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Forums / Relationship and family issues / Very Mismatched libidos

Topic: Very Mismatched libidos

25 posts, 0 answered
  1. JJohn117
    JJohn117 avatar
    7 posts
    12 March 2022
    Hey everyone im 30, have been with my wife for nearly 7 years (6 months married so far) we're on the cusp of trying for kids I have been struggling with this for a long time but for the last year I have been experiencing depression symptoms. im going to try/fail to be consise ha.

    We have a very loving non sexual and sexual relationship, she is my whole world but our libido's are completely opposite and i am not handling it well and to cut a long story short the reason im on here is because no matter how much i research, how many relationship podcasts i listen to i have this overwelming sense of dread that our relationship will faulter. I read fully through the "my wife isnt interested in sex" thread not long ago and cryed for days, the other day i listened to the shameless sex podcast "reviving the sexless relationship" and my wife has been asking me if im ok for days (im not, the sexologist on the pod reckons im doomed, shes one of many), she really loves and cares for me and i am a very lucky man. Im so overwelmed with guilt for feeling this way but the resources i am encountering are basically summing it up as im going feel this way forever or ending relationship.

    ending it would not help, it would ruin both of our lives, she would never try again and her mental health would suffer irreparable damage and Im definatly not as much of a catch as she thinks i am. I dont know that i could ever forgive myself for doing that to her or ever be as happy nonsexually ever again.
    For the record we do have great relations, and I love every second of it, but its all me, im the one who puts in the effort, she VERY rarely initiates.

    this will all get allot worse when we start a family and get older understandably, shes already to tired or has headache, i dont even try to initiate anymore it hurts me to much to be rejected but then im hurt anyway from knowing the outcome if i did try.
    im terrified for the future, im lost and i dont know what to do. im hurting her, none of this is fair on her, she doesnt deserve this its not her fault.

     
  2. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    13 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi, welcome

    I've had 4 long term relationships, 7,11,10 and now 10 years with my wife. One past relationship was similar to yours, I had what I'd call normal drive but she was only interested in sexual connections when wanting to be pregnant. I can honestly say I tried everything to get her to show a spark of interest- to no avail, nothing worked.

    I know from the other 3 ladies and many short term girlfriends in my young adulthood that that partner had really low drive and that was simply "her".

    Now, I've read your post fully and can see that in every other way you are both happy. You simply cannot extract from her what is not in her make up. I'm sorry to break this to you but it takes people with no emotional ties to point out what is fact.

    So as I see it you have few options. It is a case of either tolerate or leave.

    When you mention that her mental health would suffer can I suggest that people, initially that are separated, find resilience when needed, they go through a grief process and eventually find mental peace. I understand your love you both have for each other but what is also important is your satisfaction and needs and you have a right to that.

    The whole situation is sad. It only takes one area of incompatibility and the relationship is under threat. In an ideal world compatibility should be sorted out within a short time starting any relationship including sexual, but you are human and you make decisions base don everything else. Try not to be so hard on yourself and accept that these thing happen in life.

    The following thread might help

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/guilt-the-tormentor-

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  3. therising
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    13 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi John

    I've found different viewpoints in regard to intimacy to be interesting and at times highly questionable. When 'experts' defines something as hopeless, you gotta seriously question that. Being one of those mind/body/spirit gals, I often look at things from 3 perspectives. Each can offer a piece of the puzzle you could say.

    Mentally, internal dialogue can get seriously depressing. When I say 'seriously depressing', you know the dialogue's serious when it leads you into a depression.

    Physically, internal dialogue can shift chemistry. When our chemistry's off, we can feel the consequences in a lot of different ways. When there's an imbalance of chemistry/the chemistry's not interacting the way it should be, this can influence internal dialogue further. In other words, depressing chemistry will influence our thoughts and the way we think and 'round and 'round it goes. Can get seriously brutal. Thoughts can become physically exhausting and chemistry can prove physically exhausting. Before you know it, you're overall energy's 'off' in a number of ways.

    While libido can be dependent on both thought based factors (psychological) and physical factors (biological or chemical), the 3rd part of the triad that makes us who we are is 'the natural side'. I prefer not to use the word 'spiritual' as it tends to scare or repulse people a little :) Basically, whether your a physicist or a spiritualist, it's about energy. In the way of intimacy and from my own experience as a 51yo female, what some of it comes down to is 'What kind of energy do we wish to experience during intimacy?'. A variety of different forms a couple can agree on

    • Fast paced, super intense, where it's all packed into 5 minutes
    • Purely spontaneous, where it's expressed in the moment and not suppressed. Sometimes the plan of 'Okay, we'll wait 'til 9:30, when we go to bed' can be a little depressing. On the other hand...
    • Planning toward later in the day can actually create a gradual build up of energy
    • Slow and relaxing energy leading into sleep
    • Waking energy, a 'power up' for the day ahead
    • For some, it's strategic, like with Tantric. They build the energy to a point and hold it while they take a break, then 5 mins later come back together to proceed from that level they've built the energy to. This can go on for hours

    Could getting a feel for what it is that 'charges you both up' be part of this challenge? Could you imagine having some fun with it? Can you allow your imagination run wild?

