mature couple lying in bed together

My husband has lost interest in sex. He says it’s not me, but his low libido. We are 63. He is on many meds for high blood pressure and heart disease, but can still perform.  Do these drugs cause low libido? Also, he has prostate problems. He still hugs me, gives me flowers, and cards, but can a marriage survive without sex? He ls not a cuddler, never has been. After 40 years together, is there hope ? He says it’s not me, but he never forgets if I hurt him. ls he doing this for revenge? Should l just be patient?


  • Michael Castleman says:

    Based on your brief description of your situation, it’s difficult for me to diagnose the problem. But here are some thoughts:

    He’s 63. Some men that age retain sexual interest, but others do not. It’s impossible to predict which men want to remain sexual, and which don’t care to. It’s possible he’s one of the latter.

    It’s also possible that one or more of his medications is causing or aggravating his loss of libido. To find out, search “sexual side effects of —” each drug. You might also make a list of his meds and ask a physician or pharmacist. If one or more of his meds is linked to libido loss, it’s possible that other drugs might be substituted that cause fewer sexual side effects, but no guarantees.

    Prostate enlargement itself is not associated with low libido. But one drug used to treat it—finasteride (Proscar)—is associated with sex problems. If your husband takes it, he might ask his doctor if another drug can be substituted.

    When men say, “it’s not you, it’s me,” few women believe them. Most women blame themselves for men’s loss of sexual interest on the assumption that all men are horny goats and if not, something must be wrong with the women they’re with. This is often NOT the case. Many men have less sexual interest than their partners, or lose their libidos altogether. When couples visit sex therapists for desire differences, in one-third to half of cases, it’s the woman who has the greater libido, and the man wants sex less or not at all. This is all very individual, and it’s impossible to make generalizations about which men feel which way.

    You say he can “still perform.” That’s great. But most men over 60 have at least some erection loss. Even if he can still raise erections, it’s likely that they don’t rise as fast or get as hard as they did when he was younger. Many men react to this by assuming that sex is over for them—and their libidos follow. He might try some erection medication. If it restores his firmness, his libido may also get a boost.

    For more insights and suggestions, you might start with a self-help resource. I suggest my new book, Sizzling Sex for Life. It’s aimed at men and has a special focus on older men.

    If the book doesn’t help you resolve things sufficiently, then I’d suggest sex coaching or therapy—probably sex therapy in your case because libido loss almost inevitably brings up many relationship issues. If you’re unfamiliar with sex coaching or therapy, sex coaches are sexologically trained counselors who can help singles and couples who have sexual issues not complicated by significant relationship problems. Sex therapists are psychotherapists with extra training in sexual issues, who can provide relationship therapy as well as insights about sexual issues and problems. Sex coaches and therapists do NOT have sex with you and do NOT watch you have sex. Both rely on face-to-face conversations. They impart sex information and lovemaking insights, and often assign “homework.” Sex coaching may be brief—several sessions over a few months. Sex therapy may last longer, depending on the relationship issues involved. Costs vary, but expect $200-300/hour. Some providers discount fees for those who can’t afford standard rates. For more, read my the chapter on sex coaching and therapy in Sizzling Sex for Life, and/or see the film, “Hope Springs” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. To find a sex coach near you, visit the World Association of Sex Coaches. To find a sex therapist near you, visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, or the American Board of Sexology.

    If your husband won’t accompany you to sex therapy I urge you to go by yourself. That’s suboptimal, of course, but the therapist may still be able to offer helpful suggestions.

    I wish you sizzling sex for life.

Leave a Response

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.