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I got with my husband in 2006, married in 2007 and had my son in 2009. Been together 11 years. Since my son was born, I lost my desire to have sex for a couple of years, mostly from breastfeeding and tiredness. It never properly came back. My husband was very understanding and didn’t pressure me. Eventually we did it every now and again but I wasn’t overly bothered. However, this past year I am feeling myself getting more distant with him, don’t get excited to see him after work. A couple months ago I started chatting to a guy online and I had fun, even tempted to meet up. Then I started chatting to other men, I have never physically cheated but in my head I have. My husband found out and was very upset understandably. Since then, I have found it difficult to get affectionate with him and he says I am being cold. I understand how much this is hurting him and that is the last thing I want to do. My feelings seem to have changed. I love him so much, he is a wonderful man and good looking. So I wonder what is wrong with me. I don’t know what I really want. I don’t want to rip his clothes off but others I would in my head. Is this normal? I am 41.
-Lost Desire for My Husband
Dear Lost Desire,
The desire for your husband has been in a slow but steady slide into its current state. There was a big dip after your son’s birth in 2009 but here we are 8 years later and your sexual chemistry is still in the dumps. It sounds like your husband communicated his understanding after pregnancy, but neither of you appears to have had a strong urgency to rekindle the flame in the intervening 8 years.
While the lost desire has been a waving red flag that problems are coming, it sounds like your sudden interest in other men was the wake-up call that you needed. Although your flirtation in and of itself wasn’t a good thing, I believe it lit the spark that you needed. Now it’s time to get honest with your husband. He probably won’t love to hear about your online chat experiences, but it is the truth. Sharing this with him exposes a light on the concerning reality that you both know, that your sexual life and your marriage are on thin ice.
The growing distance that you feel from him suggests that this is bigger than just changing sexual attraction.
The growing distance that you feel from him suggests that this is bigger than just changing sexual attraction. You appear to have lost the emotional and psychological connection with your husband. Friendship is always the foundation of a marriage relationship and you guys haven’t been doing what it takes to keep that friendship strong. Doing so can be much harder several years into a marriage and particularly after children.
The way forward for your marriage will be to rekindle your friendship first, to remind your mind and your heart about your love for each other. Soon after your body will remember the way too. If you would like some help in this area I would encourage you to seek a couples’ therapist or a sexuality therapist.
Dear Lost Desire,
It’s not abnormal to sexually fantasize about someone outside of your marriage or to lose sexual interest in your spouse from time to time. But if you love your husband and want to see this work, you’ve got to reel this behavior in and start making a conscious effort to commit to him.
Just because the flame has fizzled, doesn’t mean you can’t reignite your passion and sex life. Searching for attention in an area that seems underserved is not uncommon for relationships. While talking with other men online and sexually fantasizing about the possibility of meeting up may be exciting and adventurous, is that what you want in your life? If you are seeking a thrill, have you considered how you might be able to seek that same adventure with your husband?
If you are seeking a thrill, have you considered how you might be able to seek that same adventure with your husband?
You still love your husband and find him attractive. You have a life and a child with him. Isn’t that worth making an effort for? Sex is a crucial part of most relationships. It makes us feel connected, loved, and satisfied. Just like communication, it’s important that you and your husband are on the same page sexually.
Pull him back in. Talk about what’s going on and how you both can improve. Or just get physical! If you feel like you need some help, consider seeing a sex therapist. Whatever you do, give it your best shot.