Our expert says:
It is not uncommon that there is a discrepancy in sex drive between partners, particularly after the first flush of the relationship. Just like other appetites, individuals have different sex drives, or libido (the felt 'hunger' for sex), and this may vary from day to day, month to month, or year to year. An important factor to clarify is whether or not this discrepancy falls within what would be considered 'norms'. So for example how 'high' is your drive now and how 'low' is your husband's drive? It is not uncommon that people hold beliefs that a man is always ready and wants to have sex and anything less than this may be considered 'low'. This is a myth which needs to be challenged; some men do have higher sex drives than others, and a lower drive is not necessarily a sign of a problem.
It's also important to ascertain whether your husband's sex drive has always been at it's current level, or whether it has declined over time. Some people have lower sex drive from the outset and where this is lower than would be expected, this may be due to physiological factors like lower testorsterone, or inhibitions regarding sex. However, sex drive may also be negatively affected by a range of factors including: medication (a side effect of many drugs, including contraceptives), mental state (e.g. depression lowers drive, mania may heighten it, stress and tiredness is a big libido killer), quality of the relationship (e.g. at times of conflict, anger or resentment), or other physiological factors like low testosterone. Libido may also diminish with age. If you both have concerns about this, it may be worth asking for some tests to check on his physical health and in particular his hormone levels to make sure that he is healthy.
Should these come back clear, however, it would look like more attention might need to be paid to individual factors like depression or high stress levels, or any difficulties in the relationship which might impact on the sexual relationship. Any difficulties identified may need to be addressed directly, but regardles this discrepancy should be managed. This means to find ways to talk about the differences in order to minimise any additional problems (e.g. it is not unusual that a partner may see the lowever libido as a sign of him/her being unattractive and this is not necessarily the case). Couples can find ways to express love/intimacy in non-sexual ways that can keep them 'connected' without necessarily having to be 'sexual' on every occasion.
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