grieving woman sitting on floor and crying

Been together 3 yrs. I’ve never been with a man who could go without sex for long periods of time, but he does. He’s just not interested. I’m his longest relationship. He says he doesn’t know how to be with a partner as he’s always been by himself. I feel like we’re roommates & sometimes want to give up & leave. I have tried helping him, but it just goes back to nothing. He did tell me he wasn’t attracted to me because I’ve put on weight, which really upset me as I’m not fat. Now I don’t feel sexy around him anymore since he made that remark. I believe he is so used to getting off on porn, that he’s not interested in the real thing.Watching younger women doesn’t help either. We’re in our early 50s. Hope you can help.


  • Michael Castleman says:

    That crack about your weight makes me think he’s a jerk. That’s for you to decide. But in defense of this possible jerk, I’m confident that he’s feeling major stress and self-doubt about his lack of partner sex interest, and deeply distracted by all that, he threw a zinger. That doesn’t forgive him, but it may help explain his comment.

    You can’t “make” anyone want more sex or any sex at all. Sex is like laughter. A partner can create a humorous context, but each of us laughs on our own. Some people are much harder to get laughing than others.

    What you have is a serious desire difference. You’re far from alone. Desire differences are a top reason why couples consult sex therapists. As a result, sex therapists have developed a program, an approach to this issue that usually helps. I present a do-it-yourself version of this program in my book Sizzling Sex For Life.

    You also face another issue—the transition from the initial stage of a relationship to comfortable, sexual, long-term attachment. You say you’re his longest relationship at three years. That means he hasn’t quite figured out how to be happy in a long-term relationship. And it sounds like you’re quite resentful and he must feel beleaguered and defensive. So it’s quite possible that my article won’t turn things around for you. If so, then I’d urge you both to see a sex therapist.

    Sex therapy usually takes four to six months of weekly one-hour sessions. It costs $150-200/hour, though many therapists discount fees for those who can’t afford standard rates. If you’re unfamiliar with sex therapy, clients DON’T have sex with therapists and therapists DON’T watch clients having sex. For more, read my previous Substack post, Hope Springs, with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. To find a sex therapist near you, visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, or the American Board of Sexology. Sex therapy won’t grant you a perfect sex life, but it usually helps.

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