What To Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Want To Be Intimate (8 Ways To Handle Things)

by April Maccario

Sex is an important part of any relationship or marriage as it is the most vulnerable both parties are with each other. Therefore, the lack of sex is seen as a worry for many people, sex has sometimes been placed at the pinnacle of the relationship, and while it is certainly important, it is erroneous to believe that it is all there is. 

That said, what are some of the reasons that your partner wouldn’t want to have sex with you? There are various reasons, but some of the most common ones are performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction, and stress. So, if your partner loses interest in sex, what next? Well, sexless marriages are more common than you think, and more often than not, the couples in the relationship still find happiness with each other. 

According to this article on Newsweek, 20% of married couples have sex less than ten times a year. This is sometimes described as a sexless marriage. However, since your sex life is still an integral part of your relationship, we’ll look at the things you can do if your partner doesn’t want to be intimate.

8 Ways To Deal A Partner That Doesn’t Want Sex

1. Talk to them

This should always be the go-to solution when there’s a problem in a relationship. One study showed that proper communication leads to more satisfied couples. Even without studies, everyday experience shows how effective good communication is. Communication is the water to the flower; that is your relationship, and the more you feed the flower, the more it will flourish.

Likewise, the better you communicate with your partner, the stronger your relationship grows. With that in mind, sexual intimacy should be a conversation you both have regularly, for many, that’s what keeps the spark in the relationship. He might be going through something you know nothing about which is affecting his sex drive. 

Whatever the situation is, it is best to approach the topic with compassion and tact. 

This means actively listening to what he has to say, and not making it seem like he’s failing you. After listening, you can communicate how you miss being intimate and how it makes you feel, and from there, you can both work something out and find some middle ground to work from. 

2. Show adequate support

Show adequate support

As mentioned above, listening to your spouse when they discuss their sex drive or lack of it is essential, and it is only after this that notable progress can be made. That said, showing compassion while talking to your husband isn’t enough, the support needs to extend beyond the discussion and seep into everyday life. 

Therefore, showing compassion regularly is the next step as you both come to terms with reality and figure out ways to muddle through. This means you can’t aggressively ask for sex immediately after your husband has just unloaded on why his sexual desire is waning. I know this requires a lot of fortitude, but it is for the sake of the relationship. 

Showing compassion and support indicates to your partner that you value them more than anything. Interestingly, this can sometimes rekindle sexual desire, or at least lead your spouse to consider how to find a middle ground that you can both enjoy and find satisfaction from.

3. Respect boundaries

Showing compassion also means that you will respect their boundaries on the issue, for instance, if your partner says they don’t want sex and are trying to figure it out, it isn’t exactly nice to then groping him in the middle of the night in hopes that this somehow ignites his sex drive. 

Such action is selfish and indicates that you don’t really care about him and his feelings. It could drive a wedge between things or, even worse, could lead him to question whether the relationship is also worth continuing. So, listen to your partner and respect what they have to say, even if it isn’t what you want to hear. 

This doesn’t mean you just have to take it without any recourse; you can also communicate how the lack of sex makes you feel. However, don’t force the issue and be tactful with these conversations as they are very delicate. If you show your partner respect, he’ll greatly appreciate it and that will help deepen the relationship. 

4. Make a few lifestyle changes

Once you’ve had a conversation with your partner, you’ll have a greater sense of why they have lost interest in sex. So, if the reason is low libido, erectile dysfunction, or just a general lack of interest, it is best to communicate and respect their feelings and decisions. However, if the reason is something more tangible, like stress from work, or something along those lines, then it’s something you can work on. 

For instance, suggesting a vacation could help him relax as the time away from a stressful work environment could help him. And being away in a hotel inside a comfortable environment could fuel sexual desire as well, but, what if he can’t take time off work? In that case, you can create a less stressful environment when he comes home from work. 

This could take various forms, like a nice dinner and drinks, it could also be a listening ear or a relaxing activity like chill music and sitcoms. This is a situation where you need to put your knowledge about your hubby to good use, as no one knows how to de-stress him as much as you do. 

5. Consider alternatives

One of the major causes of disinterest in sex is boredom, no, not regular boredom, rather, the one that comes from having sex the same way all the time. Therefore, your spouse might be over having sex in the bedroom at 8 pm every Friday. So, why not switch things up a little? 

