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Spouse is not interested, how to start the discussion
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Spouse is not interested, how to start the discussion

My 42year old husband just isn't as interested or interested at all in sex or physical closeness. I am an affectionate and person and want/need sex and closeness. While I know masturbation and porn have become an issue for many, I haven't caught him at all during the last year or so - doing either - its like he shut down completely in the sexual arena. We only had sex in any form, once in the last year and that was a bad situation because I know he just tried because I made it an issue. Which I really try not to do, while I might feel like Peg Bundy, I don't nag or try to make him feel bad about it. I have tried to talk about this in so many ways during our relationship. Caring, honest and rational ways. Yet, I almost always get shut down and the blame gets put on me. If I make overt moves (dress sexy, flirty touches, he doesn't respond favorly.) He needs to be the aggressor and insitgator, decides what and when we have sex. Which kind of hurts my independence and self confidence. Part of it is physical on his part (high blood pressure and medication - along with depression I am sure), part mental (his self confidence and self image is low, he acts very arrogant and cocky and from the outside you would think he is getting it all the time. Our sex life has waxed and waned alot in our 20 years together, sometimes very hot and would blow the minds of our friends if they new what we would be willing to try or do, but when it is off, its dead. Yet my libido has been consitent throughout - until I reached 40 a year or so ago and man have I become hornier. I put on a little weight during the past year, but not enough to be come unattractive as a sexual partner, I have a willing and sexual attitude, others both female and male (young and old)respond to me, not as blatant as a year ago, but my ego has taken a hit from his lack of interest, which makes me less likely to sparkle a bit. I know your body has a lot to do with attraction, but so does your personality. I like and love 90% of our marriage, but I need a love life, I need hugs and to be f****d (for lack of a better word). I don't want to seek it elsewhere, mostly because I don't like being secretive or dishonest, but I don't know what to do. I am very tempted to stray, which I am not proud of. Does anyone have ideas on how to start this discussion with him - that won't shut him down, make him angry, or leave me feeling bad about myself. The hardest part about discussions that are as emotionally charged as these with a long term partner is that - your partner knows exactly what to say that makes you feel bad to deflect what they are feeling. Help please!
Tags: disinterest, spouse not interested in sex, low libido
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10 Comments Post a Comment
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134578_tn?1404951303
Talk to him in front of a counselor.  At least he wouldn't hit back.  If he doesn't want to go, tell him it's that or the divorce lawyer, for you.  He'll probably go.
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1998601_tn?1368139948
Hi well I am turning 41 in a couple of days and my wifes b-day is on the same day an she will be turning 35. IN reading your post it kinda struck a nerve cuz the same kinda thing has been starting to happen here to. My wife and I have always been able and willing to knock some boots. But over I'd have to say the last Year year and a half I don't know what my deal is if I've got low testosterone or is it depression my pain meds we just had our second child 7 months ago and it was a rough delivery could it be that I don't know but as my wife has put we are almost like roommate's and it's not good to hear that from your wife at all and I love her to death nothing has change there just like my sexual drive has dropped off the chart I mean I'm kinda nervous about it cuz I have always been a very sexual being life revolved around sex well kinda if ya know what I mean. lol Since our last child approx:4 months back I also had a vesectomy (vasectomy) so we could do it like jack rabbits with no consequence an she thinking I'm cheating cuz I'm not getting it here so I must be getting it somewhere which is so not true. So I guess what I'm saying is if you find out what the deal is if it medical or something please let me know my wife and I would surley apprecaite it.Could it be an age and a hormone or lack of hormone deal I don't know seem odd this isn't the first one of these post similar for this age. Anyways good luck for you two and let me know!!!!
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2009630_tn?1327944555
Ibbigpapa - I have been doing a lot of research these days. Many meds along with depression itself can change the male hormone production. Additionally add in stress and the lack of sleep that accompanies any new child and it's not surprising that your libido is off. Diabetes and high blood pressure throw a monkey wrench into the works - both physically and mood wise. The best is to talk to your physician. I have read that for most men that there are simple changes that can make a great difference. As for your wife, I would explain to her what you are feeling or not feeling, she is probably confused and feels like you don't find her attractive or sexy anymore. We all have a tendency to blame ourselves. Re- assure her that she is as beautiful today or even more so than when you met her. The little things matter to - a cudle, sweet kiss, surprise flowers, candy bar (granted it might also make her suspect that you are cheating - its bizarre but cheating men and women -start treating thier spouses better when they are cheating - i guess they overcompensate) Her ego is taking a hit, I am guessing yours is too - explain to her that you will go to the doctor to address it, since you want to be able to love her in all the ways she deserves to be loved.  Physically and emotionally.

His drive was always lower than mine, but he has a heart condition and is a diabetic.  So now his drive has gone to nill. I know that there is a phhysical condition (18 years of seeing morning wood and 18 months of it not quite being as woody - gives me a hint and should him). Which is actually a sign of a heart condition - supposedly its like a chicken or egg thing, they dont know if its a symptom or a side effect of the heart ailment, but fewer and less stiff erections are a sign of less blood flow. There is one med that he takes that is on the moderate interaction risk for cialis - which *****, I like the idea of a pill and some loving attention from me helping it to spring back to life.  

