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POLL RESULTS: It's All In His Head...: (10 comments)

POLL: It's All In His Head...

Friday, January 23, 2009 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q.: I'm a woman, 27, and married for five years. For the past two years, we have not had sex, and the years before that, we had sex only once a month. I've spoken to him on the importance of sex in a marriage and also mentioned that I do enjoy making love. We still sleep in the same bed, but we are more like roommates. I once asked him if he was interested in sex and he said, "If you asked me this question three or four months ago I’d say I'm not interested, but now I've mentally prepared myself." I was shocked to hear that. He said he's going to change, but I've been trying to work this out for the past five years. I have no feelings for him anymore. Please help.
POLL: What should she do?
 
17% (260) Get a good divorce lawyer.
 
1% (24) Give him time.
 
60% (898) Find a marriage counselor.
 
15% (231) Accept that he might be gay.
 
4% (68) Help him mentally prepare by quizzing him during foreplay
1481 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

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Jan 2008
Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 03:59 AM (#46653)

OK, some questions ...

* Why did you marry him? How did he court you?

* Why didn't you ask him why he wasn't interested during the first year you were married?

* Has he seen a physician to determine whether his apparent low libido could be caused by a medical condition?

* Have you ever considered that you might be his beard [wikipedia.org]?


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Stevarooni
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From: KCMO

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Jun 2008
Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 05:35 AM (#46654)

At this point, you're not surprised that he isn't interested in sex. If you had sex as infrequently as once a month even prior to marriage...well, you knew what you were getting into. "[...]but now I've mentally prepared myself." surely isn't the most romantic or seductive line, either. I'd suggest starting out with a marriage counselor. What do you mean by "trying to work this out", though? Trying to change his mind and habit to suit your tastes? 'Cause that doesn't strike me as realistic, but I've heard from lots of women who marry men who are, "perfect, except for this laundry list of things I want to change about him."

Seriously, five years into a marriage, it isn't fair to expect him to change to suit your tastes, especially since you knew that sex was an infrequent thing with him from the beginning. I agree with the sentiment that sex isn't everything in a marriage, but it sounds like it's beginning to be apparent to you that you can't change him. Marriage counseling is a must (See if you can change, right? That's only fair, after all. :P) but don't count on him changing. If you can't live with that idea, you're either going to look outside the marriage for sexual satisfaction (fraught with its own serious hazards) or consider divorce to find someone with whom you're emotionally and sexually compatible.

He might be gay, there may be a legitimate medical condition, or he might just have a very low libido. Five years, though? Seriously, you have to find a solution.


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Guairdean
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Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 10:14 AM (#46658)

Seek medical help. Low libido can be something simple or it could be a life threatening condition.


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Gadfly
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Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 11:10 AM (#46660)
In Response to Guairdean (#46658):

So far the poll results lean towards "get a good marriage counselor." More precisely, you should "Get a good doctor." For a man to not have interest in sex that way is a sign of a serious health problem.

If a man lacks interest in sex, there are basically four reasons (two of which require counseling, and the other two medical advice):

1) he's not interested in you, specifically (you don't indicate any other signs of cheating);
2) he's got some deep-set psychological issue going on;
3) he has a hormonal deficiency, which could indicate prostate problems
4) he has a circulatory condition, and his body can't pump the blood to the relevant regions of the body.

Do you have a diet that is high in soy or other plant estrogens? There are many studies out there about soy destroying male fertility. My wife and I practice Natural Family Planning, and one of the ways that I handle selective abstinence is by eating a lot of soy products during that time of the month. A couple glasses of soy milk can kill a man's sex drive (it can also be, for a woman, the equivalent of taking the birth control pill).

Speaking of which, when a woman is fertile, her libido peaks, and her body sends out high levels of pheromones. Strippers who don't take birth control pills get higher tips. A comment box does not provide room for the myriad evidence I could cite, but there was recently a British study on how the birth control pill effects women's pheromones: you can find it discussed in recent "women's magazines".

When my wife is "potentially fertile," I get this overwhelming desire to hold her. When she's ovulating, I can look at her across the room, in her blandest, frumpiest outfit, and she might as well be a supermodel wearing Victoria's Secret. I can even tell sometimes when a woman at work or something is ovulating, because that same feeling overwhelms me (wihch explains a lot of infidelity because people get that feeling and misinterpret it as "being in love" when it's really "being in heat").

But when she goes out of fertility into the "safe phase," I practically lose my sex drive, because she isn't sending out the pheromones, and my heart doens't do its part. I'm psychologically "in the mood," but my body doesn't want to respond.

To counteract that, we keep the romance going every day. No matter what part of the cycle we're in, we flirt, we kiss (frequently), we fool around, we send each other notes or flowers, play romantic music, etc.

And, worst comes to worst, no matter how tired I am, no matter how low my sex drive is, if she puts her hand "down there" and fondles me for a bit, the libido goes through the roof.