    1 person found this helpful
  4. missep123
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    14 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi JJohn117,

    I am so sorry to hear that you have been going through this and feeling this way.

    I once read that learning about our love languages is very important. Some 'fill their cup' of intimacy through physical non-sexual touch or just being around their partner, others through giving and receiving gives, some are very verbal with their love and this is how they give and receive intimacy. Of course there are those who feel connected to their partner the most through sexual intimacy. I have heard that it can be helpful to have discussions about this as otherwise I can completely understand that it can feel rejecting when you initiate and get refused.

    Please know that you are not alone! We are definitely here for you!

    1 person found this helpful
  5. geoff
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    14 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hello JJohn, I'm sure you aren't the only one suffering from this once you're married, and what can make it worse is that before you're married, it may happen just naturally and no questions asked, so expectation is that it will continue once you get married, unfortunately, it doesn't, and there never seems to be a good time to do it, no matter how much you plan it, no blame, but the situation may suddenly change or your circumstances may be different and even an explanation won't suffice.

    You wonder why a couple can stay married for 50 odd years as this must happen to them, but it's a matter of adjusting and how to compensate in your own position.

    Life changes for all of us once we're married, have children, borrow money and do the hard yards, but if you love someone, then that's all a marriage needs, although there could be how our spouse/partner does something that we don't like, it's also vice-versa, but you learn to overcome these problems.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

  6. therising
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    15 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi John

    I'm wondering if you've asked your wife how she views intimacy, what it means to her. For example, does it mean the same thing to her now as it did when you first started seeing each other or have her views changed over time. For some women, it starts off all exciting, as you're excited in getting to know each other and the whole relationship's simply electric and super energetic and then it becomes simply that thing that you do together. It's still loving but it's kinda lost a bit of its charge. Changing that kind of viewpoint into something entirely different can, for sure, be a big challenge. I hope you don't give up hope. Sometimes the 'experts' can simply be those who haven't come across the best solution, one we can relate to. They speak about what they know (based on their experience), not about the solutions or answers they're yet to discover.

    I think it's not just stressful to some degree, considering bringing kids into this world, it can also be somewhat stressful when it comes to how the dynamics of our relationship will change over time. From my experience as a mum and a wife, I believe while parents grow individually through the great challenges and the great joys of raising their kids, they also grow together as a couple. It's kind of like your kids raise you through challenges that you brainstorm your way through together. I believe the growing apart happens when one of the parents doesn't evolve all that much throughout the raising process. I have to say, 2 of the greatest people I've ever had the privilege of meeting in my life are my 19yo daughter and 16yo son. If I had never met them, never brought them into this world, I believe I may have remained in depression for far more years than what I did. Our kids can turn out to be the people we're destined to meet, for a wide variety of reasons.

    Takes a lot of energy to raise kids. Also takes a bit of energy to feel the charge we once did in the beginning our relationship (regarding intimacy). Do you know why your wife's lacking energy these days? Maybe there's an underlying issue as to why she's not waking up in the morning feeling restored. No need to answer but just throwing a few ideas out there: Might she benefit from blood tests? Could she be feeling mentally exhausted, leading to physical exhaustion? Maybe some sleep related issues. Diet and hydration can be significant factors sometimes. A serious lack of energy can become depressing. Personally, this is one of my triggers.

    3 people found this helpful
  7. jaz28
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    15 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    hi john,

    as a woman with low libido due to health issues, the pill and much more. i can sympathise with your wife. believe me, she probably wants to do it and she is definitiely attracted to you in that way but it is hard to get in the mood when you feel that way. my partner is very understanding and we do other *things*, if you like, instead of the full experience. i have seen a doctor about my libido and have received a lower dose pill which has helped me a bit.

    i would suggest talking to your wife about this - she might even be willing to speak to a doctor or a sex counsellor about it (or maybe even sex/couples counselling could help). i would honestly exhaust all options before even considering divorce, especially if you have a great nonsexual relationship (which is the main thing anyway) - of course, sex is an important part of a relationship, but it is not everything. remind yourself you have a great relationship otherwise. communicate with your wife how you feel. suggest ways to solve the issue in a positive way, work together, and you will get there. relationships have highs and lows and commitment is about sticking with that person through it all. keep sticking.

    jaz xx

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Terry73
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    15 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi JJohn117

    I agree with what's been said in the previous posts, and what jaz28 says is a great insight into the situation.

