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My boyfriend never wants to have sex with me

Community Member


I'm a 30 y/o woman in a long term relationship with a 29 y/o guy.

I suffer from bi-polar (mostly under control) & he suffers from anxiety & depression (he is on meds)

We have been together for 2.5 years, live together, have created a home & life together & we would like to head in the direction of marriage.

In the past year, the sex has gone from amazing & frequent to non-existent... even before he started medications he has just not wanted it.

He never initiates anymore, & then gets annoyed with me because he feels i don't initiate. The unfortunate thing is, that i really do try... but every time i do he is tired, or sick or not in the mood, or has something more important to do, or tells me my timing is terrible... so then i ask to plan it & he tells me it will feel forced & not spontaneous... but when i am being spontaneous - refer to the above. I've stopped initiating it. We are lucky if we have sex once a month, usually it is less than that & we are both physically fit, healthy & attractive.

I feel so hurt, rejected & ugly. My self confidence is now non-existent from being constantly rejected. My self esteem is shot & i am so down on myself. He said this makes it worse & it doesn't really make him feel like he wants me when i am so down... but i am so down because he doesn't want me! It is a vicious cycle 😞

I really tried to open up to him the other day & talk to him about it. I was so scared & anxious. I felt physically sick because i knew he would get the shits. Anyway, i told him how i felt & he got upset with me & told me that i shouldn't put all the blame on him & i am acting like he is the reason i feel so down about myself... (even though it is true) he got very defensive even though i told him that i was finding it difficult to talk to him about it & was worried of the consequences & i was only telling him because i love him & want us to work. I don't know what to do. I travel a lot for work & he won't even be intimate with me before i leave for a week away... then nothing when i get back.

He told me the other night before i left to go away for work, that he wanted to do it... then i went & prepared all excited, nice perfume etc... & all he wanted to do was lay on the couch. He told me he felt too awkward & forced. What do i do? I'm so depressed. He is great & i love him & want to be with him but i don't want to be in a sexless relationship forever, especially when i feel we can't talk openly about these things.

I'm so down.

33 Replies 33

Community Member

I can't quite understand it. He doesn't initiate anymore but complains that you don't initiate - so you initiate and he blows you off.

Naturally I'd be concerned he's getting it elsewhere and this seriously needs to be considered. Maybe keep an eye out for it rather than confronting it directly.

I'm also not the best to comment as I'm a man from a terminal sexless marriage - and advice is best sought from those more experienced in these matters (i.e. I'm not going to say "I'd die for my partner to be wanting more sex with me). He seems a little too young to have issues with low testosterone so my bet is that he's getting sex elsewhere. Athol Kay's website is aimed at married men with low sex marriages, however it is very supportive of women suffering from low sex relationships - supporting getting to the bottom of the issue with a great team on their forum. Google his name and see how you go, but your issue is something they may be able to help with. Ultimately you're a healthy woman with completely normal needs. If he is unable to address the issue in a reasonable manner and there is no health problem explanation for his low sex drive, particularly if he's minimizing it's affect on your self esteem then you need to consider if you want to be in the relationship

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Blue Belle,

Thanks for sharing your story and sorry to hear what you are going through. Apollo makes some good points - whether or not (there is no need to jump to conclusions, but Apollo is 100% correct in pointing this out as something that needs to be looked into) he is getting it "elsewhere", at the end of the day you have a problem that need to be addressed.

It could well be the medication he is on has simply destroyed his sex drive. Anxiety/depression meds are well known to annihilate a healthy man's drive. It could be his T levels. He could be fatigued - sex takes effort so naturally he would avoid it in this case. He may not be a highly sexual person - the beginning of relationships are always filled with more sex than one can handle, and it naturally tapers off to a degree as time goes by. Perhaps (I say this seriously, not as an accusation but again as a possibility) he prefers to masturbate - does he watch porn/have you ever found it on his phone?

Honestly, there could be a dozen potential causes here, but I can tell you which is NOT a cause. And that is a healthy 30 year old, attractive woman wanting to have sex with him. That woman, you, are NOT the problem mark my words. I am in my 30's and can tell you that it is not you - period, end. Don't get down on yourself, please.

