My wife and I have been married for 32 years, but have been intimate only once in the past three (a special treat for my 60th birthday).
Before that we hadn’t had sex in seven years.
We both work shifts so often we are like ships passing in the night and, because she’s unable to take HRT, her libido is at an all-time low.
I am frustrated as I would love us to be intimate like we used to be, but I can’t compete with hot flushes so I don’t push it.
She always says she will discuss her lack of libido with her GP, but she never does.
I know there is more to a relationship than sex and I do love her very dearly, but miss the buzz and feeling we got from being close physically.
I don’t want to make her feel under pressure, though.
What’s your advice?
Sex obviously isn’t high on her list of priorities with everything she’s going through and, if you add shift work into the mix, I can see how you got to where you are.
The menopause certainly presents physical and emotional challenges, but desire starts in the brain, so attitude is also crucial in maintaining a good sex life as you get older.
Many people blame a lack of sex drive on ageing, but a lot of it is down to long-term relationship issues – ie, you get stuck in a rut.
You can help by taking the emphasis away from sex.
Making her feel cherished, loved and appreciated will help her to feel sexy and wanted.
And if it progresses to sex, enjoy more relaxed foreplay as opposed to intercourse, which can be uncomfortable and difficult during the menopause.
It’s great you don’t want to jeopardise your relationship by putting pressure on her, but you still have to communicate and she ought to listen.
Ultimately, if you’re unhappy with the way things are, then your resentment will grow and it will eventually cause a rift that can’t be fixed.