I'm trying to sort out whether I am dissatisfied with my relationship, or whether other factors are at work, or both.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total)
As background, my boyfriend & I are in our mid-50s and have been together for almost 6 years. We don't live together, but usually spend the weekends together and often see each other once or twice during the work week.
I have very few complaints about our relationship, in general, and my boyfriend is lovely, but more and more I've been seeking time alone, and I seem to have lost interest in sex, and I've been wondering whether I'm subconsciously trying to end it. (I have always needed plenty of time alone, which is one reason we don't live together. This is beyond that level)
I've had a number of medical issues in the last few years, which have reached a peak this year, and they've caused me to have to redefine my view of myself. I don't know if the medical issues are causing me to lose interest in sex, or whether maybe it's menopause that's doing it. At the same time, I'm also aware that the sex we have is really the most boring sex I've had in a relationship in the last 20+ years. That's my only real complaint about the relationship.
And I guess it's also a part of the sex issue that although our relationship began with me as the aggressor, so to speak, after the first couple of years, he started to get very clear with me that he doesn't like me to talk about sex, talk during sex, or suggest anything during sex. So I stopped a couple of years ago. Since then, we have never had sex in my favorite position. I know he knows what I did and what my favorite position is, because we have discussed this whole thing -- i.e., my backing off and why. I was sad to realize that until I told him, he hadn't actually noticed any change.
I mean, we really did already have a conversation in which I told him I had stopped initiating sex, talking about sex, talking during sex, expressing specific desires during sex, and I told him that it was because of all the times he had told me not to do it. But it wasn't a week later that he suggested during sex that he perform oral sex on me and I said, great, here scootch down and I'll scootch up and he was like ???? because we have almost always done this with me on top, and I said, yeah, I'd like it that way this time and he said ha and moved on to something else entirely, as though I had told him no.
So I look at that paragraph and I think that it seems really obvious that this is a relationship issue.
But my medical issues have changed my body image, and he's been very supportive and patient with me throughout, and for all I know I really just don't have a sex drive any more.
I know I resent feeling this way, and I really don't know if it's fair to him that I blame him. I know I certainly don't feel like I have the energy to seek out a new relationship, and he and I enjoy each other's company for the most part.
I also want to be careful with his feelings because he recently lost a job that he took a great deal of pride and pleasure in, and he's a little frantic trying to find another job as soon as he can, so I don't want to bring all this crap up when he's already feeling lousy, but the issues very clearly predate his job loss, otherwise I would think that had some hand in them.
So, dear friends:
What questions should I be asking myself (and/or my doctor and/or my boyfriend) to help me sort out the mental vs the physical and the self vs other?
Does anyone here have any experience with sex drive during menopause? And/or related to fatigue caused by chronic illness (sp. lupus)?
Is there any way for me to have a conversation with my boyfriend about this that wouldn't make him feel worse than he does and is there any good time to talk about this stuff?