Q: MY HUSBAND has no desire to have any sexual activity.
We are very affectionate and have a good relationship - we get on very well, laugh a lot, and enjoy the same things. He finds it very difficult to balance his work and personal life and to manage stress.
His lack of libido first started when he began to climb the corporate ladder and now it has become the norm in our lives.
We both want to make things right but cannot find a way to reconnect in that way and find that passion we once had.
I am getting increasingly frustrated as I don't think he has done enough to fix the problem yet expects me to just be faithful and live a sexless life.
I feel if things are not fixed soon then we will need to split up or take drastic action.
A: Some people would look at your situation and consider leaving your husband over a sexual issue to be extreme.
But in fact, sexual dissatisfaction ranks in the top five reasons couples split.
Your unhappiness in this area of your life can affect many other areas in your relationship, and yes, it can lead to a split.
But it doesn't have to. Far from it.
Your situation is quite common, and rather than see couples split over it, as I often do, I wish more couples would seek assistance so they could get their relationship back on track and moving forward together.
To start with, your husband's expectation for you to be faithful is a separate issue from the libido problem.
He does indeed expect you to be faithful, which is a fair expectation, because it is presumably based on your vows of fidelity, and to stay together for better or worse.
It's a bad idea to communicate in any way, shape or form that you might stray if he doesn't perform.
Not only is it unfair to make this issue between you one-sided, but any kind of perceived threat like that will create distance and pressure - two things that will definitely make this problem worse, rather than better.
To best address this problem, you need to work as a team, and as a couple.
Statements such as "I don't think he has done enough to fix the problem" reflect a blame scenario that is only counter-productive to a solution. Fixing the problem means involving both of you.
The two of you need to first work out and agree on what quantity and quality of lovemaking and intimate contact will make you each happy.
If there is a difference in your answers, then you need to negotiate.
This communication process is the first step to reconnecting.
It sounds as though you have a solid, compatible relationship outside the bedroom, and need to increase the passion.
Good sex is about connection, and that is fostered 24/7 in a relationship, not simply in those bedroom moments.
Re-shift your thinking, so that you recognise that all that you both do to sustain your connection outside the bedroom is actually positively contributing to your sex life.
You might not be making the most of this investment now, but yourselves credit for the good and functioning parts of your relationship nonetheless.
Bear in mind also, that passion changes in a relationship over time.
The initial rush of passion, felt between new lovers and during the early love stages morphs into a calmer, deeper sense of commitment and passion.
This is a natural and biologically driven bonding process, and one you cannot change.
Rather than pine for the passion you once had, rededicate yourselves to discovering new aspects of each other, creating new experiences together, so you can mimic the falling in love stages and swoon for each other all over again.
Creating physically exciting situations can release powerful surges of chemicals in the body such as endorphins and especially dopamine.
These are also present during sexual experiences, so to increase libido, you might try some (literally) exciting and new adventures together.
But also, you and your husband need to address your lifestyle and the work/life balance. Keep a diary for a couple of weeks, tracking how you each spend your time.
How much is spent together every day without phones, children, TV, deadlines and demands?
Are you getting your quality time together (sexual or otherwise) every day?
And if you aren't, as I suspect - which is exceedingly common - then I suggest you both agree to arrange for this time.
Fuelling libido will come with reconnecting, and that connection needs to fit into the balance of your life.
Together, as a couple.
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