For the first three of our 13 years together, we had sex regularly. Then it dwindled. Now married (three years ago), we have sex three-to-four times a year.
We’re healthy, 30s, with no kids. I think there's a problem and we talk about it.
She says she's not a sexual person. I’m a sexual person and it's causing me anxiety, sadness, self-worth issues, etc.
She works constantly, often out late. I don't think she's being unfaithful and she's promised she hasn't been.
She's had a physical exam, talked to a therapist, but that's sputtered out. Work always trumps the issue.
I feel that I'm not a priority.
I love her, and I want to be with her. But I feel I'm missing a big part of my relationship. What do I do?
Men and women alike can naturally have low libido. Some women experience early menopause symptoms that decrease their libido. And a person with low sex drive will resent being pressured for sex.
Marriages can work through such differences but only if there’s the will and efforts to find compromises and solutions.
Did she talk to a hormone specialist about low libido, and report what she learned?
Have you tried self-pleasuring while in bed with her, to achieve the intimacy you want/need?
Have you discussed together the possibility of your seeking sexual satisfaction outside of the marriage?
Neither of you can demand that the other change, to meet the needs of only one.
But you can together seek consultation with a specialist e.g. a sex therapist and/or marriage counsellor to work at finding a way to be content and loving together.
My husband is the "successful son."
His brother jumps from job to job, and works when he likes.
While my husband’s worked hard with minimal financial support from his parents, his brother's life has been completely subsidized.
They provide him with free child-care, bought him his house and car, pay for renovations, and gave him one of their cottages.
They’re not transparent about what they spend on him.
While my husband and I are okay, it’s frustrating to watch someone so undeserving get away with never having to pay a mortgage!
My husband’s never raised this with his parents, feeling it won’t make a difference.
He thinks they see his brother "needing" the money and help, while we don't.
But he chooses not to work, spends money on frivolous items, and keeps having children he can't afford.
He takes advantage of their help while they enable his dependency.
Though their money is theirs to spend, as they like, it’s unfair.
I’m starting to avoid seeing my husband's family because I’m so angry. How do I get over it?
Successful Son Penalized
I understand your frustration, thinking that your husband’s success isn’t being acknowledged by his parents.
But it is.
They know he’s achieved every parent’s goals for their children – independence, self-reliance, self-esteem from personal accomplishments.
I also understand some annoyance at his brother’s reliance on parental support.
Your husband could never live that way… and you should be equally proud of that.
Yes, your in-laws could’ve explained their actions to your husband.
Yet they know he accepts that it’s exactly what it looks like: Two sons, one strong, the other weak, with parents who can afford to help the needier one.
Jealousy is eating away at your happiness in being on the luckier side.
The age-old wisdom on getting over this, would be: Count your blessings.
FEEDBACK Regarding reporting a daughter’s sexual assault at her cousin’s wedding, by the groom’s father (October 2):
“The daughter should be “encouraged” to report the assault.
“How would the cousin feel if this man harms/assaults his now daughter-in-law, the bride, if her cousin failed to do or say anything about his groping her?
“I congratulate the letter-writer for both restraining herself and her daughter’s boyfriend from doing something “foolish” at that time.
“Now that cooler heads prevail, I’d “encourage” the entire family (daughter, boyfriend, both parents) to file an official report with police.
“And give the bride and her parents the heads-up about reporting, explaining that you don’t want the bride to be his next victim.”
Ellie – Agreed. I wrote that the daughter should report the assault, with her boyfriend along to confirm what he saw, and that her parents also accompany her to the police to support her.
It’s the support that will encourage her.
Tip of the day:
Couples with differing sexual drives need to explore how to be mutually comfortable and feel loved.