Partners Share Why They Stopped Being Sexually Active With Their Spouse.
It's not uncommon for things to change in relationships over time, especially with intimacy.
Here, people share why they are no longer sexually active with their partner.
1. It's hard to find time for sex when you have kids and a full-time job.
We have three kids and live in a small house. I work two jobs. She works one. We both team up to take care of the housework and running the kids to this activity and that activity. But besides not having the time or energy, we're in our 40's and my wife has become less interested in having sex. We'd rather catch up on a show we never get to watch. We haven't had sex in a couple of years but not a day goes by we don't hug and kiss each other and say I love you. I don't know. We're best friends busting our butts raising kids, paying bills and doing our best to keep our heads above water.
2. A change in hormones may change your sex life.
Low testosterone. It's slowly taken away his sex drive and has altered him a lot physically and mentally. Our sex life ground to a halt a couple years ago, not long after we got married. However, we're still happy together and in love and I'm supporting him through it. The desire for a baby seems to be giving him some of his spark back so I think we're on the up.
3. Keeping promises and staying together.
We're both 58 and we'll be married 38 years in July. Our last intimate encounter took place in August 2002. She was diagnosed with a mental illness after almost successfully committing suicide. She was prescribed several medications that resulted in multiple health issues and is completely asexual. She took care of me and the children in our younger days when I was in the military and frequently deployed. It's my time to take care of her. She understands I still have needs and would probably look the other way, but I keep my promises.
4. The love may be lost.
12 years married. We're very compatible together in every way but that one. I don't know what happened. She claims she just doesn't have much drive any more. In the span of one year, we had sex one time. And at the one year point, I was gutted emotionally and had almost completely disengaged (story continued on the next page...).
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I did make an effort to try again and have a nice weekend but when we got to that time, she rejected me again. I flipped out and oddly enough, she didn't know that it had been, in fact, a year. It got better (subjectively) for about three months but it's been another three months since last time. I feel like we're slipping back into the old routine of nothing again.
In these last three months, I have been genuinely observing her. I am coming to the realization that she doesn't love me any more. We had people visiting in January and she was all about affection to them. I asked her later if she thought she was the same person around our friends as she is to me. She didn't take to that question very well but I think it woke something up because she started being more affectionate.
I'm steadily growing bitter about it and I know that doesn't help at all so it's a vicious cycle.
5. "After 2 near death experiences. I can live with the trade off."
It's been 10 years.
We had been married for almost 17 years and in 2007 my wife had her appendix burst and her doctor told her she had a stomach flu and to go home and have some 7up and crackers.
So after a a few days home thinking it was the flu she then spend a week in the hospital, 2 trips to ER and a surgery about 4 weeks later.
She finally was all healed up from that and went in for a routine Mammogram and was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast cancer.
After the living horror show that is cancer with Chemo, Radiation and 5 years of hormone inhibitors she has no desire and the the few attempts we have tried have resulted in severe pain for days due to vaginal atrophy.
I admit at times it's been hard but I love her to death. After 2 near death experiences. I can live with the trade off.
6. Trying harder may not always be the answer.
I gave up.
We've been together since the mid 80s, so there's that. I still find her very attractive, but she has 0 interest. Until last fall we were still doing it, but over the past four or five years it had gotten to the point where I could tell she was only doing it for me, and I began to feel as though I was essentially forcing her. I never forced myself on her, but her lack of enthusiasm made me feel like a total creep. I was frank with her. She claims she wants to continue, but I just don't believe it. If I made her dinner every night and she hardly touched it, over time I would get the impression she didn't like my cooking. Why make the effort if it's not wanted? That's how I feel. So I'm done.
7. Intimacy doesn't always mean sex.
We spend all kinds of time with each other and we are super affectionate. But actually having sex just doesn't have the same allure as when we were younger.
She's still hot. But we only do it once in awhile just because we'd rather connect in other ways.
When we do screw, it's pretty nice though.
8. "Everything else in the relationship is great, except that."
I just hit 6 years married. It all stopped after the baby. We will go months without it. Here and there she will be in the mood, but usually when I'm on the brink of passing out at bedtime (I think she gives in just to get me to stay up later). Lately I actually reject her because I'm tired of being tired. I get up super early for work (345am) (story continued on the next page...).
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I have grown tired of trying. Right now I'm happy with us except that. Probably once a year she gets into this kink mode for a couple days and it's great. Then it just stops.
