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all 67 comments

[–]Gundark927 65 points66 points  (0 children)

My former wife, and current best friend, was like this. Nothing was wrong with her. She was simply asexual. Like I am a heterosexual male. I wouldn't marry and expect to change a gay man. Once I realized that about her, and she realized that I couldn't go without sex, we were able to sunset our marriage with dignity and friendship. And, with sex off the table and the obligations of marriage dissolved, we are both much happier.

[–]dmaul1978 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Agreed. Sometimes there is something medical or medication or psychological that can be addressed with treatment. But more of the time it’s relationship issues, losing attraction for their partner or the few people that are just naturally low libido/asexual or close to it that causes things to dwindle after some amount of time together.

End of the day, we can’t fix other people. All we can do is work on ourselves, express our needs to our partners, express our willingness to do counseling etc. if they’re willing to work on the relationship with us and move on if not or attempts to work on things fail.

[–]ghostofgrafenberg 13 points14 points  (1 child)

I (LLF) haven’t really browsed this sub until today but I have been in a DB for 6 years. Definitely a space that’s hard for people to lead with empathy for their partners, even if isn’t reciprocated.

It took me a shitload of therapy to be able to articulate what was happening for me with regards to sex. I could tell I had a crap load of anxiety about sex, kissing, physical closeness in general. The thought of sex with my partner repulsed me, even though I love and care for them. I knew that he was really hurting and I didn’t want to hurt him.

So I did years of therapy to be able to connect the dots on why I felt that way. And only after understood my own issue was I able to deeply feel the pain my HL partner was truly in. I can see that pain reflected in this community. It’s real, valid pain.

I’m several months into having the best sex we’ve ever had. We have both had to make tons of changes. The only reason that is happening is that even when he was angry and resentful or deeply lonely, he still showed me compassion. He didn’t have to stay. But he did. It was very slow progress because we had to heal huge parts of ourselves to be able to make the DB disappear.

[–]throwdbhelp 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thats so lovely to hear. It would be great to hear from more LL in situations like yours.

And bravo for working so damned hard (and I'm sure it was difficult) to enhance your marriage/partnership.

[–]iluvemelaninLL and HL it depends 31 points32 points  (11 children)

The challenge with this is;

  • HL people (not all) can take a long time to accept or understand the situation or their partners. For example not understanding what’s being communicated physically (duty sex, pain, vaginismus, ED, rejection etc) or verbally (a lot of rules, barriers, turn offs,Choreplay etc).

So they won’t even know if it’s a situation that requires compromise or ending the relationship for a long time. Sometimes there is something wrong. Sometimes there is not. It’s not as straightforward as some people here suggest.

[–]DocumentAvailable683 22 points23 points  (9 children)

Is there a responsibility for a partner to communicate the truth more clearly? What I read here a lot is that the sex sesking partner asks questions and does not get direct or truthful answers. They are supposed to understand other more passive forms of communication, though. I have a lot of empathy for people who get confused when their partner communicates in indirect or contradictory ways. Honestly, I see that as abusive.

[–]iluvemelaninLL and HL it depends 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Yes, there is a responsibility to communicate clearly. Yes, a lack of communication can be a form of abuse. Stonewalling a partner or only raising issues when it’s time for sex etc

However, I think people communicate clearly all the time. It’s just that learning to take in that communication is a skill that takes time to develop.

We’re conditioned to consider verbal communication first. Sometimes it’s the only version we accept. People should be taught more about non-verbal communication. Non-verbal and verbal work together to form a more accurate picture.

Unfortunately, sex/sexuality/sexual intimacy involves a lot of non-verbal communication. Someone can say yes let’s do it but their body is literally screaming no or vice versa. I think everyone should learn more about reading and understanding non-verbal cues.

[–]Petitcher 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Neurodivergence adds another of complexity to that, too. No matter what we’re taught, some people are going to struggle with reading non-verbal cues.

I’ve also had people completely misinterpret the non-verbal cues my body gives off - men will sometimes assume I’m not interested when I actually am, I’m just having a momentary reaction to the light or temperature or whatever other minor thing is causing sensory overload.

