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?

Leave a Reply