Reader I Want More writes,
I’ve been married for almost 7 years I am 26 he is 30, no kids. My husband’s lack of sex drive has been a struggle our whole marriage. Both times I found what appeared to be a source of his lack of drive but the amount of sex hasn’t changed despite those factors being gone. We have had it rough he had an affair six months in (we were very young, he was very stupid) and at 4 years I found out he was watching porn since he was 13. He tried to see a therapist but it didn’t work out, we resolved it on our own. We talk, I cry, he says sorry, he tried a bit, then it goes back into the same one a week thing. when we do have sex it’s great and passionate and loving. He’s my best friend. But it’s not often enough and I feel rejected. Should I just be happy that when we have it it’s great or should I keep pushing for more. By the way, his hormones have been tested and he’s fine in that aspect. Help!
I see why you’re upset. Hopefully there can be a mix between acceptance of your husband on your part, and some change on his part. But first, let me assure you that even at once a week, your husband has an average sex drive and in fact you two are having as much sex as the majority of married Americans your age (actually, in both of your age ranges). On first glance, I would say he needs to possibly suck it up and have sex at least one more time per week, as I recommend for women in this situation, and also that you need to accept that his drive will probably never equal yours. Acceptance + change = happy.
However, there are some other issues it may be helpful to examine, first alone and then possibly with a therapist. First, I wonder whether you trust your husband. He had an affair; did you ever seek counseling about this? I have a feeling that if you felt more secure in the relationship, having sex “only” once a week wouldn’t be that bad. Is he physically affectionate and complimentary to you outside of having sex? Or is sex the only way you know for sure that he’s into you, so you want the reassurance of sex as often as you can get it? If you don’t trust him or feel secure and you realize you’re using sex as a security proxy, then counseling would be in order.
Second, you act like his porn use was a big problem for you. Unless it was daily for hours at a time, it is pretty normal for a 20-something year old man to use porn. I only recommend that people eschew porn completely if it’s detracting from their sex life, and you say even without porn now, the sex life is the same. There is another point that sex leads to sex, by which I mean that feeling sexual or looking at/reading sexual material can help you feel more sexual and help your sex life. Have you offered to go outside your own comfort zone and watch porn with him together? Do you know what he used to watch and what his sexual fantasies are? If you really want more sex, try to ask what he really wants sexually, openmindedly and with warm curiosity.
If he remembers you coming down hard on him for porn watching, he may not trust that he can tell you anything, but I believe that an honest sharing of sexual fantasies may greatly improve your sex life. But the key is open. If he says his fantasy is a threesome, for example, you don’t have to do this, but you could talk about it with him, watch porn about it, read erotic stories about threesomes, etc. This might really get him in the mood and increase his sex drive and therefore your frequency of sex.
His sex drive is within the normal range, so if you want him to try for more, you have to be openminded.
On his end, your husband may want to use some of the tips I recommend for women in these situations. But bear in mind that some of them involve using porn, masturbation, etc. If you really want more sex, then you have to be cool with him getting himself in the mood using things that may not be you. His sex drive is within the normal range, so if you want him to try for more, you have to be openminded. Also, don’t wait for him to initiate. That is setting everyone up to fail/be disappointed. Initiate in a way you know he likes (oral sex? Probably he won’t refuse this) and then hopefully things get going from there. As you’re the aggrieved party, you are the one who needs to think outside the box, as I recommend to men in your position.
Lastly, you’re taking this situation very personally, and from what I’ve heard at least, it seems it’s not personal at all, it’s just how he is. He talks to you about it, he tries to work on it, and he can do more in terms of working on it, particularly with your help, as I mentioned above. But at some point, namely ASAP, you have to accept that he’s never going to be jumping your bones 5 days during the week and twice on weekends. It’s not about you, or how hot you are, it’s about him and his brain and his unique needs and sex drive. Wanting him to be Mr. Sex, and constantly complaining and feeling rejected when he isn’t that guy, is going to make him feel like crap and mess up your sex life even more. You crying and him apologizing is not a healthy dynamic surrounding this issue. It needs to be the sex life that is the problem, not him.
You want to visualize the two of you as a team standing together on one side, and the Big Bad Mismatched Sex Drive on the other side. You two against that problem. Not you against him. If he is apologizing, what is it for? For having a lower sex drive than you would like? Do you apologize for your hair color? Unless you specifically dyed your hair his least favorite color, this would be silly. It’s equally silly for him to have to apologize for something innate to him. He can apologize if he doesn’t read my article on tips to help libido, above, or if he refuses couples counseling if you really decide this issue needs to be address in that way. But for his natural sex drive? No apologies necessary, unless he is just sorry that you seem to be so upset, but it strikes me that his apologies are likely of the “I’m sorry I suck” variety, which isn’t going to help in this situation, since a dejected man is a less sexual man, and also because it would really suck to have to apologize for how you’re wired.
Till we meet again, I remain,