A woman reader writes to the frustrated husband regarding his wife’s loss of interest in sex…

by Rod Smith

Since you know what you are lacking, try working with her to find what she is lacking. Women often don’t have the same high sexual needs as men but that she will want to reach an accommodation with you to enable a happy marriage to continue. Suggest that you want to explore with her what she needs from the relationship and to do that you will take off the pressure of sexual demands for three months while you try to do what she needs since she is what matters to you. Women often feel that they are simply sex objects and that their husbands don’t really ‘see’ them but simply want a convenient and regular sex partner. So woo her and listen to her. Work from what you know she likes and hear what she says about things she enjoys. The fact that you are a good father and provider does not re-assure her that you love her and will go to whatever lengths are necessary to convince her – you have to walk the talk.

Try to create the space (with your wife) for easy discussions about your combined dreams, fears, enjoyments, so that in time she will be able to confide in you what she hasn’t been enjoying about sex. If she wants a back rub don’t regard it as a prelude to sex, if she suggests a weekend at the Berg don’t regard it as a second honeymoon: it is simply time for shared enjoyment. Certainly if you have been pressuring her and insisting on sex when she just wants it over with that is something you don’t want to repeat. Women tend to lose interest in sex as they age, they may still enjoy it but could live without it much more easily than could most men. Don’t expect her to initiate sex even when you get to the point of resumed sex and always honour the fact that circumstances (a quarrel, worry, tiredness) may make her unavailable. There may be a physical problem, quite easily resolved once she has the confidence that you love her, which she will talk about if your exchanges of confidences have been sufficient for her to be re-assured.

Certainly it is not your wife alone, who would need counseling, but both of you together. It is perfectly possible that you can work this out without the need of outside help since you appear to once have had a successful sexual relationship. But remember, even when things improve, constant harping on sex, excessive fondling beyond what she happily responds to, and nagging about not getting enough, will continue to be a ‘put-off’ for any woman. Please be clear that I’m not suggesting she gets to do whatever she wants in return for giving sex. I am suggesting is a ‘ceasefire’ during which good communication is re-established after which a consensual balance of relative needs is established with open communication.

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