Saturday, April 1, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceI (25M) may end relationship over sex with (23F) -- Part 2.

I (25M) may end relationship over sex with (23F) — Part 2.

I made a post about a week ago about considering ending a relationship of almost 5 years due to total lack of intimacy/sex. I have removed the post for obvious reasons. As a follow-up, I finally confronted my girlfriend about this. It went okay. We’ve had the issue of only having sex every 3-4 months for almost 3 years. I’ve tried to be patient but lately it has been weighing on me.

When I addressed it, my girlfriend became defensive. She said that she’s had past trauma, which I totally understand, but doesn’t feel like it will get better. She has started theraphy/psychiatry/etc (for the 3rd time) but she openly states that she doesn’t know if it will get better.

She thinks I am only viewing her as sex and that I should take or leave her as she is.


I really don’t know what to do. We’ve loved each other for years, but 2-3 years with sex 10 > times has really put a strain on the relationship. I am happy she’s going to try again to fix it, but she doesn’t seem confident it will ever improve and tells me that I may just have to be used to having sex once every 6 months. We are both happy emotionally but I have no clue how to handle the lack of intimacy. I’ve waited for 3 years and seen almost no improvement.

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  1. Honestly, it sounds like you just may not be compatible on this issue.

    She deserves the space and time to process and heal from her trauma, and she’s right, that may be something she’s working on for the rest of her life. It’s quite likely it’ll never get better.

    For you on the other hand, the lack of intimacy doesn’t seem to be sustainable for you long term, and that is valid. However, that leaves you with two choices. The first, prioritize your own needs — end the relationship, and find one that is more suited to you and your hopes for the future. The second, accept her and the situation for what they are — does your love for this person outweigh the personal sacrifice you’ll have to continue to make, likely for the rest of your life? Is this a situation you can stay in without it making you bitter towards or resentful of this woman you love?

    Based off the tone of your post, it seems to me the former is likely a better option than the latter for you. That being said, it sucks. It can certainly feel like a shallow reason to end a relationship, especially with someone you care deeply about, but the bottom line is it’s a physical need many of us feel as human beings, and it’s unfair for either of you to ask the other to have to compromise on this.

    In the end, the decision is yours and yours alone, but to me it sounds like you’ve already made one, and you just need us to confirm it’s not wrong of you to feel how you feel. In the end, all you can do is your best to move on from this and find happiness— whether that means staying or going is up to you.

  2. Sexual satisfaction is a big part of a romantic relationship, and the lack of sex is a perfectly great reason to end a relationship. I mean, it’s been bad for THREE YEARS. I’d have left way sooner.

    This is probably so hard for you. My heart breaks for you, OP. I wish you the best.

  3. I married my wife and we were in a deadbedroom for many years. A deadbedroom is described as sex less than ten times a year. Nothing I did seemed to help. My wife would say that she was tired and I would respond with taking over more chores and responsibilities. We didn’t have sex on vacations where all the stresses were removed.

    Eventually I decided that I couldn’t remain in a deadbedroom. I continued to love her but I didn’t feel loved or cared for. When she realized that I had mentally checked out of our relationship and that I was planning to divorce her she began to make effort to save our marriage. She began to initiate sex frequently.

    She discovered that she had a responsive libido. I have a spontaneous libido. She thought something was wrong with her. She found that she enjoyed the sex even if she wasn’t horny or turned on when she initiated. She had always thought that she couldn’t enjoy sex of she wasn’t turned on before starting. She also wouldn’t allow any type of intimacy if she wasn’t turned on. So I couldn’t get her warmed up in any way.

    After she realized that she had a responsive libido and that she could easily get turned on if she allowed us to get started she then felt very guilty for the deadbedroom.

    We didn’t divorce and we continue to have frequent sex. I just wish we hadn’t wasted so many years in a deadbedroom before she discovered how her libido works.

  4. Her accusation places all the blame on you, when you don’t deserve it. If someone needs something specific from a relationship, and doesn’t receive it, that relationship will die. Expecting your relationship to involve sex and intimacy is in no way an unreasonable expectation, and it’s the heart of most any usual relationship, outside of specific differences like asexuality that both sides are content with. And that’s the point, both sides have to be content with both sex frequency, sex attitudes, sexual inclinations and preferences. It has to be mutual. Your gf has past trauma. That’s hard on her, it inhibits her ability to express herself sexually. That’s not her fault. You have expectations of a sexual intimacy with your gf, that’s perfectly natural and not your fault. You are not aligned. You need to find people who are, both of you.

