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Loss of Intimacy

Tags: Loss of intimacy, sex, sexual relationship, intimacy, libido problems, relationship issues, intimacy, romance, issues, intimacy problems, sex, loss of desire, loss of libido, love, relationship advice, sexual relationship problems, sex issues, intimacy issues

Part of being intimate is being sexual together. When there is a problem in the sexual relationship it can be very difficult for couples. This article looks at some of the reasons why a sexual relationship might be difficult.

Loss of desire can be common in both men and women. The partner who does not want to have sex may seem as if they have ‘shut down’. It may seem as if he or she never initiates sex or has lost interest in the other partner.

If something is happening in your sex life this can lead to other difficult feelings, ranging from minor frustrations to severe distress.

There may be many reasons a couple stops having sex.  These can be psychological, physical, due to your immediate surroundings or other pressures.

The psychological factors

Psychological factors are thought to play a major role in sexual problems. How you feel mentally can have an impact on having good sex or not.  The way we think can be very powerful and once you find yourself in a negative frame of mind it can be very hard to change.

Think about how you are feeling. Perhaps this could be influencing your partner too, how do you think they might be feeling?

Environmental factors

Where you live and your immediate surroundings might also have a part to play. For example, you may find yourself living with your parents for a period of time and this could affect your sex life. Remember, we are living in an economic crisis which may mean living with parents, dealing with unemployment or worries about money and debt. This could be putting extra pressure on your sex life

To enjoy your sex life most people need privacy and time alone together. Sharing crowded space with others can really have an effect on your sex life.

What is your situation at the moment? Could it be causing a problem for you and your partner?

Physical factors

Sometimes there can be a physical problem.  How do you feel about yourself? Everybody is conscious of how they look, perhaps you have anxieties about your weight or physical appearance. Accepting yourself as you really are and being happy with it has a huge part to play.

Other physical problems might include erectile dysfunction, low desire, vaginismus, pain during intercourse and premature ejaculation. If you are concerned about any of these problems seek advice from your GP.

Other physical problems might follow the birth of a child. Both women and men (although more commonly women) can be anxious about having sex again after the birth of a child. New parents can feel exhausted with the lack of sleep, busy lives and the stress of a new baby making it difficult to get back to the way it was before. There is more information on this in the section on becoming a parent. You can also post on the Relationship Forum

Social pressures

We are bombarded by sexual images in the media showing beautiful men and women with perfect bodies and this can be hard to cope with. This can make us feel as if we should be sexual all the time but real sex lives can fall very short of these perfect images.

It might also seem as if friends have the perfect sex lives, plus sex is a difficult subject to confide in others about, so it can seem as if you are very isolated and alone.

But sex is very personal for each and every couple, what seems right for you may not be for another couple. Each of us has our own needs and desires but you should be able to have a frank and open discussion about what you’d like and any problems you might have.

All of these pressures and factors can make us feel worse and add to the spiral of negative thinking. If you can break the cycle and start to think positively about yourself and your sex life it will help you get back on track. Watch the Relationship Insight The Circle of Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviours.

As a start you could try the exercise Building intimacy in the Goals and Exercises section.

If you are concerned about any of the issues raised above seek medical advice.

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  • User-anonymous Penny Flag

    Since she is not affectionate to you, I am afraid she will not stop the drinking to please you. The best way will be to leave her to come to the conclusion that she needs to stop drinking. Can you find the best things in your marriage and enjoy those and have fun together? See past the drinking if you can. If she becomes happy again, she may stop the drinking of her own accord. A rather difficult position for you to be in.

    Tue 1, Sep 2015 at 5:27pm
  • User-anonymous Flip68 Flag

    Heavy binge drinking especially at the weekend has made my wife very cold and has lost all affection for me. Married for 18 years with 2 kids (17 and 15) . Sex is off the menu as is any sort of warmth . This is has been like this for most of 2015 and other factors including excessive exercise (when sober) has distanced our relationship. Recently the drinking has increased with up to 2 bottles of wine on friday , on saturday and on sunday - topped up with straight (bargain basement ) vodka. Its hurting me and kids and I really dont know how long I can put up with it. I still love her but the damage she is doing week in week out is horrible to see.

    Tue 1, Sep 2015 at 3:01pm
  • User-anonymous Jay Flag

    To the last sounds like you need to get some help. The relationship you describe is abusive. Are you able to access some couple counselling to begin with to see if the relationship can be salvaged?

