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What to Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Be Intimate
Relationship Advice

What to Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Be Intimate

If your partner seems to have lost. interest in having sex, here's what you can do to better understand each other's needs and have a healthy sex life.

Together Team
May 31, 2022

For any romantic relationship, sex is an essential part of intimacy. However, we can all agree that once the relationship gets past the honeymoon phase, the sex tends to slow down. For many couples, it’s never a cause for concern. But what’s never expected is for your sex life to stop completely.

It can be pretty confusing and scary. Your partner suddenly becomes uninterested, and you feel the closeness is no longer present. Without intimacy, it becomes challenging to maintain a strong bond and trust. Both of you may start to feel insecure about the future of your relationship, and the foundation can get shaky.

However, if your partner is no longer interested in intimacy, it’s not the end of your relationship. Libido levels can vary at different stages of life, and losing interest in sex is expected from time to time, although it could mean that there’s an underlying condition.

Besides, people are different, and if someone chooses not to be intimate for some reason, that’s okay. You can always work it out with your partner to understand each other’s sexual needs, boundaries, and what you’re both comfortable doing.

Here is your comprehensive guide on what to do when your partner doesn’t want to be intimate, but first, let’s understand why.

Why Doesn’t My Partner Want to Have Sex with Me?

While a change in the sex drive is normal, there may be more to it than you would expect. The best thing to do is talk it out with your partner, although you may be curious and want to investigate the possible cause of the change. 

Are there unresolved tensions with your partner? Are they feeling insecure? Have there been significant changes in their career or work schedule? Does your partner see you as a friend or a lover? These are some of the questions that could be running through your mind.

Here are 5 common reasons to explore.

1. Relationship Tension

Some people love the thrill of having sex when angry, while others like the passion of make-up sex. An active sexual response can be challenging to achieve when mad — for both men and women. Your partner may experience a low sexual desire amid relationship tensions, especially if the feelings of anger and resentment have been building up over time.

Remember, the mind plays a critical role in sexual fulfillment, so the negative feelings can make it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection, especially for men. Women may also have trouble relaxing and responding sexually.

2. Infidelity

If you have been unfaithful to your partner or your partner has been unfaithful to you, you have the answer to what’s killing your sex life. Infidelity is a serious but widespread issue in relationships and a primary reason for most separations. Many partners find it difficult to recover and forgive an unfaithful lover, or the cheating partner may also lack the sex drive if the guilt is taking a toll on them.

Generally, cheating breaks trust in a relationship, and trust is a crucial aspect of the intimate connection between couples. The partner may find it difficult to fall back into the arms of a cheating spouse, which can be a possible reason for wanting to avoid intimacy. If you find yourself in this situation, here are questions to ask an unfaithful spouse (or partner) to understand their motives and decide what’s the best path forward.

3. Change in Personal Priorities

We all go through the ups and downs of life, and sometimes, sex is just not on our priority list. It’s necessary to understand that your partner’s schedule can be pretty hectic, especially if you both have kids to attend to.

Maybe it’s the peak period at work, so your spouse comes home tired. All they want is some moments to relax and sleep. Also, it’s normal for priorities to change as you move through the different life cycle stages, so not getting intimate as you used to shouldn’t be alarming.

4. Medical Condition

Humans are prone to health risks, especially as they age. Therefore, when your partner doesn’t seem interested in getting intimate, it’s good to avoid jumping to conclusions or getting judgmental. It could be some serious underlying condition like prostate cancer or erectile dysfunction, making one want to avoid intimacy altogether. 

Whether it’s the man or the woman, try to understand the possible cause and know the proper steps to take in case of a diagnosis.

5. Partner Has No Sex Drive

There are a lot of arguments around libido, but the truth is that libido is personal to an individual. The sex drive of one person is different from the other, regardless of gender. Generally speaking, men have higher testosterone amounts than women, and higher testosterone levels mean higher libido. The sex drives for men also peak earlier than for women, so they are bound to change with time.

Causes of Low Libido

The hormone, testosterone, is the primary determinant of a person’s sex drive. However, many factors can affect the production of hormones and undermine libido altogether, including:

  • Unresolved conflicts with partners
  • Physical sexual issues
  • Age
  • Effects of certain medications and contraceptives
  • Changes in hormone levels
  • Stress and exhaustion
  • Underlying health condition
  • Alcohol and substance abuse

How to Improve My Partner’s Sex Drive

A mismatch in the sex drive between partners can escalate into a severe relationship issue. It can strain a marriage as both partners feel unsatisfied or guilty. While there are many causes of low libido for both men and women, sometimes it can be factors within your control. Here are a few tips that you can use to boost your partner’s sex drive.

Communicate with Your Partner

If you are struggling with low libido in your relationship or marriage, communicating this with your partner can be an excellent place to start. Having frequent and open conversations helps you understand each other better and relieve any stress or tensions you may have. Also, it allows partners to understand each other’s sexuality, experiences, desires, fantasies, and needs.

