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Stuck in a sexless relationship

Community Member

I have been with my partner for 14 years and we have 2 children together under 10. For the last few years we have had sex so little, maybe once or twice every few months. This is where it gets really hard to write about because it is my partner who doesn’t want sex. As a female it is so hard to accept the rejection as for me anyway, I feel that sex is usually withheld by the woman in the relationship. We have talked about this, he tells me he will seek help, he doesn’t, we go round in circles. A few weeks ago I spoke to him again to tell him that I couldn’t go on and he saw a doctor who has sent him for tests and also prescribed anti depressants. I know my partner has been feeling low and stressed at work. We are still not having sex. I don’t initiate it and haven’t for a long time as the rejection is so devastating and I also wonder if when he does agree to have sex whether he really wants to or is just going through the motions, which doesn’t do much for my self esteem.

I don’t know what to do. This is a major isssue for me and makes me feel angry, hurt, resentful. I do still have love for him but at the same time the thought of going with little to no sex for the rest of my life is unbearable. I also don’t want to break up the family as I can’t face doing that to my children. He is a good father.

I have been seeing another man for a few weeks. It started out just sex but I have been developing feelings for him. I know that this is completely the wrong thing to do but I am so low and craving the affection.

I am so confused and don’t know what to do.

8 Replies 8

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome here

Some will judge you on your actions but not here. In fact one of my long term partners was the same and yes, it is hurtful and lowers your self esteem. It gets so low one does consider having an affair.

I'm a little confused because you appear to want to solve the issue with your husband sexually then again you are developing feeling for this other man. If your sexual problem vanished with hubby would you break it off with your lover?

At any rate I do see another potential problem. "Potential" meaning I'm not a qualified medical person. Medication can stunt sex drive and that has happened to me in the past. In my opinion the common erectile medication works great and such a move might spring hubby into action. You don't mention anything like such in your post so I assume you both nor his GP have considered it. Another concern is your husbands lack of trying to satisfy your needs and his lack of empathy there. That side of things is his responsibility.

I hope that helps. Try to be positive.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello Ms Hattie, TonyWK has made some very good points and asked you some good questions. The only thought I have to add is, have you considered whether the lack of sex is a symptom of something greater? These things rarely happen in isolation. When you say you have talked about this and he has promised to seek help, what is it that you have talked about? What is it that he is promising to seek help for? From your post, it sounds as if the focus is on physical causes (going and geting tests and the like) without focusing on the emotional and life reasons. You briefly mention that your husband is low and stressed at work. Have you talked with him about why this is? In my experience, the sexual needs of partners do ebb and flow in a long term relationship, and you won't always find your drives match up. That said, sometimes these issues can also be tied up with other important components of love such as trust and intimacy. The fact that you are developing feelings for this other man apart from sexual makes me wonder whether you have been drifting apart in more than just your sex life. What do you think?

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Ms Hattie,

This actually seems to be more common than you think and men tend to be less open about their feelings which makes it extremely difficult to pin point what the issue is. If he is willing to be open about it, i think it would be great for him to see a psychologist and see if they can work out what's going on. Please don't beat yourself up though as it's not your fault at all. seeking elsewhere seems to be a very common solution, although it may create more problems in the long term. I wish you all the best! Remember you are beautiful!! 🙂

Thanks for the reply Tony.

To answer your question about the other man I’m seeing, I have no idea what will happen there. He is also married, and I don’t think he will leave his wife. We started off as just sex and lately we have been talking feelings but although he tells me he has feelings for me, I think for him it’s just an escape from reality and Im pretty sure he won’t leave his wife for me. He and I are very sexually compatible, sharing the same tastes, and he does things for me that my husband would never do. I would find it really hard to give him up even if my husband suddenly rediscovered his sex drive.

I hadn’t considered the medication might make things worse. I am also on anti depressants and have been for some time due to this issue but it doesn’t affect my sex drive. It’s not a physical problem, he just says he’s tired or that when we have sex he can’t sleep afterwards. And obviously we argue so that’s not conducive to being intimate.

Community Member

Thanks for your reply Jess F. I do think we are just coasting along. We don’t spend a lot of time together on our own and feel more like house mates than husband and wife. The lack of sex makes me resentful and I can be argumentative because if it. When we talk I tell him that I need more sex and affection. He tells me that he hasn’t got the energy, is tired, stressed at work. He tells me that my behaviour, being argumentative etc makes him not want to have sex. We have tried counseling before but it didn’t work for us - we both didn’t see any real benefit. Hence me asking him to go to our GP to see if there is a physical problem. But from what he has said it seems to be his depression causing the issue. We have talked about this before. He says he is bored at work. I’ve told him to look for another job but that hasn’t happened. He tells me he feels pressured as he brings the main income to our family. I have recently gone back to work part time which I thought might ease his stress but it doesn’t seem to have done that. He gets home from work and goes straight to the lounge and goes to sleep. This does drive me mad and I have been vocal about it. Although just this week he has started going to the gym which I am encouraging.

I do love him and can’t imagine being without him in a lot of ways. The primary thing for my is our children. I don’t want them having their family torn apart. Maybe if we didn’t have children we would have split already.

I know I am doing the wrong thing by having an affair but he makes me feel desired and special. I have always craved affection and that’s why my husbands lack of interest just kills me.

Thank you Rabbit33, I will talk to him about seeing a psychologist and see if he is willing.

Community Member

Apologies for asking this, but is there a chance at all that your husband might have become distant because of an extra-marital relationship of his own? Whilst acknowledging everyone is different, my sex drive is perhaps the only thing that remains in what otherwise is a very dark and depressing state. Medication does certainly have a reputation for dulling one's sex drive. His stated reasons are most likely sincere, but it would not be an unheard of cover story.

Assuming of course his reasons are as stated, raising the issue repeatedly could just push him further away. Can you think back to the early, courting days and recall what might have raised his heart beat back then? Have you tried introducing things by stealth, without any outward pressure to physically engage (new attire etc). Most marriages are susceptible to sex life becoming mundane. Perhaps it's time to think outside the box?

Though I appreciate the desire to feel wanted and physically stimulated, I'd caution against continuing the outside relationship; at least if you really want to keep the family unit together. Remember there is another person involved that has not been mentioned. The other man's wife. Do they have kids? It could be two families torn apart here.

Best of luck

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Ms Hattie, welcome to the forums.

There have been many good comments from those above me and being with your partner for 14 years the situation seems to be different, so you think something must be wrong with me so why doesn't he want sex anymore.

To discuss the topic of sex after all this time isn't always too comfortable, believe it or not, especially if the situation is in reverse because it's such a sensitive topic for either person as the partner wanting it feels guilty raising it and the other person feels embarrassed or ashamed.

Your partner could be struggling with something else, where we have had people in marriages change their mind, but he can’t bring himself to talk about because it's embarrassing, that's what you need to find out.

He might have changed his mind, and there is nothing wrong with that but wants to keep the family together for the children's sake, but can't raise the topic, so you can still ask him.

You have this other lover who does everything for you, as you do for him, it's still exciting because no one's meant to know about it, but this doesn't mean that in the event of living with him, it will stay the same.

People do have affairs, some can make their marriage wake up for the other spouse/partner, so it then changes direction to revitalise their connection other times it's impossible.

Rather than your relationship continue to decline and disconnect sexually as the years go on make a decision.

Best wishes.