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My girlfriend is no longer interested in sex and I am starting to think of her as someone untouchable

Tagged as: Sex, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (14 May 2017) 11 Answers - (Newest, 16 May 2017)
A male United Kingdom age , anonymous writes:

Could you give me you overview please. I’m not sure how to deal with this situation. My girlfriend is entering the menopausal age. She tells me she no longer feels sexy. Although I’m a bit older than her I still do.

I have backed off initiating sex in deference to her. We haven’t had proper penetrative sex for a couple of years now. There have been instances of satisfying each other, although they seem far between.

The trouble is I am now starting not to think of her as the sexy woman I first met. She could be a sister or daughter – someone I wouldn’t allow myself to fancy. I am not allowing myself, because she probably won’t want to join in.

I have asked her if it is me and she says not. I have asked her if I should be more proactive, she tells me and, as I said, she doesn’t feel sexy, she dislikes her body, and she is probably a little depressed – aren’t we all?

In the past she has said that sex is painful and I suggested a trip to the doctor. As far as I know this hasn’t happened.

I just don’t know how to proceed. I am being sensitive to her feelings but I have feelings too and they are having to be shelved. There is so much about her that I care for. I want this to work. I have invested a lot of emotional energy in this relationship. I can’t just quit on it after seven years.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 May 2017):

Thank you all once more. The advice seems to be to end it, or grin and bear it. I think I was hoping for a middle way - a solution in fact.

I come from a generation that doesn't throw things away when they are broken, so my first thought is to try and fix this.

Thanks for considering the question anyway.


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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (16 May 2017):

Fatherly Advice agony auntDear OP,

Apparently I posted before seeing your second followup. I was harsh and I apologize. You have chosen to invest in healing injured birds. A very noble but difficult avocation. You are most likely to have your heart broken by someone who really truly appreciates you. It's a tough choice for you. You are starting to see what this will cost you.

My relationship was much older than yours (4x) and included children, When I started to see the costs you are seeing now. I had the choice, go with it or risk everything. I was advised that if you aren't willing to risk everything, you can not win her back.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (16 May 2017):

Fatherly Advice agony auntDear Anonymous female responder,

This is not the place to discuss the advice I would give to women who have the difficulty you mention. We are to keep this topic to the Original posters question.

On the other hand, if you wish to discuss your own topic you can write me privately, or post your own question and direct me to it.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 May 2017):

Fatherley advice , do you also recommend the same for a woman who has a husband who doesn't meet her emotional needs ? Because I dare say that for every man complaining his wife doesn't meet his sexual needs there are two women saying her husband doesn't give her the romance , communication and intimacy women need . Should all married women in this situation give their husbands 90 days and then tell them they are dating other men if he can't give her what she needs of an emotionally intimate nature ?

I'm pretty sure most men who think like this have no idea how to even meet a woman's intimate emotional needs!

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (15 May 2017):

Fatherly Advice agony auntWell OP, you are not the first high drive person in a sexless relationship to refuse to DO anything about it. I suspect that your "talk" will result in some promises that will last less than 2 weeks. Like her you are addicted to your comfort and are willing to give up sex for life rather than risk upsetting her. I suggest a high carb estrogenic diet. Even 10 pounds of extra belly fat will kill that pesky sex drive.

Of course there is the risk that the minute you stop pursuing her she will lose all interest in you because she doesn't feel desired, But hey this is the choice you made.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 May 2017):

OP here again. Thank you all for your considered and sensitive replies. Clearly the situation is different to a teen romance. You can't just walk on one girl and into the next when you are approaching later life.

It isn't just the sex either. I'm told that I am loved and appreciated; that I'm supportive, and the most caring partner she has had. I have an idea that something went wrong in the past with somebody else.

I have kept this woman out of deep depression at the risk of my own stability sometimes.

If it doesn't sound too corny I have tended a bird with a broken wing. It doesn't want to fly but it won't sing. What can I do? I can't crush something I have supported for so long.

I will have another go at talking. I want to be the centre of her world as she now is of mine. If talks lead us to separation then so be it. I have been there before and I know how to survive.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (15 May 2017):

Dealing with age isn't easy, especially when aging starts to interfere in our sex-lives. Unfortunately, sex-drive and libido is an area in intimacy where people pretty much have to work-out their issues by compromise, or separation.

When you see elderly couples who have been together over 40 to 50 years plus; we all stop to wonder whether they still have sex, or did they stop a long time ago? Well, if we look up surveys; they claim that a large number of older people still have active sex-lives. I even read an article claiming there is even an up-surge in STD's in retirement communities and nursing homes. So just getting old doesn't mean you automatically become impotent, or completely loose your sex-drive. That's absurd!

I've also read articles and publications from medical researchers that claim many healthy older people simply feel silly to be intimate, and disgusted by sex. I think it is safe to presume they were always prudes and had sexual-hangups to begin with.

Your mate has informed you that sex is painful; possibly due to vaginal-dryness. If she hasn't seen her doctor upon your urging and suggestion; she doesn't really intend to. If she doesn't want to have sex, why bother?

