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I'm in a sexless marriage due to my wife's depression and now menopause. What do I do?

Tagged as: Health, Marriage problems, Sex<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 March 2017) 10 Answers - (Newest, 23 April 2017)
A male United Kingdom age , anonymous writes:

My wife had 10 months off work with work related depression now the menopause has struck

We have not had sex for nearly 2 years and even sleep in different rooms at times as she is in bed by 9pm most nights due to the medication.

I am now becoming more frustrated and porn and masturbation is becoming boring, i need some physical attention.

I can not talk to her as 1) things won't change 2) she will become suspicious if i tell her i need sex

What do i do?

Everything else in our relationship of 30 years is fine - good jobs, nice house, no debts, holidays etc etc

View related questions: debt, porn

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A male reader, sleepwalker United States +, writes (23 April 2017):

I have something somewhat controversial because it involves some manipulation but it is definitely much less destructive than going outside your marriage for sexual satisfaction.

For starters consider starting to make yourself little by little more scarce around her by going out with friends and sight seeing trips and see what her reaction is. If she goes on with her life without batting an eyelash about your absences then you'll know you that mean very little to her and that if you divorce, she will be fine. But if she starts noticing your absences and finally asking you what is going on, then you can simply tell her that since she is unable to share her life with you, that you have taken up yourself to live your life without her. If she shows you remorse and apologizes for her behavior, then you can convey to her that you would be thrilled if she came with you on your outings and explore the two of you the great experience of being with each other.

Lastly, sex and sexual intercourse are not the same thing. Sexual intercourse is only a small part of sex. For a lot of couples, especially the wives, sexual intercourse is painful and yields no sexual satisfaction. The sooner you and your wife accept this, the sooner the two of you will be able to start looking for other sexual/sensual techniques that will remove the pressure of performing for each other and will eventually bring the two of you sexual satisfaction.

No matter what you choose to do, I wish you and your wife the best of luck. Take care.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (5 April 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntYou need to both be able to talk, you are married surely you can tell each other how you feel?

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A male reader, BrownWolf Canada + , writes (30 March 2017):

BrownWolf agony aunt

What do you do??

Treat her like your girlfriend. Take her out on dates. Buy her flowers, kiss her, flirt with, run her baths, massage her whole body, make dinner, help her around the house, and DO everything you can for her.

Here is the best part...EXPECT NOTHING IN RETURN!!!

See there is few clauses that will make or break you. It is found in that thing called...ummm...what is it again...mmmm...Oh yeah...your vows!!!

- In sickness and in health

- For better or for worse

Bet you never thought you would have to prove yourself in this area did you??

There is one overall clause that is the one that will end any relationship, and destroy your life. It is called...

- Treat others the in same way you would like them to treat you.

Imagine if you were depressed, and had no desire to have sex. But your wife wants...a lot of it. She watches porn to get herself off because she feels your are useless in that area. She might even be thinking of going elsewhere to get some sex

You...already depressed...finds out all this. How do you think that will make you feel?? Happy? Excited that she chooses other means of sex or release without you? How do you think you would feel if you know the only reason she does anything nice for you, is to get sex?

Your wife is getting older. She is not the young flirty woman you married....why? Because YOU are to busy focusing on what YOU cannot get, rather than focusing on loving your wife for the 30 years she put up with you.

You will NOT die if you do not have sex. Your wife wants sex too...but with a man who wants her first, not what is between her legs.

Think about the situation YOU...yes...YOU...have created for yourself.

- Your wife is depressed and going through the cycles of life. I am such she is very frustrated all on her own.

- You now bring into the mix your own frustration.

So let's do the math...Depression + Frustration + Frustration = SEX!!! ....WRONG!!!!

Depression + Frustration + Love = A better outlook on life.

Better outlook on life + Love = Brighter Mood

Bright Mood + Love = Happiness

Happiness + Love = LOVE

LOVE + LOVE = I would love to have sex with you.

Just LOVE her and expect nothing else but her love in return....see what happens.

Let's see if you have learned anything in the last 30 years.

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (30 March 2017):

YouWish agony auntAhh, so this is a medical issue. Her medication destroys her sexual drive and response capacity. Many depression medications have the unfortunate side effect of virtual chemical castration in guys, and rendering a girl's sex drive into an asexual state.

I'm guessing she's as NOT HAPPY about this situation as you are! Is she seeing both a doctor and a therapist regularly? What's the chance of going to couples therapy, re-adjusting the medication, or adding some libido-stimulating activities?

She won't become suspicious of you if, instead of accusing her of a sexless situation, instead work like two people on the same team, and the sexless side effects are something both of you can tackle.

You say that things won't change?? How do you know unless you ACTUALLY try?? Due to your ages, I'm guessing there aren't young children in the midst, so you both can focus on improvement, but it's important that you stress your need. Needing sex isn't shameful or less important than her needing medicine. You both are married, not roommates.

Also, if I may recommend something - a vibrator for her! Medicines slow and impair the sexual response and can hinder orgasm. As such, investing in some "extra firepower" may cause her to feel things she hasn't in a long time! But don't do gag gifts. Stuff like the Rabbit or real vibrators is what you need! Look online and choose via the reviews from women. If she has a dryness issue, maybe her fingers can do the walking instead with you, which as I know you WANT to feel desired, right??

Keep at it! She needs you, and this could be the moment when your relationship turns around!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2017):

I am on your side.

It is not fair to you to live life miserably and miserable it is without SEX.