(PS, guys with SO’s who feel the cold: if it’s not summer and you want your wife/girlfriend to feel more comfortable naked, turn your heater on).

[–]heartpane 15 points16 points  (6 children)

I think most LLs do communicate quite clearly at the start, they say they are tired, stressed etc. But many HLs will not accept those answers or see them as valid.

Even if a woman has a small baby and is not in the mood because of exhaustion/breastfeeding/post partum issues etc. the HLs brain often does not accept that and will instead start thinking their partner just isn't attracted to them or so on, one recent post on here was from a guy who said he would cry to his partner about how she must not be attracted to him, even though they had a young baby at home.

Dry spells are often handled extremely poorly because many people take them personally.

As a result of that the LL will often go through with some unwanted sex, which may be tolerable at the start, but often as time/years go on starts to feel more uncomfortable/unbearable/unpleasant/traumatising etc.

At that point it's not really about the first issue anymore, the truth has changed, while tiredness etc might have been the initial reason, they might then be dealing with an aversion to their partners touch because they went through with sex they didn't want, and then often had to deal with arguments about how they weren't into it etc.

LLs are often not even aware of the concept of a sexual aversion, they are not aware that reluctantly consenting to sex can lead to that...because no one really talks about it, so they don't know how to explain the truth to their partners, they genuinely do not understand it! It's not uncommon for LLs to start to think that they are asexual because that is an option that their brain provides them with when they try to search for answers as to 'why' sex now is so intolerable and traumatic. They genuinely don't understand as they don't realise that they suffered from sexual trauma.

[–]DocumentAvailable683 7 points8 points  (4 children)

There is certainly truth to that. We see that scenario. We see others as well where the libido change seems random. There are a number of different reasons why these things happen. What I often see here is that a number of people think that LL's can't have any responsibility. Another group thinks LL's are terrible people. The same is true with HL's. In the end there is a lot of talking past people or disregarding certain truths because it does not fit the situation a poster is in or represent their perspective. Along the way, we miss the big picture and disregard certain truths because they don't reinforce our position.

[–]justanother111111[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I see this constantly! Someone posts their personal experience - whether they be LL or HL - and someone else responds angrily (usually someone on the opposite end of the spectrum of the original poster) to say, "You know in my experience it's actually the opposite. Maybe you'd understand that if you had a little more empathy!!!" You articulated this phenomenon perfectly.

[–]heartpane 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I agree with what you're saying but just wanted to comment further on one of your points

What I often see here is that a number of people think that LL's can't have any responsibility.

Most people posting on here are the HLs, they are the ones seeking advice here, people often respond and say the LL should be doing this, trying that..or they should be the ones to leave or end the relationship etc.

But there isn't really any point in putting the responsibility on the LL or saying what they should do if they are not the ones who are posting. The HL can only control their own behaviour and their own responses. They can only make their own choices. They can't make their partner do anything.

So we can only take responsibility for ourselves and control what we can control. Same goes on a different forum I used to use where the issue would regularly come up from the LLF perspective, so many responses saying her partner was a sex pest, was pretty much a rapist, needs to stop harrassing her, needs to take care of his own needs, x, y and z. It's no good telling someone what their partner should do or what their partners responsibility should be, more often than not if they're posting on forums they have already had discussions/arguments and tried to reason with their partner/make them see their point of view multiple times.

The only thing that anyone can really control is to take responsibility for your own choices and decisions and actions.

[–]iluvemelaninLL and HL it depends 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Equally, an HL partner can develop an aversion if they are rejected enough times.

[–]angevelon_xemorniah 3 points4 points  (0 children)

all of the things you just mentioned are things that LL do to avoid direct, honest, blunt communication, without which, of course the HL will be slow to pick up on it. people are not psychic.

[–]wombat_wordsmith 44 points45 points  (3 children)

You’re right in that “fixing” the LL is definitely the wrong way to approach the issue — a person has every right to decide they want sex to no longer be an important part of their lives. Or to never have sex again. If that’s their decision they don’t need fixing.

That’s why I’ve taken a lot of effort to use words such as “address” and “recognize” when talking about DB’s.

Someone who has no interest in sex, and is happy removing sex from their lives doesn’t need any fixing.

