HUSBAND LOST INTEREST IN SEX
DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR: I have questions regarding my husband. We have been married for four years, and lately his interest in sexual relations with me has significantly declined (from a few times per week to once monthly). Where as once we watched an adult movie together, experimented with sex toys, oral sex was common, my husband now says that when I initiate sex that I am "pressuring" him. I can't help but wonder if his initial sexual prowess was a "bait and switch" situation. He is 51, a smoker, has a couple of beers or 2 -3 glasses of wine per night, but is generally in good health (though he has gained weight of late - 25 to 30 pound overweight). He will NOT watch Brokeback Mountain. I keep looking for signs of gender confusion, but in most ways my husband is a pretty standard guy. He enjoys sports, rock concerts and is definitely not interested in clothing or having his nails done. Come to think of it, however a friend of mine (female) in the theatre first thought that he was not heterosexual. As I think about my questions, my husband's lack of interest in sex is really my main concern. Do you have any suggestions, ideas or advice for me? Your input is appreciated. Oh - he seems to want me to be very clean and is hardly interested in oral sex for either of us! Jo-Ann
MLB RESPONSE: Nothing you mentioned would indicate to me that your husband’s sexual preferences are changing – so I don’t think it is that. Instead I think that it is either a hormone deficiency or possibly that he is becoming bored with you. [No criticism intended with my last remark – I will elaborate.] First, the hormone deficiency. As men age, their testosterone levels decline … and this happens at different rates for different men at different ages … which means that you cannot predict it. Think of this as “male menopause”. One key symptom of low testosterone is essentially a loss of interest in sex … declining libido. There is a really good section here on midlifebachelor.com that essentially covers this entire subject so definitely check it out – it is called Erectile Dysfunction under Midlife Health Challenges. This is an extremely sensitive subject for any man going through it – so be very gentle if you decide to tell your husband that you think this might be his problem … and expect him to deny deny deny it … and then expect some poor behavior from him … but it may eventually “click” in his mind to at least get checked for a hormone deficiency. Of course, it would also likely help if he got healthier – quit smoking, dropped those extra 25-30 pounds, and started going to the gym. I can personally tell you that going to the gym makes a huge difference for me (at age 44) in terms of my overall wellness and energy level.
Another potential problem he may have is boredom with you. This is perfectly normal in all relationships so I do not mean this to be a criticism of you in any way. All relationships start off hot and heavy … with a lot of sex … but then over time things tend to cool down. For me, I would typically be on what I’d call a six month cycle … which meant that often I was bored with a girlfriend after roughly six months … and “bored” was characterized by me losing interest in her sexually … no matter how hot she was. I think the older I’ve personally gotten, the faster I tend to get bored … plus my own hormone levels just aren’t what they used to be either.
In your husband’s case it could be either hormones or boredom or some combination thereof. I would suggest that you first get him to your family doctor for a testosterone level test, and see how much of the problem that could be. If his testosterone levels are low, a doctor can prescribe him a synthetic hormone that will get him back where he needs to be. Good luck – remember to be very gentle toward your husband on this subject because a man’s ego is everything.
MLB RESPONSE: It has been a while since I, myself, did the online dating thing. One thing I recall (and which I hear people who currently use online dating services say) is that the photos people use often are not current … they might be five or more years old … and the person in the photo might be 20 or more pounds heavier today versus when the photo was taken, etc. Women sometimes use professional glamour photos – which, of course, tend to be retouched. My opinion is that everyone should use a current photo or photos … nothing more than several years old max. I suggest having three or more photos – one professional, plus one of you “around the house” as you normally would appear … and maybe a third shot of you doing something you enjoy. [I would stay away from bar or party photos though.] Hey – if you really want to be daring, then include a close-up shot of you holding today’s newspaper – and dare your suitors to do the same!