Reader Frustrated in More Ways Than One writes,
I am 26 and I live with my boyfriend, who is 27. My boyfriend is gentle and kind and loving. He will get up in the middle of the night to get me water if I don’t feel good. He’s my best friend. He wasn’t always so sure that he loved me, though, and because of that, I doubt myself from time to time. It’s only very seldom, because I honestly do know he loves me. He may have been unsure at first but I know he is sure now. But, because he doubted before, I doubt now. I never fully trust when he says he won’t leave, because he thought he wanted to once. (We broke up for 3 months last year bc he said he was no longer in love with me.) I have no doubt in my mind though that we both love each other. I hate to even complain because I am so happy with so much of what we have, except our sex life. He is the best I’ve ever had… When I can have it. He never wants to have sex! I have actually begged. He refuses to even say there is a problem. Every time I bring it up, he gets very frustrated and storms out. He doesn’t ever act that way, otherwise. He says “it’s just not on my mind. Just ask me.” The problem with that is, I do ask him. A lot. Multiple times a day. For days. Then I feel so defeated. I start to feel ashamed. I don’t even want him to see me naked anymore. Then, he gets hurt that I don’t want him to see me. Is there something I can say or do to help us have a somewhat active sex life again? I’m starting to resent him.
Did you ever hear the saying, if it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck? I know that you love your boyfriend, but he doesn’t sound like a boyfriend to me. He sounds like a best friend. He does things a best friend would do. He does not do the following things that a boyfriend would do: have sex, be fully committed to you, listen to your feelings when you’re upset and empathize (actually a best friend should do that one too), and acknowledge lack of sex as a problem.
You say in this question three different times that you doubt that he loves you, in between all the times that you also say that you don’t doubt it. Well, I say: of course you doubt it! Because you’re not a fool. If someone breaks up with you for three months, won’t have sex with you, won’t acknowledge that he’s not having sex with you, and has openly told you that he isn’t in love with you, you would be insane not to doubt their love.
There is no reason that you should be begging your boyfriend for sex and that he should continue to reject you without giving you any concrete reason.
There is no reason that you should be begging your boyfriend for sex and that he should continue to reject you without giving you any concrete reason. Does he have no sex drive? Is he not attracted to you? Is he involved with someone else? Is he heterosexual? Some things do not add up here. And even if he is straight, faithful, and is committed to the relationship, his complete lack of sexual desire is still an issue that he should be exploring in therapy, after going to a doctor to get his hormone levels checked.
But honestly, I do not think this is a hormonal issue, and probably not a psychological issue related to a lack of sex drive. I believe that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, and here, all evidence points to the fact that he is not fully committed to and comfortable with the relationship. He has explicitly told you in the past that he wasn’t certain if he was in love with you, and even broke up with you for an extended period. How did you get back together after that? Did you ask him to come back? Did he have an interim relationship that went sour? Did he miss the friendship with you and come back mainly for that? There are so many loose ends here, but I can tell you my gut says that your boyfriend does not fully want to be in a romantic relationship with you. I am sorry if that sounds hurtful, but I truly am trying to help you see how this looks to an objective observer, and it doesn’t look good.
Now, if you read your boyfriend my answer and he gets up in arms and says, “Screw Dr.Psych Mom, I am totally committed to this relationship,” that’s great. Use this as the springboard to discuss how hurt and rejected you have felt, and that you two need to see a therapist who can help you reconnect on an intimate level. Maybe he does have low sex drive, and feels ashamed about this and therefore avoids any discussion about it. But reading my answer may also spark a discussion about whether he really feels invested in the relationship. If it turns out that he is not, this will be painful, but will ultimately be a positive thing, because you can move forward.
We are often drawn to what we remember on a deep subconscious level from our childhood.
It is also important to examine why you continue to take this boyfriend back despite him having told you that he wasn’t in love with you (I know he “changed his mind,” but still), and continue to ask him for sex when he rejects your advances. I believe you may have self-esteem issues, and are drawn subconsciously to rejecting types. We are often drawn to what we remember on a deep subconscious level from our childhood. Did you have a relationship with either parent where you felt that they rejected your bids for affection and closeness, either intentionally or unintentionally? If so, this may be carrying over and impacting you now, and it would be very helpful to explore links between your childhood and your current relationship patterns with a skilled therapist. Doing this at 26 would be wonderful. So many people wait until midlife to seek counseling, and they say they wish they had gone earlier because they learned to much about themselves. You can go now and use the knowledge you gain to help you in relationships for the rest of your life. Remember, you deserve someone who wants to be close to you, both physically and emotionally. If it’s not your current boyfriend, it will be someone else.
Till next time, I remain, The Blogapist Who Knows You Could Find Another Boyfriend Like THAT.