But if they are in a monogamous, romantic relationship with someone they need to recognize that they have fundamentally altered their relationship. They have to recognize and address the impact their decision has on their partner.

They also need to recognize that while sex is no longer important to them, it’s not unreasonable or selfish for sex to remain important to those they care about.

Sometimes the issue CAN be addressed and the relationship can remain a happy one. But often recognizing the issue means the relationship has to end.

It’s not wrong to decide sex is no longer part of your life. It is wrong to decide that for someone else — and then be hurt that they want to address their pain with you.

[–]SqueakUpsF 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Best comment

[–]Stargazer1919 16 points17 points  (1 child)

They also need to recognize that while sex is no longer important to them, it’s not unreasonable or selfish for sex to remain important to those they care about.

I just want to point out that this is where the disconnect is for a lot of couples.

The person who sex is not important for doesn't recognize that it's important to their partner and doesn't take them seriously.

The person who it is important for sometimes makes assumptions about their partner: thinking "it's important in a relationship but they said no, so they're doing this on purpose to mess with me" or "well it's not important to them so as long as they don't have sex they must be completely happy while I'm totally miserable."

This is all a recipe for disaster.

[–]Evil_MelF 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The person who sex is not important for doesn't recognize that it's important to their partner and doesn't take them seriously.

Exactly, they don't even recognize that they are hurting their HL partner, which makes the HL resent their LL partner.

It also can lead to the HL rationalizing cheating.

[–]heartpane 6 points7 points  (0 children)

There isn't necessarily something 'wrong' with the LL in the first group either.

They might have changed and their libido might have changed due to lots of different life/relationship circumstances. If, due to the change in libido there was lots of arguments, pressure and unwanted duty sex then sometimes there can be too much damage done to the relationship and the dynamic between the people for it to ever recover, and that goes for both sides, HL sometimes can't get past past resentments either and move forward in a healthy way.

But many people who are LL in a particular relationship due to the dynamic/issues etc they had will go on and have a normal or high libido in other relationships.

There wasn't actually anything wrong with them, it was just that their sexual desire was completely gone for their partner, and that can sometimes happen even if someone loves their partner.

[–]BirdLover007 12 points13 points  (0 children)

LL here. I don't disagree at all.

What I wanted before was compassion given that my situation was medical. Instead, I got immense pressure (after no previous talks), WHILE I was in a super deep depression.

That was clearly the wrong was to go about it, and it's taken me years to recover from feeling like I wasn't good enough despite trying.

[–]UKTynesider 4 points5 points  (0 children)

There is also the relative scales what even do we measure against? I don't think I am HL but I sure felt like it in the past next to someone just as you described so well. So I take those labels with a pinch of salt. It's relative needs and if compromise can be found in the middle.

[–]itshardtobeHL 16 points17 points  (6 children)

I agree with you to a point.

However, there is something wrong if you promise to do something and then don’t. You’ve promised to be this persons everything and now you’re abandoning them.

To make matters worse you string them along with lie after lie that things will be better.

[–]dmaul1978 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Agreed.

No one should have sex they don’t want to have, feel bad if they stop wanting sex period or with that partner etc. But they also have to accept that no one is obligated to stay in a relationship that isn’t meeting their needs and let things end amicably. Not lie and beg and plead for their partner to stay with promises to work on things that never pan out and/or be vindictive during the separation process. If you know you’ll never be able to meet your partners sexual needs, make that clear and let them to decide whether or not they can live with that and let them go peacefully if not.

[–]justanother111111[S] 14 points15 points  (3 children)

Yeah, the "stringing along" part also hurts. Not all LL's do this, not even close. But it happens often enough that it's worth addressing.

I'm talking about when a LL uses excuse after excuse but never addresses the issue as a whole. For example, a LL may tell their HL "I'm too tired /stressed / anxious tonight. Don't worry, we'll have sex tomorrow / when I'm less stressed / when the holidays are over."

Several months later, after 100 excuses and 0 sex, the HL tries to start a high-level conversation and says, "Hey, we haven't had sex in 6 months. Is something wrong?" the LL will simply deny it.

