‘My partner gave up sex for Lent – and hasn’t touched me for a year’

My partner gave up sex for Lent last year – and has not touched me since.

This is killing me. I’m climbing the walls with frustration.

I’m masturbating every day just to keep myself sane. I feel cheap and cheated. We’re still sleeping in the same bed, but have no physical contact.

Any time I try to stroke her she rolls over and mutters “not now” or pretends to be asleep.

At weekends she deliberately turns in hours after me and I can tell that she’s actively avoiding my lips. I’m so confused because we used to have an exciting and varied love life.

I used to count myself lucky that we were still so sexually active after seven years together.

But the emotional portcullis came down on Ash Wednesday 2021 and hasn’t cranked back up again. She isn’t a particularly religious person, but always gives up something at this time of year.

In the past she’s forsworn sweets, booze and cakes. This year she’s off crisps. I get that she can be a gannet when it comes to junk food and treats, but surely sex is something different?

Don’t we need physical contact and meaningful orgasms for mental and physical well-being? The problem is that she can be very stubborn. She doesn’t like being told what to do and can be unreasonable.

During her lighter moments she admits she can be a nightmare. But she’s not admitting any wrongdoing at the moment and I don’t know where I stand.

JANE SAYS: Have your partner’s personal circumstances changed in any way?

Has she experienced health worries? Is she under pressure at work or is she unduly worried about money or her extended family?

It’s vital you get to the root of this problem before your relationship suffers irreparable damage.

Talk to her during daylight hours, away from the bedroom. Explain that you’re confused and upset.

Can she tell you why your sex life has ground to a halt? Has she lost her sexual and general confidence?

Has physical contact become abhorrent to her?

Does she have body issues? Has she stopped feeling sexy and desirable?

You have to know where you stand and what you
can do to make things better. Would she agree to visiting a sex and relationship therapist through relate.org.uk?

Is she interested in going back to basics with date nights and no-pressure massage, touching and kissing to build passion and become sexually re-acquainted?

Give her time and attention, but you must start the conversation.

Sadly, if she’s fallen out of love with you, then are you prepared to go on like this?

Is this kind of sexless relationship acceptable to you?

You must consider your needs and ambitions too.

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