Question: Dear Luise: I’m sure this question has risen many times before about sexless relationships. I am 25, my boyfriend is 36 and we have been living together for the past year and a half. The beginning of the relationship was great, He showed affection and attention and we had sex. Ever since we moved in together the sex became less frequent. Not to mention the affection is about none. He won’t even kiss me, and when he does its one of those passive kisses. It seems as though all the passion we once had, is now gone. I have tried different things to keep him interested but none of it seems to have any effect on him what so ever. We have sex about once every 1-2 months. I have talked to him about this and he insists that it’s not me, that it is him. He says that he has things on his mind (for the past year) but he refuses to talk about it. I am uncertain of how to proceed further with the situation. Should I stay in the relationship and see if it improves, or should I leave? Where does one go from here? N.
Answer: Dear N. If you can have it be the way it is and make peace with that, then staying may work. If you want it to be different, then perhaps it’s time to go.
Often the reason people don’t want to talk about the problem is because they genuinely don’t know what’s wrong and think if they ignore it…it will go away. It’s seldom, if ever, about having too much to think about. Very intense and busy people can have active and creative sex lives…one does not preclude the other.
Sometimes there is a physical issue and a good check-up might be a wise choice if your guy was willing to do that. Often, being committed to ignoring the problem removes that as an option. For some it just seems easier to insist that there is nothing wrong and/or that it is temporary.
I think it would be very difficult to be with someone who was unwilling to face the issue and its ramifications. Wouldn’t an honest person admit to having a serious block and at least be willing to talk about its affect on a partner? For instance, it is not uncommon for guilt about living together to be an issue on an unconscious level. Therapy for those willing to take that on might be useful. Again, the operative word is “willing.”
Beyond that, how can resolution come without mutual compassion? I’m speaking here of the resolution that comes from acceptance, if that becomes necessary. That’s the way partnerships work…when something can’t be “fixed”, it still has to be faced. Blessings, Luise