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I am convinced she has lost interest in me sexually, but I am unsure whether to stay for the sake of our friendship

I love my partner deeply: she is beautiful, intelligent and funny. But the sex is nonexistent. In the past six months, there have only been four intimate encounters, all of which have been me giving her an oral orgasm. We have only had penetrative sex once this year and she was about as active as a sack of spuds. I sincerely believe she has lost interest in me sexually, as I am the one who has to initiate the encounters and 99% of the time I am turned down. Should I stay for the friendship, the connection and the laughter, or should I seek someone who seems to see me as a sexual being?

You must share all of this with her. Your feelings and needs are important. The reasons for her lack of desire may be nothing to do with you or your relationship. They could be caused by stress, specific deep fears, medication, conception avoidance, depression or body-image problems. It could be a learned problem – she may have come from a family where she gleaned that sex was unmentionable and should be avoided (such early messages tend to be carried into adulthood and to negatively influence relationships). Sometimes couples who become too close in a familial way lose their passion for each other, because it somehow feels like incest. You must talk with her gently, affirm your love and your willingness to persevere, but explain that sex is very important to you and that you need to understand her feelings and to address this as a priority. Tell her you will help her seek treatment if that seems necessary. You are developing resentment for what you feel is a lack of fairness in your relationship; without restoring the balance, this could eventually destroy love and friendship.

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