I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 4 and a half years. I’m 21 and he is 22. We live with each other and a couple of friends. I love him very much and believe he also loves me. In the past we’ve had really great sex and we communicate about it clearly during and after. When we have had sex in the past year or so, it’s satisfying for both of us, the only issue for me is frequency. Ideally, I’d have sex once a week or once every other week. But lately it’s been more like once a month or once every 8 weeks. Despite discussing it with him more times than I can count, nothing has changed.
I have a higher sex drive than he does, and I initiate 9 times out of 10. I let him know when I want sex—explicitly, with my words, and with physical queues. He usually gently rejects me, but I’m still left feeling sad and down on myself. It’s hard not to take it personally.
I suspect that in addition to a naturally lower libido, that some personal problems of his that we’ve discussed are part of this. As long as I’ve known him he has struggled to complete important tasks, to maintain consistent effort when challenged, and to start new habits or routines. I’m studying psychology in school, and I have hunch that he’s dealing with undiagnosed and untreated ADD or ADHD; he’s actually agreed with me when I’ve suggested that to him. His self esteem is rather low as a consequence of this. I’ve asked him more than once to get help for it, both because I want him to be happy and because I think dealing with these problems will ultimately solve our sexual issues too. In May, I practically begged him to figure it out and see a therapist. He agreed that it would be a good idea for him, and promised he would. He made a few efforts but it’s September and he doesn’t have a therapist.
I feel like I’ve tried everything and I don’t know what to do now. In terms of actually solving the underlying problem, it seems like there isn’t much I can do—it’s up to him to seek therapy. But in the meantime I’m trying to carry the weight of these feelings of deep sadness and helplessness. Masturbating doesn’t fulfill my intimate needs, and often leaves me feeling worse because it reminds me of my relationship troubles. Please, I’d be grateful for any advice you can offer.