  5. Your GF is right. If you stay with her, you have to get used to sex once every six months. It probably will dwindle to not at all as time goes on. Your other option is to leave. You are young. There is no reason to willingly sign up for an unfulfilling relationship. You are not compatible. Don’t stay expecting it to get better. It won’t.

  6. Deprivation, Resentment, Frustration, Hatred.

    That or something similar is going to be the likely progression of your feelings.

    Leave while you still have some good memories left.

  7. How can you “only see her as sex” when you’re *hardly fucking having it* and you’ve stayed for THREE YEARS???

    You can love someone WHILE realizing they aren’t right for you and you can’t be with them. It hurts like hell. But it’s actually very common. It’s fine to want to see her eat, just not at your table. Leave before you hate her.

  8. I left my ex-fiancee over the summer for a similar reason. Sorry to say, but if it hasn’t improved in 3 years, it’s not going to. Up to you how long you can tolerate these feelings.

  9. if you’re not happy and have been unhappy for a long time, and if you don’t trust that you and your gf can find a compromise on this issue that’s satisfying for both of you, then you ought to follow your gut on leaving her. have the two of you spoken to a couples counselor about this?

    you mentioned she’s started therapy 3 separate times — was it to address this specific issue and the related trauma each of those times? why doesn’t she think it’ll get better?

    also it’s possible that this is due to your being distraught, but there are some inconsistencies in this post and between your original post and this post that make me wonder whether you’re looking for more for sympathy and permission to leave the relationship than advice on what to do. (e.g., the amount of sex went from just over once a month in the original post to 3-4 times a year in this post; you say you “finally confronted” your gf in this post but in the last post said you’d had multiple conversations about this; you say you’re both happy emotionally when you clearly are not and when your gf may very well also be lacking emotional intimacy / safety — a common reason for low libido; and the relationship duration went from over 5 years in the original post to almost 5 years in this one). if you’re unhappy, and you truly feel like you’ve done all you can to address it (and, i should add, fully engage with and understand your gf’s perspective), then be glad you’re not married, and move on.

    ultimately, you don’t need permission from internet strangers to follow your heart.

  10. The point of dating is to find out if you are compatible or not. You have discovered that you two are not compatible. I would leave honestly, let her down easy and tell her you wish her the best but you are fundamentally incompatible with her.

  11. You only see me as sex is truly a recurrent and terrible quote to use on your bf, because it’s almost never true, it is truly sad. But it counters any intimacy attempt so it serves its aim perfectly

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  13. It will only get worse. Honestly. Trust me in this.

    I have zero sex at home for over 7 years. Husband asked me to take a cancer drug to lower my libido????

    This is not normal. And yes, I am still hot and very well maintained woman. We discussed to open our marriage. I didn’t sign up to stay celibate for the rest of my life.

    Please don’t marry a sexually not competible person.

  14. Her mental health problems stop where yours start.

    If the situation is creating mh issues for you then it’s not possible. May be she is not ready to be in a sexual relationship and certainly you are not to be in a sexless one.
    It’s too easy to consider “it’s only sex” when for most people it’s a basic relationship need and connection medium to your SO.
    You are (currently) not sexually compatible. It happens and it’s okay.

  15. I would put the ball in her court (no pun intended) and ask her where she sees herself in the future in terms of relationships and what her plans are to deal with her mental health situation. I’m 100% sympathetic to people who struggle with trauma and mental health issues but for her to just go round in circles saying she’s unwell and not dealing with it, while expecting everyone else to work around around her seems a bit counterproductive and self-sabotaging. I would leave the intimacy issue to one side for now and just try to talk to her about her mental health.

  16. The way she said it makes me think that she doesn’t care about your needs, not just that you want sex, but doesn’t understand that it’s not just sex it’s intimacy. You said that she has been in therapy 3 times already for this, why did she stop each time? How long did she go for?

  17. About the argument “you only see me as sex” i have heard great quote. “Imagine a great house, however it does not have a toilet. Is toilet the most important part of home? No. Would you buy a house without one?”

    She told you she is comfortable with twice a year. Now it’s your decision if you are ok with it. She will not change.

  18. That’s manipulative as fuck. You needing sex in a relationship is not the same as you only wanting her for sex. If you had a partner who was unemployed and they said you asking them to get a job meant you only looked at them as a source of money, how disgusted would you be? If you had a partner who refused to say anything nice to or about you, would you look at them like they have two heads if they said you just wanted to use them as an ego boost? Asking for your needs to be met doesn’t mean that you only see your partner as a means to an end, and she knows it and she’s guilting you into staying and being miserable while she makes zero effort. You don’t need to blame the sex now- you can leave because she’s manipulative, unreasonable and selfish.

