My partner and I need help. The problem is our sex life…more specifically our lack of one. I'm 33 and have what I consider an average healthy sex drive; my partner (30) seems to have an almost non-existent sex drive. Sex is an average of once every two months. This has been a problem for about three years now.
Every time I try to make a move I get rejected..."I don't feel well...I'm too busy...I think I have a yeast infection...Not now, maybe later.” If I waited for her to come on to me...well that just wouldn't happen.
Lack of Intimacy in our Relationship
We talked about this lack of intimacy issue and she says that she just doesn't have a sex drive or at least a very low one. We have tried various remedies and pills that say they help female libido, but with no success. She tells me to be patient that it will get better...but after three years, things do not seem to be changing.
Nothing is Physically Wrong with Her
The doctors say there nothing wrong with her.... a little over weight and high testosterone, but nothing that out of the ordinary. Her siblings all seem to have a similar low sex drive issue which leads me to believe that it is something genetic or in her upbringing (she was not sexually abused or taught that sex was dirty or anything like that) that is the problem rather than her just not being attracted to me.
We cannot afford therapist...so I get what we can afford-books and advice guides-hoping that something will help us, yet I seem to be the only one reading them. She says that reading them makes her more stressed out reminding her of the sadness she’s causing me. I tell her that it's not all her fault, but she blames herself, which makes matters worse.
Whenever I try to talk to her about how important that we fix this situation is, we end up in a shouting match. Or if we do have a good discussion and come up with some ideas to try to help matters, then it seems like a few days later she’s forgotten what we have said we would do and it back to the old routine.
We Cannot Continue this Way
We know that we cannot continue this way; I cannot survive in a sexless marriage and it’s getting to the point that I can't take it anymore. I spend a lot of time crying with thoughts that my needs and desires are not being addressed. I try to be patient and have hope that things will change...but after three years that hope is turning to sadness.
We love each other very much, we really don't want to break up, or have an open relationship or anything like that. We just want a real solution that will work, if we could afford a therapist we would be there, but we can't right now. We need help, there must be something we can do.
Stuck in Sexless Love
Believe it or not, many couples suffer from differing sex drives. I hear from many couples in your same predicament.
Every person has a different idea of what a normal sex drive is. I have come to the conclusion, based on the number of emails that I receive that there is no such thing as “normal.”
You might want to have sex three times a week and think that’s fine and your partner may be happy with three times a year. The problem arises when two people with very different sex drives end up in a relationship together.
Neither of you is right or wrong
The first place you need to start is that neither of you is right or wrong. You are perfectly okay for wanting more sex. As long as there is no physical problem, there is nothing wrong with her having a low sex drive. I think you may be onto something when you say her whole family is this way. Although I have not seen any studies about it, high or low sex drive may very well be something we are born with. Either way, the solution needs to be a compromise. You don't always get your way and she doesn't always get hers.
Solutions for Differing Sex Drives
You said you came up with different solutions, but not what those were. I’m not sure why those are not working for you. But here are a few more you can try:
Make sex dates
That’s right, if it’s not happening spontaneously and if one of you is always the initiator, that’s not good. The both of you need to decide what is a good number of times to have sex. Why don’t you start with twice a month? Set aside at least two hours--day or night does not matter. And make sure you stick to it. No excuse allowed on either part. Why don’t you plan that one of you is the initiator one time and the other is the second time? On the days she initiates, she gets to call the shots. Vice versa on your day.
Only have sex on those times
So that she can feel like she can meet her end of the bargain, don’t press her into having sex at any other time.
Make Intimacy a Priority
If she doesn’t have a strong sex drive, that is no reason you should miss out on affection. Cuddle. Massage each other. Kiss. Touch skin to skin, but again, don’t press her for sex, even if those activities turn you on. She needs to know that she is free to give you affection without it turning into pressure for sex.
Take Care of Your Own Needs
Do what you need to do to satisfy your sexual cravings. Buy yourself some sex toys, sexy videos or erotic books and masturbate on those occasions when you are in the mood and she is not.
Accept her where she is
She says she has a low sex drive. It hasn’t changed in three years, so it probably isn’t going to change. But that doesn’t mean she can’t change her behavior for the sake of the relationship. She may be able to step up and participate in sex, but she may never be able to come to it with the same passion you do.
Seek Professional Help
You say is that you cannot afford a therapist. But I’m wondering if you can afford NOT to see a therapist. If these solutions don’t work for you, the problem may very well be bigger than that lack of sex in your relationship. Or you may have gotten yourselves into a pattern that you are not able to get yourselves out of. Because this has been going on for so long, your communication about it has come to a stalemate. A professional therapist can help you work through some relationship dynamics that I can't see from just a letter.