    Mon 10, Aug 2015 at 7:28pm
  • User-anonymous insecureD Flag

    Ive been with my partner going on 13 years and we are no longer having sex, there is no intamacy, it feels robotic and forced when anything does happen. He needs me to leave the room when he uses the bathroom although we have one in our room but sometimes i get the ok to stay. He says to me " ill get back to fucking you soon. I dont know how to reply to that. I dont even touch him on impulse anymore because im afaid of rejection. But its ok to massage him though. Used to at least give him oral everyday but that is once in blue and now there are all theae instructions. :/. He has alot on his mind he says. But that doesnt stop him from looking at porn. He cheated on me last year, and maybe about a month ago when he stayed out till 4 in the morning and didnt answer my call. To come home to a big fight and him bragging about a pretty little fared skin pink lipped young chick. Said he didnt give her his number, but when i lied and said that ingot the call and erased the message, ge got all crazy, cursed me out all the way, told me she was an option and he would leave if i just didnt call her. Before that, i found the facebook page with nothing but women on it, a phone that i found, he lied that he got rid of it then gound it again. When we fight hell tell me if i had a fatter ass maybe that would help. But then always doubles back to say he didnt mean any of it and he loves me. I feel like a roomate, invisible and terribly insecure all the time. He says i smother him. Im just going crazy, he used to be so attentive so its hard not to notice so much has changed. There are days when all i have to do is wake up to be on his bad saide, im greeted with, you gotta get you a hobby or something i cant be around you all day. I used to do so much, not im just crippled by fear. No intamcy no sex im hurting bad

    Sun 9, Aug 2015 at 11:31pm
  • User-anonymous Dreamer71 Flag

    @Jay : From the start of our relationship the ED has always been a factor so the low sex drive was present when we met. I don't think we need counselling but I need for him to see this problem can be solved without him thinking that I see him as a freak (his words) :-(
    Hope this makes sense. Thanks for your response :)

    Tue 14, Apr 2015 at 4:25pm
  • User-anonymous Jay Flag

    To dreamer71 You say you would do anything to get the intimacy back...does that mean it was there at the beginning of the relationship?? If so, it may help to have some sessions with a relationship counsellor, who will help you both get an understanding of what is going on beneath the surface of your relationship. What do you think?

    Mon 13, Apr 2015 at 5:43pm
  • User-anonymous Dreamer71 Flag

    @Penny: Yes we do all those things, we go out for days, walks, sit and chat - everything else in our relationship is fantastic and he worships the ground I walk on, always telling me he loves me and being romantic.

    Sun 12, Apr 2015 at 7:34am
  • User-anonymous Penny Flag

    To Dreamer71, I just wonder if there is anything else you DON'T do together, like laughing? playing? walking? chatting? I think these things make for a good relationship, and bring forth warmth and tenderness which are both rich breeding grounds for good sex. Worth looking for ways of being saucy together rather than separation.

    Sat 11, Apr 2015 at 9:21pm
  • User-anonymous Dreamer71 Flag

    I am 43, my BF is 46. We've been together a year. His sex drive is through the floor and he suffers from ED. He's a diabetic (tablet controlled) and blames his ED on this. Whenever I try to talk about the problem he gets defensive and says I'm looking for things that are wrong with him. He got Viagra from the GP but they don't work that well. I am at the end of my tether, I just don't know what to do. I tried to get him to get a blood test for his testosterone levels, he said the GP took a swab of his mouth & said they'd be in touch if they needed to but to be honest I'm not sure I believe him as he's pretty adamant nothing is wrong. What can I do to get the intimacy back!?! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you :)

    Sat 11, Apr 2015 at 1:20pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    To bouncingbabies. I wonder if you have thought of leaving your comment on the Forum so that many people will see it and may respond to you with their views on this painful situation of yours. I think you may find that others find themselves in a similar situation.

    Tue 1, Apr 2014 at 4:55pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Mon 31, Mar 2014 at 10:45pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I am female and I've lived with my boyfriend for 12years now. I've always loved him dearly even now, But for the past 10years I've only had sex with him Once a year...But since 3 years now he has not even come close to me. I know your thinking he is having an affair, but he isn't. He works nights and sleeps all day. I keep asking and all he say's is that he just isn't interested in sex. there is just nothing there any more and it's killing me...I've always been faithful and loyal but I told him tonight that I'm going to start having sex with other men, because I just want and need to feel loved and wanted. I'm soo depressed and lonely I just don't know what to do or say to help him.

    Mon 31, Mar 2014 at 10:45pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I wonder if the article above rings any bells for you. Why not post on the forum may then get others to respond with their experiences.