    I just want to add that even though you both want a family, it might be just a good idea to drop the expectations of what you want to achieve. Try just live in the moment, looking for the next adventure together, this happiness is worth the effort for one, but also may help pick up both libido's as well, letting the act become a natural progression. Find something that can excite you both, doesn't have to be sexual, might be say going out to visit a new place, explore, play a sport together, etc.

    Hope this helps

    2 people found this helpful
  9. Banksy92
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    16 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi JJohn117,

    Sorry to hear you are harboring so much pain about this issue - it must be really difficult with so much on your mind as you approach the next big stage of your life...

    I wondered how openly you feel able to communicate with your partner about this? I know it can be a tough conversation to have or easily avoided if it hasn't ended well in the past... but keeping those lines open is so important.

    Maybe you could approach her with some gentle curiosity about what kind of intimacy she is comfortable with? For example, she may not have intercourse at the top of the list, but maybe she would be open to things like massage or more kissing? Building on these slowly may be a way to find a level of closeness that you are both comfortable with. From a sexual point of view, she may even be interested in helping you do self-pleasure? Just an idea..

    Another option you may want to consider is having a session or two with a couples therapist. Just to have a neutral space where someone can guide these conversations and encourage you.

    Hope this helps.

  10. JJohn117
    JJohn117 avatar
    7 posts
    18 March 2022 in reply to Terry73
    hey terry , thanks for that i am starting to think that you may be correct, that im the one that needs to change. my boss is 10 years ahead on the path and this is basically what he did and he is urging me to find another hobby, get my fulfilment elsewhere etc. im a logical person and cannot deny a good argument and this does seem like the path.
    the problem i have is I dont know how to do it, believe me ive tried, my life would be allot better if i didnt constantly find her attractive but see thats the issue, its constant and i dont know how to switch it off and not be depressed about the fact that shes not interested.
    i think there is something wrong with me.
  11. JJohn117
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    7 posts
    18 March 2022 in reply to Banksy92
    I dont communicate much of this to her at all for the reason you said , it hasnt worked out very well for me when i have tried. few of the what i would call standard responses come out like thats all you want from me, thats all you care about, im not good enough for you/ not enough for you. also she takes it as me blaming her for how i feel when i cant help how i feel, i very much wish that i could. the one that really hurts me is when shes told me if shes not enough then go elsewhere (as in leave me, not the other thing). i dont want anybody else, i dont love anybody else, i love my wife.

    my wife is an anixous, insecure person and i feel very strongly about not making things worse for her, she has come along way since we started our relationship, its definatly my main motivation for not saying anything. this frame of mind creates my biggest issue, shes intuitive, she knows something is up shes always asking if im ok, do i still love her, do i regret marrying her other things along those lines.
    and of course im not lying to her when i answer her questions, im ok for the most part as long as i dont think about this stuff, i love her more than anything but it also isnt the whole truth, i dont even know where to start im certainly not going to bring all this up just before bed or when i get home from work, im at a loss.
    also im not a fool, shes asking me these things because my actions/ body language etc are making here feel anxious and insecure, shes thinks i dont like her when im quiet but im just struggling in my own head and it shows, therefore i am failing at the very thing im trying to accomplish. helping my wife through her struggles and making sure shes happy.
  12. JJohn117
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    7 posts
    18 March 2022 in reply to jaz28
    hey jaz you are exactly correct, my wife is very good at communicating her feelings and this is what she has told me. I on the other hand, am completly useless at it. there has been an improvement since she stopped the pill, her experience has improved. i can understand what shes saying and i aggree, i dont want her to do something she doesnt want to do , its not what im about. i aggree with everything you are saying although i dont know where this leaves me but i appreciate the perspective, thankyou =)
    1 person found this helpful
  13. JJohn117
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    7 posts
    18 March 2022
    just wanted to post a reply for everyone that i havent directly responded to also , thankyou everyone i really do apprecite it and it is all valued im definitely finding everyones responses helpful thanks!
    3 people found this helpful
  14. Duesentrieb
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    19 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    "For the record we do have great relations, and I love every second of it, but its all me, im the one who puts in the effort, she VERY rarely initiates."