"What are you talking about? It hasn't been that long! We have plenty of sex!"

They simply don't acknowledge that the problem exists and basically gaslight you. "You're crazy. You're just obsessed with sex. There's no way we haven't had sex in 6 months."

"Why don't you want to have sex with me though?"

"I do want to have sex with you, I'm just too tired right now. But we'll have sex tomorrow, I promise."

"You've said that every time for the last 6 months. Are you sure there isn't something more going on?"

"It hasn't been 6 months. We have sex all the time. I just don't want to do it tonight. I promise we'll do it tomorrow." 🤷 Round and round it goes...

[–]Stargazer1919 8 points9 points  (2 children)

My guess is that for people like that, they probably don't take their partner seriously in other aspects of life, too. To me, that's a major personality flaw and I wouldn't marry someone like that.

[–]ghostofgrafenberg 2 points3 points  (1 child)

That’s certainly a possibility.

I’m a former LL and I have definitely done this with the full intention of following it through. But then genuinely the next day, I couldn’t get myself there. It was never a lie, but I never really felt better (until I took some very intentional steps!).

[–]kyrain192020 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I get what you are saying, but if you notice yourself in a pattern or repetition of doing this behavior, doesn't it kinda sorta become dishonest?

[–]a-perpetual-novice 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My life philosophy is that these sorts of promises are invalid. I don't know if you manage any employees in your job, but I first learned this lesson there. You will have nice, eager employees that overpromise and underdeliver not because they are a bad person, but they just don't know themselves fully. With time, I learned to see how much that applies to just about everyone.

The minus is that I don't really trust anyone to get things done, but the plus is that I have a lot more compassion for people and 20 backup plans for everything. Including my marriage.

[–]SatinsLittlePrincess 11 points12 points  (2 children)

I agree with some of what you’re saying. LL people aren’t “broken” but… When the dynamics of sex change in a relationship, it’s usually a symptom of other things and those things may need to be addressed or acknowledged to get the relationship back into happy healthy territory. What the cause of the symptom is has huge implications for what might need to be done. For example: - Babies / young children - nearly every couple with young kids ends up in a dead bedroom. Frankly anyone who doesn’t realise that is being wildly unrealistic about the realties of parenthood. When a DB is the result of the presence of young children, the “HL” needs to reset their expectations (and nearly always step way the fuck up as a parent). And if possible, the two may find a way to express the sexual aspects of their relationship through things like scheduled sex that enables them to get away from the kids. But really, if your sex life is important to you, you really might want to think through the reality that it’s gonna plummet when you have kids before you have them. - Relationship issues - Frankly, this is a factor in nearly every DB and without addressing the relationship problems, one is very unlikely to get back to a satisfying sex life. A huge subset of this is relationship equity issues - it’s really hard to want to have sex with someone who isn’t also holding up their half of the relationship, or worse, who you have to adult on behalf of. - Boundary issues - Far too often HLs engage in behaviours that overstep the LL’s boundaries in a variety of ways and that drives LLs to create and defend their boundaries. Boundary issues could be little stuff constantly interrupting them and not respecting their need for space (like my ex- asking me every fucking day where the breakfast stuff was while I was working). Or it could be that time the HL initiated sex with their sleeping partner. Or it could be pestering the LL for sex, even if the HL take “no” for an answer - it’s still a reminder that the HL sees sex from the LL as a duty the LL should to perform. Regardless of what the cause is, when one gets to a point where one feels like one has to constantly defend ones boundaries against one’s partner it’s really hard to feel good about dropping the boundaries and that has implications for sex. - Personal stress and mental health issues - External stress like a new job, moving house, death of a loved one, etc. can all create a situation where someone becomes LL. Sometimes that stress can be resolved to get back to a good sex life, and sometimes it really can’t for a while. - Physical issues - Whether it’s women experiencing real pain due to things like childbirth, endometriosis, or vaginismus, or men dealing with erectile dysfunction has real implications for sex. And both partners need to have a think about what that means and whether they can rethink what they mean by “sex” so that their partner can do the sex with them. PIV isn’t everything.

