Michael: I am 59 and I have been married to my wife 36 years. She has quit having sex with me. I treat her like a queen. Clean house, fix meals every day. Try to make sure she has a stress-free environment when she gets home from work. I tell her how attractive she is and compliment her constantly. Don’t know what else to do? Feel I am doing everything right. I have a high libido and I am going crazy. Help!


  • Michael Castleman says:

    I feel for you. Desire differences are difficult, but when one spouse retires from sex completely, it’s maddening for the other.

    You have three choices. You can accept things as they are. You can leave the marriage. Or you can work to change things. You clearly don’t accept things as they are. You seem deeply committed to the marriage, to treating her like a queen. So that leaves working on the situation to change it.

    You might begin with my low-cost article on the sex-therapy approach to resolving desire differences, You’re Insatiable! You Never Want To. How Sex Therapists Recommend Resolving Desire Differences. But as I mentioned, having a sexless marriage is much more difficult than dealing with a desire differences where one wants more sex than the other but both still want SOME sex.

    In your case, it might be more productive to consult a sex therapist for individualized counseling that deals with why your wife has withdrawn from lovemaking and how you guys might restore some in your marriage. If you’re unfamiliar with sex therapy, see the movie “Hope Springs” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, or read my article, An Intimate Look at Sex Therapy. 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. And if your wife declines to consult a sex therapist with you, I’d urge you to go by yourself. That’s sub-optimal, of course, but a sex therapist may be able to help you deal with your resentments and suggest coping strategies.

    Again, I feel for you. Sexless marriages drive people crazy. I hope you and your wife and reach a workable compromise.

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