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My boyfriend doesn't have sex with me anymore, how do I deal with this emotionally?

By March 16, 2010 - 12:08pm
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My boyfriend and I are both 25 yrs old. When we first started dating we couldn't keep our hands off of each other. I am a very sexual person, and enjoy making love with my partner on a regular basis. He used to be that way also.
Then about 4 months into the relationship we went from making love almost daily, to about once or twice a week, down to once a month and now I'm lucky if we make love once every 3 months... Right now we're going on almost 4.
I have expressed my concern to him, and asked him if there was anything wrong. When it first declined, we were experiencing some challenges in our relationship but we are very communicative and we have worked through and improved on those issues... so at first, he said that was part of the problem, then he thought he might have medical problems but didn't go to the doctor about right away, then it was that there was too much pressure because he was tired of talking about it, and most recently he has come to the conclusion that it is because his work schedule has changed. He went from working days to nights, and also stopped exercising. I know that this is probably the biggest factor.

I express to him, that I know he loves me, and he says he's still attracted to me... so we have tried to do things like taking showers together, or just lying naked together... but everytime we do these things, all I want is to make love because I am so starved for that type of affection! It ends up backfiring and causing me distress.
We moved in together almost 2 months ago, and have yet to make love in our new home. I love him very much, and I know he loves me. He is a very loyal person, and we both agree that we have a great relationship, except for the sex... which is important to me.... he says it bothers him too, but seems to be okay with it as is right now.... meanwhile, I'm feeling empty and hollow in that department. I don't even like to masturbate anymore, because I just wish that it was him making love to me.
I don't know what to do. I try to be understanding, I try to not take it personally, while also still communicating my needs, but sometimes when I do I feel like it makes things worse. He gets upset after a while and doesn't want to talk about it.
Then there are the times where I try to spice things up, hoping it will peak his interest.... and I always end up feeling rejected in the end when he isn't.
Any advice for how to cope? I don't want to leave him... He is the one I want to be with....but how can I cope better until this passes?

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I'm sorry...this sounds really frustrating. I'm happy to hear that you are talking with your boyfriend about this, and he is willing to talk with you about it, too. As you said, it could be a "phase" and he may be so stressed out/frustrated, too, that he may not know how to change this around for the better.

I'm wondering if there have been so many changes, different reasons for the lack of intercourse (sounds like you two are still willing to try to be physically intimate, although you end up wanting more), that perhaps a few additional ideas may be worth a try:
- I read a helpful tip for couples: purposefully not having intercourse for a certain amount of time (3 months?). This could take the pressure & guilt off of your boyfriend, and take the sadness & worry off of you for a few months. You can pretend to just be dating again, with a first kiss...taking it slow..and see what new things you discover about each other knowing that physical contact will build slowly over time, but no intercourse for 3 months.
- I read a book, called Hot Monogamy, that had some great information in it, but may not be helpful unless you are both interested in reading it (and, it may be too much for your boyfriend right now).
- May I suggest couples counseling? It is incredibly helpful to have a third-person perspective, and if you two are both feeling sorry for yourselves in the relationship, wanting things to be different but have fallen into these set roles, not sure how to improve or get out of this rut...it can be amazing to talk with a counselor about each of your feelings, and can help strengthen and build upon your relationship if you have a strong foundation in place.

If you do decide to go into the counseling realm, a suggestion (for the person initiating): one person in the relationship can bring up the topic, do some research into therapists, conduct a few phone "interviews", then let the OTHER person in the relationship choose the one therapist that you have narrowed down from a list that are all acceptable to you. It helps both people feel that they made a choice in therapist (if one person claims "we need counseling", then does all the leg work, researching and choosing, the other person may not have as much ownership of the sessions...and sometimes, the sessions can feel emotionally overwhelming).

I have been to couples counseling with my husband, when we were having some difficulties in our relationship, and it was such a wonderful experience. It was "trying" and emotionally difficult at times, but we knew we just had a few "barriers" that we couldn't get over ourselves that created frustration, and over time, lack of energy for us to even be able to solve the problem on our own. In the end, our previous barriers that felt insurmountable at the time are no longer issues...something we thought would never happen, and now we even have additional tools/techniques to help us cope with future barriers on our own. I hope you are both open to trying this, as many jobs and/or health insurance policies do cover mental health visits.

Let us know what you decide to do!

March 16, 2010 - 12:58pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

I think I will try setting a period of time where we will not have sex, as you suggested.
I think it could be fun to pretend that we have just started dating, (even though we live together.) I think he would really like this idea as well. The hard part will be holding back my own desires, but I will manage.
If that doesn't work, perhaps counseling would be a good idea... it just seems early in our relationship to require counseling... we haven't even ventured into the really tough stuff yet, like getting married/planning a wedding, buying a home, having children etc....but whatever is necessary I suppose!

March 16, 2010 - 3:36pm
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