He Wants to Leave
Q: I need a bit of help. I have been with my girlfriend for seven years. We have three kids. The problem is that our sex life is pretty much over. She used to be open to anything, but now: forget it. I want to leave her because she just doesn't do it for me anymore, among other reasons. What should I do? -- Robert, 27
Dr. Susan: The sizzling electricity of the first couple of years does tend to quiet down after seven years and three kids. But it shouldn't stop entirely. Something is wrong in your relationship, and it may have to do with the "other reasons" you mention so casually. Some possibilities: She's tired and resentful that she bears the major burden of childrearing and housekeeping. You are approaching her in the same old ways as always, when what's needed is more seduction, not less, as time goes by. It takes two to tango, but the partner who has the higher libido can certainly take the initiative. In this case, the initiative might mean starting a series of conversations with her about what she would like and why she is so turned off. It might require some counseling to get at deeper issues. Of course, I hope those "other reasons" you mentioned don't include your having fallen for another woman. If so, that would explain why your mate doesn't "do it" for you anymore. I strongly believe you owe your kids and your mate a chance, which means trying a lot harder than you are. Does she still want to be with you? Everyone always says they've tried "everything." Usually, they haven't.
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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.