    That made me worrying. As much I like all the answers and I basically agree with them both of you should try and try. But be careful to not start living in denial. There is noting wrong with you and you do not need to change. Be careful not to go down the resentment route. Differences, conflict, etc are all OK.

    A lack of effort, a one sided relationship... can destroy the biggest love. Love is not enough for a relationship..

  15. Banksy92
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    23 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi JJohn117,

    I sense you're harbouring a lot of pain and stress from holding all of this in and being unsure how to move forward. Have you considered speaking with a doctor to be referred onto a psychologist for some support of your own? While it is an issue between you and your partner, you may find it helpful to work through the emotions and stress you have inside. It could be a helpful step for your wellbeing and you may also get some valuable advice from a professional about how to approach this issue with her.

    Just a thought.. Hope you're doing well, let us know how you are going when you can.

  16. missep123
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    24 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi JJohn117,

    I am very glad that you felt heard and valued by all our responses here!

    @Banksy92 mentioned a great point, we want to make sure you are fully supported. Have you considered speaking to a mental health professional also?

    We are definitely here for you too so please continue to reach out whenever you feel comfortable to do so.

  17. Karen0901
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    73 posts
    24 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    It sounds like you guys have a great relationship other than the sex. So that helps. I would suggest trying different things to help her enjoy things a bit more like a clitoral vibrator.

    I have been with my husband for 20 years and at some point stress, available time and parenting pressures etc., will reduce a womans sex drive, so finding someone else will not guarantee an improvement, especially after the initial falling in love phase. If my husband tells me he is feeling a lack in the bedroom department, I make an effort. Just try talking to her about it.

    I always find if I don't feel like it but if we introduce extra stimulation, I quickly get into the experience. Sometimes women need a little help. It's not as easy for us to find satisfaction as it is for men.

    Finally, remember that there is more to life and relationships than just sex. It's not always easy to find a partner you love and are compatible with. So don't throw it away for your libido.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Terry73
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    25 March 2022 in reply to JJohn117
    John, there is nothing wrong with you, you really need to stop thinking that way (sorry if it sounds harsh), because your mind is thinking that, it is most likely influencing your behavior as well in a similar way. My suggestion was just go out and do things together with your partner, put aside your desire for a family (thats not forget about it, just means to focus more on other things right now), put aside also the desire for something more sexual, just start trying to go out and enjoy life with her for no other reason except to have some enjoyment in life, something that makes you both happy to do together just for the pure enjoyment and happiness that can come out of it (not sexual, just pure enjoyment). Keep doing that and I am sure that things have a better chance of developing into what you do desire, and keep doing that as much you can through life, its better to create many good memories than to just have a burst of fun every so often.
  19. JJohn117
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    3 May 2022
    decided to do a generic reply to the last few responces and give an update. struggling would be the right word i suppose, i dont really know what to type here to be honest, im miserable allot particularly at work im a sparky and work alone a fair bit, (nothing but my own head you know) which is probably not helpful.
    I know this cant continue forever and i know i have to talk to her again about all of this, im also aware that i certainly need therapy, but i cant really fathom how its going to help, i know what will be said, that i need to talk to my wife, my wife should probably come to because she may need to hear from a thrid party that she should value my own sexual wellbeing just like i do hers . i dont know that shes thinks that its two sided and that she should put in effort.
    that being said i cant really blame her, its not like im a ray of sunshine anymore im fresh out of effort. ( i dont mean that as in i dont do anything for her, i do everything i can and everything that is asked of me)i just have little to no motivation anymore its hard.
    i type all of this knowing what people would give to have what i have, she really is the most loving person and cares for me deeply in her way, it does doesnt really translate to lust for her husband and i dont know that it ever will or ever has and i dont know how im supposed to deal with it.
    she wants to start trying for kids in literaly a few weeks, im not scared for it ive wanted kids my whole life im very excited but terrified of the headspace im in and confiding in her about it might mess all this up, im the one thats wanted kids shes warmed to the idea but to begin with never planned on them. im just ranting now im sorry people.
  20. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    3 May 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi again, thanks for the update, I'm glad you did.

    Fear is a terrible feeling and I feel it in your words. Throughout our lives we have challenges but the challenge of seeking what we crave for but it will result in hurting someone we love is a hollow void. All I can suggest is that you face reality. It's real that

    • until you're much older sexual contentment will be an important factor to you. That a long time
    • If you have a child/children then you will have less option or the options include hurting your children and your own suffering multiplies (been there)
    • It's not your fault. Sadly but factual, your wife is content. Those with low sex drive don't have the issue of sexual frustration- the frustrated partner does.
    • The wisdom required prior to living with a non compatible partner eludes us at the time - you're human, we all make these errors especially when the partner is great with affection.

