My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years and our sex life has never been an issue.
Recently I’ve started a new job, which hasn’t really turned out the way I expected. I’m tired, stressed and constantly second guessing myself. The job leaves me really tired and to be honest sex is the last thing on my to do list.
My partner is very patient, but I feel guilty. I just don’t feel like myself. But I’m starting to think I should just force myself to have sex? At least my boyfriend would be happy.
What should I do?
I am very sorry to hear that your current role hasn’t met your expectations. Work dissatisfaction is at an all-time high (Gallup), and I’ve noticed it affecting a third of my clients. I presume that you might be feeling disappointed with the way things have turned out. It is very normal to feel resentful, sad, depressed, angry or even stressed out when our expectations aren’t being met. Have you thought about what your next steps could be? Would you consider going for another role? Have you spoken to your manager about some of the struggles you are facing? Perhaps, together, you can come up with a plan to alleviate some of the anxiety that you have been experiencing. You seem to be aware of your needs, so it’s important that you be honest with yourself and determine whether this role can meet them. Do you value a good work-life balance? Money? Or do you need to feel challenged? Reflect on what your values are before making any decisions.
I understand that this process may not be straightforward, so please ensure that you have certain protective measures in place to help you cope (e.g. self-care routine, hobbies, journaling, therapy, doing fun activities).
Now, I must say that it is entirely normal for sexual desire to fluctuate throughout a relationship. Different factors, such as lack of emotional intimacy, insecurities, past experiences, trauma and menstruation could have an impact on your libido. Additionally, studies have demonstrated a correlation between job dissatisfaction and relationship unhappiness (Orbuch, 2011). Any negative emotions arising from your job may very well seep into other areas of your life, such as your romantic relationship. I don’t believe that you should be forcing yourself to have sex with your partner, however it might be helpful to communicate with him about how badly work has affected your sexual interest. Have you thought about having a frank conversation with your partner? It is okay to let him support you, in fact I encourage it. You’re a team after all! Being vulnerable with your boyfriend and, therefore, connecting on a deeper level, will strengthen your bond, deepen your emotional intimacy and perhaps even assuage some of your concerns.
Re-introducing sex in your relationship is a process that shouldn’t be rushed. Take it slowly and perhaps think about intimate acts that you’d feel comfortable enough to re-acquaint yourself with (e.g. kissing, holding hands, massages, etc.) before having intercourse. Always check in with each other and make sure that you have a discussion about your needs. For more information/tips please click here or alternatively you may want to consider seeking professional help.
I wish you all the best.
Dear Dania is for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a mental-health professional, or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. We may edit your letter for length and/or clarity.
*The author’s identifying details have been changed in order to protect their privacy.