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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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My boyfriend of six years has abandoned our relationship. He

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My boyfriend of six years has abandoned our relationship. He has said that although he finds me an attractice woman, he's not attracted to me sexually. The relationship was otherwise fairly healthy. We very rapidly went from infrequent sexual encounters to none at all. Now it seems as though he has no interest at all. I am in good shape, as is he. Any advise?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

It's very normal for the initial passion couples find so exciting to settle into sometimes boring and monotonous routines. From there, it's very easy to lose interest entirely unless both partners are willing to put effort into bringing romance and passion into the relationship. Is this something he's willing to work on at all or has he already left?

If there's a chance he's willing to work on this aspect of your relationship, I'd suggest you try to bring romance back to the relationship. What will work best is dependent upon each couple and what you find exciting -- For some it may be as simple as date nights and lingerie. Others may be more turned on by spontaneity, weekends away, or even role play. Talk about what made your relationship so exciting in the beginning and how you might recapture that. Talk about how you're both feeling and what you want for your relationship. Make a point to be touching often (hugs, cuddles, holding hands) as physical contact is something that tends to make couples feel closer. Again, I hope he's open to working on this as much as you are -- It will take both of you to make this work!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
There has never been any lack of affection, hand holding, etc. He also says eh loves me, and I have felt very loved. BUT, he's got some issues: anger has been a problem in many aspects of his life. He;s unable to get irritated, he goes directly to irate. He holds onto this anger as well. I've really helped him, I think to learn to talk things through. He also has absolutely no problem resolution skills, he tends either to be retaliatory or merely run away. This may be why he's been divirced 3 times. However, we had made great strides in these areas. We had planned a future, was planning on moving in full time with me, and even bought be a beautiful ring, as a symbol of his love and commitment. This change was so sudden, and I'm baffled. How can you love someone, build a life with someone, tell her she's attractive, but lose the sexual attraction?
I'm not sure at all that this can be salvaged. He's succomed to an orbit of negativity, evev though I've told him I'd work through this with him.
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry to hear how difficult it is for the two of you to resolve problems. It does sound like he has a tendency to run before you're able to get to the stage of brainstorming together!

I wonder if it might be helpful to sit down with him and first lay out some ground rules regarding communication. Frame the entire thing positively, of course -- I love you and I want us to be able to talk about difficult topics. Maybe we should come up with some ways we can be effective when we're communicating so that we'll have something to fall back on when we get to the sticky subjects." Ask him how he feels about how well you communicate / problem solve and what ideas he might have for how it could be more productive. Throw in some ideas of your own and see if he's open to trying your new way of approaching touch situations. Some suggested strategies:

Each has a turn to express feelings without judgment.
The two of you narrow down 1-2 specific problems you want to work on.

Avoid blame -- Put the problem on the table in front of you for both of you to address (this is not his problem or your problem, this is an issue you both need to make time to solve since it's affecting your relationship as a couple)

Try not to interrupt one another while speaking and instead respect what each has to say (this doesn't mean you have to agree!)

Both of you should contribute to the brainstorming process -- What are some possible solutions to this problem?

Consider (together) possible outcomes to each of those solutions and choose the ones you want to try.

If it doesn't work, be open to revisiting the conversation -- Perhaps one of the other solutions may be more effective.

If anger is an issue, be sure to allow space for cooling down. Maybe one of the guidelines you come up with is that you're both allowed to take a "time out" when we're beginning to feel very angry. Anger clouds our judgment anyway, so it's better to cool down before returning to the conversation so we can make clear decisions and participate in the process more fully. You may want a stipulation to this, though -- It's perfectly OK (and healthy) to feel anger and if you need some time to "cool down" that's fine. However, we'll need to decide BEFORE you walk away when we're going to come back to this discussion so I know it's not been abandoned entirely (and feel hurt by that fact).

Is this something you think you could try with him??
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