“No sex is affecting my self-esteem”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
(I'd like to apologize in advance for this being so long. There's just a lot of background information that I think is important because I feel like some parts of my story are unique; I've been doing a lot of internet research, and I've haven't found someone in a similar position.)
My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 and 1/2 years, and we've been living together for almost a year and half. We started having sex about 2 and 1/2 years ago.
The core problem is that I feel like we don't have sex very often and it makes me feel bad. For the most part, this has been true our entire relationship. As soon as we started having sex (about 9 months after we started dating), the frequency of intimate activity dropped dramatically; when we were still fooling around (and virgins), he would want to do something 3 or 4 times a week. Now, we'll have sex/fool around/anything maybe once or twice a month.
It makes me feel unwanted, fat, and ugly. My self-esteem is in the tank. Also, because I've talked to him about this so many times, now I feel kind of dirty or wrong for wanting to have sex. And, I feel helpless because, in my eyes, I can't do anything about it.
He has always been the one to initiate sex. I became too discouraged to try anymore a long time ago because he either doesn't notice when I'm trying to initiate or (when he does notice) he doesn't want to have sex. I've tried every trick in the book to turn him on, but it doesn't matter. The one time I managed to initiate he couldn't perform. So, we only have sex when he wants to, and as a result, I feel like I can't even turn him on, which makes me feel worse.
He doesn't feel bad about the lack of sex. I'm not sure if he doesn't notice it, or if he doesn't need it. He says he doesn't often masturbate, and I know he doesn't look at porn. He's so busy that he usually just stays home with me, so I know he's not having an affair either.
Whenever I've talked to him about it, he's never given me a reason for not wanting to have sex. Once he explained that he feels a little self-conscious because things don't always .... "work" for me easily. I've told him that I don't care and that I just wish he would show me that he loves me and finds me sexually desirable (since he doesn't tell me that I'm pretty), but it doesn't matter. To me, it's not a physical need but an emotional one.
To make things worse, the reason why I'm so hard to turn on is because I don't ever expect him to follow through. He likes to "tease" me, doing the same types of things he does when he wants to have sex but not follow through. He says he needs to touch me to get turned on, but that everything shouldn't have to lead to sex, so I shouldn't worry about it. But, I can't help but feel like he doesn't want me anymore when he touches me and doesn't get turned on.
So, I don't know what to do. I can't remember the last time we had sex, and I'm starting to resent him. He tried to get us to have sex a couple of weeks ago, but I was still half-asleep, and he didn't even try to make things work for me. I feel like he's becoming a selfish lover, only concerned about his needs, which was never true before.
I'm desperate. I can't go through the pain and humiliation of talking to him again. I've been trying recently, and I can't get him to have sex with me either. Since I clean up after him and take care of him (which is another story), I feel like a roommate or a mother, not a girlfriend. The whole situation makes me feel terrible about myself, and the plain truth is, we're not really that compatible in terms of our interests, hobbies, etc. either. I'm starting to question whether or not I can be with him for the rest of my life, which has always been the plan. What should I do?