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I think my partner may be Asexual

Spectre84
Community Member
I'm a 38 year old male and my partner is a 29 year old female. We have been together for over 4 years and engaged. We were friends for about 4 years before that so our relationship started off quite healthy. In this time we have battled the pandemic, working from home together, dealt with the stress of building a house and general life issues. I'm a very active type of person and I'm very attracted to my partner. When we were first intimate she let me know that she has always had issue where she has never been able to climax, she does not know what that feels like. She has had a few partners before (fwb) but I'm her first relationship. She tells me I'm very attractive and it's not me but in the last couple of years, I would be lucky to get intimacy once every 2 months. At the moment it's now almost 4 months and she has no interest. When we do its because i want it and she will go through the motions like she is just waiting for it to be over. I have tried to talk to her and get her to open up about what it is, if there is anything i can do to help her but she goes into a shell. She is not an unattractive girl but I know she has confidence issues with her body. I think it may be a combination of stress, self confidence and maybe a medical/mental issue with her issues but she seems to not want to do anything to fix it. Otherwise she is affectionate but just not in a intimate way that leads to any intimacy. At this point I'm starting to wonder if she is Asexual, I have asked her about this but she just won't answer me. I know she is not cheating on me or anything like that, we work from home and together all the time. I love her and want to marry her and be with her but I can't go on like this and thoughts of getting it somewhere else are starting to creep in and I'm not that person, so I feel guilty about that. I go to the gym and try to keep fit, I'm an average looking guy but this has made me feel unattractive, unloved, a bit lonely and now it's affecting me where I've become short tempered and everything is stressing me out because I'm not happy. I even mentioned to her that maybe we get some couples therapy but she just goes silent and it's like I'm talking to a wall. I feel worthless and not good enough for her anymore. We occasionally fight like most couples and I'm not perfect but I would rather her be honest and say look this is why I don't want to be intimate with you so I can work on fixing.
5 Replies 5

sbella02
Community Champion
Community Champion

Spectre84,

 

Thank you for opening up to us here, and welcome to the forums. 

 

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles with this. Intimacy can be an important part of many relationships, and its importance can vary significantly. 

 

There can be many reasons why somebody does not want to engage in sexual activity, or is reluctant to. These include but are not limited to, lack of libido, previous experiences, mood, stress, low self-esteem or confidence in one's abilities, or as you have mentioned, asexuality. These reasons as well as solutions can also vary over the course of somebody's lifetime too. For instance, safe and consensual experimentation with toys can sometimes be good for people who have previously not been able to orgasm. It is up to you and your partner to work out which of these reasons apply to you, and what you both may need to do to overcome or accommodate for these. 

 

If you would feel comfortable or if this is applicable, open up another conversation with her about this to better understand her position. Express your concerns or worries, and allow her the chance to open up about hers if she wishes to. Relationship, sex or intimacy counsellors may also be able to help open up these kinds of conversations, if you would both be open to hearing some professional advice.

 

I would also ask yourself this question if you haven't already: how important is physical intimacy to you in a relationship? If it is quite high on your list of needs for a relationship, does asexuality equate to incompatibility for you, or is it something you feel you would be able to work through? Just a few things to consider. 

 

I hope this advice resonates with you, and please feel free to reach out more if you need further support.

 

SB

ecomama
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Spectre84, this is very sad to read how your relationship is going. I'm really sorry you're going through this and you're in the right place to get your thoughts out and hopefully get some helpful feedback. 

 

I'm old so I've seen lots, been through tons too. 
I've had 3 female friends who really never wanted sex with their husbands. 2 only did so to conceive. One of these does it once a year under sufferance. The other couple have separate rooms. The last friend was actually gay and couldn't come out until after her divorce. 

 

It's not YOU. 
I don't know what it is that your gf doesn't want to have sex with you. But it seems like a deal breaker for you if you haven't got a healthy sex life. I'd agree. If there's already such a huge disparity BEFORE marriage, then it's not looking any better after. 
I'd be more inclined to ask your gf why she's with you. It could be to "fit in" as all her friends were partnering up. It could be to achieve her goals of owning her own home... IDK. 

 

Some people may suggest spicing things up. Perhaps this could work once or twice, maybe not. 
I can't imagine having to go on a weekend away or have luxe dinners out etc every time to be intimate with your partner in a monogamous relationship. 

 

I'm really concerned she won't consider couples counselling. That's a Red Flag to me. She knows you're really unhappy, frustrated and confused but won't help the situation? 

I suggest you seek a Counsellor for yourself. Some couples Therapists insist upon seeing each individual separately anyway, which I think is necessary. 

