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Question
Posted by: Mata Hari | 2010/08/19

Too Old or is it something else?

I am 71 and have been married for 35 years this year. For the last few years my husband has not touched me sexually and I grew used to it. Then I met an old male friend of 73 (same age as my husband) and we had an affair which lasted 3 years, much to my surprise. We stopped he went back to his much younger wife which is one reason why he felt so comfortable with me (she is nearly 20 years younger) and I went back to my sexless husband. Both parties know about the affair. I have no idea how my friend''s situation has changed but in my case, nothing has changed as far as the sex goes but I am still very fond of my husband. He won''t hear of going to a doctor for a check-up (he used to suffer from premature ejaculation but that didn''t bother us in our earlier stages as he recovered quickly). Now of course I am presuming that he is afraid of even trying although I have never berated him for that (if berate is the right word to use). What to do is the question if anything. Has anyone any advice or should I accept that that part of my life is over? Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSexologist

Apologies for the delay in responding.

One of the wonderful aspects of a sexual relationship may also be it's downfall in certain circumstances - it is the coming together of individuals. It is wonderful when things work well - eg. how good it feels for a partner to be highly motivated to give the other pleasure, but it is also a fairly helpless situation when there is a problem and one of the individuals refuses to address it! This is particularly so in our society where the assumption is often that our life partner is also our only sexual partner. The reality is that if you choose to continue to remain with your husband, and to not to pursue other sexual partnerships (which objectively is more challenging when in the 7th decade! - fewer partners available, higher occurrence of sexual dysfunction and other health problems), then you are essentially in the position where you will have to accept that he is unable to be sexual with you, and unwilling to address this. As such, your hands are tied with him. Does this mean that this part of your life is over? Only if you see sexual pleasure as only being able to be met by a partner (i.e. this can be met partially by self-stimulation although this may feel unfulfilling to some people), or specifically him as your partner.

Sadly you are in good company with many many other people in marriages where their spouse (male or female) is too afraid/uncomfortable to attempt to address sexual discrepancies. Perhaps what you could do is at least make sure that physical intimacy is still present so that you have your need to feel loved by your husband is still being met?

Claire - SASHA

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sexologist | 2010/08/21

Apologies for the delay in responding.

One of the wonderful aspects of a sexual relationship may also be it's downfall in certain circumstances - it is the coming together of individuals. It is wonderful when things work well - eg. how good it feels for a partner to be highly motivated to give the other pleasure, but it is also a fairly helpless situation when there is a problem and one of the individuals refuses to address it! This is particularly so in our society where the assumption is often that our life partner is also our only sexual partner. The reality is that if you choose to continue to remain with your husband, and to not to pursue other sexual partnerships (which objectively is more challenging when in the 7th decade! - fewer partners available, higher occurrence of sexual dysfunction and other health problems), then you are essentially in the position where you will have to accept that he is unable to be sexual with you, and unwilling to address this. As such, your hands are tied with him. Does this mean that this part of your life is over? Only if you see sexual pleasure as only being able to be met by a partner (i.e. this can be met partially by self-stimulation although this may feel unfulfilling to some people), or specifically him as your partner.

Sadly you are in good company with many many other people in marriages where their spouse (male or female) is too afraid/uncomfortable to attempt to address sexual discrepancies. Perhaps what you could do is at least make sure that physical intimacy is still present so that you have your need to feel loved by your husband is still being met?

Claire - SASHA

Reply to Sexologist
Posted by: Mata Hari | 2010/08/20

Thanks XXX. We are both very active people. My husband still works, I don''t. He goes to gym in the morniing and I go swimming at least 3 times a week plus hiking, gardening and we walk our hounds every evening.

BUT, and this is a big but, he refuses (always has done) to go to a Sexologist or doctor (heaves forbid I even suggest this to him) and wouldn''t dream of taking pills for this as he considers it a minor matter. He already struggles with his cholesterol tablets - does not believe in taking anything especialy not Viagra!

Reply to Mata Hari
Posted by: XXX | 2010/08/20

It is wonderful to hear that the older generation are able to still have good sex (although not in your marriage).Having an affair at your age is also something rather unusual !
Not getting sex from your partner happens all too often in marriages.Why should you go without sex at any age,so I would suggest you both go see a dr or sexologist as there must be ways of resolving this ie Viagra etc.

Reply to XXX
Posted by: A man | 2010/08/20

You should re-post this under the aging &  sexuality section as Dr. Eve is very good with advice for this sort of thing

Reply to A man
Posted by: lady #1 | 2010/08/20

i must say that reading similar type comments where sex is lacking in the lives of " older"  ppl, scares me. i am 29 yrs old and i love making love. the intimacy afterwards and the actual sexual experience is totally amazing and i never want it to fade or end. there must be a way that the older citizens can " rekindle"  this kind of energy. or maybe its a phase of ones life where the physical act of love isnt necessary and one gets to a " higher spiritual"  level where not having sex is just as good as having it.....id still prefer the afterglow after an intimate session over anything else....interesting to hear sasha''s take on this :)

Reply to lady #1

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