"My Husband Says He Has a Low Sex Drive" - Mr. Marriage Counselor

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    One of the most important components of a healthy marriage is physical intimacy. This doesn’t mean you should be swinging from the chandeliers every night, but intimacy – both physical and emotional – is crucial. So, what does that mean for your relationship if your husband has a low sex drive?

    A sex life that needs life support isn’t uncommon in a marriage, especially after kids, years together, and physical changes that come with age. But if your husband has a low sex drive when you’re young and newly married it’s a little different. And that’s the situation Gloria found herself in not long ago.

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    Check out Gloria’s question and concerns below along with my response that follows.

    Husband Suffers From Low Sex Drive – Is The Problem Me Or Him?

    Reader Question:

    My husband says he has a low sex drive. I'm a female in my late twenties and recently married. Right before my husband and I got married, I found out he had recently done things that were unfaithful with other women (not sex, but dates, sexual text messaging, visiting personals websites). When I confronted him, he said he did those things because he was essentially scared by our pending marriage. There was no pressure for us to get married, he had asked me without me ever suggesting it, and after what happened I suggested we postpone the wedding and he insisted we not. It was a struggle, but we decided to stay together and he has tried ever since to show me he's a faithful husband.

    FIND OUT IF YOUR PARTNER IS HAVING A MIDLIFE CRISIS

    My problem is that after only eight months of marriage, my husband won't have sex with me. This was a bit of a problem before we were married, but now it's down to us only having sex once every two months, if that. I am in great physical shape. I get hit on and asked out a lot by men of all ages. I dress cute and respectable. I'm a hard worker, take good care of myself, and I'm intelligent. I've always been open to whatever appeals to my husband (which is still a mystery to me). I feel my husband and I have respect for each other and he's very affectionate. He says he's more attracted to me than anyone. I don't understand why my husband won't have sex with me. He says he just has a low sex drive.

    I'm trying to accept this while still trying to overcome my fear of his interest in other women. Once in a while I wonder if this whole time he's been having an affair and that's why my husband won't have sex with me. I know only he could really tell me if that's the case, but how should I pursue this? I've tried talking to him numerous times and it just embarrasses him and makes me have low self esteem. One last note: We saw a commercial about 'Low T' (low testosterone in men) and low sex drive and he said, 'I must have that.' and when I told him to look at the website he said it would be embarrassing." -Gloria C.

    It’s easy to assume if a man isn’t interested in sex he must have a physical problem. That’s typically a mistaken assumption, however. Read my answer below to see what I mean.

    My Answer:

    Low sex drive in men is more common than most people think. But it usually has less to do with biology, like low testosterone, and more to do with the relationships men have with the women in their lives.

    I often hear men say something like this, "I just don't want to be anywhere near her." Not surprisingly, they also have a low sex drive -- at least towards her. Obviously, your husband hasn't lost sexual interest in all women, since it's only been a few months since he was sexting other women.

    WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR PARTNER DOES ONLINE? LEARN HERE

    Be careful not to get distracted by what are most likely excuses - scared of commitment, low sex drive, low testosterone, etc.

    What To Do When Your Husband Has Low Sex Drive

    I can guarantee you there are some deeper issues going on and working through them together can bring back the intimacy. Make an appointment to see a marriage counselor and get some help. You need some expert help discovering what to do. And if he won't go with you to see a marriage counselor, go without him.

    Many men feel too embarrassed to discuss issues in their sex life with anyone, including a counselor or physician. Although many will ultimately find themselves in counseling for this issue or others it causes (and rightly so), there are some things you can try first to make it an easier transition.

    Consider how you’re approaching things with your partner. A man’s identity and self-esteem is often linked to his sexual ability. No matter how frustrated you are, or even how hurt you might feel, understand that recriminations, distain, pity, or insulting remarks will drive things backwards and make the situation worse. So, approach this problem with care.

    COULD YOUR PARTNER BE ABUSIVE? FIND OUT HERE IF IT’S REALLY ABUSE

    With that in mind, consider the following suggestions:

    • Create a stress-free environment. A leading cause of sexual disinterest in men is stress. This can come from work, family, home life, your relationship, finances, or even guilt. So, helping him relax enough to engage in sex is important.
    • Know what appeals to him. No, you don’t need to parade around in skimpy lingerie (unless you want to), but knowing what appeals to him is a big deal. Men respond to visual stimuli. So, if you know he likes your hair a certain way, or particular outfits, you can use those to your advantage.
    • Touch. You don’t need to climb on top of him to stimulate interest. Lightly touching his thigh, ears, shoulders, or back can express desire. Be patient though, these actions can build upon themselves, but may take some time to have effect.
    • Talk. Communication in a relationship is crucial for it to be successful and healthy. Let him know you want to be with him, you still find him attractive, and that you want to help him get his mojo back. As you do this, do what you can to minimize his feeling guilty or bad about his lack of interest.

    Understand these suggestions may help, but they also may not. If your husband has low sex drive be prepared to take things a step further by seeking counseling for both of you. But don’t give up. Change is always possible.

    Got a question you'd like to Ask a Marriage Counselor? Click here to submit it and I'll try to answer it in an up coming post. Be sure to Sign Up at the bottom of this page so you'll get my answer as soon as it's published.

    Editor's Note: This post was originally published June 28, 2010 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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