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Wife isn't sexually attracted to me anymore! Any advice?

Tagged as: Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (14 October 2010) 5 Answers - (Newest, 15 October 2010)
A male United States age 41-50, *utdoored writes:

I'm 41 and have been married to my wife for 16 years. We waited 6 years after marriage for kids to make sure we were compatible; we don't believe in divorce. Our 2 children are ages 10 and 8. I am above average-looking, slim build.....I have never cheated on her...even though I have been tempted by others. She is attractive as well although she has fluctuated in her weight through the years. We are both professionals....she makes ALOT more money than I, and I am ok with that. She recently turned 40....suffers from depression (medicated), is taking thyroid medication, and had a hysterectomy 3 years ago due to endometriosis. She recently told me that she loves me...I am a great husband and father....and she still thinks I'm attractive and good looking, BUT...she wants no part of sex with me....When we have had sex in the past, I ALWAYS make sure she has an orgasm before I do....sometimes trying for her to have 2 or more before I have mine. I am experimental never the same routine. I am crushed....as I have found myself to be more in love with her recently than in the past. I want her so badly. She promises me that there has never been anyone else....and there is no one now. she wants to be attracted to me, but she just isn't. she doesn't want to hurt me, and still loves me...."it" just isn't there.

She claims this has been going on for a while now......about 6 months ago, I tried to intervene with her daily drinking (after several "talks") because I was afraid for her health....and even though she claims not to have a drinking problem....I believe that she is resentful and can't "have a good time" when I'm around.

We now sleep in separate rooms....my kids know something is wrong.......I love her so deeply...I can't eat or sleep.......Where did I go wrong....what can I do? Why do the good guys always get screwed??

View related questions: crush, divorce, money, orgasm

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A male reader, outdoored United States +, writes (15 October 2010):

outdoored is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank all of you for your support and advice!! My wife has suffered from depression since I have known her, and has been on medication (Celexa)for 10 years (10mg/day). She has tried to get off of it....but can't stand herself when she does. About 3 years ago the hysterectomy was performed along with hormone therapy to absorb the rest of the endometriosis.....it is important to note that she does have one ovary. Just recently (about the last 2 months) she was diagnosed with hypothyroid...and was given Synthroid to take. (dose?). She will not listen to me when I offer remedies or suggestions.......to her, I am the reason for her unhappiness.....but then she'll turn around and say that it's not me....that she doesn't know what's wrong.....she just "lost it" and doesn't want me. I have dealt with some episodes from her in the past....but nothing like this. We saw a marriage counselor....but he did not advise us on her medications or alcohol....just on our communication.....he said we would be fine.......

Well...maybe he's fine....but I feel so alone and unwanted now, and don't know where this will lead....she wants space and tells me that every time I try to show my love by giving her roses, etc.....I just push her away. SO CONFUSED!!!

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A female reader, natasia United Kingdom +, writes (14 October 2010):

natasia agony auntYou need her to get her to the doctor and get some oestrogen into her! Her sex drive has gone because of the op, because her uterus isn't there so isn't part of the system that generates the hormones that make her want to have sex, and also because mentally, subconsiously, she knows her fertility is gone and she can't have kids now - so her body says 'what's the point in having sex?'.

Miserable for you (and probably for her, but she is numbed as well as doesn't have her usual hormones) - but there are therapies and drugs to get those hormones back into her, and make her feel like her old self.

So:

- Get the drugs/help to replace her lost hormones

- And talk to her about the rooms: for the children's and your sake, this separate rooms business HAS to stop - it is not fair on your, and horrible for the children. Say you promise you won't pressure her in any way for sex, but that you want to be able to snuggle up to her and hold her, and you want the children to feel all is ok with mummy and daddy.

Do whatever you can to get her to understand and agree to this.

I'm sure it will be ok. You are not getting screwed. You just need some professional help, and to get across to her how her lack of desire is actually upsetting the whole family. She needs to feel safe and unhassled in bed with you - I guess that is why she is in the other room, for peace. Promise you will give her that in the room with you, then deliver.

Good luck and don't stress - you can change this.

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A female reader, Nime United States +, writes (14 October 2010):

Nime agony auntWith the medications, depression and hysterectomy I'd be shocked if your wife DID have a sex drive! Anti-depression medications are especially renowned for killing libido. I don't think attempting to rekindle the romance is likely to work on your wife when the balance of her sex hormones is coming under fire from so many different directions. She needs to switch, or better yet, get off those medications as soon as possible and invest in some hormone replacement therapy for the lack of estrogen. Also, if she begins seriously lifting weights she might improve her free testosterone levels (and thus sex drive) on that end.

I'm sorry I can't give you advice on how to act. From what I can see, you are doing everything you possibly can. Your wife's sex drive is something she will need to fix, but you can maybe help by determining where the depression came from. I'd really like to know in what order did the following events occur: your wife went on thyroid medication, your wife became depressed, your wife went on anti-depressants, your wife had a hysterectomy.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 October 2010):

Couples married for a long time often get lost like this. I did. Sometimes things dont work out. People change, and not always together. But you need to seek counseling. THere are problems at play here that need professional, external advice to remedy. Sex is a big part of a happy relationhip, but it is not everything. Do not cheat or divorce until you have tried everythng to get back what is missing. THe one thing you have for her is love, and that is enough to build a future on. She sounds like she needs more help than you, so I really think a marriage counselor is your best bet.

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A male reader, dirtball United States +, writes (14 October 2010):

dirtball agony auntHonestly it is very possible that her medications are killing her sex drive. Also, thyroid meds and antidepressents usually don't mix well, and alcohol definitely doesn't go with that mix. The alcohol abuse was also a way to self medicate the depression.

What can you do? That's a tough one. What I've seen work for others is doing the little things that you did to win her over in the first place. Go out on dates. Send her quick texts saying she's beautiful and that you love her. Give her a massage to help her relax. This may trigger some of those old feelings.

I'm also not 100% on this, but with the hysterectomy, usually the doctors prescribe estrogen to make up for the loss of the natural estrogen released by her uterus. If she isn't on this that may play into her decreased sex drive as well. I really hope you can find a solution!

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