Those quiet moments when you get really honest with yourself and you realize…he’s losing interest.
Terrifying!!! I’ve been there. Everything is great until he pulls away from cuddling, he doesn’t say sweet things anymore, your sex life is suffering, and you’re afraid this might be the beginning of the end.
I’m going to show you how understanding the 3 Rs of relationships can reverse the damage AND bring you back together again with passion, interest, and lasting attraction.
This is not a short post. Why? Because it’s an actual real-life practical solution to your big ass relationship problem, and you need every word of it. I love you. Here you go.
I’m worried that my boyfriend is losing interest in me. We have been together for 1.5 years. He barely has time for cuddles and rarely says, “I love you” anymore. Our sex life is suffering as well. He always says that he is tired. We are both in our 20’s, so I thought our sex life would be regular and thriving. I really love him, but I don’t know how to improve our relationship. Whenever I try talking to him about it, he doesn’t want to.
Why He’s Ignoring You
I understand your panic. It feels like he’s slipping through your fingers, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
When you try to talk to him about it, he ignores you.
The reason he doesn’t want to talk about it is that he doesn’t know what to say.
Women deal with problems they don’t know how to solve by talking about them until a solution arises.
Men deal with problems they don’t know how to solve by shutting down and ignoring them.
He doesn’t know what’s going on with your relationship either, so he shuts down and ignores your attempts to talk about it.
But ignoring it isn’t going to help either of you. So, props on writing in.
Screw the Symptom. Address the Cause.
The fact that you don’t have sex anymore is cause for alarm.
Sex is always the symptom people pay attention to most. But addressing the symptom with sexy lingerie or a promising diet (as some people would suggest) isn’t addressing the cause.
It may be that his heart is just not in the relationship anymore, and it’s the beginning of the end. But who wants to think that?! I certainly don’t. That doesn’t get us anywhere. If you love him, then you do what you can to make it work.
Just as a relationship can get sick with neglect, it can heal with the right kind of attention!
He’s Not Hot for You: Reason One
One possible reason that he’s not interested in sex is his hormones.
Time and familiarity create so much oxytocin in his body that it inhibits his production of testosterone, the “let’s make sexy time” hormone, and therefore inhibits his interest in sex.
The solution for this is simple.
Create more space and time apart from each other. This will allow his testosterone levels to rise to a healthy level so that he can be interested in sex once again.
He’s Not Hot for You: Reason Two, Three, and Four
Another possible reason is one that is slightly more complicated and just as likely.
If he has complaints about you or the relationship that go unspoken, it can numb him to his feelings of attraction for you.
It’s a gradual process that in MarsVenus lingo we call, the three Rs:
And if left unchecked, they will systematically destroy your relationship, your sex life, and even a shot at a future amicable friendship. These Rs are UGLY.
Any time someone has a complaint or an issue, it’s because they have resistance to the way things are being done.
Unfortunately many times a man will ignore his complaints because:
- He can handle it; it’s no big deal.
- There’s no apparent solution.
- He doesn’t feel safe enough to bring it up with his girlfriend.
If this resistance is ignored, as it so often is, or the issue is not resolved in some way, it can lead to…
This is that itchy feeling you get when you feel like you give more than you get. (Click here to learn how to get rid of resentment in a relationship.)
The feeling that the scales are drastically unbalanced and that you’re the one with the raw deal.
This is how he ultimately feels when his complaints aren’t addressed, and his needs aren’t being met.
If this resentment goes unhandled, it will lead to…
At this point, he starts to lose interest in his partner — sexually and otherwise.
Things that used to be funny and cute are just irritating.
Anything you suggest to do, he’ll want to do something different.
It’s like he’s automatically and unconsciously playing the opposite game.
You and your partner become magnets of a like charge, repelling each other despite best intentions.
Innocent Bystander or Partner in Crime?
This probably sounds a little scary and more than a little unjust.
After all, I’m sure you’d be happy to allow him to express his feelings of resistance in the relationship.
So, why doesn’t he feel safe to talk about it with you?
Despite the fact that women can be some of the most empathetic, compassionate, and generous souls on the planet, we are also capable of being a little prickly, sensitive, and reactive sometimes as well.
With a sense of humor, let’s take the classic example of, “Do I look fat in this outfit?”
A man, genuinely trying to be honest, might say, “A little.”
This innocent comment can turn a perfectly polite conversation into a mess of tears, anger, and accusations of, “Do you really love me at all?!”
