often than before, and usually waits until I’m beyond desperate to do so.
When we started dating a few months ago, we had some passionate makeout sessions (that DIDN’T end in sex)… I’ve told him how much I miss that, too, yet he won’t even engage in that anymore. I have to practically beg him for kisses that are more than just pecks on the lips, and then they are given grudgingly, NOT because he wants to. His excuses always relate to new stressors that came up in his life after we met (unrelated to our relationship), his low T, etc. The lack of affection from him has caused a huge amount of tension between us, and leaves me feeling very unwanted and undesired – and as a woman, that is a tough feeling to deal with. I’ve told him this, too, in a calm and non-accusatory way (using “I” statements as much as possible). I masturbate in between the times I get to see him (on average, once every other day or so) – he is aware of this & is fine with it, but can’t seem to understand that I don’t want to have to resort to this so often, and how badly I need INTIMACY with HIM.
I am encouraging and supportive of him in all areas of his life, try to be very understanding of his issues, and have suggested alternative ways that he can still fulfill my needs when he’s not aroused himself (using his hands on me, sex toys, etc.) He agrees to do this occasionally, but says he doesn’t want to be engaged in sex acts with me as often as I would like b/c sex isn’t a high priority for him (he’d rather be holding hands, cuddling, giving me a peck on the lips instead of deep, passionate kisses, etc.) – all of which I appreciate and enjoy, too… but there needs to be more than just that. He claims that doing the suggested “alternatives” for me when he has trouble performing leaves HIM frustrated and feeling like the relationship is one-sided b/c HIS needs are still not being met (he now fears that he’ll get really turned on and then lose his erection and be unable to get any release himself – which has happened often before he started his low T treatments). But he’s also told me that sex has never been a high priority for him, even when he was younger and didn’t have the issues with low T. He’s been cheated on multiple times in past relationships, and admits that this could be a big reason why. While I’ve assured him that I would never do that to him (I’ve been cheated on, too, and it’s horrible), I’ve also calmly explained how this situation is frustrating for me, as well (to the point where I WISH I could eliminate some of my urges and need for intimacy), and suggested alternatives – yet he will only indulge my suggestions occasionally, b/c of how it makes HIM feel… and in the end, we’re BOTH left feeling frustrated and unhappy.
He’s a good man, treats me well otherwise, tells me I’m beautiful all the time, and assures me that he is 100% attracted to me and my body – that it’s not my fault in any way. But now that I’ve suggested alternative solutions, he isn’t completely happy with those suggestions, either – and offers no other answers, other than for me to back off and suffer in silence when he isn’t in the mood to be passionate or intimate, even in ways other than intercourse (which seems to be most of the time). I’m willing to give the low T treatments more time to work and see if things improve (since he just started them, as well as taking Cialis Daily, and it does SEEM to be helping a little, albeit slowly)… Also, I have told him multiple times how proud I am of him for being open with me and discussing such a tough topic, and for seeking medical help and treatment – that’s something a lot of men won’t do.
I know I’m not alone… it just feels that way sometimes, and it’s incredibly depressing for me. These issues have caused me to be left in tears more often than not, after each time we see each other and I'm left yet again feeling undesired by him. But we love each other and I’m committed to making this relationship work, if at all possible. If things don’t improve in a few more weeks, I’m thinking it might be a good idea to see a sex therapist. Any other advice on how I should approach this in the meantime?
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