I’m Hopeful He’ll Change

Question: Dear Luise: I have been in a relationship with my 27 year old boyfriend for almost 2 years now and have lived with him for over a year. I am a few years younger and am not a bad looking person by any means. In the beginning we had a sex life. We were very open and active. That lasted for a few months. This last year has been rough though. He has been frustrated with work and blames his lack of desire on his stress level. I would say having sex once a month in our relationship is at times an exaggeration. Should I leave or should I stay? I’ve been hopeful that things would change but at this point I’m really not sure. B.

Answer: Dear B.: Stress can do that but it can also be a good excuse for sexual disinterest or dysfunction. If he isn’t heavily into trying to resolve the issue, I would guess it to be the latter.

Your relationship has left the norm and has become unbalanced and unfulfilling, if I read you right. Ask yourself this: would you have moved in with him on the basis of being his non-sexual friend…a roommate? That’s a question only you can answer. If that appeals to you, then it could work.

The fact that you wrote to me about it makes me think the roommate concept isn’t an option. If that’s the case, you probably need to let him know that you feel stress is pretty common in adults and his choice to accept a non-sexual relationship, as a natural result of his stress, is something you can’t go along with.

It’s not uncommon for someone to stay in an sexless relationship and remain hopeful for decades or a lifetime. Anger and frustration can build and then the pathology spreads to both parties. You deserve better. Blessings, Luise

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