Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Coping with resentment in a sexless marriage

Community Member

How does one cope with the feelings of resentment when you are in a beautiful happy relationship with your partner/husband but they have lost their libido and are so busy with work.

We had an exceptional sex life. And then it stopped. We are so in love and always want to be together, we are not looking to change that (it’s a perfect relationship in all other aspects). He is very happy with me and our life together and doesn’t need sex. However it is like oxygen to me and essential to my soul and my sexual nature.

It is so very hard to not make love to the man I love and adore. It’s so difficult for it not to be as important to someone else that I am connected to. We are in an open relationship, and I can seek a sensory connection with others (but out of respect to my partner I am not seeking sex with another man). I don’t want to be with anyone else, I only want to be with my wonderful man.

How do I get over the resentment I feel that there is no effort on his part to connect with me? How to I get over the resentment of needing something so important to me and I am not able to get it? I’m a happy vibrant person and I do things that I enjoy, and don’t let things upset me, but I am struggling with feeling so disconnected without intimacy.

Your thoughts and experiences please.

5 Replies 5

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hi LovelyLinda,

Wow, what a difficult disappointing position to be in.
Something needs to shift.

In a perfect world he'd work a bit less and have a high libido and match your sex drive. In an imperfect world you'll have to communicate your needs and desires and he'll have to make some changes to cater to those.

You need to work together to come up with a solution that suits you both. You might have to live with less sex than what you're used to but I think if he's trying it will be a better outcome for the relationship.

He probably needs some time off work. Stress can have an impact on your sex drive.

I'm thinking if he does other things outside of work it could help your situation.

Sorry to hear that it's lacking.

I'm the one with no sex drive in my life bcas of medication I'm on. It sucks.

Community Member

Dear LovelyLinda,

Thanks for reaching out here. I can hear how frustrating and hurtful it must be for you to want to be intimate with your partner but not have it reciprocated. Your relationship seems to be fulfilling you in every other aspect, however intimacy is important for you and that need isn't being met. It's so important I think to stay true to who you are and what you need. Have you talked to your partner about how this makes you feel? In my experience it is only when you communicate your needs can you work towards a solution.

You wrote that the sex life had been exceptional but then stopped. Was there anything at the time that it stopped that you can think of that triggered this? It must have been important for him previously too. Perhaps exploring what has changed for him might help if he is open to talking about it.

Personally I would say that a relationship does need intimacy, others might disagree but its part of what connected you in the first place and its kind of like a part of your original connection is not there anymore. Its understandable that this would lead to feelings of resentment.

Please keep reaching out, we are here to listen, support and give you a virtual hug along the path to working through this issue with you.


Community Member

You have described one of the most common problems in marriage. It's not much solace but thousands of people reading your post will emphasise with you.

I know from personal experience that distress at work can be poisonous for libido. As others have already written, the start of the solution is always the tough conversation. If you prepare carefully and tell him him clearly how you feel. Obviously don't make your feelings a personal complaint and blame him, otherwise he will get defensive and nothing will be achieved.

Even in the happiest of marriages, especially very long ones (>30 years), its nearly impossible to be completely in synch with sex drives, especially when children come along. Most of us are compromising on some aspect of marriage, because we believe the overall product is worth the effort.

One further point, you said you are in an open marriage. I have no experience with open marriages but could there be an issue as yet unknown with your husband on this point ?

Community Member
Thank you for your heartfelt words. This is a common problem but often many are not strong enough to cope with such loss. We are strong and I am grateful to have his love and be together. I have seen a counsellor for advice who said I am experiencing grief. I have lost what has been a big part of my life, and of who I am. And he’s right.

Monkey_magic - I could so adjust to living with less sex. It’s living with no sex I can’t adjust to. He does need to prioritise his workload, make more time for himself and with me.

LilliPilli80 - the change in our intimacy stopped when he began working for himself. He had his hospitality work but also branched out in a new endeavour. Has done amazing things, recreated and made a name for himself. He’s not making millions but who cares. It does not have the luxury of security, sick leave etc, so therefore he keeps working at it night and day. He’s a proud man with a great work ethic and not afraid of hard work. I understand very much where his stresses come from.

BetterNow - it means a lot you say my comments resonate to others. I have certainly stopped blaming him or pressuring him. It doesn’t help and I don’t want to hurt him bringing to his attention how unhappy I am. I give him space and time, but nothing changes and that’s where I feel the resentment.

To all - On many occasions we talk about it and I’ve made my feelings clear, made strategies to get back on track, which lasts for a very short time or is unfortunately promises made but not kept. It is often when I am at my wits end and he finds me in tears letting my grief out. He will be there for me, hug/hold/kiss me and tell me things will get better. And the intimacy will often happen when he is devastated to see me in such an unhappy state. I don’t want to be at rock bottom feeling such sadness for him to react to that (although I will never ever say no to being with him). That is another thing that is hard, the rejection when he does not feel up to being intimate. My philosophy in life is love and happiness, and my thoughts on sex/intimacy are completely separate from the rest of life’s day to day stuff. Sex and intimacy are my safe zone, my happy place, my get away from the rest of the world, my act that is shared only between the two of us. And I realise not many people can separate this, I am aware that life’s stresses affect their performance.

Community Member
For some more insight, I am married (12 yrs). My husband got bowel cancer 7 yrs ago. Chemo treatment side effects killed his sexual function. My husband is a wonderful man, and never wanted to lose me so when we discussed an open marriage he embraced it. I met others, my needs were greatly satisfied, and my current partner and I fell in love. Down the track, established a committed relationship, I stopped the open aspect and made a life with my husband and partner (nearly 6 yrs). We all live together, have a strong bond and respect for each other. It works well. My husband also has a partner he stays with every weekend. Our original dynamics have changed, but there is still love and a strong relationship. But now my partners dynamics have changed and I never expected to be in this situation again, especially not from “work” issues. He has said I can see other people, which “takes stress and pressure off him”. This opportunity allows me to be true to myself. He knows I have a big heart and a huge sexual appetite, and I think at this point in our relationship he is much stronger to let me be with other men. At the start of our relationship he wasn’t, he was monogamous and hurt him to see me with other guys. I gave it all up and made a life with him and my husband only. But now I am angry because I don’t want to see other guys, I want him, even if only a little bit, but there is no drive for him to make changes. He loves me, he is happy I’m in his life, he falls asleep with me in his arms and wakes each morning with a kiss and a cuddle. He shares his kids with me and said I was the kind of woman he wants in their life. We are so very happy. But the other half of me that needs a sexual loving connection, to feel desired, to be touched and lost in each other - that is missing. I need it, but he doesn’t and he’s okay with that.

I come up with suggestions and all manner of options, and very little is achieved. So I give up trying. I leave him alone because I know the last thing he needs is me bringing to his attention that I am unhappy. So I will be with 1 or 2 guys that I form a trust with, get my needs met and hope that one day my partner changes his patterns of behaviour. Perhaps being with others will make him miss me.

It’s my loss and my grief and I have to find coping strategies. But it’s hard to get over. Because it’s a loss I feel every minute of every day.

Thank you everyone for your support. I am ever so grateful.