Over the last dozen years or so, my wife of 22 years has slowly withdrawn from sex. We used to do it twice a week. Now we’re down to once every few months. I can’t stand it. I’ve tried everything, but she just doesn’t seem interested. I considered leaving her, but we have a family, and except for the way sex has poisoned our relationship, we have a good marriage. I had a six-month affair with a woman who loves sex, but broke it off because I love my wife and want to work things out with her. I heard about sex therapy and suggested that we go, but my wife refused. I feel really stuck and ready to tear out what’s left of my hair. Help!
You and your wife have a serious desire difference. Desire discrepancies are virtually inevitable in long-term relationships, but big differences drive people crazy. Fortunately, sex therapists have developed a fairly simple program that resolves many, if not most, desire differences. Read the article “You’re Insatiable.” “You Never Want To.” How Sex Therapists Recommend Overcoming Desire Differences.
If the article doesn’t provide sufficient relief, then I think there’s a very good chance that sex therapy could improve your marriage. But you say your wife won’t go. Then I’d urge you to go by yourself. Of course, going solo is suboptimal. A desire difference is a couple issue and should be addressed by the couple. But if she won’t go, you still may benefit from going by yourself. The therapist can help you explore your frustrations and recommend coping strategies. And down the road, your going might eventually persuade your wife to join you.
For an overview of sex therapy, read the article An Intimate Look at Sex Therapy. If you’d like to find a sex therapist near you, visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists or the Society for Sex Therapy and Research.