I feel put upon by my boyfriend and just don’t want sex with him

Tell him to pull his weight and if he responds that could turn you on, advises Pamela Stephenson Connolly

My boyfriend and I haven’t had sex since I was three months’ pregnant. I was too sick and big for sex. Now I just don’t desire him. He doesn’t try to turn me on and I don’t care enough to initiate it. But I do want to feel desired, and often fantasise about other men. He put me through stress and hurt while I was pregnant, but he’s a good person and treats me well now, and is a loving father.

I resent the fact that I’m always cleaning up after him, doing 90% of the childcare and working nights so we don’t have to pay a babysitter. I feel unappreciated. I don’t know if we’re meant to be together but the thought of not being with him is devastating. Surely a non-physical relationship can’t be healthy?

Underlying resentment naturally shuts down one’s sexual desire for a partner, and you need to address the imbalance in your relationship urgently or you will lose more than your sex life. Each couple develops an unspoken contract, and it’s often a good idea to talk about this early and negotiate – especially if one partner feels it’s unfair. Nothing will change unless you instigate it; after all, your boyfriend has a sweet deal which he will be reluctant to give up unless he’s properly motivated. Appeal to his sense of fairness and ask specifically for exactly what you need. You will be amazed how much more turned on by him you will be once he responds to your requests and your resentment erodes.

• Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

•Send your problem to private.lives@guardian.co.uk

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