Obviously, this interaction doesn’t take place often, but these rare times are the ones that a man will remember.
Whether he’s experienced being made wrong for a small complaint with you or not, at some point in his life, he has been trained by another woman, girlfriend, or mom that it is NOT safe to share complaints with a woman.
Reversing the Damage: Part One (Script included!)
To reverse the damage, you have to start from the source. If you continue to deal with symptoms, you’ll never heal the heart.
In order for the three Rs to be reversed, you have to create a safe environment for him to talk about his: Resistance.
Hint: It doesn’t start with, “Can we please talk about this relationship?” God forbid. He’ll run for the hills, and you’ll never get any decent information out of him. 😉
Rather, say to him:
“I love you. I want you to feel comfortable telling me anything, and if there’s something that annoys you about me, I want to work on it; I want to change it. I promise I won’t react. I just want us to be happy.”
If he’s still tight-lipped, ask him specific questions like:
“When I do X, does it annoy you?”
You’re intuitive; I’m sure you can come up with a few theories as to what irks him about you.
Reversing the Damage: Part Two
The next few steps you take, after he opens up, are cri-ti-cal.
Talking about his issues isn’t everything. He also needs two more things:
1) He needs to acknowledge his Resistance.
2) He needs to experience a real change from you or at least see an effort to change.
When you hear his complaints, it’s important to listen without making him wrong for having those complaints. This builds trust.
Important! Here’s What NOT to Do: Part One
When you hear his complaints, you’ll have the impulse to say things like:
- “This is why I did this. I had a good reason…”
- “It hurts my feelings that you think that of me…”
- “Well, if you did this, I wouldn’t have to do that.”
- “How am I supposed to know…?”
- “Do you even know how hard my day was?”
These might sound innocent enough to you, but this reaction gives the WRONG message.
He can easily misunderstand it as either an attack or a defense. This will inevitably lead to a fight and a furthering of the message that it’s NOT safe to express discontent to a woman.
Important! Here’s What NOT to Do: Part Two
Many women naturally assume that once he’s complained, it’s their turn to complain.
That seems only fair, right?
However, (big reveal!) this is the main reason men won’t bring up relationship issues. They know it will only be an invitation for the woman to blame and attack them.
Or at least, that’s how he’ll see it.
Let’s get real basic here:
When you’re training a dog and the dog comes when you call, you don’t yell at him for not coming sooner; you give him a treat because you want to encourage his good behavior.
If you punish him for smelling poop or itching his ear on the way to you, he won’t come at all next time. Get it?
This simple behavior technique works for men and women too. If you complain in response to a man’s complaints, he will see it as a punishment and avoid it like the plague.
So, if you want to avoid the three Rs or if you want to talk to your boyfriend about your relationship ever again, you will bite your tongue.
What About YOUR Grievances? Aren’t They Valid Too?
A relationship rarely has a one-sided problem. It takes two to tango, two to save a relationship, and definitely two to F it up in the first place.
So, yea. Hearing his complaints can be really hard because I’m sure you’ve got some of your own. And YES! They’re valid too.
This triple R killer is not gender-specific. If you’re not expressing your resistance, then resentment will grow in your heart, which will ultimately lead to rejection. So it’s very important that you share your resistance as well.
There is a safe way to express your grievances that will not turn your partner off and will still make him feel safe to express himself.
How to Express Your Complaints Without Turning Him Off
In the moment of his resistance, listen to him wholeheartedly. Thank him for talking to you. Let him know you’ll think on it. And at some point, share with him a game-plan on how you’re planning on changing that particular behavior or action.
On another day, as a completely separate event, feel free to approach your own complaints.
Keep in mind that men do not respond to blame.
Instead, they respond to requests.
So, rather than “complain,” your job is to ASK for what you want instead.
Rather than say, “You leave the toilet seat up all the time! I fell in last night!”
Say sweetly and lightheartedly:
“So I fell in the toilet last night. You do such a great job putting the toilet seat down all day. Would you make sure the toilet seat is down before bed? I would really appreciate it.”
Kiss him and be done with it.
If he screws up again, ask him sweetly again and again until it sinks in.
It might feel like a lot of effort in the beginning, but it gets easier — especially when you see how happy, loving, generous, and communicative he becomes in response.
Now you understand what’s going on, AND you have the tools to reverse the three Rs. Best of luck to you and your man. And to your relationship, get well soon!