Question: Dear Luise: I have been married for 28 happy years. Then last year for some reason I do not know, my husband stopped wanting to make love to me. It had dwindled over the years naturally, but it did used to be once or twice per month. He did still touch me intimately but did not want to make love to me. I didn’t know if he was just lazy or seeing somebody else. We get on in everything else in our marriage. Anyway I did ask him what is the matter. He said nothing is wrong, that he is not seeing anyone else. I told him I am not happy. I tried to talk to him about sex but he will not open up to me. He just insists it is because he is older. We married at 18 and 19 and now we are 46 and 47. He still maintains there is nothing wrong and nobody else is involved. I believe him about that. We had our last argument over it at the weekend and he more or less thinks I will leave him over this. I have never said I would do that. I love him and I know that he loves me. He did say that I have put a lot of pressure on him and he does not like pressure. Sometimes, though, I think I should just shut up about the sex and accept the love and respect I get from him. He is affectionate. Should I still subtly try to light his fire, he knows that I still find him very attractive and I need to know if he still finds me attractive. He says he does, but when he doesn’t want to have sex with me I think how can he. I have become insecure and I now hate him looking at other females. He has noticed this. I think I need to change my attitude towards him. Please advise. Thanks. Regards Kazzie
Answer: Dear Kazzie: Is there any chance at all that your husband would go into counseling to help both of you find peace? Not counseling to fire him up…but that could happen if there is something he needs to deal with to regain his interest.
We are all so complex. What we know about ourselves is just the tip of the iceberg and down under the surface we have endless conflicts that we are unaware of on endless subjects that affect our behavior. Fears, pre-conceived notions, misinterpretations…it just goes on and on.
There are more sexless marriages out there than we ever dreamed of that seem to work and there are more sexually fulfilling relationships out there that don’t work than we could imagine. What’s important is how your husband’s decision alters your life. You know how to release sexual pressure, I’m sure, but can you be satisfied with the “affectionate roommate” premise? There’s a lot at risk in your decision. You have everything else and most of us don’t get to have the whole enchilada…as in 100% perfection.
I feel the need to add here that I once had a very similar situation. And I truly believed my husband had just lost his sex-drive. Everything else was great. He hated his job and so I put it to that. However, I found out it *was* another woman three years later. Our ages were very similar to yours. I’m not saying that is the case with your guy, I’m just saying if that’s it…it won’t remain a secret forever.
For some men, silence seems to often be the solution to difficult issues. And there’s not much you can do with a brick wall. As a result you are left with trying to figure it out on your own which is impossible. He’s asking a lot.
Certainly trying to rekindle your husband’s interest is just adding more pressure and he has made it clear that won’t work. Why not suggest counseling. What have you got to lose? If he wants to keep you he might agree, but if he’s hiding something he’ll pass on that option. He might pass on it if he’s not hiding anything. You are at a loss to know without communication.
What it boils down to, bottom line, is how much patience and trust do you have? You’re going to need tons of both. Blessings, Luise