Lack of libido – Does it stem from my low self-worth?

Hi Maj,

I have no idea how to even start let alone finish this letter. It all seems so crazy and messy. The bottom line, I guess, is that I have difficulties believing in myself and loving my fiancé with everything that entails.

But at the same time, I realize that he isn’t the problem: I am.

And I feel somewhat sure that he IS the one I have to end up with.

We have very little sex and he has even stopped complaining about it because he knows how that upsets me. He knows that I too want to have sex and earlier we had a very active sex life.

We had our first son 16 months ago and our second son 12 weeks ago. And now you’re probably thinking “well, you were having sex then”. But my boyfriend can’t settle for sex once a month and I even think that that isn’t enough.

But my sex drive is GONE!

My stepfather assaulted me sexually

But where does this problem come from?

It doesn’t just appear out of nowhere and in my case, I’m sure it stems from something. When I had our first son I had a minor depression which I received psychological help for. I felt like a bad mother to be completely honest.

When I was a child I lived with my mum. My parents divorced when I was only a few years old. When I was 5 or 6 years-old my mum found the man she is living with today and the man she has had four children with. This wasn’t happy days for me though…

Before they had children together (the first 6 years of their relationship) they’d drink a lot and they would often bring me to the pub where they would buy me sweets. They would fight a lot and my stepfather would become violent.

One time, when my mum was out drinking, he made me shower with him and made me give him a handjob.

I didn’t speak about this incident but for a long, long time whenever they were fighting I was hoping that my mum would leave him.

But no.

My stepfather assaulted me sexually - Lack of libido

I was trapped in their nightmare.

My dad had already found a new wife whom he had three children with.

I felt very alone.

They didn’t do a lot of things wrong but I felt left behind. I needed to feel loved and to feel safe and not just have a normal everyday life every second weekend.

When I turned 12 my mum and her husband finally had a son and we had to move. At my old school I was being bullied. No doubt that I had been an easy target. The problems at home and the problems at school made me wet myself, often when I went to visit my horse.

Simply because I didn’t like going inside. (We lived on a farm and I had my own horse).

I was always too scared to tell my mum or my stepdad that I had wet myself and I always hid it from them. But something like that leaves an odor behind and whenever my mum or stepdad found out they’d tell me off, slap me, ground me etc.

I was bullied at school

At the new school it wasn’t much different. For years I had distanced myself from other people and I’d been hiding out with my horses and because of this I was still an easy target.

When I was 14 years-old my mum had twins.

Now she had even less time for me and I spent more and more time with the horse.

The woman, whose horse I was now looking after sensed that something was wrong and she had a talk to my mum. Her boyfriend was working at a place for young people with problems at home.

This lady told me that I could spend time with them whenever I wanted to.

My mum had given up on me a long time ago.

My stepdad and I would fight every time we had to spend more than 10 minutes together and my mum still didn’t sense that something was up.

After living more and more with my “extra family” I went home one day to visit my mum and once again I argued with my stepdad and even ended up running to my room to call my “extra dad” at 11:30pm to get him to come pick me up.

Finally I moved in permanently with my “extra family”.

This family had their arms and their hearts wide open.

My mum had “thrown me out” like I was a piece of thrash.

And finally, one night where I was upset – again – I told my extra parents about my mum and my stepdad’s drinking habits and about the night in the shower with my stepdad.

Twice now I’ve tried to go to the police with it.

Both times they haven’t really had time for me, I’ve spoken to my own doctor about it and I’ve tried to talk to social workers but with no luck.

I’d pretty much given up on my dad by now. He didn’t seem to have much time for me nor give me the affection I so desperately needed. By now I’d only visit him once or twice a year and I felt less and less welcome at his house.

In the 10th grade I got my first boyfriend. I was with him for 4½ years. Most of the time we got on really well but I was insanely jealous if he ever had to spend time with other girls.

As it turned out, I was worried for nothing. In the years I spent with him I caught him flirting with other guys – three times – and even sending nude photos of himself to other guys.

Once again I didn’t feel good enough.

I was never really ”good enough” for anyone…

I was never really ”good enough” for anyone - Lack of libido

I wasn’t good enough for the people at school…

I wasn’t good enough for my mum…

Not good enough for my dad and not good enough for my boyfriend…

After 4½ years I finally kicked him out when I fell in love with another guy from school. He was such a gentle guy but he was mommy’s boy and was still living at home when I had my own place.

It didn’t suit his mum that we spent the majority of the time at mine and consequently my boyfriend and his mum had a lot of arguments. He ended up deciding to move in with me. His mum and I did not get on at all after that and this was also a contributing factor to me ending the relationship after 1½ years.

On more than one occasion my boyfriend’s dad had come to our apartment in tears, my boyfriend was also very upset about how his mum was behaving. Everyone else in the family liked me but the whole thing was tearing his family apart.

So – I wasn’t good enough for my in-laws either!

I fell in love with a new guy.

He was hot, worked out, tall, dark-hair. We saw each other on and off but it was always very secretive. That’s how I felt anyway. We would never go anywhere in public together and if he saw me in the street he’d just nod.

This guy both made me feel good about myself whenever he messaged me or whenever I was with him but at the very same time it was ruining me when he didn’t have time to hang out with me, when he went out and didn’t want to be seen with me and how he’d just give me a nod if he saw me in public.

We saw each other on and off for several years.

It was like he’d cast a spell on me.

Regardless of how many times he had upset me or made me angry and regardless of how many reservations I felt towards the whole thing, all it took was just to see him one time and I’d be right back in his arms.

After many years he finally took me with him to a party, he’d let me take him to handball when he had to play etc. I still hadn’t met his family though. I guess I still wasn’t good enough!!

In the end he decided that he was going to go to New Zealand for six months and I could finally move on. I found a new boyfriend, B, and thought that everything would work out now.

While M was in New Zealand, a hurricane hit, and I was suddenly contacted by a few of his friends because if anyone would have heard from him, they were sure it’d be me. (What! Had he actually been talking about me to his friends? Had I actually been a part of his life? The thoughts all started racing around in my head)

The relationship with my new boyfriend B was all right.

He was a virgin and the little sex we did have isn’t really worth mentioning. He didn’t have a big libido and as time went on, I lost mine too.

He was a quiet guy who would NEVER disagree with me. I’d grown into being very stern and I say what I think and don’t want to save the discussions “for later”.

In my “extra family” we had the rule that if you did something wrong you’d be told exactly that.

Then that’s over and no one holds any grudges and we can move on with our lives.

It’s a very simple way of life and it was very black and white. This was something I definitely needed at that point in my life – and probably still need today.

After 2 years with B my love for him had completely gone away and I found Nicki whom I’m now engaged to.

Before we even considered giving it a shot, I wrote him a long letter in which I told him a lot about my past, things about my mum and her husband.

I’m happy but I have a lack of libido

Most of the time I’m very happy with my own little family, but but but….

I still have a lot of days of not feeling good enough.

I don’t really feel like I have learnt all the rules of the game or how I even want the rules to be like.

I can’t control my temper or my mood, and sometimes I “attack” other people (especially if something is said about our sons).

We’ve discussed me going back for more therapy on numerous occasions but I just find it so difficult to talk about all of this. And having to tell myself that I am good enough and sit in a circle and hold hands just isn’t me at all.

I’ve always felt that the best therapy for me has been the horses. At the moment we can’t afford me having a horse, nor do we have the time. I’m having a hard time putting into words why I’m suddenly upset and I have a lot of days thinking that the world would just be a better place if I weren’t in it.

So dearest Maj, do you have any comforting words telling me that it is possible to have a functioning life and sex life again after feeling that the majority of my life has been nothing but a big, black hole?

Love and hope from The Black Sheep


Lack of libido – Does it stem from my low self-worth?


Dearest, dearest you,

I’m so happy you’ve written to me.

Really genuinely happy.

My lord, you’ve been through a lot!

This is such a heartbreaking story of a girl who has been left behind again and again ever since she was a little girl really.

I want to start off by talking about your lack of libido.


It does have something to do with your state of mind.


And it has got something to do with your self-worth.

Self worth and a lack of libido

Your story is very, very tough and I’m not sure you even realize yourself how horrifying your life and the things you’ve been put through have actually been.

So – first of all I think you should sit down and read my answer to you many, many times over. Try and listen to me telling your story and then imagine this all happened to one of your girlfriends or to your sister. How would you feel then if anyone had treated them like that?

12 therapy sessions are NOT enough

We can’t run from the fact that you have some scars on your soul.

And 12 sessions of therapy will not heal these.

I do agree that you need more therapy.

There are a lot of different options for you.

I won’t talk a lot about the fact that you’ve been sexually abused but I will say to you, that in most bigger cities there are Centers for Sexually Abused and groups where you can get help for free.

I strongly recommend you to contact these people.

You can go and join a group once a week and tell your story.

You can share your own experiences with them, get help to move on and listen to the other people in the group tell their stories. You’ll also be offered therapy from very competent people. I actually believe that this would be the place for you to start; they’ll welcome you with open arms.

Let me also tell you that there is a foundation which is built on the 12 steps of Anonymous Alcoholics which is about adult children of alcoholics.

There are also books on the matter and I think you should try and read some of them.

You’ll recognise a lot of the symptoms mentioned and a lot of the things you’re dealing with – your low self-esteem and the feeling of not being good enough – are all things which stem from your childhood and growing up in an extremely chaotic family.

There is a lot of help to find in these books; try and Google “adult children of alcoholics” and see what comes up.

There are really good books about this – they’re quite short but they’re food for thought.

I sincerely believe that just by reading these books would be very good for you to do. Remember to also contact the Centre for Sexually Abused to get the therapy, counseling and support you need – the things you’ve searched for your whole life.

Lack of libido as a “small-kids”-mum is normal

I’ll also say to you, that you do have two little kids.

Even if you’d had a perfect childhood, you’d still be tired; you’d still have a lack of libido right now because you have two small children. The body is in a type of “stand-by mode” when it comes to reproduction.

Breastfeeding will actually often lower your libido – did you know that?

There are biological factors in play here which will lower the libido – it often will, anyway.

In some cases the sex drive will go away completely for periods of time, when you have small children.

Your sleep is also interrupted – all of these physiological and biological factors will make your sex drive go away or at least lower it significantly.

So – in regards to your sex drive, the odds are just against you at this point in time. This doesn’t mean that it won’t come back. And it certainly does not mean that you can’t have a good life or a good sex life.

When I listen to your story, I hear about a girl whose body and brain is pushed and stressed to the max.

You get ratty, you lose your libido, you’re tired, you’re exhausted and these are all things which can cause depressive symptoms and thoughts.

Depressive thoughts are the “I’m not good enough” thoughts – a very high level of self-criticism.

Low self-worth is on a thought-level, defined as high self-criticism and self-blame. The more you keep blaming yourself in your thoughts, the more critical of yourself you’ll ultimately become.

And your self-worth will ultimately drop.

But – you can work on this!

When I read your story I can’t help but notice phrases such as “and once again I weren’t good enough” and “they didn’t choose me”.

Now I want to give you a small task…

I want you to take a look at the people who didn’t choose you. In this world not everyone is a good match for us.

In regards to your parents, the fact of the matter is that parents can’t not choose their children. And they certainly shouldn’t!

Some parents do.

And this is simply because they don’t have the resources to be good parents.

The parents which they – hopefully – deep down want to be. This is by no means okay but we just can’t do anything about it.

We have to accept that that is just how things are.

About the other people…

Have a little think about who actually didn’t choose you.

Lack of libido - Does it stem from my low self-worth

You keep making it sound like you aren’t good enough…

If I go out to by a new car, and I really need a station wagon – because I have a big grand danois and I have two kids – so I won’t choose the Toyota Aygo.

Does this now mean that the Toyota Aygo isn’t good enough?

No, it doesn’t.

It’s a great car and I’m sure it’s a perfect car for some people but just not for me.

This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with it, not at all.

It just isn’t the car I want in my life.

This doesn’t make the car any less valuable or not good enough like I hear you say about yourself.

Listen to me now:

I truly believe you’ve just wound up in constellations where people haven’t really figured out how to treat you right.

The people you’ve been hanging around haven’t had a lot of resources and so they haven’t even been able to act like normal human beings and treat you right – and this have had some very bad consequences.

But I have to say that you are allowed to not choose someone.

What I hear you say is that other people constantly need to choose you.

You ARE allowed to make some rules!

It is ok to say - No thanks

I’d like for you to start choosing people – and not choosing them – when that’s what is necessary.

You are allowed to say no to people and to set up some rules.

This doesn’t mean that these people are stupid.

This just means that in life we just get along with some people better than others.

This certainly doesn’t mean that these people aren’t good enough; they just don’t suit me.

Or they don’t suit you!

You can start choosing what people you want in your life.

And you’ll have to choose these people in accordance with how you want to be treated.

You have the right to set up rules for how the people in your life should treat you. If they continuously break these rules and continue behaving in a manner you don’t agree with, even after you’ve confronted them, then choose to not have them in your life.

That’s perfectly all right!

I hereby grant you my permission to do so.

We shouldn’t just put up with anything!

And this is where I believe that the short books about adult children of alcoholics will make perfect sense to you.

A lot of what these books talk about is about setting up boundaries.

To me it sounds like you need support and care in order to figure out what your own personal boundaries are.

And also help to pick out the people who aren’t good for you and your life – and figure out who’s actually just making things worse for you. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of destructive relationships in your life.

There is A LOT of hope out there

Now let me finish off by saying that there is so much hope for you out there.

You’re very well-spoken, you’re such a smart and perceptive girl.

You just have to take it one step at the time.

Step by step

Even though it hurts.

That it keeps hurting is a sign of you needing to deal with it.

You have to put it into boxes and make it take up less space in your mind.

The horses are amazing but the horses aren’t enough.

The horses are where you can relax and not worry – where you feel good and feel accepted.

This is an amazing thing and it makes perfect sense.

But the horses can’t give you therapy – they just can’t. It’s my recommendation that you see a therapist again. You have to contact a Centre for Sexually Abused and you have to Google “adult children of alcoholics” to find some good literature about it.

And then talk to your boyfriend.

Show him the letter you wrote to me and show him what I wrote back to you.

Then make a plan.

Figure out a plan and I promise you you’ll get better!

*** Sessions with a psychologist

*** Getting involved with the Centre for Sexually abused

*** Knowledge on how you react when you’re a child of alcoholics

*** Choose not to have people who make you feel unsafe in your life

There are so many things you can do!

You are allowed to set the standard of how your life should be and how the people in your life have to treat you.

You’re allowed to say “no thank you”.

Maj Wismann about a lack of libido and low self-worthI promise you, that if you put one foot in front of the other and your ultimate goal is to feel better, then you will get better. I promise you, I really do.

Look after yourself!


★★★ I can also recommend you to read my guide: Low libido in young women




★ Have you experienced anything like this and are you feeling better now? Have you experienced a lack of libido because of low self-worth? Do you have a piece of advice or a few loving words for this girl? I’ll love reading your comment ❤

* Please remember to keep a nice tone, ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately; I wish to create a positive and supporting space (and a lack of libido is a very sencitive topic), where we can help each other and because of this I have a zero tolerance policy to rudeness, condescension and negative inputs.


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