You haven’t been intimate with your partner for more months than you care to count. In your mind, you’re worried about the reasons why. Is he cheating on you? Has he fallen out of love with you? In reality, there are many physical and emotional reasons why he may not want to be intimate with you .
The first thing you need to do when you find yourself in this situation is to talk with your partner. There are actually many medical reasons he may not be feeling up to intimacy – reasons that have nothing to do with you.
1. He may be experiencing low testosterone, which is a normal result of aging. This can cause a loss of libido.
2.He may be depressed or under undue stress at work in which case he may be over-reaching for alcohol, caffeine, or drugs, all of which can effect sexual drive and performance.
3. He may be physically ill or on anti-depressants, as well as prostate medicine, all of which can affect erectile function.
4. He may have developed a sexual disorder that could be related to a traumatic sexual event in his past that is now surfacing through the intimacy of marriage, or relationship.
5. Excessive exercise may be the culprit, a syndrome that can mirror anorexia and bulimia and may affect sexual desire.
6. Sleep deprivation may be the problem.
However, after talking openly with your partner, you may discover that your sexual issues are more emotional:
7. He may be angry with you over some perceived event or experience.
8. He may feel that you are over-controlling and hypercritical, and has shut down in an effort to push back.
9. He may be bored. As the saying goes, “familiarity breeds contempt,” as you and your partner get into a sex routine that may cause you to take each other for granted.
10. He may be fantasizing about having sex with someone else… a rationale that frees him from being faithful.
11. Husbands and lovers who have problems with intimacy often put space and distance between them and you, when they find themselves in a committed relationship, which can make them feel vulnerable.
If you can relate to any of the above listed issues, what can you do about it?
1. The first thing you must do is acknowledge and recognize the problem.
2. Communication is key and though you may find it embarrassing and even humiliating, it is important to speak your truth to your mate.
3. Counseling, including seeing a Sex Therapist, can help you get to the root of your problem and reconnect with your mate.
4. Sometimes, you can improve your sex life simply through sensate focus. By learning how to touch your partner in a pleasing way, you can revitalize the romance of foreplay, which, by the way, begins way before the bedroom and has everything to do with the small kindnesses you show to your mate.
Remember, relationships are messy and complicated. So when you discuss these tender issues with your mate, it is important to follow my empathic process . This can lead you to not only your story, but allows you to listen to your partner’s without defense. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and by staying engaged rather than retreating and pulling away, you have your best chance to really experience emotional intimacy with your partner.
Dr. Gail Gross
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