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Changed Whole Life (Job, Country, Etc.) to Join Partner

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From Germany: Please help, including being brutally honest. After meeting my boyfriend on line and seeing him regularly (in person, in our respective cities, traveling together etc. often) I moved from a beautiful city to join him. Neither of us are living in our “home cities”. We are both expats in the Bonn Cologne area of Germany.

He has absolutely zero sex drive. When I talk about it lovingly, he is uncooporative. When I am crying, he shuts down. When I am angry, he is angry. Whatever I do — initiating sex, speaking from the heart, without blame, not initiating sex, not doing anything at all.

It is hard to just get up and leave him. I love him plus, what will I do next? Though I am educated with an MA and speak 8 languages there are few jobs here so far that can offer me a classroom. After 15 years of working without my own classroom, teaching multiple subjects, running around from class to class, taking far too much work home (because most schools couldn’t even give me a DESK) — I missed out on life.

Two years ago I had a lovely job finally, at age 43, with a great classroom and creative freedom. I met him during this time. He is ambitious, intelligent, honorable, honest, monogamous — but also “fighting” like me to get himself the financial and career gains that he deserves based on his qualifications and similarly has struggled for years as I have, despite his high quality education and experience.

He is wonderful in every aspect except the sex. I understand that every relationship has a price. Is the price of NO sex too high, though? (He has always been either poor in bed – no foreplay and other issues — but the rest of him was so RIGHT that I moved here. Mistake! Now for 8 months there is NO sex at all.)

I feel empty, lost and scared. I am 45 years old, childless, have spent the past 8 years investing in personal development, invested most of my savings in a private mentor, met this guy partly as a result of working with her, moved here more or less penniless and without a job here, am supported by him, and now there is NO sex. I am at a loss as to what to do. I don’t want to go back to my family in the US. I want us to work, but how, when he is resilient to discussion or change?

Changed Whole Life (Job, Country, Etc.) to Join Partner

Answered by on -


I’m guessing that the man in question is also in his 40s. If so, what you see is what you get. He is unlikely to change. You’ve done everything you know how to do to address the issue. As you are finding, you can’t make him want what you want in this area of your life. Most important, he doesn’t seem to share your concern. You did not report that he is upset about his low sex drive or that he is motivated to change it.

Only you can decide if having sex is a non-negotiable for you in a relationship. If so, it is only fair to both of you for you to separate. Talk with your boyfriend about whether he would be willing to continue to support you for a specified time while you regroup. If he can’t or won’t, I hope you have friends and family who will give you some help or maybe let you live with them for a time.

It was probably a mistake to give up so much to be with this man before you understood his limitations. But it’s a mistake, not a disaster. You have many talents. You have qualifications for many kinds of jobs — including teaching but also with any industry that needs multilingual staff or translators.

Explore whether you can get your old job back. If not, and you like where you are living, consider that the Bonn Cologne area is a huge metropolitan area. I suggest you find a job coach or a “head hunter” to help you find the job you deserve. Do an internet search of recruitment services in Germany. It may be that you need to expand your thinking about what you are qualified to do.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Changed Whole Life (Job, Country, Etc.) to Join Partner

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Changed Whole Life (Job, Country, Etc.) to Join Partner. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 28 Apr 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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