    Mon 27, Jan 2014 at 8:20pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Like some on here I am consistantly being turned down for sex...  The relationship started with explosive s, to be honest a lot of the time I wasn't even the one that instgated it - to now me always making the advances and happening less often (around once  a month on average) these days I get so frustrated swear to myself that I'd give up but always end up giving in and making a move only to get flat out rejected.  No words (which psychologically makes it even worse) just a turn of the shoulder.  At times its almost like I'm getting lured into this trap - the other night I was minding my own business reading my Kindle in bed - accepting the fact that the future of the relationship will involve very little intimacy, then she came over put her arms round me and started kissing me?!  I couldn't help myself and made a move only for her to turn over.  I can't explain how low this made me feel...  To make things worse I'm now on the verge of paranoia as she spends most evenings texting till late at night (I'm not going to stoop as low as checking her phone - I'm sure its mainly her family and a couple of good friends) and has told me just the other week she will be getting a boob job.  The omens aren't good at all.  Thing is I do have views about getting cosmetic surgery (when there is no need) but right now my confidence is so low that I feel I just have to pretty much accept anything she wants for fear of loss.

    Been too worried / scared to confront her on the issue of why she does not want sex.  I do know that most of the things I used to do in b/d which I thought she liked she doesn't want me to do anymore which makes sex pretty mechanical - not sure why this change would happen as initially without getting into too much detail she would climax but now its near impossible as I'm pretty much limited as to what I can do...  General feeling now is that when I do get my once a month allowance is that its only because I've exhausted her with my efforts and she needs to give me something but could quite happily do without - which makes me feel like crap.

    To be honest the way I feel now is that even if it happened this eve I don't think it would change how I feel inside as the seed has been planted that she doesn't want it with me, does not enjoy it, would like more attention from others (need for a boob job) and maybe just maybe there is someone else involved.  I sympathise with anyone going through the same thing as its a sad feeling, it's not like I'm a sex fiend - just twice a week I'd settle for.  I take her out spend ridiculous amounts of money on gifts, do most of the cooking even though I work longer hours and used to massage her every evening not even expecting anything in return.  Over the last two months I worked so hard to help her get a better paying job at a top law firm, investing hours after work and I do around 12 hours a day of work - mock interview questions, restructuring her CV - I'm not saying relationships should be transactional but its not like I've just demanded my fix of sex and not paid any interest in her life.

    What hurts the most is that at the age of 34 I may well have to start afresh again and that it would take so long to clear all the mess left from this (signed contract to rent), moving back in with parents and explaining why...  You can see I've already accepted it's over - only posting here as a means to talk to someone but also try to understand how and why this happens?   Almost like false advertising (in the courting stage making out that she wants it all the time and then the reality is... Nah). This morn (after another rejection the night before) I tried not to make the atmosphere tense, woke up my usual early time of 6am, fed our kittens, got my suit on and prepared to leave for 7, said goodbye honey and she came over kissed me and said I love you - almost as if to say I know you're frustrated but I do love you?  Like she's confused?  I can't hate her for going off me, I'm not like that but I would be more upset if there was someone else on the scene or she went off me some time ago but just never told me - I could have moved on and made the most of what is left of my life.

    Mon 27, Jan 2014 at 3:41pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    There are some good pointers as to what you could do in the article, and I do recommend that you read them as this must be a painful situation for you. I does seem from what you say that he is not taking you seriously. You want more caressing and lovemaking before penetrative sex. If you think he does not understand you could you get him to go to counselling with you? Sex therapy is totally non threatening and could make a huge difference to your loving times together. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    Tue 31, Dec 2013 at 5:44pm
  • User-anonymous moonlitestar09 Flag

    My issue is that my fiance and I are in love with each other and enjoys each other but when it come to the love making it doesnt take long before he climax and then I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with me. But it seems every time that happens all he says is I'm sorry and that he owes me. Well I don't look forward to the owe me's because its always the same, we start out good but then a few minutes later its over. The last time he didn't even realize that he had climaxed and I had to tell him. He dosent really touch me the way I would like even after I've showed him. I'm still left wanting. What should I do?

    Tue 31, Dec 2013 at 3:23am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I have a girlfriend of almost 8 and a half years. We have been living together for 6 years but the last 3 years our sex life has been non existent. She has never initiated sex in the 8 years we have been together. She won't even let me kiss her. I love her more than anything and would never dream of cheating on her but this is affecting me as we'll as her. I can't talk to her about it. Anytime I do she says sorry and refuses to communicate with me until the subject has change. It has been 15 months since we had sex whilst on holiday and that was the first time we had for 10 months before. I feel really depressed about this. I want to be in a loving intimate relationship. She is beyond beautiful and I can't imagine my life without her but the longer this goes on the more I think that maybe we shouldn't be together. I want marriage and I want kids. I'm 28 and she is 26 and we have our whole life in front of us. I've suggested counselling and speaking to a doctor but nothing works. I really need some help and advice.