 

I think it's sad your relationship is facing this dilemma so early on, but dealing with it now could mean you avoid a life time of deep unhappiness. Marriage is hard work anyway without this issue coming up so early. 


Best wishes

EM

Hi EM,

Thanks for your reply, i appreciate your supportive words. She is such a great person in every other aspect. She has a good heart, she is very down to earth, she has a good head financially and emotionally(generally). It's actually her that has made it possible for us to build our house. She is also the bread winner. I cant fault her otherwise so its even more upsetting that we have this issue.

 

I've been reflecting on this situation for a long time and I believe she just doesn't have any interest in sex and she doesn't think it's important. Sex is very high on my list in a relationship, I need that emotional connection with someone. Even though I've explained this to her and my feelings, I don't think she is taking me seriously, like I'm just going to get over it and it will go away.

 

I love her so much that now I have to consider living with this foe the rest of my life. I've made a comment that I don't want to go looking for it somewhere else. I've also made a passing comment that perhaps she let me get my sex from somewhere, she basically said nothing, didn't even get upset. 

 

I will need to think about how I can approach her with this again because nothing I've said so far seems to work or make her understand how badly it's affecting me. I've tried to be diplomatic about it and asked her to please be open about how she feels and I'm there for her no matter what the issue is but she shuts down and doesn't respond. It's so weird.

Sophie_M
Moderator
Moderator
Dear Spectere84,
 
Welcome and thank you for coming to the forums to seek support. Please know you can express yourself and your concerns openly and without fear of judgement, as this is a safe space. We can see that you have already had support from our lovely community members and just wanted to provide some helpful links that may assist with your situation.
 
We would highly recommend contacting Relationships Australia, they provided excellent resources and supports for promoting healthy relationships and have multiple articles relating to this topic. They will be able to suggest possible ways for you and your partner to discuss the current problem with intimacy and provide recommendations for you to be able to manage your negative responses during this difficult period in your relationship. You can also call them on 1300 364 277.
 
There's also some more really helpful resources available online, including this wonderful resource put together by Health Direct if you would like to have a read. 

You deserve support and assistance in working through what's going on for you regarding the lack of intimacy in the relationship, whether it's with or without your partner in attendance and we hope that you will seek out counselling as recommended by Ecomama.


Please remember we have a team of counsellors available 24/7 that would be happy to discuss your concerns and possible options. You can contact Beyond Blue either via phone 1300 224 636 or through Beyond Blue Online Chat. Even if it just to talk to us and receive some reassurance, we are here for you.
 
Thank you for trusting our supportive community and sharing your experiences, we hope you find the shared insights and advice of our members helpful.
 
Warm regards
Sophie M

ecomama
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Spectre84, you're most welcome. I can hear how great she is through all your words of deep affection and admiration for her. That's why I said this situation is so sad because it IS so darned sad. I can hear that too! 

 

Remember how I'm old? lol. I've had / got LOTS of friends & acquaintances, mostly female. 
I have never seen a happy marriage that had one partner going outside the marriage for intimacy, not one. 
Even with the total insistence from the partner not interested in sex, telling the other partner to do this. 
No one knows where this rabbit hole ends. IME from observations, it always ends up really ugly. 

 

I'm not saying GF is wrong. It's her body and if she doesn't want it used in this way then I can't see anything that can change her mind. No amount of talking, Counselling, nothing.. because she has zero interest in changing. If she had other issues (perhaps medical or physical) but WANTED sex, that's a whole other story. 

 

Same with you. Your happiness appears to depend upon a very healthy sex life and there's nothing wrong with that either. I'm more like you. I couldn't understand my friends like your GF, I asked lots of questions but more to try to understand them. 

 

You'll see time and again one partner becoming upset about the behaviours of their spouse or the absence of certain feelings or behaviours of their spouse. The person they're trying to change doesn't have a problem with themselves. 
Their spouse DOES, hence it's them who needs support in trying to deal and hoping to come to a resolution of sorts for themselves. 

 

That's why I suggest you seek Counselling. 
This kind of thing becomes OUR problem, merely by association. Not because there's something wrong with YOU, but there's a dynamic in the relationship, that's extremely problematic for YOU. 

I honestly believe that intimacy is the ONE thing that needs to be matched in marriage, because most other dynamics can be met outside the marriage with little issue. Ofcourse there are others that are HELPFUL like views on finances etc. But intimacy is my number one and from that I've found for myself that most other stuff can be agreed upon. 

 

Your thoughts? 
EM