Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Sex Therapist for Couples on iVillage

I have been married for just over 10 years. The sex is gone from our marriage. It's been more than two years now. We are still very close and are able to have fun in our lives. We still make each other laugh. But we both have busy lives and work opposite shifts. He has a business that needs him to work nights, and I work days. Our weekends we keep for ourselves. This has gotten to the point where I feel that our relationship has changed. I feel like we are best friends, but platonic best friends. The thought of having sex with him is the same as the thought of having sex with my brother: It's not appealing. I have not talked to him about this. It would ruin everything. He is not pushy and says he'll wait until I give him "the signal," which feels like it's never going to happen. I talked to my family MD about this, but he referred me to a therapist that charges $120 an hour, and I can't afford that. What should I do? I do not want to end my marriage because of this.


Ruth Westheimer

The original sexpert, Dr. Ruth has given advice for more than 20 years. She's hosted television shows including Sexually Speaking with Dr.... Read more

They say that you never forget how to ride a bicycle, but if you hadn't ridden one for a couple of years, wouldn't you have some trepidation about climbing up onto one? If you told me that your relationship had soured, I might advise you to consider giving up on your marriage, provided that you had invested some money in marital counseling, an investment that I think a marriage of 10 years is worth. But since your relationship is fine, it seems to me that because of your schedules you got out of the practice of making love, and now it's almost like starting over. You say sex is not appealing, but not that your husband is unappealing. My guess is that if you gave it a shot, you could become lovers again, and I think you should try.

Now, you could have a talk with him, but maybe before you do, why not try something else? Create a little scenario that should lead to lovemaking and see what happens. For example, put on a light robe with nothing underneath, and at some point complain about a crick in your neck and ask him to massage you. There's a good chance that if you pick a time on a weekend when neither of you are exhausted, this will lead to making love. Once you've broken the ice, you can develop a new, sexier relationship.

If you can't do this on your own, then go back to the idea of seeing a therapist. Not all therapists charge so much money, but no matter what their rate, remember to look at this as an investment in your marriage. If your car broke down, would you spend $500 to get it fixed, or junk it? So think about investing those $500.

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