Can Passion Re-ignite?
Q: My wife says that she still loves me but is no longer attracted to me. She says that it is not because of my looks; it's years of resentment caused by me working too much. We no longer have sex. She says that, in fact, she is not attracted to me or anyone else. We are going to family counseling now to see if we can sort it out. However, she's not sure that we can re-ignite the passion. She suffers from depression, and although she recognizes that loss of libido is a symptom of depression, she doesn't believe that's her problem. What should I do? -- Bill, 49
Dr. Susan: If she's willing to take family counseling seriously and attend with you, there's always hope that you can liven up your relationship. Neither of you ought to expect the physical aspect to be like it was many years ago, but you can both open up to one another about those buried resentments. Sometimes, just by sharing, by expressing her hurt, another kind of intimacy develops that can lead to affection and closeness. And that can eventually lead to a bit of passion. Unfortunately, a lot of women give up on sex prematurely for one reason or another, sometimes for reasons they're not clear on themselves.
As for her depression, that can well affect her moods toward you and intimacy. And often the medications given for depression make things worse in the bedroom. But there are counter-acting medications that can help. Do persist and encourage her to persist in making your relationship more lively and gratifying for both of you. Give the counseling some time.
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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.