Your wife is not going to have sex with you ever. So, being nice to her and cuddles and all of that is out the window. Just futile.

Depression PLUS menopause? You are up against some very tough competition. And so is she for that matter. Talk about a double whammy to annihilate a sex drive and sex itself.

Some men do take on a mistress discreetly. This IS an option despite others who may caution against it.

As long as you find a woman who is on the same page as you are and is missing sex in her life, you should be alright.

I do give you this advice though. You must be discreet about it or risk losing your marriage, which obviously you would like to keep intact. You are just missing a piece of the puzzle, albeit a very important piece. But I am sure you would like your life to remain as is as you are both near retirement age and you know you can count on your wife to stay by your side into old age. But you are missing passion and the human touch and intimacy. So, why should you live without it? I fear that your wife being able to give you sex is a dead end and a closed door. You can bang on it all you like but the result will be the same. And you will only grow more frustrated and resentful by the day.

I hope this is printed as I am presenting a very real option that many people do explore in your situation.

I suggest highly that if you choose a mistress, choose a woman who is already MARRIED. One who has as much to lose as you do. A single woman as a mistress is bad news. If she eventually demands too much of you and you do not comply, she is going to tell your wife because she has nothing to lose. So, chose your mistress very wisely.

How do you think your wife would feel if you approach the subject of an open relationship? It may be a touchy subject as many wives would object. But it could be a reasonable solution if she were to agree. IF is the operative word. Only you know if you should approach her about that. It could make her upset.

I do know a man who was living in a sexless marriage and hadn't had sex with his wife for about 10 years. She just lost interest and never tried to make him happy. She essentially gave up. He was celibate and faithful the whole time because he loved her. Until.... he met this one woman. She changed all that. He was so taken and physically attracted to her that he caved in. His years of deprivation certainly played a giant role. She has been his mistress for some years now. He is getting his sexual and intimate needs met by her and he is still with his wife; they travel together and still share a comfortable life.

Everyone calls the one suffering without sex selfish for having needs. What about the person who withholds the sex from their partner? Are they not selfish? I mean depression can be controlled with meds. Does everybody with depression never have sex? Doubt it. And as for menopause, well, I guess I just don't understand it. I know women with menopause who have an even higher sex drive. So, how much of it is beyond control and how much are excuses?

I am wondering what your sex life was like before the depression and menopause OP?

Did your wife love sex and have sex frequently with you? Or was she wishy washy and not so into sex throughout your marriage? Just curious if there was a huge turn in her behaviour or if she was always this way more or less?

2 years is a very long time to go without sex. Especially for a man who is still able to get turned on and is still able to enjoy it. Soon enough, your sex drive will disappear altogether. Are you going to regret doing nothing about it?

The ones who actually are able to withstand sex are resigning themselves to the idea. Giving up on ever having sex again. Not all of us are this way nor should we be. We live one life and should not be deprived of something so essential. The choice is yours.

Are you going to give up? Or not?

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (29 March 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI'm in the same boat as you. Except it's my husband who can't manage intercourse due to meds and severe migraines.

We STILL find OTHER ways to be intimate. Yes, sex is pretty much off the table and has been for 3 1/2 years. We make it work. Do I miss it? YES!!! after 20+ years together I just don't think sex is more important that the rest of our relationship.

Talking doesn't change things immediately. She won't get "over" the menopause at the snap of a finger, same with depression. And I can absolutely see why she lost her sex drive after a severe depression. And I can understand how frustrating is it for you to watch your partner disengage from you and the marriage.

YOU do need to talk to her and you DO need to find thing YOU enjoy (but yourself and WITH her) ((and no not sex)).

If she isn't under a doctor's care for BOTH the depression and menopause then SHE needs a "kick in the pants" to DO that. Not so much for you but for her.

And you two NEED to have an open conversation about NEEDS, yours AND hers. What to do next.

Sticking your head in the sand and having a pity party because you don't get what YOU want isn't going to help (that goes for BOTH of you).

EDUCATE yourself about menopause, show LOVE and intimacy in other ways than JUST through intercourse, since that is (for now) off the table.

If you two can't make it work so BOTH of you are satisfied then what? Cheating? Doesn't seem like a logical choice.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (29 March 2017):

Well, you can divorce her and become a single-man. Then your options would be open to have random flings, date, or search for a new wife.

You make her sound useless to you. Why would your wife be suspicious about you needing sex? You're her husband.

I hope you weren't expecting us to tell you to cheat or hire an escort. Not me, my friend! If the marriage is no longer fulfilling, divorce is your option. Otherwise; you have to deal with life, nature, and the changes brought on by aging. "In sickness and in health!" That's what you promised.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2017):

I think you need to talk to her. Explain your frustration. Remind her that you love her. Make some physical contact, like give her a cuddle or a massage. Maybe book a weekend away together. It sounds to me like you need to reconnect to each other emotionally before reconnecting physically. Maybe try this as a first step.

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A male reader, Phil052 United Kingdom +, writes (29 March 2017):

Phil052 agony auntWhy would she become suspicious if you tell her you need sex? I don't get that. Sex is a normal desire and part of a healthy relationship. Tell her you need sex. But also try to get her to talk openly about her own issues, support her and help her. But don't hide the sex away. It's important to you.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (29 March 2017):

Fatherly Advice agony auntMan up,


No More Mr. Nice guy,

And my favorite start doing things you like without her on weekends.


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