I really don’t know if the lack of sexual interest is due to your boyfriend’s mental illness. What I do know is that even though it makes you so very, very sad, you have stayed in the relationship for three years. I suspect that you stay both because there is something very sweet about him that compensates for the lack of intimacy and because you are afraid to move on.
Sadly, there is nothing you can do that you haven’t already done. Your boyfriend knows how you feel. However much he loves you, however much he might want a more normal intimate relationship, his own issues and fears are bigger. Unless and until he decides he wants to get treatment and make some changes, the life you have is what he can offer you.
Your boyfriend has made it clear that his lack of sexual interest isn’t personal to you. He loves you as he can. If you can hold on to your self-esteem and your belief in yourself as an attractive person, regardless of his interest, you could decide to stay in this relationship. Sexual intimacy isn’t a necessity like food or water or sleep. There are many, many people in the world who live without it.
On the other hand, if you want a sexual relationship, you need to accept that your boyfriend can’t do that and it’s time to leave. However difficult it is, you need to look at why it is that you have climbed into his depression with him and are unemployed, friendless, and isolated. It’s time to find the strength within yourself to make some changes. Therapy is probably a good idea. You are going to need some support and some practical advice to help you get your life moving again.
I wish you both well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on June 24, 2009.