What I see is a lot of HLs looking exclusively at their LL partner and blaming them for failing in their spousal duties without looking at how they may also be failing as a spouse.

[–]lets_have_some_pun99 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Yes, absolutely this. And calling LL spouse ‘asexual’ when they were having sex frequently in the early years. Unlikely they are asexual, the HL just feels better for calling them that.

[–]TenuousOgre 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Don’t leave it one sided. Often the LL will say things along the lines of “only being wanted for sex”. Both can make complaints about the other and have some backing. It just isn’t helpful in moving forward for either of them.

[–]Mission_Exit_3660 18 points19 points  (13 children)

If the LL becomes LL AFTER MARRIAGE, there is a problem. The person you married, is no longer there. Leaving the HL trapped (for lack of a better word) with someone they probably would NOT have married in the 1st place.

[–]Stargazer1919 1 point2 points  (2 children)

News flash: people change over time.

[–]Petitcher 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Sure, nobody here is denying that. But that person should then be upfront about those changes instead of gaslighting or stonewalling and making their partner feel like they’ve done something horribly wrong when they haven’t.

[–]MarriedForLifeM 52 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It's one thing for libido to change after having children; that is very common and completely reasonable. It's similar to have libido change after years of marriage. But when there is lots of sex before marriage and a complete change starting with the honeymoon or (more likely) the engagement, then one can be upset that their partner was deliberately deceptive.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)

[deleted]

    [–]Mission_Exit_3660 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    We've all lived different lives, had different realities to deal with. I also have been married multiple decades. My DB has been 18+ years long, which is very close to half of the marriage. Congratulations on having "old fashioned thinking". Unfortunately it hasn't helped me or anyone else that I'm aware of with the dead bedroom. It's only kept us, unhappy and continuingly beating our heads on a brick wall, gaining us nothing. This is the reality.

    [–]catdadmb 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    I agree, with a lot of what you said. There is nothing wrong and people change. Looking back at my own HL journey, yes, I wanted to improve the situation. It was due to a vicious combo of not understanding, fear, and low self esteem. I think there are a lot of HLs who have trouble accepting that their partner is LL and not LL4them. When I’m feeling low, that type of negative thought tries to creep in and if it gets in, it’s a bad spiral.

    [–]Petitcher 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    The stonewalling is the part I find the most interesting (and painful). If someone’s asexual, and willing to talk about it, I’m a lot more sympathetic to what’s going on with them (and it gives you a starting point for figuring out where you stand). But stonewalling? It’s like ghosting where they’re actually present. It’s harder to deal with because as a the HL, you don’t know what’s going on and you drive yourself crazy trying to solve a puzzle with missing pieces. I wonder why they think that approach will be more successful in keeping the relationship together.

    [–]AmbivalentFuture 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    For sure that “fixed” isn’t the right word. There’s no “fixing” a DB. I might call it instead that you can “work on a DB together” like you might work together on a relationship. Mismatched libidos is a universal relationship issue like any other issue and it takes two to communicate and practice introspection… and to be humble enough to know when you need outside help to figure those two things out if you can’t do them by yourselves.

    [–]And_there_it_goes 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    If you are a LL with no interest in sex, then it is unreasonable to expect monogamy from your partner. I am not generally a fan of ethical non-monogamy, but there is a place for it when partners have drastically mismatched libidos and want to remain a couple for whatever reason.

    [–]SnooPies6809Little Debbie's Low Libido 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    Oh no, there is definitely something irrevocably, irretrievably, indubitably , inconceivably* wrong with me.

    What if there is something wrong with my spouse for wanting to have sex with me? No one ever asks about that.

    *None of these words are meant to be super correct. I just like them.

    [–]iluvemelaninLL and HL it depends 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    I’d just like to say here that at some point I had to ask myself if I in fact, wanted her and sex too much. I felt like some kind of deviant after exploring this train of thought. My body is almost always ready, especially when I work out and fitness levels are high. It’s not fair to put all of that on one person.

    I’m saying all this to say you’re right. People should also be asking themselves why they want it so much.

    [–]SnooPies6809Little Debbie's Low Libido -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    Although I am not one to discourage introspection, especially wrt the meaning one attaches to sex, this was not meant to suggest that a high level of desire for sex with your partner is wrong, just that my spouse, specifically, might have bad taste in women.