If you want to salvage the relationship, clearly it needs to be addressed. Will he be willing to talk with you about it? Will he be willing to see a doctor or counselor with you? Can you slip him some advice via email or in a book he is reading (ie: print some advice off a men's health site)? You know him better than we do, but no, it is not "normal" for a 29 year old man, healthy, to constantly avoid sex. There is a cause, and you need to explore it together to fix this. If you try to do it all by yourself, you'll anger him and become even more down on you.

We are here if you need to chat, all the best.


Community Member

Hi blue bell,

I was looking for posts like yours to try and help myself. I feel so sad all the time as I have the same issue with my partner. We are both 35. I love him so much and I feel very attracted to him but he doesn't seem to feel the same. He loves me I know that but has no passion towards me and never initiates sex with me. I have had countless arguments with him as I feel as if he is deceiving me in some way. I have suffered from depression and anxiety so his behaviour brings all my insecurities out. I doubt his feeling and intentions. I have thought and felt the worst. For instance that he is gay. That he has sex with other people. That he doesn't really love me but just wants someone so he isn't lonely. Like u we have built a life together. But the intimacy isn't there and it feels like it's destroying me in a way because I can't deal with it. He is great in every other aspect and will go the extra mile for me in everything else but not in sex. We have sex once a week and only when I initiate it-he never does. And then the sex is always the same. Like he doesnt really care about it. I don't know why excactly I am writing here. I feel desperate and trapped in my feelings and I need to find a way to get out of this.

Sorry that I don't have an answer or any advice for you. At least you know you aren't alone and there are other women in similar situations.

i hope we both find a way to make this better

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi blue_belle,

Welcome to the forums and thanks for posting.

I can see that there's been some great replies here. I'm so sorry that you're in this situation. I've been in this place before and I know how it can feel; it's such a vicious cycle when all you want is for things to get better but things keep circling round and round.

The good thing is though is that you can stop the cycle. The fact that you've recognised that there's a cycle is a big step. Often in relationships with these sorts of issues not being able to recognise it is half the battle. I'm just wondering if you've considered talking this over with a sex therapist? I know it can be daunting but theres a great one at ShineSA (or you could try Relationships Australia - rasa.org.au).

One of the biggest things that I found was key with my own experiences was communication. You said that he won't initiate because you won't initiate and that he feels blamed and that he's the reason you feel down on yourself. That to me sounds like he's being defensive. I understand it though. I also understand that you don't want to initiate because you've been rejected. It sucks but nobody is to blame.

One thing that you might find helpful when communicating about this is the Repair checklist by the Gottmann Institute; basically the short version is using I statements and focusing on how you feel and working towards solutions rather than how awful it is - https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bo5xcn-CUAAnjRT.png:large

Another thing that might be helpful is instead of switching the focus to 'sex' try aiming for intimacy; things like kisses and cuddles. That way the mindset is away from being rejected or whose initiating what but instead on just feeling good and close.

Hope this helps 🙂

Community Member

Hi blue bell

i am in a similar situation.Ive been with my girlfriend for 9months and the sex has stopped.Like the affection has too.She has suffered from anxiety/depression since 16yrs old and she's been on meds since.And I understand some can supress the sex drive.I suffer from anxiety and trust issues and am seeking help.

i too always have to initiate things...I am a fairly sexual person and damn attracted to my girlfriend.She says she loves me ect.But the connection is lacking due to the no sex.And it too is leaving me feeling rejected and ugly.

no matter how many Romantic things I do for her it dosent help.When I talk to her and say I feel she dosent want me anymore she says it's not true but she feels we are lacking passion and I need to just grab her and kiss her.

how am I suppose to do this when she rejects my kisses ect.

