Can a Sexless Relationship Work?

Question: Dear Luise: I have let myself get backed into a corner. I don’t know what to do about it and I’m feeling really sad and angry. I’m in a live-in relationship with a guy who doesn’t want sex. He did at first, but after a few months, he simply stopped. Years have passed and nothing has changed. He won’t consider counseling and I can’t seem to accept this. I miss sexual expression. He says he loves me, and he’s the perfect man for me in every other way, full of humor and caring, but that doesn’t fix it. How do I move past this or move out? I’m so weary of sitting on the fence. It feels awful! Sincerely, Eleanor

Answer: Dear Eleanor: Thank you for bringing your question to my web site. It’s a tough one to deal with and not as uncommon as you might think. People just don’t often talk about it. Mr. Cool may say he loves you, but the proof is in his actions, not what he says. If not, certainly in his definition of love. He came into the relationship under false pretenses, offering you a full life, and then discontinued a major facet of your mutual expression. He apparently didn’t discuss it with you before hand, which would have allowed you to make a choice. You were never asked if you wanted to be a close “friend” or compatible “roommate”. He was patently dishonest. Also, it doesn’t sound like he has wanted to talk about it afterwards. He is, in taking care of himself and his needs, totally discounting yours. He is choosing not to notice how rejected you feel and the hopelessness that has probably settled over you. Years! That’s not healthy and you know it!

Mr.Cool may not want counseling but it might be helpful for you. You didn’t get to vote. See that very, very clearly. Many relationships eventually settle down into a minor focus on sexual expression, but it’s there, always, as a “possibility”. You never got past the honeymoon…nothing “settled down”. Mr. Cool decreed. That doesn’t sound very loving…not really. You need some help in understanding why you have accepted his edict. Have you been living in hope? Are you afraid of being alone? Do you see half a relationship as better than none? What’s going on with you? That’s the issue here. He’s giving you the message that you aren’t OK. Staying may reflect that you agree. It’s time to get that you matter to you! Come to you own defense! Blessings, Luise

222 Responses to Can a Sexless Relationship Work?

  1. S. February 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I have been with my boyfriend 5 yrs now, two of which we had a fairly good sex life. He is currenty on pressure medication and it has affected his interest. In the last 3 years we have had sex once. I am going out of my mind I dont know what to do. I love him but can this relationship work, I feel so neglected sad and angry sometimes. I think I may need counselling. S.

    • Luise Volta March 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      We can love someone was can’t live with. Counseling might help you make a decision. You matter, too! Blessings, Luise

  2. R. May 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    My boyfriend and I have not had sex in over 2 years. We have 3 kids and I don’t know what to do. I have become very depressed and bitter and I am having a hard time dealing with this. I am busy with the kids and try not to think about it but I am sick of being rejected and told all I have to do is this and that when I have tried everything. He finds excuses for everything. He would not have sex with me when I was pregnant with our daughter said he didn’t want to hurt the baby. We didn’t have sex for months and then when we finally did I got pregnant then again he wouldn’t touch me at all during the pregnancy. It has been over 2 years and before that a year and I am upset by this. I wish I could leave but we have 3 young kids and I can’t imagine what this would do to them. I just don’t know how much longer I can go on living like this where I feel like I am just so disgusting and ugly to him. He tells I’m beautiful and were soul mates but I just don’t buy it. I think he just thinks of me as a cook, maid and someone who takes care of our kids. I have become bitter, resentful and told him today we don’t even need to kiss anymore. That is all he will do is give me a peck when he is leaving somewhere or in the morning or after a good meal but it means nothing so I told him let’s not even do that anymore since he won’t have sex with me what is the point of a grandma kiss. I don’t know how to cope with this anymore I feel like I am crazy sometimes. R.

