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One of the most difficult things a marriage can face are sexual problems. Discussing the topic of sex can be hard enough, but is compounded by many partners feeling very uncomfortable or embarrassed talking about such an intimate subject. Yet sex is an important part of a happy and healthy relationship, so if you’re a wife and no longer feeling it for your husband you need to find a way to address things.
At Guy Stuff we frequently get asked questions about how to change sexual desire. Recently, Julie, a new mother, wrote in feeling confused because she’s not feeling attracted to her husband any longer.
Take a look at Julie’s question and concerns, along with my response to her that follows.
What Sexual Problems In A Relationship Can Look Like
We're having sexual problems. I have a newborn and I am not feeling sexually attracted to his Dad but I am feeling it towards another guy. I have never had really great sex and I feel as if I lost my sex drive. Plus, Christian guys are telling me that I am already married so it’s over for me. They believe that once you have sex you are married." -Julie C.
The confusing emotions that Julie is feeling right now are understandable. Not only has she gone through a major life change in childbirth, but she’s also getting conflicting messages about what to expect from the sexual intimacy in her marriage.
Sexual problems after childbirth are not uncommon. Your body changes a lot during pregnancy and can take several months or longer to return to its previous state.
There are also a variety of hormonal changes to contend with, new feelings of responsibility for another human being, and a new perspective on what life will be like going forward. It can be overwhelming for many women (men too).
Add to that how much our daily lives change with a child to care for 24/7 and it's no surprise that you're not sexually attracted to your husband. In fact, it’s fairly normal for a woman’s sexual desire to be dampened for quite sometime after childbirth as she adjusts.
There can be a lot of reasons why you may be attracted to someone else right now and not your husband as well.
I would bet that the attraction to someone else has more to do with things that could be improved in your relationship that would make your husband more attractive than it does having lost your sexual attraction to him.
Here are a few things women I've counseled have told me affects whether or not they're sexually attracted to their husband:
- His willingness to talk and listen to you.
- How he respects you and values what you say and do.
- How much he helps you in taking care of your house and family, particularly in caring for your newborn.
- How he considers your sexual needs and seeks to meet them.
- How much he shares of himself with you, such as his thoughts and feelings.
Be careful who you listen to and take advice from, particularly about sexual problems. A lot of people have opinions that aren't based on anything more than clichés and ignorance.
Your sex life with your husband has all kinds of possibilities to become new, exciting, and pleasurable. Sometimes there are just times, such as after having a child, that a couple's sex life goes through a downturn, but that can change.
How To Feel More Attracted To Your Husband
Many sexual problems involve some element of attraction. Regaining your sexual attraction to your husband, especially after a big life change like childbirth, can take some deliberate effort on both your parts.
The biggest and most necessary step is to start a conversation about it. Yes, it can be a tough topic, but this level of communication is what’s necessary for a relationship to be strong and long-lasting.
Helping your partner understand how you’re feeling, as well as what you’re not feeling, will not only be a relief to you, but will also open up the opportunity to make changes. Of course, choosing your words carefully is important here too.
Simply telling someone you love you’re not feeling attracted to them anymore can be very hurtful and cause them to shut down and withdraw.
Instead, try starting a dialogue about your relationship in general and the need for better emotional connection and intimacy. You can then ease into your current feelings about the problems with your sex life and how the two are connected.
Taking things slow and bringing back small efforts at physical intimacy can also help. Holding hands, sitting close, touching, and kissing without an expectation of sex can allow the attraction to rebuild and connection to grow without pressure.
If your disinterest continues, you should consider getting some professional support from a marriage counselor. Sexual problems in marriage are very common and most can be fixed. Having an experienced therapist guide you in how to discuss the hard to talk about topic of sex can make a world of difference. You both may also need some guidance in learning how to be parents while also remaining parents who are partners.
Got a question you'd like to Ask a Marriage Counselor? Click here to submit it and I'll answer it in an up coming post. Be sure to Sign Up for Our Blog at the bottom of the page so you'll get my answer as soon as it's published.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published September 12, 2010 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- When A Husband Is Not Interested In His Wife
- My Husband Doesn't Want To Have Sex With Me At All
- My Husband Says He Doesn't Love Men - What Can I Do?
- Get More Help with Sexual Problems
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