so your not alone love...I feel your pain xo

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello B-B, there have been some great words by those above and when a healthly relationship or marriage does have a good sexual life by the two of you then everything else just goes along so well, you can disagree and agree which doesn't cause any problems, so your communication between the two of you is how you want it to be, but as soon as one particular issue becomes an issue then problems do begin.
Sex is a lovely way to satisfy the connection, it makes a happy way to share most things in the marriage, but when it is stopped or pushed away by one partner, and in this case your partner, then many problems start to evolve, disappointments, arguments begin and questions why.
My wife (ex) usually initated sex before we got married, but once we were then the brakes were put on, and 9 times out of 10 her answer was always no, so I gave up asking.
It does frustrate you when he says no, because then you start to doubt yourself, am I getting older, I am putting on weight, or doesn't he find me attractive any more and even though he says no do you actually believe what he is saying.
I do wonder whether his whole mood has changed and if you believe so then he could be suffering from some type of depression, I can't diagnose this myself, but if you were my sister then that's what I would say to you, because with this illness it certainly stops any urge for someone to want to have sex.
Ask him to do the K-10 test, which will give him a score of whether or not he is suffering from depression, I do appreciate that he may say 'why do I need to', but it's probably good for anyone to test themselves at different times, even if they are feeling great, because many times people cover up their depression by putting on a brave face, making out that all is OK. Geoff. x

Community Member

Hi Blue

I was in a similar situation but i was the guy. My depression destroy and curtailed any sexual desires or urges. I loved my girlfriend dearly. adored her but my sex drive just no longer existed. No matter what she tried, whether initiate or talk about it. I didn't want a bar of it and it hurt coz i knew she was hurting but i was so lost, spiralling out of control. I hated life, I hated me. why would anyone want me, i was saving her from making a big mistake right? even though we were a couple and in love i still managed to think that. think i was such a waste that i was saving her the shame. truely messed up.

we were in our early 20's at the time. we started off great but i neglected myself too long and relied on her to be my sunshine. it got to the point where neither one of us wanted it. we relied on each other in so many ways but for the last 12 months of the relationship there was no intimacy... in fact, i didn't have sex for 4 years. in my 20's, how obscene. but i had no interest, no confidence, no conceivable reason to try. to this day i still feel that way at times.

the point is.. it happens. you are not alone. it's neither you or your partner's fault. It's painful, confusing and trying but you have my support. you have all our support. This isn't just a sex thing, it's a mental well being thing as well. You have to look after yourself as much as your partner. It'll take time and patience and maybe lots of tears. stay strong.

this may have been useless, i'm sorry i can't supply a solution.

Community Member


So sorry to hear what you are going through. I have been in a almost sexless marriage for a while now, once or twice a month but it was me who didn't want it.

I had no desire, I was tired and worn out and it just never seemed the right time, I did change meds and that helped for a bit but they really can kill your sex drive.

Try looking up some articles on varying libidos in s relationships.

I wouldn't assume that he is getting it elsewhere as I certainly wasn't and didn't want to but maybe try to see if there is anything that he "nags " you about that might seem trivial to you , things that keep coming up. Maybe it's some of those things , he might be annoyed about some things and it's projecting to sex life.

i know for me there has to be that emotional connection so if I have lost that I won't want sex

i hope this helps

Don't worry 'Golden Brown', I too came here to help find answers for myself so your girls aren't alone out there in feeling trapped with these issues. I'm 24, my boyfriend 23, we are not unhealthy, and have been together for 8 years now. I've tried literally everything to help the issue; be it trying to help him want sex or to try and want it less for myself, but sadly nothing works. I truly wish that I were more helpful 'blue-belle'! I'll certainly post if I find something that works! I mean heck, surely I'm too young to be worrying about a relationship without sex.

All this talk of the man 'getting it from somewhere else' has me worried, but surely that can't be the case for us girls otherwise if they were feeling bad enough to not have sex with us after cheating then surely they would have confessed by now. I am at the point where I want to see a professional about our issues or have the man go see a doctor, but he seems to have no interest. It would obviously seem like an easy solution for us all to just leave our relationships, but we're all here because we're deeply invested in our love for our men.

Thank you 'romantic_thi3f' for your comment about a sex therapist, working on solutions instead of seeing the negatives and to aim for intimacy. Hopefully it will work for us all! I presume these methods took a while for things to work for you? Was your partner also lacking enthusiasm to help the issue at first?

Again I am not very helpful but I will definitely post if (hopefully) I can find something that works. Although it's terrible that other's feel the same, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one with this issue.