He will barely admit to me that he is having a problem with erections, and for the life of god and country will not admit it to his female doctor.  I know she asks, but I think she could approach it better than - saying, "are you having any problems ... And then gestures to his penis " - I think he would respond better if you gave a range of choices - or started with "most men on these medications have experienced fewer and less hard (never say softer) erections" would you say you are having, the same amount of erections, slightly fewer, a lot fewer or rarely have an erection. Than you did six months ago? with more choices than yes or no - a doctor  might get closer to the truth - then folowing up with - doing something similar with the strength of the erection, is it as hard etc.  with  a range, you can save more face, yet it can start a conversation so she could probe further and get an accurate assessment.  With her current technique it is so much easier for him to say no, and for her to move on to the next question.  

In my opinion doing something about it and being able to talk about it - makes you more of a man and shows that you are willing to put your (as a couple) sex life ahead of any embarrassment. Women know that our men have difficulty admitting any issue with your penis - we appreciate the honesty when you do.   It would make you more attractive to me, knowing that you trust me with the truth.  

Good Luck and thank you for sharing.
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2009630_tn?1327944555
Thank you for the idea- however at this time I am not comfortable with an ultimatum, his response will be ok - do it then and then I will. Our personalities make it difficult to back own when cornered, even when the consequences are not what we want. I am looking more for a face saving solution - he did say that he needs to go to the octor this week to get refills, I suggested a full work up because I read that a couple of his meds impact testosterone, and that he my want that to be checked. While I would love to just come and say why - I am a direct kind of girl - his natural response will be to deny any problem.  hinting and prompting will get the job done quicker than saying, sweetheart I have noticed that ... It's a you catch more bees with honey than integrity type of thing.
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134578_tn?1404951303
Well, you could get him to a urologist, possibly.  Maybe you could simply change his primary-care provider to be a male.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
I think a MALE Urologist would be better equipped with dealing with your husband's issue.  I think it would be easier for him to open up to another male.

GPs and PCPs, male and female, are usually mediocre to terrible at addressing these issues.

I had a bf who had the same issue as your husband, Diabetic and a heart issue.  The sex was.....well....I think you can fill in the blanks.  He started taking Cialis and was NOT aware of his heart condition.  He started having chest pain, which I though was Angina, got him to a Cardiologist and he had blockages, an ejection fraction of 25% and PLUS the Cialis was making things worse.  Just be careful.  Certain heart meds or just even have a heart condition makes prescribing a med for ED a "risky" venture.  I am not sure if he could be prescribed another med that is just as effective as the one he takes now that he could take with Cialis, but still it would be risky taking the Cialis.  

Unfortunately middle age+Diabetes+heart condition=ED frequently.  

Did he have a problem with porn and masturbation in the past?  You briefly mentioned something about this in your initial post; about masturbation and porn.  

Does he go to the doctor alone or with you?  

Just be careful how you approach him about this; I think you realize this already.  A man's ego is about as fragile as a fine piece of china.  Plus men tend to blame externally which is probably the reason you are getting blamed a bit.  

Have you ever tried going to therapy on you own to get a professional's view of how to deal with this?  

  
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2009630_tn?1327944555
The reason I added the masturbation and porn was mentioned, is that if I finally get the nerve to mention it To someone - envaribly it turns to - he must be using porn or is comparing sex to porn, or mastubatering to much either to porn or the fantasies in his mind. To be honest, I would love to catch him watching porn or masterbating (masturbating). At least I would see that it was working. The appointments are with his cardio and diabetes docs - they share  a practice since many patients have both.  Granted they are both females, he made the appointment when I can't go, I don't think it was on purpose because he has a hard time remembering my schedule.

I did put on the big girl panties (lacy black ones), and started the conversation. We had a minor success today so he was in a good mood, he lost almost ten pounds and I had lost five. I talked that it made me feel hornier, which kind of lead to a joke on if I got hornier I would turn into a teen age boy. I talked about how I needed to have sex with someone besides myself, that it's just not full filling. I explained a few options and reminded him that not all sex had to be intercourse. He does have very talented hands and we have a whole selection of toys. He brought up his hope that losing weight would bring back his horniness and that he just wasn't interested, it might have not been the right thing for me to say, and I didn't say it in a snide way - but there has been plenty of times I have pleasured him when I had my period which left me randier and unsatisfied than I started out (i am horny when i have my period and I love to give him a **) since he is totally yicked out, but I don't make him do without. The point being - if I was willing to do it without a payout other than his pleasure, he should be just as willing - or realize that something will have to give, I am not willing to stay unsatisfied indefinitely. I circled back to this appointment and told him that he should bring it up then. I talked about some of the research I did on his meds and conditions and that they old cause issues in both hormone levels and physical (which I think he may experience) - he didn't confirm or deny but he listened to this part.

