I’ve lost my libido, have you found it?
One of my friends (let’s call her Barb), came to me one day, distressed, crying, that sort of crying where the mascara is running, shoulders are going up and down, and you're gasping for air. I could barely make out what she was saying ...
”Chris ... (gasp) divorce ... guggghh ... no sex ... sob … (gasp) his needs ... snort ... one year.”
Chris was her husband, and I think he wanted a divorce, that much I could figure. I’ve stopped guessing what friends are trying to tell me. They know what I do, and lately, all bets are off when it comes to what they confide in me.
After a cocktail, a box of tissues, lots of hugging, she finally uttered a complete sentence … well several.
“Chris wants a divorce. We haven’t had sex in a year and he finally broke. He said he has needs. What am I going to do?”
Barb was 45, a mother of three, two dogs, a cat. She was a nurse and up until now, had what I thought was a loving, close, and still sexual relationship with her husband that I wished to have at her age.
“What happened to afternoon delight on Sundays that you told me,” I asked.
“All lies. I couldn’t tell anyone we weren’t having sex. I can’t tell anyone I don’t even feel anything sexual towards my husband. I love him though. Isn’t that strange?”
Actually, not really.
“Help me,” she pleaded. “Why do I feel this way? I used to want to have sex, you know. Now, not so much. What can I do?”
Barb’s story continues in subsequent blogs, though the name may change …
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I sympathize with both people in this sex-starved relationship, but I identify more closely with poor Chris -- because for nearly three years now, I've been walking in his shoes. Sadly, I know all too well what it feels like to have physical and emotional needs that go unmet and unfulfilled.
Back in 2005 my wife lost her ovaries due to illness, and along with them she lost her once robust interest in sexual intinacy.
Since then, sex has been infrequent at best -- on average, just once a month or so. Moreover, once passionate lovemaking has given way to mechanical, and largely emotionless sex grudgingly offered up to placate me.
I find it extremely difficult to feel good about sex when my wife dispassionately instructs me to "Hop on and just get it over with." Under these conditions, it's hard for me to respond, let alone maintain an erection.
The fact that a robust sex life is a normal, health and wholly necessary component of a successful marriage seems entirely lost on her. She deals with the situation by rationalizing that my sex drive is abnormally high, rather than confronthing the fact that hers is abnormally low.
Because of my wife's breast cancer history, she can't have estrogen replacements, and testosterone therapy has been largely ineffective in restoring her flagging libido. Surely there must be some treatment that will restore the loving, passionate partner I married some 13 years ago.