Take Control of Alcohol and Substance Use

Alcohol and substance use is one of the common causes of low libido. If your partner has been a victim of drug abuse, you can start by helping them take control with therapy or rehabilitation, if necessary. Such programs can help your partner in recovery, help them avoid relapse, and improve their libido.

Bring Aphrodisiac Foods to the Table

Some foods have long been associated with increased libido. However, recent research suggests that ginseng shows some effectiveness in boosting libido in men. Other aphrodisiac foods like nuts, oysters, chocolate, red pepper, honey, and avocado, help improve mood, which can help increase sexual activity.

Encourage Kegel Exercises

Although Kegel exercises primarily serve to improve the pelvic muscles, they have proven to increase sexual sensation, especially in women. The exercises can boost intimacy, sexual pleasure, and trigger more intense orgasms.

What to Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Want You Sexually

According to research findings published on Forbes, a healthy and fulfilling sex life positively impacts all aspects of life, including careers. Sex is an integral part of every relationship, and it makes sense to be worried if your partner doesn’t want to have sex. 

However, it’s good to take control of the situation to avoid possible fallout with your partner or spouse. Here are some tips on what you can do when your partner doesn’t want to be intimate with you.

Talk to Your Partner

Approaching your partner for a sexual issue may feel awkward if you are both not used to such conversations. Therefore, you need to first find a good time to discuss the topic. Make sure you are on neutral ground where both feel comfortable and can speak privately and undisturbed. Also, ensure you express yourself with sensitivity and calmness, avoiding anything that suggests blame on your partner.

With the right approach, your partner can open up about their feelings and why they no longer want to be intimate, and that is a huge step to finding a solution.

Talk to a Sex Therapist

Even after talking things out and understanding your partner’s problem, some may be out of your control, and the best solution is to seek professional guidance. You can find a professional sex therapist and take some sessions.

Your therapist can help you get additional support through relationship therapy, couples therapy, or sex therapy conversations. During these sessions, make sure that again, you take neutral ground on anything your partner says. Listen to their opinions and be compassionate about their feelings without getting judgmental.

Adopt a New Lifestyle

If there are no medical grounds for your partner’s preference for a sexless relationship, it’s probably a lifestyle issue that needs to be addressed. For instance, it could be work-related stress taking a toll on your spouse. Other factors include a poor diet, drug or substance abuse, or contraceptives.

If you identify any of the above issues, it’s necessary to take action. Make sure your daily schedule involves some stress-reducing activities to relieve job stress. Exercising together after work is a great way to relieve stress, ensure a healthy lifestyle, and bond with your partner. You can also try to help your partner with some chores around the house and allow them time to rest and relax. Also, check your diet to ensure you are eating healthy foods.

Have a Sex Talk With Your Partner

If you’re in a new relationship, your partner not wanting to get intimate with you may just be because they are feeling shy. Even though it’s a difficult topic to start, a candid heart-to-heart talk could help in this situation. 

Try to make your points about what you want or enjoy about sex, rather than telling what your partner doesn’t do for you. Remember that choosing the right time and studying the mood is key to the success of a sex talk.

Effects of Lack of Sex in a Relationship

There is no standard amount of sex that a person should have. Keep in mind that how often a person has sex changes from time to time and is dependent on several factors. If you are in a romantic relationship or marriage, a lack of sex can feel discouraging. Here are some of the adverse effects of a sexless relationship.

Frequent Quarrels

It’s unusual for a couple to decide not to engage in sexual activity unless there’s an underlying health issue. In most cases, sexless relationships result from a lack of interest in one partner due to stress, low libido, or infidelity. The other party may experience sexual frustration that makes them overreact on issues, causing frequent misunderstandings.

Lost Confidence in Marriage

A sexless life between couples can signify a failed marriage. Both parties may constantly feel dissatisfied with their union and lose confidence in their marriage and future life together.

Low Self-Esteem

If your partner doesn’t want to be intimate with you, you might begin to have some self-doubt which significantly affects your esteem. Men may feel like they are incapable of satisfying their wives’ desires. One may start to be self-conscious in what he or she does, and the effects can extend to your professional life.

Can a Relationship Last Without Sex?

Strictly speaking, people can still have happy, healthy, and fulfilling romantic relationships without having sex. Sex is important in most relationships but it’s not a must-have for a relationship to survive if both partners are content without it. It enhances relationships, for some people, and it is more important to some couples than it is for others. Therefore, determining whether a relationship will last without sex narrows down to the individual in question and how important sex is to them.

Staying Intimate

In the end, we can all agree that sex is important in a romantic relationship, especially in marriage. It’s possible to have a happy and healthy marriage without sex, but the union could be better with healthy sex life.

Luckily, a majority of intimacy issues aren’t permanent, so it’s important to find the cause and work on it together with your partner. Aim to be able to communicate freely and openly about sexual needs and desires with each other, no matter how awkward they might be.

Together Team

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