    • R. May 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

      I am 39 yrs old have 3 kids. I am at the end of my patience and not sure what to do. My boyfriend won’t have sex with me and it’s been almost 2 years. Over time it was because the kids or he was tired of I think he would pick a fight with me just so we wouldn’t have to “talk about it”. We have 3 kids and I am torn what to do because I don’t want them to end up with a weekend Dad. I find myself getting more and more depressed and it’s all I can think about when I go to bed which I find myself crying more and more. I am still the same size before I had kids and eat healthy and fix myself up but I find myself not wanting to do my hair or dress nice at all anymore, what’s the point. He tells me I’m beautiful and he loves me and were soulmates and he wants to marry me but I just don’t buy it. He will buy me these really sweet cards about how much he loves me but I am so confused. He tells me he wants to have sex but he has to get in the mind set. When I was pregnant with my 2nd he would only have sex with me a few times he said he didn’t want to hurt the baby then about 9 months later we finally had sex and I got pregnant. Again he wouldn’t have sex with me during pregnancy and after it was because he was too tired from being up with the baby all night. He is an amazing Dad and I am fortunate to be a full time Mom but I think all he thinks of me is a cook, housekeeper and just someone who takes care of the kids. I work so hard from morning til night without a break and I never ask for time for myself. I am so frustrated that I wish I could just have an affair so I could feel wanted but I can’t do that to my kids and I can’t even do that to him. I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this I feel like I am going crazy and I have no self esteem anymore. I can’t believe I let this go on for so long but I don’t want to hurt the kids. I kept thinking things would change he kept telling me things will get better we’ll make time for each other but he doesn’t and he hasn’t. He works from home and I know he is not cheating on me he is a workaholic he loves working late at night instead of spending time with me. Any advice? I am desperate and tired of being alone. R.

      • Luise Volta May 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

        R. My guess is that he wants it the way it is and it suits him. It doesn’t suit you to have him be how he is. Leaving is going to cost you and staying is going to cost you. It’s is about accepting what you have and learning that it is his kind of love and validation…or leaving because it’s not enough. It isn’t going to change and it just is what it is. Blessings, Luise

        • S. May 21, 2013 at 11:43 am #

          I am in the same situation even down to the grandma kiss.
          I laid the ground by guessing that he has low testosterone, he said he went to doctor and got his cholesterol checked and has high cholesterol. The doctor gave him Viagra and he tried to hide it from me,but I am in a sexless relationship so I’ve driven myself nuts and being nosey I found them which hurt my feelings even more.
          Still he freezes when I even get close to him and I am so depressed. I love him he is the perfect man then again is he cheating and playing the perfect man?
          I’m getting closer to not wanting to feel like this anymore, when I’m out in public and guys come on me it makes me sad.
          If I could only tell the future.
          The only thing I can do is prevent from feeling like I do by leaving.
          My heart will be broke and it will hurt but my hearts broke and it hurts now.
          I’m stuck and he has the answer to being the perfect one. He eaither really has medical problem or cheating there goes the same two options. He shuts down when I try to talk about it, and then I want to believe its medical, then I get mad what about my feelings.
          I am finding that this is happening to men more now why? Are we being secretly being poisoned.
          It’s only up to us to choose our crazy fait.
          Good luck. S.S.

          • R. June 10, 2013 at 10:44 am #

            I can empathize completely. I would be upset if I found viagra but maybe he does have low testosterone. maybe that is a good sign that he is at least trying instead of giving up completely on sex. I don’t know your situation but if it this has been going on for a long time and he refuses to be intimate with you then maybe you should move on and find someone who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. It’s hard when you love someone but it’s also hard to be with someone day in and day out when they just no desire at all. I have become so depressed and now seeking counseling. We have 3 kids so I don’t want to break up the family and end up having to split custody otherwise I would have left but I can’t bear to be apart from my kids they are all under the age of 10. I think you are deserving of someone who wants to be with you emotionally, physically It can affect your daily life.We are going on almost 3 years of no sex and it’s beyond frustrating I just hope you don’t have to suffer through something as long as that. I don’t even try anymore with my boyfriend I just turn over and go to sleep. I wish you the best of luck and I hope everything works out for you. R.

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