    Thu 17, Jan 2013 at 12:23pm
  • User-anonymous owen88 Flag

    My girlfriend slept with another man so in anger and revenge I slept with her best friend, 4 months down the line we are trying to work things out because we really do love each other and it is going great. We are the best of friends like we were before it all happened. However we have lost our sexual intimacy, we still kiss and cuddle but as soon as it gets close to us having sex, she gets upset and starts to think about her friend and me. She does want to get back to us having sex regularly as do I but she is finding it so hard. What can we do? I don't want to lose her and I know she doesn't want to lose me but before what happened we used to have sex very regularly and had a really close and great connection. Is there anything we can do to help her move on and for us to get that connection back?

    Mon 27, Feb 2012 at 4:22pm
  • Darlene041c__2__copy Codependency Flag

    The word intimate refers to your private and essential being. Usually people think it means sharing personal information or having sex. Real intimacy is far more. It makes you feel content, empowered, whole, peaceful, alive, and happy. It transforms and nurtures you. Physical closeness, sex, and romance are important to a relationship, but emotional intimacy revitalizes and enlivens it.

    Sat 11, Feb 2012 at 12:43am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Myself and my partner had a child coming up to 2 years ago now and from having a very healthy sex life before our child was born I can now count on both hands the amount of times we have made love since.  I have talked to her and have respected what she has had to say in return but there is only so many times each month I can hear the same excuses of being tired and that she will put more of an effort in.  I love her very much but I feel less and less confident as the days go by and for a person with such high spirits this is causing me a lot of distress.  I want to feel close to my partner once again, is this too much to ask ?

    Thu 1, Sep 2011 at 2:20pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I couldn't have romance with my wife . even i want 
    physically i am very strong , but i was very good even best at romance with my girl friend

    Tue 28, Jun 2011 at 2:27am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I couldn't have romance with my wife . even i want 
    physically i am very strong , but i was very good even best at romance with my girl friend

    Tue 28, Jun 2011 at 2:27am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Dear Johnny010,
    You sound as though you're having a relly tough time at the moment and it would be good to get some help with your problems.  Panic attacks and agrophobia rarely just 'disappear', but with some professional help you should be able to work through things and start to live again. I can't imagine how awful it must be to sit on a sofa all day, smoking  - and if you really don't like it then please do something about it and go get some help!
    You owe it to yourself, your wife and your daughter. There are lots of websites offering help, but they might prove to be expensive and I don't know enough to be able to recommend a reliable one. It's probably best to start with your GP - do you have a friend who would go with you maybe?
    There are probably others in the community in the same boat as you. If you post on the 'Talk it Out' section you might find more support and hopefully some inspiration from others. Your post is hidden when you put it here and I only found it by pure chance.
    I hope it all works out for you - but please get some help to start your life again - I bet your wife and duaghter have been missing you.

    Mon 18, Apr 2011 at 7:28am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    look at what you have we are easy to judge people as for the panic attacks go out you have nothing to be afraid of panic makes us survive you get ready to fight or flight as this panic has started so you cant get harmed so live life to the fulliest

    Sun 17, Apr 2011 at 9:31pm
  • User-anonymous Johnny010 Flag

    Finding out that my wife dose not love me or has never loved me,  blew my mind. This happened 6 years ago.  Our marrage was not good before that anyway.  She was haveing councelling and between her and her councelor, decided that she should tell me how she felt.  I have been having panic attacks for all of my marrage.  I was head over heels in love with her when we got married.  When we were on honemoon in Kenya, she told me then that she was in love with another man.  But she said she would marry me anyway.  I was of course very happy at that. At least, I would have her and not him.  Strange things happen when your in love.  That was thirty years ago.  We had a little boy a year after being married.  He was born mentaly and physicaly dissabled.  We adored him so much.  He was a wonderful little boy.  When he was thirteen, we lost him to illness.  We were both devestated at this.  We did have out precious little girl  who was only four when he passed on.  She also loved him.  We are so very proud of her.  She is at Unni and doing wonderful things with her life.  She is now twent two years old.  
    I am at home evry day, unable to leave my home because of panic attacks and agoraphobia. They never seem to let up.  I know my anx. level is always right up there and my stress level is is just as bad.  I would leave home in a heartbeat but I feel toltaly trapped.  I am so depentant on my wife and daughter to get about.  I don't get out much at all. They are usually out doing something on theit own or together.   My health is not good.   I sit watching TV most of the time smoking ciggs.  That Iknow is not good.   When I get stressed, I always lose my breath very easily.   So, can anyone give my some good constructive advice?  Oh, i'm not looking for a quick fix.  That's not why i'm here.  Just let me know what you think I could do or should do.  Where do I go for support?   Thank you for reading this and take good care.
    Thank you again.

    Tue 14, Sep 2010 at 1:33pm