Peri-menopause can either lower the female sex-drive, or spike it. If she isn't interested, and she gives you different reasons she doesn't wish to have sex; you have little choice but to exclude sex from your relationship.

She says she doesn't feel sexy. That can be interpreted to mean she feels she no longer feels attractive; or she has completely lost any desire or appetite for sex.

If she won't even explore available hormone options and female Viagra with her doctor, don't rule-out the possibility she doesn't want to hurt your feelings. She just doesn't want to have sex with YOU anymore. Not that she never wants to have sex again.

You have to learn to read between the lines. People don't always tell the complete truth if they think the truth will upset you. She may deny it, but may not feel sexually attracted to you anymore. It happens. That doesn't matter, really. At this point, she no longer wants to have sex.

She makes no effort to do anything about it.

We don't know your mate, so the only advice that would be realistic or logical; is to suggest you stop expecting sex from someone who doesn't want it. If you want to know what you should do about it; I guess that is really up to you.

Stay if you can wait until your own sex-drive fades-away as you advance in age; or leave her, and find yourself a more viable and sexy partner.

There are certain things you can talk about. You have talked about it, but she hasn't swayed from her position. So you have to accept no-sex as the answer. Nothing is more futile than trying to convince an aging-woman who doesn't think she's attractive that she's attractive. Especially a very mature woman, who is undergoing menopause. It's hormonal, and you'll just have to learn more about menopause; and you both may need to talk to a medical-professional. That is, if she cares enough to want to bring sex back into the relationship.

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (14 May 2017):

How committed are you to her and the relationship? The way I see it you have thee choices: split up, wait it out and hope she changes her mind or do what you need to do to have your needs met while staying in the relationship. Only you can decide which path is right for you. You say you can't just leave after seven years but ask yourself how long are you willing to stay in a sexless relationship.

Good luck.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (14 May 2017):

Hello, I am the OP. And I am not the jack rabbit as Youcannotbeserious wondered at. The opposite if anything. I am deeply concious of my partner's comfort and enjoyment.

She is someone who has suffered deeply from depression in the past so I am aware I have to tread carefully. I don't want to upset her emotional state. I have worked hard to build her up.

She does live in my house. I won't be moving out, and I won't be sleeping in the spare room.

I am thinking now that perhaps I should offer a list of things I expect and see how that goes down.

I have tried talking but the conversation never seems to lead to anything.

I am not bad looking and I keep fit. I am however aware that my life is passing by. I would like to spend it with this woman - she is a friend and companion too - but changes need to happen.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (14 May 2017):

Fatherly Advice agony auntShe has made a choice between her comfort and you. She has chosen not to face the embarrassment of talking to a doctor. She has chosen to give up sex rather than do that. You have been a real trooper to stick with her for a couple of years. But the fact is that her comfort is more important to her than your happiness.

Essentially she threw you under the buss years ago. Do you want to stay on the shelf for the rest of your life. You have invested in a dud. This relationship is exactly how she wants it. She gets emotional support, you don't even get breadcrumbs. And unless you take drastic action, it will continue this way until the day one of you dies.

She doesn't believe you are unhappy because she is happy. You have to demonstrate to her that you are unhappy in a way that she can't ignore. If you live together, start sleeping in a separate room, or better yet move out. Tell her you need a new relationship and you need to break up. If you don't live together, inform her that you will soon be dating other women. These limited steps are the honorable way to go. It gives her a limited time (give her a specific time frame not more than 90 days) to decide whether or not you are that important to her. You can always move back in, or resume dating.

It also gives you time to get used to the idea of being single again. You need to be prepared to be in the dating game again. Workouts, haircuts, new clothes, perhaps even some upgrades to your vehicle. Go ahead and start on that today. She needs to know right down to the soles of her shoes that you are valuable, and available and that She has to earn your companionship. She needs to honestly believe that you will have no trouble finding a new love, and that you are willing to do it.

I firmly believe everything I have advised you. I've been down the road you are traveling, I turned it around before it was technically sexless, (defined as less than 10 encounters in a year). I just had to pick up some new manly hobbies that I didn't invite her along to. Very soon she saw that I could be happy without her. Now I am a priority in her life. Not just in thought or on paper, but in actual actions.

Give up your fear of being alone. You are already alone. Only you can change this.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (14 May 2017):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntTrust me, the menopause is no fun ride. Between being woken by hot flushes and the feeling you are no long "a proper woman", there is not a lot to feel sexy about.

That said, I would suspect there is more going on here than "just" the menopause. If she complained that sex was painful, was this something which was down to YOUR technique or was it a physical problem of HER'S? Or was it a bit of both? She is hardly likely to want sex if all she has to look forward to is pain. If you didn't spend enough time on foreplay, getting her ready for sex, then it would have been painful for her. If you had jack rabbit sex (fast and furious, like they do in porn films), then it would have been painful for her. You two need to have a candid talk and you need to ask her these questions.

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