Missing libido

 

Missing libido

QUESTION:

your avatar   Missy (34 year-old woman)

I am a 34 year-old woman. I feel like there is something terribly wrong with me. I have been married for 10 years to a wonderful man. In the last 3 years my libido has been slipping further and further away. I find his advances to be a nuisance and get frustrated with trying to explain why. He feels I don't love him, but that is farthest from the truth.

In the beginning of our relationship we had a great sex life. But as responsibilities approached I began to be more tired and didn't feel like I had the time. I work and am finishing graduate work at the college, am a step parent to his kids and am the only one who cooks, cleans and takes care of the yard. So by the end of the day, I am bushed, that is if I am not in class until 10:00 p.m.

I have tried to convince him to 'save' our time for the weekends when I don't feel so much stress, but he says I am just putting him off. Another thing is that I have been taking Prozac for about 5 years off and on to maintain my emotions. I have heard this will change your libido but I can't handle the stress without it. I am really stuck between a rock and 'a hard place'.

Please help before I lose my mind or worse, my husband.

ANSWER:

    Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., ACS Certified Sexologist

There are a lot of reason why sexual desire diminishes. One is familiarity in a long-term relationship. Another is anger or resentment in a marriage. Still another is anxiety and stress. Then there is the lack of mutual understanding and respect. On top of this, many of the antidepressant medications will cause loss of sexual desire (and other interfere with reaching orgasm). Let's start with your medication. Tell the doctor of your loss of desire, because there are other medications that can be tried that might not have the same impact.

However, I think we both know that this just isn't about pharmacology! This is about your husband's exceptions and your feelings of being overwhelmed and under appreciated. There are no quick answers, and I would urge you to run, don't walk, to the nearest marriage counselor. You and your husband must work on negotiating a more even distribution of the workload. The two of you must work on better understanding of each other's needs and on better ways to communicate about them, and a skilled counselor can be of great assistance in this process.

There is often "the chicken or the egg" question when there is a rough marriage and trouble in the bedroom. Which came first, the marital problems or the sexual problems? It can work either way. A troubled relationship can show up in bed, but, on the other hand, a sexual problem can create resentment that permeates the entire marriage. For you it sounds as though beginning to fix the marriage is the first step, but be sure the counselor is also knowledgeable about helping with sexual concerns and comfortable working with them.

Good luck to you both.

Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., is a retired sex therapist, now identifying himself as a sexologist and adult sexuality educator. He now devotes his time to writing educational and self-help books for adults.For more information visit: http://www.oralcaress.com/

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