I've told her on plenty of occasions that she never used to be like this, only to be told she always has been low libido (not true). It sucks because everything else in the relationship is great. But I feel like if I can't have a happy healthy sex life, it's a major problem and I'm at a loss for how to address it anymore. I absolutely do not want a divorce, but this isn't going away. I really just don't know what to do anymore. Every relationship is complex with different dynamics.
9. Sometimes it spells the end to a relationship.
After the birth of our second child, sex became significantly less frequent. When it did happen it was scheduled by her choice. Like meet in the living room at 9pm (After our second child she insisted that I sleep in a different room). All of a sudden I was hit with a dry spell and I told her I wanted some "lovin". She preceded to tell me, "Go buy a DVD and take care of it yourself." I waited about two months. Then asked her again. To which she responded with, "Go find a girlfriend. I don't care." Two weeks later I found she was having an affair. Divorce is currently in the works.
10. Your passion may take away from other relationships.
He likes to play with his keyboards more than he likes to play with me.
11. No more children, no more sex.
My wife doesn't believe in birth control and every time I have sex with her she got pregnant. We are up to five kids and I don't want anymore. I'm holding out for her to let me get a vasectomy. I've even had a priest tell me that it's not a big deal if I get snipped. It's better than having 10 kids that I can't take care of because I don't make enough money.
12. It's hard having sex when you have a baby.
We have a two month old baby and I (the wife) have been going to bed by 8-9pm every night. Right now I'd prioritize sleep over sex 100% of the time (story continued on the next page...).
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I've also got pretty bad post partum depression and anxiety and don't want to risk getting pregnant again. He's getting a vasectomy next month, so I'm hoping once he's healed I'll be in a better mental place to start thinking of sex again.
13. Just grown apart over the years.
After 30 years together we have simply grown apart. Dropped her off at the airport this morning as we are now separated. Sitting in a fast food restaurant now wondering what my next move is.
14. Following the same script every time.
Got tired of doing all the work and following the exact same script every time. Took me awhile but I finally got the hint.
15. Some information on the effect of aging on the female anatomy.
For women, as you get older it can become seriously painful. You need medical help and it's generally successful. It's NOT a matter of "use more lube", it's the condition of the skin tissues and a doctor can help. Some ingredients in some lubes can actually be irritating/stinging. But if both people don't understand this and aren't prepared, some bad feelings can build up. ("She never wants to!" "He doesn't care that he's hurting me!") It's a normal, natural thing and can be fixed if you talk about it.
16. "I know he loves me but he just doesn't seem that interested any more."
The amount of times we have sex has steadily declined over the years. First I noticed that it in terms of how many times we had sex a week, then in months, then on years.
I know he loves me but he just doesn't seem that interested any more (story continued to the next page...).
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We are very good at communicating with each other, so I know he still loves me, but it is hard sometimes. Having sexual intimacy is so important for me to have in a relationship. It's hard when everything else is good, except that one thing. We basically are just roommates at this point.
17. Having kids and being in school is tiring.
Small children, plus we're both in grad school, so we have very little free time alone together and on the rare occasions we do, we're generally exhausted and would rather just sleep or play video games. Also medication that reduces libido, and fear of (another) pregnancy.
18. Not being sexually active can affect your partner's self esteem.
We've been together over three years now. And we stopped just cause she never initiated and I'm tired of being the only one with a sex drive. I just feel like my sexual needs are a tiresome burden to her so I don't even try to anymore.
It doesn't help the few times we have had sex I have to do all the work. I just don't feel loved or satisfied if my partner is basically waiting for me to finish.
19. Pregnancy affects sex drive.
Pregnant at the moment... So the sex drive will come back when the baby is born. But at the moment I feel fat and ugly, even though my SO tells me otherwise. It's just when I look down and see that big belly, I just feel like lying down and eating chocolate.
20. Sex in a marriage isn't important to everyone.
My wife and I haven't had sex since we conceived our child. It will be six years later on this year.
At first, we wanted to make sure we'd know the date of conception. It's silly, but it made sense for us. Once the pregnancy was confirmed, I'm not sure why we didn't have sex again.
Once our kid was born, we let her body recover. Then we just stopped. We've had bad luck with condoms breaking in the past and had more than one pregnancy scare when we weren't ready AND she was on the pill. I guess we're potent together or the universe is telling us to have more kids (story continued on the next page...).
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As the years have gone on, the risk of having additional children has kept us at bay. With our past experience with condoms, we don't go down that path and being on the pill really messes with her body. She got nasty migraines the last time she was on it. Whatever I need to do to make sure that's accommodated for is what I'll do. I don't want her to go through that and if that means sex becomes a backburnered thing, then so be it.
