We were married for the last 7 years and we have a child of 5 years. My wife has lost interest in sex after my child was born. She does not allow me to even touch her nowadays as she thinks that sex is not required at all. Please let me know whether it could be a physical or psychological problem? Please guide my next steps
The fact that your wife is no longer interested in sex with you after having a child is a good place to begin this discussion. For many women, having children can be exhausting as well as very rewarding. Sometimes, sexual desire takes a back seat when children come into the picture, especially if a woman has been raised to believe that her main identity is as a mother. This is just a guess, however, as there could be many reasons for your wife's lack of desire.
Sexual desire is a very tenuous thing: it can come and go many times. You can't change/fix her unless she's unhappy with the situation too. Your first step is to ask her how she feels. Has it occurred to you that she may have some issues with your relationship as well? Perhaps she's bored, but doesn't know how to express herself or is holding back for fear of hurting your feelings (fairly common among women).
Ask yourself what changed since you first met. If she were writing to me, I’d ask her the following: Do you think about sex—not with him, but with others? Do you daydream about sex with celebrities, etc.? Do you self-pleasure? Have sexy dreams? If so, that would indicate that you’re interested in sex, but you’re not interested in sex with your partner. This could be an indicator that it’s the relationship that’s problematic, not sex in and of itself.
It’s possible that she may be repressing sexual feelings, or she’s just not that interested in sex. We all go through periods in our life when our sexual interests fluctuate—just like our interests in other aspects of life.
It’s also possible that, for some reason, she’s no longer turned on to you. And, of course, many other factors can influence desire. Is she content with herself, with her life, with your relationship? Are there any family or work crises? And how’s her physical health? There are numerous medical conditions that can also contribute to lack of desire, especially depression.
Is she anxious? If she’s feeling anxious or unsure of herself, her desire for sex will be affected. Or she may have conflicting feelings about being sexual, based on earlier issues in your life. Or she may actually FEEL desire, but suppress it, due to feeling conflicted. Are you aware of any reasons she may have for avoiding sex? Perhaps she no longer trusts you for some reason, or she’s angry at your for some reason.
Other reasons she might not be turned on: If she’s worried about pleasing you, rather than just enjoying pleasure, this can be a turn-off. The other message that many of us receive is that sex is somehow dirty and wrong, unless you’re doing it for reproductive purposes. Sometimes this can creep into our unconscious thoughts and sabotage any pleasure.
And, of course, there’s the whole issue of YOUR attitudes and behaviors and whether any of those are affecting her desire. Is sex mostly about YOUR pleasure rather than hers? Or does she feel that sex is about satisfying you rather than herself?
Many people automatically assume it’s a hormonal adjustment problem. Actually, in younger women, that’s rarely the case. Certainly, if none of the factors above seem to fit, she might want to consult her gynecologist; however, don’t expect simple answers to complex problems.
You asked, so I’m telling you. Realize that I’m not accusing you of anything, merely bringing up all the possibilities.
So, to recap: she may have negative attitudes about sex in general, or may have performance issues or be bored or frustrated with your relationship. Think about the issues I’ve raised and see if any resonate. Remember not to put pressure on her. I’m wondering what YOU think is contributing to this. You’ve probably got more insight than you realize.
Having said that, let me also say that it's fruitless to speculate because there are a zillion reasons why peoples' sexual desire diminishes--way too many to list here. It’s important that you realize that YOU can’t do anything to increase her desire, other than listen and be supportive and be willing to try anything she suggests.
It's time to hear from her. Sit back, relax and don't be defensive. LISTEN. If you truly love her, you’ll be willing to spend some time listening to her.
Hopefully, the two of you will decide to see a therapist trained to help people talk about their sexual issues. That would be a constructive next step. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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