    Peer advising isn't easy with these topics. We try not to judge nor, in most cases take sides. But mental well being is my focus and I wouldn't make the above comments without your health in mind.

    I hope I've helped.

    TonyWK

  21. JJohn117
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    4 May 2022 in reply to Duesentrieb
    Post: this is definitely what im struggling with the most, its a combination, our relationship as a whole is not one sided but our sexual relationship is, i wish i could switch it off theres is so much guilt there on my part because this constantly affects not just me but her also.

    if im being honest with myself her lack of guilt about this ( she is aware its not like it hasnt come up allot over the years) cuts me up somewhere deep down. but wanting her to feel bad is completely besides the point and makes me feel like a monster.
  22. Banksy92
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    4 May 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    Hi JJohn117, thanks for keeping us updated about how you're feeling. It's all very understandable I think.

    It might help to try thinking about getting professional help as an opportunity to get support on how you feel and how you manage this period of your life, rather than for answers to this specific issue in your relationship. Seperate to your relationship and intimacy, your wellbeing and quality of life is important.

    Then, once you're in a stronger place you may be better equipped to approach the subject with her as well?

  23. randomx
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    3352 posts
    4 May 2022

    Hi John.

    Reading through a bit you've said back there that your wife is a very good communicator but in a post before describing her responses to when you do try to talk about this with her, they were def' not a very good communicator, terrible in fact and completely avoidant and pass the buckish. l also don't understand why you keep talking about yourself as in your problem, even therapy. As if having a normal healthy libido make it all something wrong with you for not being able to suppress it. lt's unnatural to suppress it and l'll guarentee you if it was vise versa she wouldn't be suppressing it she'd probably have an affair. Mate l was married at 30 and believe me, thankfully we had a very busy ummm, time you could say, bc l'd say l couldn't have survived the marriage if we weren't both just extremely the way we were. lt doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you just bc you have a healthy libido, unfortunately it's just that these things are at all different levels with different people and it's very helpful if they roughly match.

    Although in ways she responded and in things she's said there's a lot of psychological stuff going on in there for her too and it could actually be as much some of that more so than libido itself. Sometimes especially in some younger women our passion can be a bit of a fine line before she starts thinking that's all you want and feeling insecure about your true feelings and so starts switching of , and your wife has basically said it in some of her responses. That might be a place to start and show some hope in saving things.

    rx

  24. That Other Guy
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    125 posts
    4 May 2022 in reply to JJohn117

    I see you have a few replies but this is pretty much in my wheelhouse, so here goes

    My wife and I got married, she was a virgin. After our first child she lost interest in sex for 15 years. For a year we didn't have sex and for about 5 years every time she would say 'don't touch me don't kiss me', 'aren't you done yet' and 'do you feel better'. It was honestly soul destroying and I still carry the scars in many ways

    But I did not leave because my kids were my oxygen. And I did always love her. About 6 years ago, some sort of switch went off and my wife became very interested in sex. Last year she asked for us to be open so she could try someone else. She did, and we closed again.

    None of this has been ideal but I *love* her and I just roll with whatever it takes to stay together. Right now things are great but we had it hard for too long. We did marriage counselling this year to get past the hell of the previous 12 months and I wonder how much better our lives would have been if we'd done it sooner. My advice is be open with your wife. Tell you you're not saying you want any one else, but you do find it hard when there's not much sex. Suggest counselling as a way to create a forum where you can both express your feelings and needs, and learn how best to love each other.

  25. BlueGray
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    1 posts
    9 May 2022

    HI JJohn, been reading this thread and just want to add something that I think is really important - and while it might slip under the radar now, it could be an imperative in the future.

    You say you are getting ready to start a family, well you'd better be sure you can handle living with this situation for a long time. Once you have little ones, the decision to split is so much harder and it could potentially damage the little ones you love most; a horrible consequence.

    It may be that everything is wonderful except for the difference in libido, well that sounds like a contradiction. Are you wearing rose-coloured glasses? If you can't live like this "forever", now is the time to make that decision, before you have children. As horrible as it is, as split now could avoid years of torment for you, your wife and the little ones you intend to bring into this world.

    On a more positive note, perhaps, your wife's lack of libido is related to her self-image. If she doesn't feel good about herself, doesn't feel attractive or sexy, that might encourage her avoidance. What can you do to help? Maybe help her to lose weight, help her buy new clothes, new hair? You could join her on that journey and it could have results in the bedroom too.

    Good luck with it all.

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