We still do everything but sex, but it's hard with a kid running around. It simply doesn't happen often at all. It's even been a few months now, but I love my wife and she loves me. We know the spark is there, we just have other priorities as a couple that are more important. I've had enough sex in my life that it's far less of a big deal than it could be.
21. You need to make an effort to get to know your parter's body.
The truth: my husband is not very good at sex and shows no interest in improving in a way that will be enjoyable for both of us.
We had very different experience levels when we got together. I'd only had two partners, but one of the relationships was very long term. He'd had twice that number, but all of the relationships were very short term. So I knew what I enjoyed. He, it seemed, did not.
No problem. I could teach. I thought it would be OK for him to learn what he liked and what I liked and we'd mesh.
The sad truth? He doesn't seem to like any of the things I like. Or maybe he doesn't like sex. Or maybe he doesn't like sex with me. Hell, I don't know. And I don't care anymore.
Because he won't do the basic stuff. I'm not talking about reciprocal oral sex (though there is that; I love giving and receiving, but guess which is the only one to happen?). As far as I can tell, the only purpose of foreplay, to him, is to arouse himself. If I get going too, great, otherwise, oh well.
Needless to say, nothing even mildly kinky happens. There has been one thing I introduced that he did more than once, and he took it to such an extreme it was no longer enjoyable for me.
And in spite of all of this, I am the one expected to initiate. By which I mean, when I finally couldn't bring myself to do it anymore, sex stopped. Completely. We have had sex twice in more than a year, and even before that it was once every few months when I broke down and got something going in hopes that maybe a long break would make him at least pretend to care like he did early in our relationship.
For the record, I absolutely have tried the "talk it out" bit. But you need two people to talk something out, and he will. not. talk. I mean, when I broach the subject of sex, zero words come out of his mouth.
22. Erectile dysfunction can make things tough.
I've had erectile dysfunction for about 3 years now, I'm 37, she's 31. So I try to avoid having sex as much as I can until she starts to argue and fight about it. I know I need to change my habits...diabetes, eating bad, and no exercise, but it's really hard to stay focused.
23. It's hard when people change.
My wife developed a germ/dirtiness phobia around year one of our marriage. It'll be 5yrs soon and there's little to no contact of any kind physically at this point.
24. Counselling doesn't always work.
I have been in a relationship for 10 years (5 years dating, 5 years married) with my husband. Sex has been absent throughout our entire relationship.
As we dated, we both established we were not interested in having an accidental child, and so I assumed that was the main reason we never went further. When I suggested condoms, he shied away, concerned that his parents would find out while we were living with them. Later when we moved out, he was concerned that our roommate would come home early and find us. I found all of this very strange, but everything seemed to be going well in our relationship otherwise, enough that I agreed to marry him.
When we married, we moved out on our own. Things seemed to move further apart physically. He spent as much time as he could at school, he didn't want to hug, cuddle or kiss. He actually began to use tactics to avoid these, such as tickling me away when I reached out to hug him. When I brought up sex, I was told that neighbor children could look in the windows and see us, so we couldn't. There were nights where I cried myself to sleep because I had convinced myself that it was something to do with me. I tried different things to get his attention, from getting cute outfits, to cooking elaborate meals - all because I had decided it was something about me that made me undesirable. We ended up in marriage counselling for this, among other issues that were springing up. While it helped a lot, we never stayed in counselling long enough to address the sex portion.
We moved into a house together, no neighbors or roommates to worry about. I approached him about sex again and I was told that the real reason we had not had sex was that I was not on birth control and condoms simply did not work for him.
We went to marriage counselling again. It still isn't clear why he is so against a physical relationship. His reasoning changed from session to session. I moved out of the house, explored what it felt like to have a physical relationship and have decided to move on. There were many reasons that our relationship had problems, but this was a big one that never seemed to have an honest reasoning behind it. It wore on my self esteem and wasn't healthy for either of us. I'm still baffled about the "whys" but I'm done with sticking around to find out at this point.
"It wasn't me!"
There's not much you can do when the righteous fist of the law comes down on you. Call it a mix-up, or call it a mistake, if someone's pegged you at the scene of a crime there's not much you can do but trust the justice system to prove you innocent. However, that's a gamble, and just because you've been given a "not guilty" doesn't mean the effects won't follow you for the rest of your life.
Reddit user, u/danbrownskin, wanted to hear about the times when it wasn't you, seriously, it was someone else, when they asked: