Help! I feel like I’m driving myself crazy. My husband and I are no longer intimate – at least not very intimate at all. We’ve been married almost 7 years now. If we have sex once a month I’m lucky. I often wonder if he’s cheating, just because he has no real drive to be intimate with me. Emotionally, we still have a great relationship – we laugh, go on dates, go out together with friends and separate. I don’t understand why he doesn’t want a more sexual relationship.
Firstly, take a deep breath. No need to go right to the “cheating” wagon just because there’s been a change in the bedroom.
I’m not sure why this is the go-to response, “s/he’ cheating”, but it simply isn’t always the case. In fact, I would argue if you have those little moments of intimacy – laughing, spending time with each other, a “great” relationship – then it’s more than likely NOT the case.
Let’s start with: When did it become a problem, and how did it get there? This is a very important question to answer. Typically, you don’t go from daily sex to less than monthly overnight. Things begin to get in the way – fighting, finances, work, home, school, in-laws, cutting the grass, the fight about the sock on the ground – any and everything can contribute. In order to truly fix the issue, you need to know the problem, not the symptom.
How did you and your husband’s sex live begin to decline? Can you pinpoint when you first noticed the shift?
How intimate you are without sex? Do you hug? Kiss? Hold hands? When we’ve been with our partners for a while it’s easy to forget how important these are to our partners, and our relationship. Men and women are very similar in this sense – if they aren’t feeling wanted, they aren’t going to want sex.
If you can’t pinpoint the shift, and intimacy outside is not a problem, let’s look for some common issues regarding lack of sex. A huge one is tied into emotional health. I’m talking about stress. While for many sex is a stress reliever, if you are in a constant state of worry about a multitude of issues, it’s harder to get “in the mood” to begin with. Stress can lead to lack of sleep, lack of energy, physical sickness, headaches, intestinal issues, irritability, and more. Just going over the short list, with any of those symptoms it’s harder to want to get it on. If your husband is experiencing multiple symptoms? No way.
Another potential culprit is age. More specifically, the “sexual peak”. Men tend to hit theirs in their 20s. Women – late 30s. That’s almost a 20 year gap (the cougar phenomenon makes sense now, huh?) Your husband’s sex drive may be on decline while yours is skyrocketing. He may not need it every day, while all you think about is your next orgasm.
There’s the saying, when it comes to foreplay, men are like microwaves, and women are like stoves. Perhaps you need to treat your husband like the stove. Don’t jump right into sex – make it *sexy* again. Cook him a nice dinner. Wear sexy lingerie. Give him a massage. (Before I get yelled at about being misogynistic – this is a woman talking about her husband. If the question was from the opposite sex, I would say the same). Talk to him about his day. You may find the issue with your lack of sex has nothing to do with sex at all.
If the above doesn’t work, my rule of thumb – open communication – also applies here. You can discuss with your husband exactly how he – and more importantly, you – feel. I suggest having a frank conversation with him. Ask him if something is bothering him, if there’s something you can do. Let him know you’ve noticed a shift and find it difficult not to personalize it.
Finally, and this may be embarrassing, he may not be able to *ahem* preform, quite as well. Perhaps he wants sex, but his body isn’t complying. He may need to visit a doctor – so suggest a check up where he can bring up potential physical issues.
It may be embarrassing, and hard to discuss, but this is your husband. If you can’t be open and honest with each other, sex is the least of your problems. Counseling may be beneficial.
***Jessica is a Licensed Therapist and Romance Author. Answers are meant for entertainment purposes and should not be used in place of actively seeking therapy for love, sex, or intimacy issues.***