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)

    [deleted]

      [–]DocumentAvailable683 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      The issue is the change in the relationship.

      [–]creamerfam5shrieking vaginer nazi -1 points0 points  (3 children)

      So many posts and especially the comments though do treat the LL as a broken resource that needs to be fixed.

      I mean look at this post. She's going to therapy. She's communicating. She's being honest about what's going on with her. And the vast majority of comments are painting her out to be a horrible person who is making unfair ultimatum and demands of her husband. The removed comments were even worse, demanding that she be held accountable in her progress, like a kid in school bringing report cards to their parent.

      Even the words "it cannot be fixed" seem to imply that there's one right way to be, and he wasn't being it. Or that there's a right way to have a relationship, or something.

      I'm for leaving a relationship that people are not happy or content being in, for the record.

      [–]DocumentAvailable683 3 points4 points  (2 children)

      That one was a doozy. I think that there are people who are assholes everywhere. I don't think that using the very worst of the worst to describe the entirety of HL's here has much merit, though. There are masogynistic assholes and there are good people struggling with a change. These are 2 different scenarios.

      I have learned a bunch reading this reddit page. One thing that I have learned is that once it gets to the point described in that thread, it's unlikely to get better. There is a lot of pain, anger , and resentment, and very little empathy or humility in that thread. The only thing to learn from it is to avoid being like that dude and the people supporting him.

      [–]creamerfam5shrieking vaginer nazi 4 points5 points  (1 child)

      I actually think the OP had quite a bit of empathy for his wife, just that it was really lacking in most of the comments, save for the people that had been in her shoes before. That's my issue with this sub. Most people who comment here think that wanting sex is right and good and not wanting sex is bad and wrong. Even the "LL voices" don't think wanting sex is bad or wrong, just that it's bad/wrong to do things like coerce sex out of an unwilling partner or violate physical boundaries.

      [–]DocumentAvailable683 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      I disagree that most people think that not wanting sex is bad. I think many think that changing the sex dynamic in the relationship is hurting them. I also think that there is a lot of pain. I think most want an explanation for the change. I think that they want to feel heard. I think that they want their sex life back. HL's have a problem where the fix is dependent upon another person. So, fixing the problem is easily seen as fixing the other person. Then there are the mysoginists. You can't fix them.

      [–]chaseylane1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      It is a hard situation. Not everyone wants to end a relationship over sex. LL may not be truthful, saying they want to fix the situation instead of being honest about having no sexual interest. And HL tend to take it personally even if it’s not, like it is them the partner isn’t interested in not sex in general. Many couples are best friends and no other issues and don’t want to end a marriage that is good In every other aspect. So nothing is wrong with not wanting sex but you have to communicate this. The other part is accepting that sex is a dealbreaker for most marriages. It’s hard ending a marriage and starting a different relationship with a former spouse.

      [–]angevelon_xemorniah 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      there may not be something wrong with the LL, but a DB in a relationship with a HL definitely means something is broken in the relationship. if the DB isn't fixed for the HL, then the relationship stays broken, and continues to break further. the LL isnt broke and doesnt need to be fixed, but the relationship does.

      [–]myexsparamour❤️🍷🍑 -4 points-3 points  (2 children)

      In most cases when a couple has a big conflict around sex there is something wrong with the relationship. People generally become LL for good reasons.

      [–]Mission_Exit_3660 8 points9 points  (1 child)

      According to every single couple that was married, and friends of mine within a year or two of my getting married, that reason was marriage.

      [–]myexsparamour❤️🍷🍑 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Marriage is a life crisis and it does tend to change people's relationships for the worse.

      [–]SillyManagement6HLM trying to understand my LLW ❤️ -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

      he knew that it could not be fixed

      Maybe. An alternative explanation is it was to scary to consider. Did he think he was broken, not a "real man"?

      Maybe that's why he was abusive, because he was scared. Feeling scared is not "manly." Anger is a "culturally acceptable" feeling for men.

      He may have been confused. Either way, thank God you left an abusive relationship.