First, take the blame off yourself.
Q: I’m a woman in my early 30s, and I haven’t been having sex with my husband for over three years now. He’s free of diseases and pretty healthy — so what’s the deal? What causes a man to lose interest in sex with his wife?
Life! It happens, and this is normal. The key here is finding out why, because not all couples have the same reasons. But before you start, here’s what you need to do:
Don’t brush off your sexual intimacy. Prioritize it, even if it may feel embarrassing. The main roadblock could have more to do with your husband, matters of self-care, and his views on sex and intimacy. Don’t focus on asking yourself what you might have done wrong, as it might actually be less about you.
Now put yourself in your husband’s shoes. Is he getting enough sleep? Are you new parents? This will help create a mindset for honest, open, and compassionate communication and limit chances of a blame game happening.
Kindly ask him what’s getting in the way of intimacy. If you find yourself interrupting when he speaks, increase your ability to listen. There’s empathy in silence. Interruptions may cause him to shut down or feel belittled. Be vulnerable and willing to learn what sex means to each other without judgement, and be willing to please one another.
This initial conversation is just the beginning. To really permanently bridge this divide, you’ll also need to put your curiosity glasses on and start investigating your husband and yourself:
- Is there any unresolved tension or high criticism coming from you or your husband?
- Has there ever been performance anxiety or worry about finishing too fast or not being able to keep it up?
- Do you have significant differences in the type of sexual activities you both like, or are there any past or current affairs?
- Is excessive masturbation or porn use a concern?
- How about fatigue or any cultural or religious conflicts, or sexual shame?
- Does he see you only as his wife, not also as his lover?
- Does he feel too responsible for you and not able to sexualize you?
- Are there financial concerns?
- What about mental or chemical health? Is there possibly untreated depression or anxiety? A history of trauma?
By removing barriers that may be interrupting your flow to sexual energy and openness, your sex life could be reignited.
Janet Brito is an AASECT-certified sex therapist who also has a license in clinical psychology and social work. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Minnesota Medical School, one of only a few university programs in the world dedicated to sexuality training. Currently, she’s based in Hawaii and is the founder of the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Brito has been featured on many outlets, including The Huffington Post, Thrive, and Healthline. Reach out to her through her website or on Twitter.