My partner doesn't want to have sex as often as before the pandemic, and it's making me want to cheat. What should I do?

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My partner doesn't want to have sex as often as before the pandemic, and it's making me want to cheat. What should I do?
Samantha Lee/Insider
My partner doesn't want to have sex as often as before the pandemic, and it's making me want to cheat. What should I do?
Crystal Cox/Insider; Samantha Lee/Insider
  • Outsourcing your sexual needs or avoiding talking to your partner about the problem won't solve your feelings of rejection.
  • Instead, let your partner know what you've been noticing in your sex life and express how it makes you feel with as little judgment as possible.
  • Also come with ideas about how you and your partner can boost your intimate connection, and find out what your partner needs.
  • Have a question for Julia? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously. You can read more Doing It Right here.

Since the beginning of 2020, my girlfriend and I have had increasingly less sex than earlier in our relationship. Before this year, we had sex four times a week.

But since things have changed, I don't feel welcome in my own home anymore.

Should I move out? Should I find someone on the side to have sex with?

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Indiana

Dear Indiana,

You should never feel unwelcome in your own home, especially one you share with someone you love.

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At the same time, I don't think having more sex with your partner or outsourcing your sexual needs will put an end to the feelings you've been experiencing.

That's because romantic intimacy isn't just about the physical; it also requires emotional closeness.

You need to talk with your girlfriend about how the lack of sex has been making you feel.

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Before you do that, it's important to note that 2020 has been a stressful year, and with stress can often come lower sex drive. That doesn't mean you have to have less sex than you'd prefer, but it's a factor to consider as you navigate this conversation with your partner and find what works best for both of you.

So, without getting judgmental, let your partner know how the lack of sex has been affecting you. You could say something like, "I've noticed we're having less sex than we used to, and it makes me feel neglected and lonely when I can't be intimate with you as often as I'd like."

Focusing on the facts of what's been happening and how it's personally made you feel can curb any strong reactions from your girlfriend, New York City-based therapist Rachel Wright previously told me.

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Next, offer ways you can work together to resolve the situation.

"I would encourage you to approach this with as little judgment, ego, and frustration as possible, and come at it with curiosity and love," Wright told me.

Ask your partner if there's anything she's found lacking in your sex life that'd make her more excited to get intimate, and let her know how often you'd like to have sex. Perhaps you'll find she's been feeling distant too and would like more quality time with you, or try to something new in the bedroom.

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Though you might not see eye-to-eye or get back to your four-times-a-week schedule, there's still a way to strengthen your bond. It all starts with talking it out.

As Insider's resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all of your questions about dating, love, and doing it - no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist.

Have a question? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously.

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Related coverage from Doing It Right:

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I'm having an affair with my best friend's partner, and he's become manipulative. Should I come clean?

My antidepressants make it difficult to orgasm. How do I tell my partner and make sex fun again?

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