Q: I am a married 43-year-old woman with two kids. My life is perfect. I love my job, my children are healthy and my husband is great. The only problem is; I don’t like having sex with him. When we were first together, our sex life was fine nothing amazing, but it didn’t bother me. But as the more time passed, the more I realize he doesn’t touch me the way I want to be touched and Id rather he just didn’t touch me at all. Though it makes me sad to think at 43, my sex life is over, I have no desire to cheat on him. It wouldn’t be worth it and I couldn’t stand the thought of hurting him. I have tried so many times and in so many ways to communicate what I want him to do, but he just doesn’t get it. He is very mechanical when it comes to sex never looks me in the eye or spends any time connecting emotionally. It leaves me feeling angry and lonely and wanting to avoid the whole situation altogether. When I do that, though, he starts getting mad at me, so I have sex with him just to keep the peace. Then I feel even madder. Its all starting to build up into a terrible resentment. I wish we could just take sex off the table altogether. How important do you think sex is to a relationship anyway?
I am sure you are not the only woman (or spouse) who has lost interest in having sex with their partner, despite the deep love they feel for each other. There are many normal and circumstantial reasons for this decline of sexual interest in each other. I am glad that at least, in your case you are aware of a probable part of the problem; his alleged lack of tact and style.
First of all, not all of us have sex and enjoy sex in the same way. Our sexual predilections are informed a lot by our biology and the experiences we have had with our bodies in the past. Hence 100% acceptance of self and others might be a beneficial thing to have. It is important that in most sexual encounters, in long-term relationships, there is a keen understanding of each other’s sexual preferences and kinks, which leads to a reasonably adjusted style and fashion of sexual behaviour resulting in a mutual sense of fulfilment. In other words, you both should be able to enjoy it.
This requires a huge deal of open and non-shaming communication. Sex is one area of our lives, where the wrong choice of words and tone can hurt more than other areas. We feel the most vulnerable in the sexual natures of our bodies. Hence I highly recommend seeing a counsellor psychologist who deals with sex as a major part of their work.
Now let’s get to your emotional demands. I want to make this clear while each other’s sexual well being is a concern that both husband and wife must share, none of you is obligated to have sex with the other all the time and every time. Having said that, if you don’t feel physically threatened, I would like you to re-interpret his actions as deep desire and love for you. This may help you even feel the desire for him too. If this doesn’t work, talk to him about seeing a counselling therapist. All the best!