Re-ignite His Long Marriage
Q: My wife and I have been married nearly 40 years, but over the past several years my desire for sex with her has disappeared. I love her but find myself eyeing much younger women. I don't want to cheat on her, but how do I bring the spark back? I'm not even sure if she misses being intimate. She seems totally content to live as friends without having lovemaking as part of our relationship. — Don, 65
Dr. Susan: It's common for long-marrieds to find that their relationship is now more about companionship than about that old erotic charge. It's time for you to explore new realms of intimacy, and by that I mean you need to open up about your feelings with your wife. That doesn't mean tell her you're eyeing younger babes. That will only make her feel less sexy than ever. Just say you'd like to recapture some of the spark you both enjoyed in earlier times. It's possible that if she makes some effort, you'll find yourself attracted again. And it's possible that if you make some effort, she'll show a little interest herself.
I highly recommend getting hold of a book such as Wanting Sex Again: How to Rediscover Your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage. Then propose a little book club à deux with your wife. Just talking about sex may help revive those feelings. For instance, is your wife able to bring herself pleasure, and if so, might there be a way to incorporate that activity into a refreshed way of being intimate together? Or you may need to liven up your lives by doing some new things together outside the bedroom, so that the charge of novelty may then convert into renewed affection and what goes along with that.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
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.