Carolyn Hax is on leave. This column originally ran on March 18, 2013.
Dear Carolyn: Although we’ve had sex before, my boyfriend of two years has zero interest in sex with me or anyone else. He just doesn’t feel the need (we used to have sex often, before the relationship was committed).
This makes me feel unwanted, unloved and incredibly self-conscious and paranoid. He’s been to therapy (I am also in therapy), but his psychiatrist flat-out told him she didn’t know how to help him (!), so he stopped going.
He turns down every other suggestion I make to try to overcome this issue, and talking about it leads to his anxiety and my tears. Yet, he says he loves me and he would spend the rest of his life with me if I could be happy. I need affection and I want children.
The choice I have in front of me is this: Spend the rest of my life with the love of my life, but childless and sexless, or spend the rest of my life without the love of my life, which feels like dying (even though I know it isn’t).
Sad Rock or Sad Hard Place
The sexless, childless marriage will give you pain for his or your lifetime, or the rest of the marriage – whichever ends first.
The breakup with “the love of my life” will give you pain until you find less frustrating sources of love and companionship.
I suspect your recovery speed will be in direct proportion to your willingness to let go of the idea that he (and the attendant rejection, paranoia and tears) is truly right for you.
Email Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at 10 a.m. each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.