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blackfeltfedora
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Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 08:22 PM (#46666)

Before offering any kind of advice, I first want to know if he is taking any kind of medication (Prozac, Welbutrin, etc).

If the answer is no, you should go ahead and contact the marriage counselor.


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Stevarooni
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From: KCMO

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Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 08:25 PM (#46667)
In Response to blackfeltfedora (#46666):

...and if he is taking some form of psychotropic medication?
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blackfeltfedora
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Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 02:06 PM (#46675)
In Response to Stevarooni (#46667):

One of the side-effects of these types of medication can be a loss of sex drive. If that is the case, changing the dosage or the type of pill he is taking may be able to fix the problem. Another option may be that he suffers from seasonal depression, so that he can go off his meds in the spring and have a normal libido for part of the year.

All of this is speculative, but knowing whether or not medication could be a factor is something I would want to know before offering advice.


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VictorTyne
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Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Monday, January 26, 2009 - 01:36 AM (#46678)

If you have no feelings for him anymore, how could you possibly expect him to respond to you? One of the sexiest things to a man is a woman who wants him. Why do you think all the aggressive women get first pick on all the men out there?

From your description of your response to this "problem", it sounds like for the past two years you've been lecturing him and talking down to him because he's not been fulfilling your selfish needs. Oh yeah, baby, talk condescending to me, that's real sexy. I'd say he's telling you he's not interested because he's a nice guy who doesn't want to hurt your feelings. His "but now I've mentally prepared myself" line sounds like it roughly translates to "I'd rather stick it in a coyote trap, but if it'll get you to quit nagging me..."

Go get yourself a good divorce lawyer and let the poor guy off the hook so he can go out and find real happiness.


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Justaman
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Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Monday, January 26, 2009 - 01:46 PM (#46686)

I would be nervous about putting so much stake in it being a medical problem for a couple reasons:
1. People may delude themselves about a partner’s sexuality, but they are much savvier about impotence. I just did not get the feel that her man could not have sex.
2. For a man not having sex with a mate can often be a form of passive aggression, especially with a highly sexual mate, who he knows holding out hurts.
3. If she new that he was on something hurting his libido I would hope that would be mentioned, otherwise it asks for answers to a medical problem which was never stated.
4. The fact that he said he has to "mentally prepare himself" is cruel and hurtful in any context, and sounds like the cry of a unhappy frustrated person.
5. And lastly, for most men, being told to see a doctor because you have a low libido, would be the same as me telling a female to see a doctor because you are getting fat, not that they are not true, but they can cause an immediate wall to go up to any solutions. I am all for counseling or separation (not divorce yet). Especially with counseling if there are homosexual or medical issues they will (hopefully) come out.


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: POLL: It's All In His Head... (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, January 31, 2009 - 03:40 PM (#46741)
In Response to VictorTyne (#46678):

--"One of the sexiest things to a man is a woman who wants him."--
Maybe, to you. I've known a few guys that can't grasp the concept of "a bird in the hand...". To some men, it's not the having, it's the getting.

--"Why do you think all the aggressive women get first pick on all the men out there?"--

Uh, because most men are horny sheep lead around by their genitals? Maybe, maybe not.

But, those relationships are just as prone to this sort of discourse. She's obviously the aggressor here.

As to the original post, I can't really see the "big picture". You've provided a very first-person perspective of a typical encounter. But, you haven't provided enough context for me to really understand His motivations.

I'd suggest to original poster:

1 - Evaluate what you are attempting to gain by asking for help. If you're just looking for a sympathetic ear, call a girlfriend or ask "Delilah".

2 - You need to identify if the problem you're having is symptomatic of larger relationship issues, or if it is just isolated to the sexual.

3 - If it's a symptom, try to put your entire relationship in context from start to the present. You need to understand when your relationship became what it is, and why. If you can't do this on your own (since you've indicated that Hubby is unwilling to participate) then;

4 - You really do need a licensed (and properly educated) marriage counselor to help you do just that.

5 - Understand that a marriage counselor isn't supposed to guarantee a happy ending. They are just a crow-bar to get your marriage out of the rut it's in, so that the two of you can make the changes you need to move on.

But, I like how the vagueness of the post draws out everyone's personal insights into their own problems. So, in that spirit, I'll share this...

Sex between my wife and I has become less frequent over the last two years (for numerous reasons).

Her way of talking about it, at times, can sound more as accusations and confrontations. She thinks she's opening a tender dialogue to help us along. But, as Victor has pointed out, one cannot brow-beat another into arousal. (Although men have brow-beaten women into participation for millenia, the two are not the same.)

Somewhere along the line, some couples stop treating each other as lovers, and more as siblings. Tenderness and romance shouldn't be restricted to the bedroom just because you're married. Sometimes a soft kiss or embrace for no reason can make a huge difference. You both need to know that.

Try it tomorrow. Half-time is just around the corner.


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