Dear Dr. Brit and Catherine,
I have a kind of unusual problem. I have been with my boyfriend for almost three years but for the last four months he has not wanted to have sex. We never used to have a lot of sex but we would at least have sex three times a week. I often initiated it. Then suddenly he doesn’t want to. He is not impotent, and I don’t think I have changed. I am really confused. He says he loves me, and we still have a lot of fun and date nights and the like. But I am getting frustrated. It’s not like I am a nymphomaniac. Four months without sex just seems weird to me. What should I do? I am 38, and he is 35.
We agree that four months of abstinence after three years in a relationship that appears to be healthy is a sign that something, in fact, is wrong.
There could be many reasons for his lack of interest in sex. Here are some of the most common ones:
1. He is getting it elsewhere. Men who are having an affair or even a series of one-night stands often cease to be interested in sex with their partner.
2. He could have erectile dysfunction. He is quite young but it can occasionally happen to men in their thirties. He may be too embarrassed to tell you.
3. He may have discovered that he has a sexually transmitted infection or disease that he didn’t know he had, and now he doesn’t know how to tell you.
4. There are unresolved problems in the relationship besides sexual problems.
5. He could be suffering from a mood disorder or psychological stress, both of which can kill sexual desire.
You don’t say whether you have attempted to talk to your boyfriend about this issue. If not, we suggest that you do. If you have attempted to talk to him about it but he has been unwilling, then it’s time for you to consider backing off from him. You don’t need to break up with him quite yet. Just take a small break from him until he is willing to discuss the issue. If you live together, move out. If you don’t live with him, start to see him less often (say, once a week).
Dr. Brit and Catherine