Dwindling passion

 

Dwindling passion

QUESTION:

your avatar   Piper

This has been a problem for me in almost every relationship I have had that has lasted for any significant length of time. I have never to my recollection been abused or molested in any way. My parents are divorced and were both alcoholics. I am the middle kid of three.

I enjoy sex when I am having it and usually have no trouble reaching orgasm, but the drive for sex is missing. I could take it or leave it, more often leaving it. I have no desire. My husband has a hard time with this naturally. In every other way we get along fine, although I do wish my husband would lose some weight and take more pride in his looks. But this was a problem before he gained weight.

The passion and desire is there at the beginning of the relationship, but the longer the relationship lasts, the less desire for sex I seem to have.

What could be the root of the problem, and what specifically can I do to increase my desire for sex? It is a serious issue between my husband and myself, and I really let it get to me.

ANSWER:

    Tony Schirtzinger,

Hi Piper!

Since you have no significant problems during sex, it is clear that the 'drive' you are missing is related to how you THINK about sex and not about sex itself. So, pay close attention to your sexual thoughts to see if you can find the ways you stop yourself from embracing the IDEA of sex. For example, when a sexual situation occurs on TV or a friend makes a sexual joke, what is the first thought you have? Is it a scary thought of some kind? Is it an angry thought? What might have happened in your early life to make you fight off your own ability to fantasize about sex, to look forward to it, etc..?

With two alcoholic parents, we can be pretty sure that you had a chaotic childhood. Chaos is scary at any age, and especially to a small child. Could it be that sometimes things got more chaotic around your house when sex was mentioned or alluded to. When someone 'thought' about sex? Did you perhaps have a strict religious upbringing which taught that sexual thoughts are 'just as bad' as sexual acts?

You are wise, of course, to wonder if there might have been some sexual abuse in your life - but the memories from this would occur naturally and only when you are strong enough to handle it. They can't be forced in any way. When such memories do surface, they are "triggered" by many life events, and the most common of these events occur DURING sex - a smell, a certain sight, a sound, etc. Your lack of desire doesn't seem to be a problem during sex, but at other times.

One concern I have from your letter is that you are very clear about wanting this to improve for your husband's sake, but you don't really seem to realize what YOU are missing and how much more enjoyable your own life would be if you had stronger desires. If this is only something you want 'for him', then you will probably not succeed in finding it. Once you want it for yourself you may even find that it becomes EASY to tap your sexual desire.

By the way, one common problem people sometimes have is that they think they need to 'edit' their sexual thoughts too much. For instance, you might allow yourself to have sexual thoughts only if they relate to your husband specifically - and you could feel guilty and try to stop yourself if the thought is about someone else. Remember that fantasies are only that, they are not actions. If you are going to allow your desires to build you will need to allow your fantasies to flow freely. You can be sure, down deep, that you are not hurting your husband or your family by ANY thoughts. Thoughts don't hurt people. Actions do.

I hope this helps!

Tony Schirtzinger

This question was answered by Tony Schirtzinger. For more information visit: http://helpyourselftherapy.com/

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