Question: Dear Luise: I’m stuck in a rut here in my relationship and I’m at my wits end. Help! I’m 39 and my boyfriend is 41. I had a very promising career as a graphics artist in the film industry in LA and a year and a half ago hooked up with a guy I went to high school with back in the day. We spent a year travelling back and forth, hours on the phone, Skype, etc. He always expressed what a sexual person he was. Finally 3 months ago I left LA and moved back to Chicago to be with him. He is perfect for me in every way, but our sex life is horrible! I came here with the agreement that we were gonna get married, have kids, etc. He tells me he loves me 100 times a day and really treats me good. But our sex life is nonexistent! I’m lucky if it’s once a week and then it’s only because I initiated it. He never initiates anything. If I talk about it he gets angry and says that he’s tired from work (he works about 50 hours per week and has a high stress job) and that he’s older now and cant be like he was when he was younger. Then he says that me talking (bitching in his words) about it makes him not want sex at all. I feel so unwanted and sexually frustrated. We waited so long to be together and isn’t this supposed to be the happy fun time? I’m attractive and always try to do the little things to make him happy. And when we do have sex its usually great, so it’s not that we have bad sex. I just feel like he has no sexual desire to be with me. I’m getting more and more frustrated by the day. I really don’t know what to do anymore because obviously talking with him about it just makes it worse and we end up fighting. C.
Answer: Dear C.: I don’t see how you can make it. He knew this about himself all along and either was afraid to tell you or thought you would somehow resolve it.
There are women who can manage a relationship with very little sexual expression in it but you obviously aren’t one of them. It’s true that long workweeks in high stress jobs hurt relationships in many ways. I hear that often. Not only sexually but emotionally, as well. The workaholic just doesn’t have anything left to give. And it can be slow “starvation” for the partner.
There’s no use fighting about it and a counselor would probably suggest you either adapt or he find another career…neither sound plausible. It’s time to face the fact that he has no real room in his life for you and try to put your life back together. How sad after all this time and with such a strong bond. Blessings, Luise