We are happily married – except that we haven’t had sex for seven years…

My husband and I are in our early 60s. We are happily married – except that we haven’t had sex for seven years. I don’t know how we got here. It started when I was going through the menopause: I really struggled with hot flushes, lack of sleep and loss of libido, and I went off the whole idea entirely. My husband was really patient with me. I never intended that it would last so long. I guess we just got out of the habit. Now, I’m feeling a lot happier in myself and miss that side of our relationship.

However, it’s become such a big deal that I have no idea how to bring it up with him. I’ve already tried a couple of times and bottled out. A part of me fears that maybe he just doesn’t find me attractive anymore. How can I make things right?

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The problem here isn’t just that you haven’t had sex for seven years, it’s that you haven’t talked about not having sex – for seven years! How does that happen? Do you ever actually speak to each other? It’s quite a lack of communication, and it speaks volumes about your marriage.

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You’re feeling rejected now, when you didn’t before. Why now? Has your husband’s behaviour changed towards you in any way? Is there something else going on here? Have you started to worry, rather belatedly, it has to be said, that he may be going elsewhere for sex?

You do need to bring it up with him, but be prepared to hear something you might not like

If anything is likely to start a fight, it’s a problem in the bedroom. Many people are happy in companion marriages, but it generally does signify a cooling of the warmth of love.

And if your husband is happy with the status quo, and has been for seven years, then that might indicate a lack of libido.

People don’t talk about it, but a man’s sex drive can decrease with age, too. So, be prepared to accept it if your husband says he’d rather go to bed for a cup of tea and a good book than a good bonk!

You need to give him the opportunity to talk about his feelings and ask him how all of this is making him feel. He hasn’t had a voice in this for a very long time now. It wouldn’t be unreasonable of him to feel hurt, angry and resentful.

And it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that he has found his own solution to the problem. If that is the case, you don’t have to shake stuff up just for the sake of it! You can repair most things, but you might need some help.

Remember, you can’t go back and you can’t stay put, you can only move forward…

But the good news is, is can still be addressed – ideally with a simple, jovial conversation. Pour a large glass of wine and just come out with it. Say: “Do you remember why we stopped having sex?” or something like that. It’s important you phrase it as a question – you want to talk to him about it, not start a fight.

It’s very possible that he’ll be a bit taken aback. After all, he’s spent seven years carefully ignoring the topic.

He’s probably been treading on eggshells for a long time. The last thing he’s going to want to do is to upset you, so you may find he’s reluctant to talk. Press on, but gently.

You may have hurt him deeply and rejection is a very difficult thing for a man to handle. You need to tell him, clearly, that were he to make an advance towards you now, it would be welcomed.

Then leave it alone. Tell him, but don’t show him. Who knows, you may provoke an immediate response, but if you don’t, don’t push it. He might need a bit of time to get his courage back up. And you owe him that!

Menopause is a difficult time in the life of every woman, but it is also a difficult time in the life of every man who loves a menopausal woman. Your husband has been very patient and respectful: he’s sat back and waited, rather than waltzing off with someone new.

Whatever you do, tread gently with this one

Make the first move by opening the conversation, then let him respond when he’s good and ready.

And be subtle. This requires a gentle chat, not a frilly nightie!

Article first published on © Daily Mail

Author: ANA Newswire