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Monday, 18 September 2000

My Wife Won't Have Sex with Any More

Written by  Marc Garson, MSW, ACSW, ACP

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QDear WholeFamily,

My wife and I have been married for 30 years, I am 51 and she is 50.

We still love each other very much, but the romance in our marriage is almost completely gone. We have not had sex now in over eight weeks and that pattern has existed now for almost two years.

She has told me point blank that she is not interested in sex anymore.

This change in her began again almost two years ago when her boss at work passed away and when she had her hysterectomy.

I still am very interested in her sexually and love her very much.

Is there anything I can do to change her outlook?

ADear Frustrated,

It's difficult to argue with your wife's biology. As you've discovered, a hysterectomy can definitely affect a woman's sexual desire. However, that shouldn't deter you from trying to get your wife to relate to your feelings as significant and important.

First, I would strongly recommend that you read up on the subject of hysterectomies and their consequences. Please note the list of online resources on the right side bar.

Can you imagine having your sexual desire stripped away from you? I suspect that's exactly what happened to your wife. Many women report either a partial or total loss of sexual interest following a hysterectomy. I assume she is on hormonal placement therapy and if she isn't, she should be. It can help improve sexual function.

You also mentioned that her boss died around the same time that she had her hysterectomy. It would not be surprising if your wife is still feeling the effects of this loss as well, especially if they had a close relationship.

It is not uncommon that the loss of a "loved one" will cause some persons to lose their desire for pleasure in general or sexuality in particular.

Another thought: Perhaps her disconnecting from you is her way of subconsciously "beating the rush". By starting to separate from you now, she can be "better prepared" psychologically / emotionally to face the loss when the "inevitable" time comes.

Regardless of the reasons, any improvement in your current relationship will first have to be predicated on the fact that you must understand what she's going through, and only then will you both be able to discover a solution to your difficulties.

It sounds like you both have some very legitimate issues regarding your sexuality, intimacy and romantic "needs" and "wants". I know it's hard to be willing to hear, but it does sound like she's at least telling you what she doesn't want right now - sex!

My advice would be for you to seek out marital counseling, where you can safely discuss how you're both feeling. Without blaming, talk to each other about your pain and loss. Listen to one another in a spirit of cooperation and love. If you're both willing to "put your cards on the table," then I'm certain that you will be able to renew your love.

Good luck,
Marc Garson, MSW

Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:05
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Marc Garson, MSW, ACSW, ACP

Marc Garson, MSW, ACSW, ACP

Marc Garson has a BA in psychology from the University of Texas in Austin, a MasterSs of Social Work (MSW) from Yeshiva University in New York City, and a Master of Science in Business Management from Boston University. He has been a practicing clinical psychotherapist since 1986. He is a licensed clinical social worker and advanced clinical practitioner in the State of Texas, and a longstanding member of the National Association of Social Workers. His clinical specialties include marriage and family, adolescence, parenting, and family therapies. He also has an extensive background in chemical dependency and codependence treatment. Marc is married and the father of three beautiful little girls: Daniella age 7, Ariella age 6, & Miera age 3. Marc's special interests and hobbies include football, rock and jazz music, boating, weightlifting, chess, philosophy, and business. He loves to travel, and is something of a gourmet chef.

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