Our expert says:
It seems that you really do love your wife and I would urge you to work through this problem if you want this relationship to work. Affairs are so destructive.
As a way of explanation it is important for you to know that, the average frequency for sexual activity in a long term relationship is 1ce or 2ce a week.It is quite common that in the beginning of relationship women may have a greater interest in sex and possibly be less inhibited in sex than her 'default' position would be. This is due to chemicals in the brain which are released in the beginning of a relationship - amongst other things they result in slightly higher testosterone levels in women which may account for higher sex drive. Unfortunately due to a cruel trick of nature these changes are temporary and after a while (between 6months - 4 years) she returns to a more 'normal level'.
What is concerning though, is that you have mentioned that she is reliving a rape experience of a few years ago. If she has not received counselling regarding how to deal with this ordeal, it will in all likeliness, impact on your sexual relationship. I would urge her to see a counsellor to get help in dealing with this experience.
In addition to these changes, there have been other changes in your lives, two pregnancies and now caring for two small children and working which can cause her libido to take an even a bigger knock. It is important to make sure that you are both satisfied with the relationship - this includes asking her for feedback about how she feels/anything she'd like to improve, and likewise, you give her feedback and discuss what you would like to improve. Do this very gently!
When it comes to discussing the differences in sexual needs (which is VERY common) it is important that both partners be willing to understand what it is like for the other partner and then come to some middle ground / a negotiated compromise. In other words she needs to know that your libido is higher - and this is normal - as is it normal that hers is lower. Therefore there is a necessary tension which needs to be addressed. There are things you can do to show her that you understand that she feels that you see her as only being good for sex - the most obvious of which is - tell her more about the other things that you appreciate about her. Also don't go for the sexual organs (i.e. breasts, bottom, vulva) when you hold her in a non-sexual situation (e.g. first thing in bed, when she's washing up or doing something), and don't tell her how sexy she is in a non-sexual situation - tell her more about how attractive/beautiful/gorgeous she is etc rather than 'sexual descriptions'. This is not necessarily a rejection, although you are not alone in feeling this way, it's more about her own deprioritisation of sex which then means that you are requesting something which she doesn't feel able to give more of.
As long as there is flexibility, you may find that at times sex is more frequent, but there will also be times when it is less (and although you might not feel like it, you will survive and you will be no less of a man for it!) What's with counting frequency of sex anyway - what does it really mean if it's not meaningful/loving/playful? Many women begin to feel resentful if they feel they HAVE to have sex - and that reduces their sexual interest; she may in fact begin to avoid affection and other intimacy because she's afraid it'll lead to sex. The best way forward is to drop the expectation, and go with the flow more. Talk to her about this so she knows she can relax a bit. She probably knows that you have a higher sex drive than she does, so maybe talk about ways that this can be met when she's not desiring it (a useful way of talking about it is like other sexual appetites - I'm hungry, you're not, would you mind making me a sandwich or should I make myself one?). If it ends up with you 'making yourself one' (i.e. masturbating) more often than not, this also needs to be addressed as she could drive her response a little more to meet some of your needs.
It is essential however for her to first receive help regarding her rape trauma. For further information please consult SASHA’s website at www.sexualhealth.qw.co.za/dru. For referral to a professional in your vicinity, please send an email to email@example.com
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