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Help -- Girlfriend has endometriosis and no sex drive whatsoever.

I have an unusually high libido and my girlfriend has lost all interest in sexual activity due to medication and endometriosis pain. I am very supportive, but I feel more frustrated and disconnected from her everyday. I am going crazy, and I don't want to lose all interest in her. She spent money on botox instead of a surgery to fix her endometriosis (her endometriosis bothers her everyday). I feel like I wasn't considered in that decision.

I have been looking at other women lately but nothing has ever come close to happening as far as infidelity. I want her, not someone else, but I don't know what to do. Am I a bad person to think about leaving her? What should I do?

  1. Hi , I want to first say thank you for coming here and writing in to us. That sounds like a very frustrating and tricky thing to be going through between you and your partner and my heart is going out to both of you on this one. Navigating endo as a couple can be really difficult and requires a lot of vulnerability, communication, and understanding. The really crappy thing about endometriosis that a lot of people don't understand (not at all saying this is the case for you Justin, I'm just speaking in generalities right now) is that it doesn't just affect people physically. There is a huge psychological effect from it as well. It can affect every aspect of life.

    Unfortunately, only your girlfriend knows how she is really feeling deep down about it all and the best course of action is to go to her on neutral territory (try going for a walk or to a park or something where you have a little bit of space) and ask her how she is feeling about it all. My guess is that she has thought about this a lot and feels all sorts of ways about it. Going to her and asking her how she feels about her endo is huge. Ask her how she feels on a regular basis, how she feels emotionally about what she's going through, how her body feels, etc, and actively listen. (I am going to link a whole bunch of articles for you to check out at the very bottom of this reply that gives some really incredible information from advocates living with endo as well as partners of those with endo on how to navigate these conversations.)

    I would also suggest, in this open and vulnerable conversation, expressing how it all makes you feel and then maybe consider asking "what can I do for you to make you more comfortable?" Above all else, communicate, communicate, communicate. It's going to require a lot of patience on your end and a lot of listening and asking questions.

    As far as you feeling like your needs aren't being met, I hear you and that's completely fair. Your feelings and needs are as valid as hers are. It sounds like you have a lot of honest thinking to do for yourself in this situation as well. I think having an open, loving, respectful conversation and really listening to each other is going to be key as well as sharing your needs with each other and figuring out how to compromise and be there for each other. Be patient and remember to be kind to yourself as you navigate this together.

    Here are the articles I was mentioning that you should check out: <- This is a link to Chris Robson's author archive. He's a fantastic writer and gives a great perspective on being the partner to someone with endometriosis.

    These articles are specifically about how you can support your girlfriend as a partner:

    How to actively listen:

    These articles are informative on how sex with endometriosis can be physically painful and the effects of that psychologically as well as options on alternatives to painful penetrative sex:

    These articles are more about the mental toll endometriosis can take on someone:

    I really hope those all help!! Please know that you and your girlfriend have our support here and we are sending you both so much love right now. I really hope that if you guys decide to sit down and really open up to each other, that it goes well and you both leave the conversation with an understanding of each other's needs in a loving and kind way.


    💛 Kayleigh, team

    1. Thank you Kayleigh. You have some great advice. I will check out those articles as well.

      1. I want to thank you for your honesty. I understand exactly what you are saying. I am a pelvic floor physical therapist who treats women with pelvic pain, like your girlfriend, and men who long for more intimacy from their partners, who feel frustrated and want more sex.

        Your girlfriend likely is not aware that you wanted to be part of her decision-making when it came down to her endometriosis. She might have not wanted to involve you in her own struggle to enjoy sex (because this hurts her as much as it hurts you). She probably feels some shame in her lack of desire for you (because sex hurts and this is causing the avoidance of it).

        As far as the Botox injections (I am assuming they were for her pelvic pain), she may have been wanting to pursue a less invasive option than surgery. Surgery is an enormous undertaking and does not always alleviate pain related to endometriosis.

        In short, I want to thank you for your bravery in asking this question. Talk to your girlfriend. Tell her how you feel. She will like seeing this vulnerable side of you.

        1. Hi Becca - thank you for your response. I have already brought this subject up a few times with my girlfriend and have not gotten a positive response so far. I will admit that is has been brought up out of frustration and not in an open environment. I always offer to help in any way, but there is nothing I can do.

          As far as the botox - it was for her face to reduce wrinkles. That was why I was upset. Wrinkles were a priority above all else, including my needs(I know that sounds selfish, but I have things that I want out of life and I only get this 1 shot at life). I should have explained that situation better.

          She does not enjoy sex anymore and I no longer initiate it. I can tell in her eyes that she doesn't want it. If sex does happen she is in extreme pain for several days. How can either of us enjoy being intimate when it leads to her extreme pain. That begs the question (and is my main struggle) should I continue to be unhappy for her sake? I cannot imagine this situation gets any better for her. And it will only lead to ruin for us if the situation persists. I don't know whether to rip the bandaid off now and end the relationship, or stay until we can no longer stand to be around eachother. I don't want to leave her to fight this on her own, but I also can't go down a road of inevitable unhappiness. I can either choose to be unhappy or to be an A$$-hole that leaves his significant other when she needs me the most. It is causing quite an internal struggle for me. I probably shared too much, but it is what it is. Thanks again for your reply. @becca ironside

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