Trying to be Faithful

Friday, June 25, 2010

Question

My husband does not feel like having sex at any time. He just does not feel like it. I know there are many places that talk about women not feeling like having sex, but what about the man? I like sex and am getting very lonely doing it myself. How can I help him to want sex more than once or twice a month? He also needs to learn how to do it differently. He is always done in under three minutes.

Answer

Sounds like it is exceedingly trying to be faithful to this man!

This is the kind of problem that is very hard to figure out unless you can talk to both of the people involved. I strongly recommend that the two of you visit a counselor. You need some help getting him to see that his behavior won't build a good relationship, and you need some help to understand his point of view.

I can only ask a few questions or suggest a few scenarios that might be helpful. But please do not take any of this for gospel.

The first thing I wonder about is whether this is a new pattern. Did the sex used to be better? In other words, did you have sex more frequently, and was he able to last longer during intercourse? If so, what do you think changed? Does either one of you have more stress, a big change in personal appearance, family problems, financial issues, or overuse of drugs or alcohol? Is he troubled by poor health? Has he started taking new medications that affect sexual performance or drive? All of these things could affect libido. If your husband is depressed, he probably won't have a very high level of desire.

Is there any conflict in the relationship that is not easy to bring out into the open and solve? Another common cause of mediocre sex is resentment. When couples assume there are certain things they cannot question or change, anger is blocked and turns into bitterness. This is emphatically not sexy!

If your sex life with this man has been poor from the beginning, the first question I have about that is, why did you marry him? It's safe to assume that sex in the beginning of a relationship will be hotter and more frequent than it will be later. It's difficult to change sexual patterns even if the person who needs to change is quite committed and motivated. But if you have a partner who is reluctant to communicate or change, there is even less of a chance that things will magically improve. I know that many of us idealize the people we fall in love with. We pay more attention to our romantic vision of who they could be, at their best, than who they are in the present. So we marry with a hidden agenda to improve them. A lot of divorces happen because this is a bad plan.

Other than the things that I've listed above, there are a few other things that could be troubling your husband. He may no loner find you attractive. There may be something about the way that you look or something that you do in bed that he dislikes so much that he wants to avoid you.

Maybe the problem lies in his relationship with himself. If he is ashamed of the fact that he comes too soon and he doesn't know what to do about that, it could be easier to turn off his desire. Or does he have any moral problems with being sexual? Did he have a harsh religious upbringing that left him feeling terrible about his body and eroticism? If he can't stay hard long enough to satisfy you, he could use toys, his hands, or his mouth to make sure you have an orgasm. But if he was taught that these sex techniques are dirty or wrong, or if he has a selfish disposition, he won't be motivated to make that extra effort.

It could also be that his gender identity or his sexual desire are nontraditional. If he is having trouble fully identifying as a man, it will be difficult for him to have straight sex. Does he have any sexual fetishes or unconventional fantasies? Sometimes these needs are sexual orientations in and of themselves. Some men can't function sexually unless they can wear pantyhose, get a spanking, dress up in latex, see you in fishnet stockings, etc. This is the kind of thing that is very difficult to get people to be honest about. Often, if you are differently-gendered or sexually variant, you don't want to be that way, and you are desperately hoping to change. So you ignore and repress what is going on.

Statistically speaking, it's much more likely that some of the more mundane factors above are causing unhappiness in your conjugal bed. I wish you luck in getting some help to figure all of this out. Identifying the cause of the problem and creating a solution isn't possible, however, unless both parties want to make things better. If your husband is disenchanted with the relationship and no longer wants to be with you, he ought to tell you the truth about that so you can cut your losses and move on.