I’m quite a sexual person and am getting married next year. But it’s been a traumatic year, and now I’m worried my partner is unfulfilled
I have a wonderful partner, and we’re getting married next year after three years together. We live together, and both work quite intense jobs. I’ve always been quite a sexual person, but recently my libido has fallen off a cliff. It’s like I don’t even have sex organs any more, which is a bit frightening. My partner has a high sex drive and I worry he is unfulfilled, despite saying he doesn’t mind. I think he takes it personally, but I love him very much. We are often not in the house at the same time and keep quite different hours because of his job. I have had a traumatic year, with a few bereavements and family illness, and wonder if this has affected my sex drive. My question is, how can I get it back?
Bereavement and trauma are two fairly common reasons for lowered libido. This is normally temporary, but you need time to recover and heal. Help your partner to understand your lack of desire is not about him – ask him to be patient. And try not to let your anxiety about your libido escalate, as that could make things worse. Any kind of loss can lead to depression, and it could be worth seeking some therapeutic help if you don’t feel like yourself pretty soon. Like anxiety, depression is another likely culprit when libido drops. Many people have become depressed as a result of the losses of our time – lockdowns, health issues, curbs on our freedoms, financial struggles and job losses – and sexual problems often follow. Mental and sexual health can never be taken for granted. Now more than ever, we must find ways to soothe, nurture and sustain ourselves. This too shall pass.
Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.
If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to email@example.com (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.
Comments on this piece are premoderated to ensure discussion remains on topics raised by the writer. Please be aware there may be a short delay in comments appearing on the site.