What To Do When Sex Stops Happening

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If you are in a relationship where the sex is not just slow, but has stopped, and you are looking for advice or suggestions on how to fix it, then you have undoubtedly come across any number of resources that have talked of how sex is a waxing and waning occurrence in a relationship. Or, how a relationship without sex is OK or normal. I am sure you are confused and wondering what information is accurate and what should you try or disregard. I, myself, have written many articles on this subject. I have also, personally, been in a relationship where sex has stopped, and not from my side. So, hopefully my experience and my research can help you at least make some sense of what is happening and give you some ideas to try.

The first thing you have to think about is whether the sex has truly STOPPED, or if it has just gotten less frequent. Sex that is less frequent is fairly normal, and usually indicates less serious issues. However, sex that has stopped is not normal, and can be concerning. So, the first thing you should do – as obvious as this seems – is to initiate a sexual session and see what happens. Was it a downright “no” or were there excuses given that don’t make sense? Was I avoided? Did you attempt sex but it didn’t work for some reason (he couldn’t get an erection or she said it hurt?) This experiment can help lead your thoughts in the right direction.

…such as erectile issues or vaginal pain or dryness, then it is obviously something that a doctor or medical professional should look into. Many times, especially for men with ED (erectile dysfunction), they are too embarrassed to mention why they do not want to have sex. They may suffer in silence, or try methods on their own without letting their partner know. This is unsuccessful, obviously, because his partner is going to think it is her fault that he is avoiding sex. The same applies to women who have a physical issue and try to just avoid sex. If you believe your partner may be having a physical issue which is affecting their sex drive, talk to them gently about it in a non-accusatory manner and suggest they seek medical advice.

Depression is also a major cause of low or no sex drive in both men and women. In fact, some people who take anti-depressants will have an absolutely null libido. This is something that can cause angst because on the one hand, they do not want to be depressed. On the other, taking the meds can kill libido. Depression in and of itself untreated can be a real issue of lack of sex. So, if you think your partner may be battling depression, you may want to gently inquire.

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Sometimes it is not at all a physical reason that sex is weaning, but it could be emotional. Both men and women can refrain from having sex if they feel emotionally unbalanced or emotionally damaged in the relationship. Think about your relationship – is it solid? Have you been fighting or has there been any unusual tension? Has there been any new stress, for example a lost job, new child, money issues? Stress is a libido killer for most people, and when there is too much stress in a relationship it is almost impossible to feel like having sex. Take stock of what is going on and see if you can make a link. Ask your partner if there is anything going on with their life, job, and family. Try to find the root cause of the stress.

Eventually, if the lack of sex can’t be explained it is time to have a conversation with your partner. Some of the above situations may be occurring and he / she has just not felt like discussing them. Asking your partner in a loving and caring way that is not confrontational, accusatory or degrading can reveal issues you haven’t thought of. Phrases to avoid are:

• “We never have sex anymore, what is wrong with you?”
• “Are you cheating on me, because you sure aren’t fucking me!”
• “Are you frigid or what, you never put out?”

The phrasing of this discussion needs to be gentle and sensitive. Try the approach:

• “Honey, how are things at work? I noticed you have been stressed, what can I do?”
• “I have noticed that you do not seem interested in sex lately, I want us to have a great sex life, is there anything that you would like me to do?”
• “My love, is there anything you need to talk about? Our intimate life is sort of lax lately, and I want to check in and see what is going on.”

There are so many possibilities for a non-existent sex drive – and yes, some of them can be that your partner is cheating, is having sexual identity confusion, or is just not interested in you sexually anymore. These reasons are not as common as the other reasons. So, make your partner feel comfortable, have an honest talk, see if there is anything you can do and then take action. However, if your partner denies any issue and the sex life doesn’t return, it may be time to consider counseling or, in some cases, ending the relationship. Sexual happiness is a key factor in a relationship but both partners need to be invested in that.

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