Sunday, October 20, 2013

A sexless marriage

There are a number of reasons why your partner may not be interested in sex.

A sexless marriage
(Q) I need some help in coping with my wife's total lack of interest in any physical contact. It is affecting my relationship with her and the kids and building [my] resentment towards her. I spend too much time each day trying to work out ways to get her to change but realise now it is a lost cause. I need to spend my time more profitably and not waste it trying to get something to happen which never will.

(A) When there is no sex in a relationship, the entire relationship is about sex. It's the elephant always present in the room.

My first advice is counselling. Sometimes these issues run deep and have a psychological basis. The first question I would ask is whether there was any sexual chemistry on her part towards you. Then I'd want to know if there was any incident or series of incidents that made that chemistry evaporate. Is there a trust issue? Is there a resentment issue? Is she withholding as a punishment method?

Another factor could be the initiation-reversal disaster. Many women's sexual chemistry comes from thinking that she and she only, because of her sensuality, causes your arousal. Many men mistake this active sexuality on her part as an open ticket to sex on demand because she's so willing. What they misread is that her sexiness is caused by the idea of her power that you would be sexually inert if she weren't the match that lights your fire.

Once you exhibit that you're turned on anyway, with or without her (even if your sexual excitement is caused by thoughts of her only!), you've taken her sense of her sexual power away. From then on for her it becomes your erection, her role the solution. You've got an itch, her obligation is to scratch. Gone the sense of her own sexiness, anyone would do.

Or unfortunately it's not a deep problem. You may just have different levels of libido. Hers may have died. If this is the case you have to talk about it. I've not met a woman who, if she loves her husband, doesn't feel as frustrated and sad about not wanting sex as her husband is. So there are choices to be made. If sex is too important to give up you can talk about being given permission to seek it outside the marriage, or you may need to separate or divorce into platonic parenting partners. Or life goes better with her in it without sex. It will take a lot of pressure off both of you to have it out in the open.

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