Thrill is Gone for Her
Q: I'm a 43 year old female who has been in a relationship with a man for 16 months. At first our relationship had tons of chemistry and sex was fantastic. He is everything I've ever wanted in a man, but for some reason the past six months or so I don't seem to have feelings for him anymore. I also recently found out that I am going through the change of life. Can this be the reason for my lack of interest in him and sex? I am on HRT but this has only helped with my mood swings. He has been very patient with me but I can't see him putting up with my distancing myself for much longer. Please help this confused woman. -- Katie
Dr. Susan: Your situation is a common one for women in midlife. Not only that, but your menopausal symptoms have occurred at the same time as the "honeymoon" period of your relationship has naturally ended. It's not going to be easy to determine which of your feelings, or lack of feelings, are purely hormonal, and which have to do with the fact that this fellow isn't perhaps, in fact, "everything" you've ever wanted in a man. Is it mainly your sexual feelings that have become tamped down lately? Or do you distance yourself emotionally from him also? If it's mainly your libido that's shriveled up, consult a doctor or a knowledgeable psychologist to see if there is another medication that might help. Though there are drawbacks (aren't there always?!), testosterone supplements of one kind or another may fill in the gaps left by traditional hormone replacement therapy. Also, ask yourself if there's something else going on, such as some resentment that you haven't been voicing, that may be causing you to hold back your affection. Women and their partners often have to do some adapting when menopause happens. If he's everything you think you want, it's worth talking to him about how you might meet his needs without sacrificing your own. Even if sex has lost its original thrill for you, you might be able to have a grand time if you just let yourself go along when he initiates.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.