How To Deal With Your Partner's Sudden Lack Of Libido

Love, Self

Worried about your partner’s lack of libido? You might not need to be.

As a sex therapist, I often see couples who experience different levels of desire. And the fact of the matter is, a decrease in desire in one partner – is common.

A lot of times, this decrease isn’t something you need to worry about. For most people, libido naturally ebbs and flows (even if yours might not ebb as much). This means your partner’s sex drive might soon come back on its own.

However, in the meantime, learning to deal with your emotions and thoughts about the situation at hand, is important. Below you’ll find three strategies on how to handle your partner’s low sex drive, and hopefully, feel better about it. 

How to handle your partner’s lack of libido

Talk about it sooner rather than later

When you’re not having sex, and not talking about the not-having-it, it’s easy to get caught up in your own feelings.

You start to question yourself; perhaps you’re bad in bed? Or maybe your partner has fallen out of love with you.

These thoughts are, understandably, stress inducing, and if left to simmer on their own, you risk projecting them on your partner, and possibly, turning them from thoughts into truths.

All of a sudden, situations that are completely non-sexual start to turn into opportunities to offload your sexual frustration. 

Perhaps you lash out when it comes to things like who took out the rubbish yesterday, or who’s turn it is to pick up the kids.

To top it off, animosity starts to build. Not only are you arguing a lot – each time you approach your partner for a little bit of closeness (sexual or otherwise) they pull away instantly.

Rejection hurts. It picks away at your self-esteem and can leave you feeling like everything’s wrong.

It’s easy to see how this turns into a vicious cycle, quickly pushing you further and further away from sex – the very thing you so desperately want.

The quickest route to feeling better and getting rid of your worrying thoughts is – through communication.

Ask your partner what’s going on.

Let me them know how you’re feeling.

Tell them why sex is important to you.

Don’t take it personally

Your partner’s lack of libido probably has to do with lots of things. Sexual desire is complex, and if you’ve followed my work a while now, you’ll likely have an idea of things that might be affecting their desire negatively.

Stress, fatigue, past trauma, and shame or embarrassment about sex, are all examples of causes of low libido in men and causes of low libido in women.

All this to say – their libido might not be about you at all – but about how they’re feeling in general or things they’ve been through before.  

However, sometimes sex drive does decrease because of something our partner does, says or – doesn’t say or do.  

Perhaps your partner doesn’t feel like having sex because there’s something they want in bed that they haven’t communicated. And because of the lack of communication about  what turns them on and how they experience pleasure – their libido decreases naturally.

Sex drive needs an incentive to show up and good sex is just that kind of incentive. Unsatisfying sex, not so much.  

The thing is, you can’t be a good sex partner if you don’t know what your partner wants.  

Learning how to talk about sex with your partner  - even if it feels embarrassing, is the only way to get to know what the other person desires.

Work on your expectations

We can’t directly change our partner’s appetite for sex, this is something they need to want to do, and work on themselves.

However, in the meantime, there are lot of things that can help you deal with your partner’s lack of libido.

One way is challenging your own thoughts about sex and desire.

When you do this, you get a chance to reflect on your own feelings and thoughts – which can lead to less frustration and more peace.

The following prompts below are examples of unrealistic expectations about sex in relationships. We often don’t choose these ideas – rather, they are thrust upon by various media.

The only way of acknowledging their impact is through reflection.

Take a few minutes and reflect on the following ideas.

Common ideas about sex in relationships:

There’s something biologically wrong with the partner who doesn’t want sex as often as the other one.

  • Is this belief true? How does it make you feel by believing in it? 

There’s something wrong with the relationship or marriage if you don’t want to have sex frequently.

  • Is this true? What happens if you choose not to believe this?

Sex is the best, and perhaps only way, of showing your attraction and love for your partner

  • What are some other ways you can show love and attraction?

Your partner’s lack of libido is probably caused by lots of things; stress, shame, and feeling unattractive, are common reasons for low sex drive.

If you give it some time, you might find their sex drive comes back.

However, it’s still important to find temporary relief, which can be done by challenging your expectations of sex, trying ot to take their low libido personally, and talking about the situation.  Because it won’t always be like this – but this is where you are right now. Good luck!

Leigh Norén is a sex therapist and writer with a Master of Science in Sexology. She's been featured in Thrive Global, The Good Men Project, Elephant Journal, The Tab, Glamour, The Minds Journal, and more. For more advice on sexual desire, visit her website. If you're looking to increase your sex drive, download her free resource, The Desire Test

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This article was originally published at Therapy by Leigh. Reprinted with permission from the author.