  19. Sounds like it’s time to leave. I can’t even be in a relationship where my bf wouldn’t want sex on a regular basis. I eventually get frustrated and annoyed.

  20. Do you believe there is a chance that sex will suddenly occur more frequently? I’ve always felt, if a woman doesn’t want to have sex with you for a long period of time, that part of the relationship is over.

  21. First off kudos dude. You are mega patient.
    That being said you’ve communicated that sex is something you want and need in the relationship but if it’s not there there has to be a change. Her trauma is a real sad thing as it’s affecting your love life but you’ve been more than patient.
    My advise is to move away and clear your head. Sexual frustration aside, evaluate your relationship and consider if u start a family with her and you never have sex. What then?
    What about your personal happiness?
    Consider those things I say

  22. As a woman I wouldn’t be happy with this, not going to lie if I go without for that long. Am not sure I would want a relationship like that either. Saying that I don’t have trauma around sex and enjoy it very much.

  23. This relationship has run its course. It’s time for you each to find people that you’re sexually compatible. If you stay with her, you’ll need to accept that it’ll be a mostly sexless relationship

  24. Past trauma is a bitch. It’s tempting to be a “good guy” and help her work through it. However, the probable result is that she will remain broken and you will be miserable. Best to cut your losses.

  25. When you have past trauma that’s negatively affecting your life and relationships, you do everything in your power to try and fix it. What you do NOT do is drag your emotional baggage into your relationships like a badge of honor and expect your partners to just deal with it or pound sand.

    Your girl is immature and needs a reality check. You leaving her over this may actually be good for her in the long run.

  26. This one is tough. Trauma can be like that. But, sex is important in a relationship, it’s not that you’re using your partner for just sex. The whole thing is very complex. If you’re willing to wait, see if therapy works? She however does seem like she’s not giving it real effort or even a chance really if she’s already talking like that. Or, you can cut your losses and find someone who wants the same things you do

  27. I highly recommend the two of you read Come As You Are by Emily Nagowski. It may help with the way both of you think about this. It certainly helps with what too often becomes an adversarial conversation which ends up making things worse.

  28. She is looking at this through a tube. Sex every 3 months is not normal for a 25 yo. Tell her she should try to go into therapy with a can-do attitude and you will try to be patient – then give it a specific time period (like 6 months) to get better but keep that to yourself.

  29. I think after three years it would be reasonable to end a relationship over an imbalance in sex drives. I’m a women in a long term relationship. 80% of the time my boyfriend and I are on the same page about sex, we both want it all the time. But sometimes, if I’m going through a lot of stress, or even if the weather is changing lol, my sex drive will plummet. Hard. I’ll stop wanting it all together. And I’ll start to hate when he tries to initiate it. But I’ve learned it’s not that I don’t want sex, I just need to initiate it myself and start getting into the actions and boom I’m in the mood. After 3 years your girlfriend should have figured something like this out for herself. But you said it yourself she has trauma to move past. That’s hard stuff, and it’s gonna take a lot of time and effort from her. I think part of what holds her back is knowing you aren’t satisfied. It might not be nice to hear but I imagine part of her resents you. You seem like a pretty decent man, for being so patient with the situation. So don’t blame yourself for this. The female libido is so complex and affected by so much. Frankly I think your gf needs to be single to fix this problem. She can’t handle the pressure of a relationship to move past her trauma. I hope either you guys can have a really good discussion and find a way to work on this that is productive and healthy for both of you. Or that you part ways and you find someone who wants to have sex with you and she heals herself.

  30. The thing with trauma is that, especially if it’s cptsd, but also with ptsd, a lot of therapists don’t really get it. It’s very hard to find a therapist who actually understands trauma and the whole impact and lasting impact it can have on the body and nervous system, and how to heal. I think that might be why your gf isn’t confident it’s going to change. Just another perspective

  31. Just leave. Her attitude is “take it or leave it”… so leave it for someone that wants to love you how you want to be loved.

    There is nothing wrong with your expectation and you have been so understanding and patient. She is not reciprocating that understanding.

    Only getting therapy when she might lose you? That’s not enough

  32. Sexuality is a need in a relationship. It’s not a benefit, it’s great for chemical releases, and is an extension of your feelings. Making love is a way to show passion for your lover. If it’s something that means something to you then this won’t get better.

  33. I hate to break it to you, OP, but her sexuality isn’t something to fix. The more you force the issue, the more reluctant she’ll be to participate. If sex is an important aspect of intimacy to you and polyamory is off the table, it’s time to move on. She’s literally told you she doesn’t think her libido is likely to change, and that’s something you should respect.

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