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Is this the end?


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Hello everybody. I'm hoping for some advice if you will and I'll try to keep this as brief as possible. Basically I'm no longer sexually attracted to my partner of 8 years. We have a house and a baby. We got together when I was 19 and he was 29. He was my first boyfriend and sexual partner. Right from the beginning the sex has never been great for me. It took 3 years of trying for him to give me an orgasm (through foreplay - I've never had an orgasm through penetrative sex). I also have a low libido so while I would have been happy to have sex like once a year (honestly) he definitely wouldn't so I've spent most of our relationship just putting up with it to keep him happy and not hurt his feelings. But I just can't keep that up anymore. The last couple of years we've had sex maybe 7 or 8 times (I will add we have a baby so most of those times were us trying to conceive) and we've 'attempted' sex once since my baby was born last September. I say attempted as I was so not into it that I couldn't relax enough for him to penetrate me and I tore. I'm ashamed to say that I've been using the excuse of pre/post-pregnancy hormones as the reason I don't want to have sex as I can't bear the thought of how devastated he'd be if I told him I just don't find him attractive anymore. He's being so patient with me and I feel awful that I'm deceiving him. I really do love him and couldn't imagine my life without him in it. I just don't want to have sex with him again. HELP! I know I'll have to talk with him but, rather selfishly, I don't want to as I'm scared he'll end our relationship. But I also know it's not fair to keep deceiving him. I want to carry on our life together raising our baby and not have to constantly worry about sex. Any advice? Thank you x

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I have a lot of thoughts running around in my head - I will try to put them together cohesively.


First - for your partner, it's clear that he has sexual needs and I don't think that just ignoring his needs will be a solution that he can live with. You might need to get creative with solutions so that his needs can be met if you want to stay together.


That said, I don't think that you should be having sex if you don't want to have sex. That's basically the equivalent of rape for you and probably not at all enjoyable for him.


My next question for you is - are you asexual? (That is a sexual orientation). Is it that you aren't really sexually attracted to anyone and don't find sex enjoyable at all? If this is the case, maybe you want to look at something like an open relationship (for him) so that he can meet his sexual needs elsewhere? (Basically, "ethical cheating" where you know and consent to his sexual exploits elsewhere)


If it's more a low libido (although, wanting sex once a year is a little more than a "low libido", IMO) - perhaps you can speak to a doctor. There is such a thing as low hormone levels. Maybe that's something you want to have checked?


Or is it that you aren't attracted to HIM? Is there something specific that turns you off?


It's also true that in a relationship of 8 years, you will no longer be in a tear-each-others-clothes-off state. Did you both ever go through this phase?


I think the first step is in trying to understand what is contributing to your lack of desire for sex and what you are and aren't willing to do about it. But... you are right. I think simply saying "no more sex ever" will likely not be a viable solution for him.

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You do need to address it with him, because leaving the issue stand and him not getting his needs met will cause resentment to build. He may not be able to acknowledge it at first because he loves you, but over time he will come to resent that he's stayed with someone who has clearly no intention of ever being an engaged sexual partner. You both deserve that, if that's what you want - if it's not what YOU want but he does, you still both deserve to have a partner who is accepting of your choices.


Just because you don't want (possibly don't care about) sex, doesn't make it alright to have him live without it and expect that this is an okay way to continue your relationship. Since you know beyond doubt that you don't want a sexual relationship with him, you have to come clean so he can decide if he wants to stay and work on an alternative solution - admittedly, many couples do encounter differences in sexual compatibility at different stages of their relationship, so it's not like he'd be trading you in for a lifetime of great sex if he does decide to leave. That being said, it can really affect a person's self esteem and identity when they're with a partner who doesn't find them sexy. Not to mention that regular sex is important for physical/mental health and wellbeing. Again, it's fine for you to admit that you don't want that. But you shouldn't make that decision for your partner - that's not what love is about.


You won't know what he'll decide to do until you come clean. He could surprise you and be committed to working with you in seeing health professionals and a marriage counsellor, in order to try and get to the cause of the issue. He may already suspect that this is how things will be moving forward, but not want to address the issue because of the potential for you to feel pressured.


I would address this as lovingly as possible, and avoid making him out to be flawed (make this about you, not him or your relationship). I probably would also approach the conversation as "I've acknowledged that I've never had much of a sexual appetite and over time it's gotten to the point where sex is a chore for me, but I'm willing to look at medical/psychological treatment if you're willing to work with me to ensure we stay together in the long term". I think this is much more likely to result in his consent and commitment.


Out of curiosity though, do you find sex painful or just not enjoyable enough? Do you find it hard to get in the mood because you have other things weighing on your mind? Do you ever/sometimes/often do things solo when he's not around? All relevant considerations - it could be the way you two approach sex isn't really working for you right now. There are books you can read on sex/eroticism that might help you explore what's going on for you and what you need in order to enjoy sex


- With a name like TiredMama, it wouldn't surprise me if your child has sucked the libido out of you. Common, but doesn't have to be the end of your sex life!

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