The loss of sexual desire
Dear Neil: I am a 38 year-old married mother of two, and I have an issue with the total loss of my sexual desire. We have a good marriage. I love my husband dearly and I am very attracted to him. I dont know what is wrong with me. I have no desire to have sex at all. Can you help me? I dont want to lose him and he has been very patient with me. Its Not Working Right in ColoradoDear Colorado: There could be any number of things going on within you that could influence your libido. Therefore, perhaps the only way I can be of help is to pose questions for you to explore, and see if you yourself can isolate the factors affecting your loss of sexual desire. All of these factors can contribute to loss of sexual desire:Are you depressed? Are you grieving the loss of anybody or anything, even the loss of a self-image?Are taking any sedatives, diuretics, prescription medications, recreational drugs or are you drinking large volumes of alcohol?Other than sexually, hows your self-esteem, sense of self-worth and sense of self-confidence? Do you have any health issues youre currently dealing with? Are you in physical pain or do you feel ill?How is your weight and level of exercise/activity? When you look in the mirror, do you see yourself as attractive, appealing and sexy?Do you have trust issues from your past?What do you need and how much time do you need in order to warm up sexually? Are you and your husband allowing time for adequate foreplay?Are you getting enough sleep? Might you be chronically fatigued or tired a lot?Are you angry, and what are you angry about? Might you be angry with your husband?Could you and your husband be in a power struggle? Do you feel controlled by him? Could you be punishing your husband for something? Are the two of you competing against each other? Do you have a fear of being taken over, of losing yourself, of being used or dominated? Are you feeling blamed, judged or criticized a lot, or are you otherwise being made to feel as if youre inadequate? Is there a lot of hostility in your relationship?Do you reach orgasm when you do have sex ? Is the sexual experience enjoyable for you?Are you under a lot of stress?Other than sexually, how close are you and your husband? How romantic is your relationship? How affectionate? How much friendship, consideration and camaraderie is there? How well do the two of you kiss? Do you open up and share your inner worlds and feelings with each other?Whats going wrong with your life in general and how well are you dealing with it? Do the two of you treat each other with kindness and respect?If none of these questions assist you, perhaps you should get a complete physical with a blood work up, and ask your physician if he/she can determine anything medically that may be influencing your libido. Be willing to acknowledge to your husband that youre aware that theres a problem, and that youre doing everything you can to solve it. And reassure him that youre not trying to reject him. Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Denver and Boulder, specializing in how people strengthen their intimate relationships. He can be reached at (303) 758-8777, or e-mail him from his website, heartrelationships.com.