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Question
Posted by: distant spouse | 2010-07-28

Lack of intimacy

We are married for 20+ years and we''re quite content. However, during the past few years, my wife stopped initiating intimacy with me. It''s not that we don''t have great sex - on the contrary, I sometimes feel amazed at how raunchy she can be when we do. My issue is she stopped initiating sex or intimacy but this was not a problem in the past.
By intimacy, I mean my wife stopped kissing! I realised this a short while after she stopped and her response was that she became uncomfortable because of the bridge she had inserted in her teeth many years ago and she wanted to change it to implants. Many dental visits and many thousands later, she has the implants but kissing has not returned to our relationship.
I also mean that my wife never reaches out to me in a physical way but when I initiate foreplay or sex, she surprises me by how raunchy she can be.
I understand menopause and its related reduced sex drive - we are both age 50, and I understand the concept that women get to feel that they " enjoy going for a drive but can''t be bothered to pull the car out of the garage" .
We have both maintained our good health and fitness, so there are no physical reasons for this change. In recent years we''ve had romantic exotic holidays in Paris, Rome, Mauritius and we are content with the way that we live.
Is this lack of intimacy normal?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSexologist

lack of intimacy is not normal! many times during menopause women actually have an increased sex drive. best advise: go to a marriage therapist. you are most certainly trying your best (romantic holidays; teeth implants etc) but to no avail. thus the only way you can change this would be through therapy whereby a professional can give expert advise.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Rob | 2010-07-30

I read through your letter with great interest for I was on that exact same route. I do not say that women are all the same but when they reach the age of 50 they want to prove something to themselves!! That other men still want them!! I also never thought that my virgin like wife would be unfaithfull but she was on numerous occasions. Work in Durban and Cape town.....well that was not the case always!!

There might just be a chance that she is cheating on you.......never say that you know your wife and she would not do it!!!!!!

Reply to Rob
Posted by: distant spouse | 2010-07-29

To the Sexologist: thanks for your guidance. I now plan to broach this subject again with my wife and add this possible approach to our discussion.
To XXX: Her responding is OK but it is not all that I want out of my relationship. I don''t buy it that the male should always initiate as I see us both developing our relationship. Also, it becomes challenging for me as I begin to doubt myself - is there something wrong with me, is she interested in somebody else, is she truly just tired and off to sleep the moment we''re alone or is she avoiding me, and so on.
To Q: You have my empathy and I wish you well. My wife is not in that situation and I cannot pinpoint or understand this change.
Generally: initiating sex is not the only issue as lack of being intimate is a far greater problem. In other words, foreplay, cuddling, kissing, touching each other - if I don''t do these things we become distant. Here''s an example - my wife has been away for a week, I meet her at the airport and she offers me her cheek to greet her. To some that may be OK but to me it''s really strange as we were not always like this.

Reply to distant spouse
Posted by: Q | 2010-07-29

Does she not perhaps have self image/confidence issues and fear rejection. So the only way of " protecting"  herself is not to put herself in the posision. Was she not perhaps at that point in time doing most of the initiation? I am also in the same boat, have alway most of the time initiated, but since having major surgery to my body I am lacking self confidence and cannot cope with rejection as I see it personally if my husband is not in the mood. Well, since then, our sex life have changed from about 4 times per week to 1 time per week. Speak to her and tell her you want her to also initiate and what it means to you. (will take my own advise when I feel brave enough)

Reply to Q
Posted by: XXX | 2010-07-28

What is normal is different for everyone.Quite frankly,from my experience,the male does the majority of the initiating anyhow.
As long as she responds to your advances and participates in the lovemaking,I would not be too concerned

Reply to XXX
Posted by: sexologist | 2010-07-28

lack of intimacy is not normal! many times during menopause women actually have an increased sex drive. best advise: go to a marriage therapist. you are most certainly trying your best (romantic holidays; teeth implants etc) but to no avail. thus the only way you can change this would be through therapy whereby a professional can give expert advise.

Reply to sexologist

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