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And the sex… well, there is hardly any. He barely has a sex drive. Once a month is good enough for him, but not me (I’m a once-a-day kind of girl). Even when we are intimate, it’s me initiating. I have to ask him to kiss back, and he watches TV while I do things to him. He’s gotten a little better with reciprocating, but I still notice him watching TV. He gets into the sex part, but once he’s done we are done. I’ve tried so much to get a better sex life, from flat-out telling him I want to have more sex to introducing new fun ideas to threatening to sleep with someone else (I know that’s not right and I don’t say that anymore). I’ve asked him what we can do to spice up our sex life, and he doesn’t want to talk about it. He acts as if it’s a gross conversation.
I’ve noticed that he watches porn on the computer, and I’ve suggested watching porn together, but he cringes like it’s wrong. When I talk about masturbating, he thinks it’s disgusting. He says that his lack of interest in sex is not because he doesn’t feel attracted to me or that he doesn’t have feelings for me — it’s just that he doesn’t like being intimate. Or he doesn’t need sex. Or it’s too much emotion for him. I can’t be sure what it is because he doesn’t want to talk about it.
He’s a good guy and he does take care of me. We have trust, and I know he’s not cheating. He’s not a liar. We talk about having a future together, moving into another place, saving money, marriage, kids, etc., but then I think, I haven’t even meet your parents. I love him a lot; I just don’t know how I can get him to understand that he needs to do more to keep me around. I really want this to work out. Please help me. — Not Getting It
Brian: You clearly have the need for and deserve something much more substantial than once-a-month sex with a live-in boyfriend who won’t introduce you to his family, not to mention his wholly insulting act of watching television while “you do things to him.” Is he live blogging “Dancing With the Stars” for work? If so, maybe leave him alone, because he’s probably going to get fired for accidentally Tweeting “aahhhhhhhhhhh yeeaaaah” and he may be secretly attracted to women in frightening amounts of pancake makeup. Otherwise, this one “quirk” alone is almost outrageous enough to split up over; coupled with him never initiating sex and having to ask him to kiss you back, you have quite the depressing situation on your hands. (Do you have an infected lip piercing or something? Otherwise: no excuses.)
The more I reread this, the more offended I am on your behalf. It sounds like he’s a good guy outside of this admittedly vast array of relationship issues, meaning that you guys are going to make really swell friends. Better yet, you two are clearly incompatible, so I’d put 50 bucks on the breakup being an amicable relief for you both.
Guy Friday: Setting aside the obvious red flags with the family things and the “languages of love” incompatibility — and understanding that I’m not a doctor, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn last night — low testosterone actually explains all of these things: lack of sex drive, depression, loss of energy, anxiety (which could relate to his fear of introducing you to his family, strange as that may be), etc. His aversion to watching porn with you may be him trying to use it to get aroused enough for sex, and you being there is a psychic link to his failure. It’s a vicious cycle thing: he lets you down, which stresses him out, which makes him feel he’s letting you down more…you get the idea. Threatening to sleep with other people isn’t going to help that either.
Basically, you can lay down the law and tell him he needs to make more of an effort or you’re walking away. It’s OK to do that. Just don’t do it if you’re not prepared for him to give you an answer you don’t want to hear.
Jarek: Well, look on the bright side – this guy is pretty easy to read. You don’t need to worry about mixed messages, whether he has someone on the side, ever getting pregnant, or if he is getting too much sun. He is the crystal ball of the decades to follow should you stay with him. Just don’t expect him to become the man you want; expect him to continue being the man you stayed with — a man who never leaves the house, is emotionally detached, and prefers watching TV over getting a blowjob.
I know you may feel secure being in a relationship, or worried you’ll never find someone if you’re single again, or any host of reasons why people decide to “ride it out” in the hopes it will “get better.” But you need to figure out what you value in a relationship and try not to settle for a bike with a missing wheel. The benefit of modern day dating is after you get to know the real him, you get to decide if you want this to be the rest of your life. You’re still in a position to make that decision. Just be happy you are seeing this side of him now, rather than after 10 years of marriage.
Art Allen: So you’re with a guy who treats you well but doesn’t sleep with you? Congratulations! You have a friend-friend.
Whether or not he’s cheating, he’s not sexing you. That’s a big problem. He doesn’t like talking about sex, he doesn’t need sex (?!), and he thinks it’s too much emotion? These all sound like deflections. Deflections from what? Who knows. But it doesn’t matter: tell him flat out that he can either get in or he can get out.
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