What happens next I don't know, but it's a start. I didn't get any negative backlash, he didn't fly off the handle, I didn't threaten or drop ultimatums. In 1999 - he went into a deep depression with suicidal tendencies (i reached the point where I couldn't watch it any longer and he had just enough energy to bully the doc into not putting him on a 72 our hold - despite the 3 bottles of pills, the bottle of Jack and wanting to drive) I gave him an ultimatum of go to therapy or go on depression meds or move out. When he refused all three choices - his stuff went on the grass and the locks were changed - two years later - after divorce proceedings reached an impasse - he finally got help. But I always wonder about those two years, and if it was the best choice. I can't go back - I won't wait two years again, but if I draw the line in the sand - I have to be willing to follow through.

I came close to losing it - I wasn't sure if I was going to laugh or scream - in the middle of me going through ways we could get me off (the usual - him and him using toys) even bringing in one of his fantasies of him watching me with someone else (male not female) - or me getting a boyfriend - or leaving (the last three are not my first choices and are routes I would rather not take but I wanted to list all the options). I was trying to let him know that I need a mans touch - skin to skin, kissing, cuddling along with the rest. Even if it's a physical issue, he can do those.

But he goes off on how he has been looking and test driving a new car for me. Had special ordered options and was only waiting for it to arrive - the papers and was waiting for it to arrive, but he did a little more research and found out that the other new owners of this model had been reporting some major issues. Apparently our lunch date that i did not know about either - would be expecting to see this car - my spouse figured the jig was up and that he had to come clean. Weirdest tangent ever (to be honest - the woman in me wanted to point out that it freaked me a little not to be in that loop - just because I see a car on tv and say it looks cute doesn't mean - go buy it, for gosh sakes I need to drive it first - I am 5 foot, he is 6 feet - I can't always see out of the front window and touch the pedals at the same time, or shut the rear hatch in most SUVs - I drive a mini or a reason - that and while we live in a suburb, I go to grad school in the city and have to park the sucker and don't get me started On spending that much dough without consulting me) but due to the lack of sex discussion already in progress - I let my concerns be voiced in a mater of the fact way, and thanked him for the idea. I didn't want it to be used as a distraction - somehow I was able to go back to the original discussion and then it was lunch time and our friend had joined us.

I wasn't sure if the car was a bribe - sorry baby about the not wanting to have sex but here is a car to compensate you, or that he knew it would take us off the topic. It was bizarre but to be fair he probably thought my comments about needing to be ****** were plucked out of the blue too.

My plan is to broach the topic again before his appointment, blame it on the meds, the heart, blood pressure and / diabetes - stress that it's common for many men - I will be brief and not neurotic - just like I would remind him to take the list of All his meds on it with him. Make it seem normal and not add overly to the pressure. One step at a time I guess.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
Definitely try your approach and see what happens.  I don't think much is going to change.  You will start to talk about your "real issues/problems" and then he will probably try and change the subject.  Refer back to the chat turning into he has bought a new car for you vs. discussing what the REAL PROBLEMS ARE.  He is avoiding things that need to be addressed.  As far as he is concerned there are no problems if you don't talk about it; just ignoring them is the way to go.  

Sounds like this man has more than physical issues; he has psychological issues as well that for some reason or reasons he refuses to acknowledge and address.  If he is NOT willing to seek help for his issues I would assume leave because it sounds like he is NOT going to change.  

Have you ever tried therapy for YOURSELF to get a professional's view about all this?  I would do that if you AREN'T going to leave this man.  

I wouldn't be staying with a partner that is in some sort of denial about his issues and stooping to do some kinky sex/fantasy sex with another man or take on a "boyfriend" to try and fix things either.  Yeah, in my opinion, if you have to do all that you have no marriage; it is just some illusion you are trying to keep to look like a marriage.  
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2009630_tn?1327944555
Harsh truth, but not unexpected and may have been a reason why I posted so thank you. Fear and inertia does play into it, being with someone for 20 years makes it scary to contemplate leaving. I am a counselor who hates going to counseling since I hear what I already know and when I SAY it aloud - I can no longer hide behind it.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
The truth is the truth.  I usually don't "sugarcoat" things too often.  I am honest when asked for an opinion.

Sure, ending a marriage is a bit daunting and all, but why stoop yourself down to a level where NO ONE should have to go to keep one (a marriage) going?  That makes no sense.  Are you really willing to sacrifice your needs not being met just to be married?  That's no marriage dear in my opinion.  You will have a house full of things and a driveway full of cars because he thinks buying things can be in lieu of addressing and talking about issues that exist between you two?  

If you already KNOW the truth (being you are a counselor yourself) and you already know what will be said from a professional's point of view then all that is left is that you act upon this and "sticking this out" isn't going to change the man/your husband.  He has NO interest in changing at this point.  Will he in the future...hmmm....I don't know but I don't think I would wait around for it to happen.  

If you stay, I would consider you an enabler or a bit codependent.
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