Q: My husband and I both have low sex drives and I think it’s ruining our relationship. We’ve been together for years and love each other deeply, but I think the lack of physical expression has made us housemates rather than lovers. How do I salvage things?
A: First, I’d like to say that finding companionship is a beautiful thing and the connection and care that you share with your partner is something to be appreciated. While you may feel like these other things about your bond are ‘wrong,’ caring about each other, as individuals and partners, is a big thing that you’ve gotten right.
When I started dating my partner, I was sick of getting romance wrong. I wanted to find the formula to success, when it comes to romantic relationships, and I recall saying to him that if “God is love,” then that means that love is a bigger force than we can fathom and definitely not something we can add on to.
To successfully indulge in the act of loving, we would have to approach love as a thing to be learnt, not something we can teach or something we intrinsically know how to do. The way we approach spirituality from a place of humility and awe, coming with both ears open and our hearts in our hands, we would have to approach love (and each other) the same way.
This approach has been a grounding force when the tides turn in our relationship, as they will naturally do over time. It’s also helped us to not be so deeply terrified of the ways we grow and change as people, in relation to one another.
It’s not all that uncommon for couples to feel insecure about their dynamic, especially when it doesn’t look like other relationships. It’s imperative however, if you’re trying to avoid misery, to go inwards and figure out whether you’d like to conform to an idealistic image of what things should look like, or whether you’d just like to love, and love well. A low sex drive doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of care or overall desire for your partner. What it does mean is that this very common way for people to express affection for one another is simply not a way that works for you.
Sex alone, does not a lover make. This realisation can be a great starting point for you to both begin to explore other ways to show your affection for each other. Being vulnerable about how it feels to process these realisations and what it means for how you view each other could bring you closer. If you feel so inclined, seeking help from a relationship therapist could greatly benefit your bond, should you choose to continue to grow together in this life as partners.
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