Explore new sex positions, try going out somewhere different like a hotel or a resort, introduce toys, games, and roleplay, or even just try getting it on in another part of the house. These alternatives might be the excitement your hubby is seeking and help reignite his interest in sex. 

Even in cases where boredom is not the problem, but rather stress, these alternatives can still help as they help get his mind off the problems at work or elsewhere. Nevertheless, ensure that you have a conversation about what you want to do with your husband before embarking on this journey to ensure that he’s comfortable and open to trying something new

Perhaps even book a session with a sex therapist who can help you both figure out fun things to do with each other. 

6. Encourage more intimate times alone

As you may know, sex isn’t the only way to get intimate, and the older we get, the more we crave different forms of pleasure. So, if your partner has lost interest in sex, it is highly unlikely that he has lost interest in getting intimate, which is an integral part of our well-being. With that said, explore different ways of getting intimate and enjoying each other’s company and discuss them with your spouse.

 For instance, playing games together is a form of mental intimacy, especially if it’s a mentally stimulating game. Hence, a night of wine and board games could go a long way in building a connection. However, if you are craving physical intimacy, sex isn’t the only form that exists. An example is stargazing, or cuddling, both aren’t sexual, but it brings the two of you closer together and deepens the love you share. 

7. Ensure it’s not a health issue

Loss of libido isn’t sudden, and it usually comes in the form of a gradual process that ultimately leads to a disinterest in sex. However, apart from things like stress or depression, other medical issues can lead to a loss of libido. 

For example, scientists have discovered that cancer can cause a decrease in men’s libido, causing them to lose interest in sex, which can strain the marriage. Therefore, as a supportive spouse, you’ll need to ensure that the cause of your man’s disinterest isn’t medical. If it is, then there’s a better understanding as to why, and you both can take steps to deal with the issue and find a lasting solution. 

8. Seek help

Seek help

Dealing with a partner that doesn’t desire sex can be really stressful, and if you can’t handle it alone, that’s okay. For this reason, many medical professionals and counselors can offer some help and respite. You might need sex therapy, which is provided by many counseling groups. 

If you are worried about the price, there are numerous options, including discussions with therapists that offer a sliding scale fee to help couples that don’t have that big buck to pay. Furthermore, a discussion with a counselor or therapist can help uncover the cause of the problem and fix it.

 Also, if it is discovered that the problem is medical, they can refer you to the most suitable professionals to help with the issue. Understandably, this discussion is difficult; however, if you can make it through, your relationship will be stronger after it. 

FAQs

What do you do when your partner doesn’t want to be intimate?

This is a difficult situation for many couples, but not to worry; there are a few things you can do. The most important step is to talk to your partner as this generally reveals the cause of the problem, and from there, you can both devise solutions. For instance, if it’s medical, you can see a doctor, and if it’s emotional, you can figure a way through it.

Why is my boyfriend not interested in me sexually?

There is no single answer as reasons vary, for instance, your boyfriend might lose interest due to mental issues, including depression or stress. Also, it could be a medical issue that needs immediate attention. However, in a worst-case scenario, it might be that he’s lost interest in you, or is cheating with someone else. 

Can a relationship survive without intimacy?

A relationship can survive without sex; however, it is a lot more challenging to survive without being intimate. This is because sex is very sensual, and outside of it, there are other ways to connect with your partner. However, if even these are missing, then perhaps the two of you are incompatible. 

Why does he keep me around if he doesn’t want a relationship?

No one likes the idea of being lonely; therefore, the search for companionship can make us do some really selfish things. So, he might be keeping you around because he’s afraid of being lonely, also, it could be because he feels he’ll hurt you if he voices his discontent.

How do I fix my sexless relationship?

Seeing a professional is a great way to fix a sexless relationship, a sex therapist is well versed in ways to rekindle the romance and get your sex life back on track, this could tremendously help in figuring things out. 

To Conclude

I hope you enjoyed this write up, remember, dealing with a partner who is uninterested in sex is tricky, so following the tips we’ve given above could be very helpful. 

If you have questions or suggestions, please leave a comment, and if you found the write up useful, please share.

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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