My husband has lost all interest in sex, and me!
I want sex and my husband has lost all interest in sex and in me. That is my issue, in a nutshell. My husband and I have been married ten years and for the most part, our relationship is a happy one, but in the last year or so my husband has lost interest in sex. I don’t mean that our sex life has dropped off from a lot to a little, I mean we don’t have any. We still hold hands and so forth, but he is always too tired or he’s busy with something else. Lately he’s been falling asleep in our living room while watching television. I don’t think there is anything physically wrong with him, but nothing I do seem to get his attention. I’ve tried sexy lingerie and all sorts of mood making ideas, but he seems unmoved. I don’t think he’s cheating on me but I really don’t know what the issue is. When I bring it up he gets defensive and says he is just busy. I love my husband but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with a vibrator and I don’t really want to cheat on him, but I’m beginning to see no other alternatives. What do the two of you suggest?
Tony’s Take: Sex is an important part of a marriage, and one of the biggest and most important thing that stress kills, is the libido. In a male, the whole arousal system works off of blood pressure and when that cycle is disrupted by stress and bad diet the male becomes uninterested and incapable of having sex. One of the most common side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs is loss of libido.
Sadly each of the ways around these problems medically cause their own problems. Levitra and Cialis can cause blindness, and drugs that remove the stress can have a negative side effect of depressing the libido even more.
You did not include what environmental conditions are affecting your husband. The normal method of dealing is to minimize whichever of these he is suffering from, removing stress at it’s source, making sure he gets enough sleep in bed at night, getting him off of cholesterol lowering drugs (if he is on them), having a sleep study test done since sleep apnea will also cause this problem (and is directly related to falling asleep on the couch), and having a prostate examination done.
After a proper prostate exam, you can also try an over the counter dietary supplement “DHEA” in the time-release version, the best I’ve found is available from GMC.
Alison’s Take: Tony attributes your husband’s behavior to potential medical issues, and they might be part of the problem, but I see things a little differently. We can’t tell from your letter all the other things that are going on in your lives and in your relationship, but after ten years, couples often take each other for granted, or their sex lives become so routine you can practically set your watch by when and what they are doing. It is possible that your husband got so bored with your routine, that he just gave up, and your attempts to revive things are falling flat because he does not believe anything will really change.
More likely, this man is very upset and angry about something. It might not really be an issue that is directly related to you, but your relationship is suffering because of it. You might try getting him to open up about the things that are stressing him out and you might be surprised at what you discover if you listen carefully without being judgmental. Perhaps a new female manager is making him angry at work and he feels helpless to do anything about it, or maybe your mother’s constant visits are annoying him more than you think, or there are financial or other obligations he can’t control and he is taking out his frustrations on you and your relationship because you are closest to him.
I disagree with Tony that sleep disorders are making your husband sleep on the couch. I think he does it to avoid you. If he is sleeping in the living room, you will go to bed without him and won’t put any pressure on him to engage him. It’s like having separate bedrooms. I think it is deliberate. He could suddenly realize that he is gay, but there is also the possibility (you brought up yourself), that he is involved with someone else outside of your marriage and therefore isn’t interested in rekindling the flames of passion with you. I can’t possibly know this from your note, but you can figure it out on your own. While it would be challenging to get him to admit to infidelity, you can certainly do some sleuthing and see if his other behavior patterns have changed. Look closely, and don’t be afraid to investigate and to question. When a man is offered sex and he continually refuses it with a lame excuse, usually there is an emotional issue behind it, even if there is a physical one as well.
If none of the above helps, you can always suggest counseling. In many cases a few sessions with an impartial professional can help bring issues that have been quietly festering, to life.