My partner of six years and I are very much in love, share many interests, and have built a life together. He’s my best friend.
Our sex life has been good for both of us, however I have a much higher libido than he does.
I often find myself initiating sex only for him to turn me down.
Despite my efforts to be understanding, and reassure him that it's okay if he isn't into it, the very fact that I want more sex than him makes him feel emasculated.
However, I’ve always been very sexual and I feel like I’m stifling that to protect his feelings.
I've raised this issue but don't find him open to my taking care of myself when he's not into it.
I've suggested introducing a toy so that we can still be intimate without putting pressure on his body. But he’s so fragile regarding this subject that we mostly argue about it and I’m accused of blaming him for having a lower libido.
We’re great at communicating on any other subject. I don't wish to guilt or hurt him; I just don't think EITHER of us should have to try to alter how often we feel sexual.
Is there a way we can both feel sexually satisfied without one or the other feeling "wrong" about their libido?
You’re trying too hard to share this difference, instead of finding a solution for yourself.
While intimacy together is preferable to you, he’s been clear that he’s interested in it less often and wants less reminders of that reality.
So why does he have to be part of your “taking care of yourself?”
If you did so privately (e.g. in the bath or when he’s gone out), it wouldn’t be a challenge to his masculinity.
Getting your own sexual counselling may help you accept this difference.
Meanwhile, if you stop raising the subject (which has become a constant presence between you), the pressure’s off him.
That’ll enhance your relationship, which you don’t want to risk.
FEEDBACK Regarding the siblings whose mother with dementia needs 24-hour care (August 31):
Reader – “Having placed both my parents and my mother-in-law in a Long Term Care Facility, there was no other way.
“Financially, remaining at home would’ve been devastating for them and for their adult children to hire caregivers 24/7.
“When this mother with dementia goes into the LTC facility with its staff, private caregivers can be hired for a few hours daily.
They take a resident outside, play cards, read to her/him and generally visit.
“This mother doesn’t realize how lucky she is to have a daughter and son who are trying to do their best in a difficult situation.
“Guilt has no place here and they shouldn’t allow themselves to be manipulated by her anger.
“They should visit her often and get to know the staff well. This is key to having a contented parent in LTC.”
Reader #2 – “I was so anxious when hospital staff said we had four days to find a placement for my mother, as she couldn’t return home again.
“Yet within days my mum thought she’d been living in the LTC for years, and kept telling me how spotlessly clean she kept her surroundings.
“A weight was lifted from my shoulders.
“We are none of us perfect children, and our parents weren’t perfect. They made the best decisions they could, based on their experience. We have to do the same.”
I have this boyfriend who I’ve been dating for a year. But we both don't trust each other.
He slept with his ex-girlfriend when he was drunk and also kissed her. He was playing a game, it was a dare.
So I made out with this guy in front of my boyfriend so he’d know what it's like.
We both let all that go now, but I'm calling him a lot to see where he is, and he doesn't let me go anywhere without him there too.
Is there any hope left in this relationship?
Not unless you both mature beyond him accepting a sexual dare when drunk and you thinking getting even is the right response.
Not all relationships last, of course.
But they should at least be stepping stones that make you more selective in whom you date, and more confident about what you’ll accept and what you won’t.
Tip of the day:
Differing libidos is an issue you need to work around, if you want to stay together.