I was recently sent an email from a BMWK reader. In it, she sought help. She was feeling neglected in her marriage. Her husband had stopped displaying affection and stopped giving her attention, but he still expected intimacy.
She admitted that her desire to have sex with her husband had dwindled, but that was mostly because she felt she was no longer mentally engaged. She yearned for the day when he was more romantic, when he would send small gifts of appreciation and when he would shower her with constant affection.
Yes, she was grateful for the occasional moments of PDA, like hand holding, pet names and terms of endearment. But as their everyday routines became more formulaic, she felt like she was losing her sense of connection to him, especially on the physical side.
I think what she described is very common for a lot of couples. Intimacy is something that sometimes fades, and both people in the relationship have to make an effort to rekindle that passion.
Based on what she shared, it seems like she and her spouse are still in love with each other and are still attracted to each other, which is a blessing she should not take for granted.
But sometimes two people experience the same relationship in different ways. When that happens, it is a problem that needs to be addressed. Even if one person thinks everything is fine, a problem exists if the other person feels like things just aren’t right.
It is perfectly normal for a wife to lose interest in sex. Sex should be far more than physical in a marriage. If that emotional connection is strained, it really is hard to have an enjoyable sexual experience.
Can you have sex just for the sake of doing it and pleasing your spouse? Sure you can. I doubt that will make you happy, though, and it certainly won’t strengthen your marriage.
If you are experiencing a similar situation, I have a few questions I want you to ask yourself.
- Can you identify anything in your lives that changed when you noticed a difference in your husband’s behavior?
- Was it after having children?
- Was it during a stressful period in your lives?
- Was anyone dealing with any health issues at the time?
These are just some of the things that can cause a change in behavior. And he may not even notice how much he’s changed because the change has been gradual. Changes like these rarely happen overnight. It’s typically a gradual process.
So what should you do about it? Well, if trying to talk things out is resulting in rolled eyes or him claiming that nothing is wrong, another approach is needed?
First, I always recommend taking a look at your own behavior. Have you changed at all? Are you displaying the same level interest you once had? Are you under a lot of stress? Are you overworked and tired? These are just some things to consider. Whenever things shift in a relationship, it always helps to start with taking ownership for anything we need to take ownership of.
Next, you can think about things you can do to spice things up in your relationship. Take a trip so you can both reminisce about how things once were. Go on more dates. Change things up in the bedroom. Make suggestions about new and exciting things you can do as a couple. If the focus is on “what can we do differently,” instead of “what you are doing wrong,” he will be a lot more receptive.
My husband is affectionate and romantic, but I would be lying if I told you he never falls short. He does. I know I do, too. I think even the best of us fall short sometimes. Overwhelmed with work. Dealing with the pressures of life. Tired. There’s a long list of reasons why these things happen. But before I withdraw and make the problem worse, I try to consider what my role is in all of it and what I can do to encourage us to change as a couple.
You do have the right to be upset, and you certainly have the right to lose your interest in being intimate. But feeling those emotions and acting on them are two very different things. By pulling away, it only makes matter worse, and I doubt that’s what you want if you still love your husband and want to be with him. Take the focus off of him and think of this as an opportunity to work on your union. That way no one is to blame, and you can both make changes to make each other happy.
And when all else fails, never underestimate the power of going to see a good therapist. Even couples who have a good thing going run into trouble. Do your best to work it out, but don’t be afraid to get help if it proves to be more complicated than you anticipated.
Wishing you and your husband a future filled with intimacy, romance and great sex.
BMWK, was your sex life suffering in your marriage? Why? How did you get it back?
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