Getting Through to Hubby: Our Sex Life Stinks!

I don't enjoy sex anymore. DH and I have been married for four years and our sex life is more boring than ever (it was never great to begin with). I've talked to him about it, but he doesn't think anything is wrong. But the truth is, his idea of foreplay is a joke, we only have sex when he wants it (maybe once every week or two), and I only achieve orgasm 2-3 times a year! Help! -iVillager "F"


Dear "F":

You absolutely deserve better! You say you don't enjoy sex anymore. From what you describe, it's certainly not difficult to understand why! However, from what you say, I assume that you once did enjoy sex, yes? Was that with hubby? Regardless, my point here is to help remind you that indeed you once did or could enjoy sex. Positive sex experiences can now serve as a barometer. Recall just what was it about those times that made sex enjoyable to you and work on adding that to your intimate relationship with your DH.

But first, it's clear that you must work on other important issues troubling your relationship. Fact is, most sex problems are not about sex at all, but rather are symptoms of deeper problems in areas such as communication, respect and unexpressed feelings. If you don't work on and improve these problems, they will continue to degrade the overall quality of your personal health and happiness as well as your marriage.

Your efforts alone are not enough, however. You both need to agree to discuss and change your ways when it comes to sharing sexual pleasure and deepening emotional intimacy. Without this commitment on both your parts, I would predict that your needs will continue to go unmet while your frustration and resentment increase and strangle your marriage. Not a pretty picture. As it is, you're already clearly shutting down emotionally and sexually to your mate and perhaps also to yourself. Red alert!

Your best bet is to tell your husband the truth about your sadness and despair regarding your sex life and relationship right away - and be sure he understands how dire the situation is. Request that he join you in saving your marriage through couples counseling with a reputable sex or relationship therapist in your area. If he refuses, go alone. Without a counselor to help guide and keep you on track, I don't think you'll have much success at creating long-term changes with your DH. By having your needs heard by your husband in these counseling sessions (and hearing his thoughts and feelings), you will then be better able to move on to re-opening yourself to him and rebuilding your relationship.

The process of forgiving and letting go of the past, reconnecting in the present and moving forward in co-designing a better future together is not going to be easy nor without its pain and challenges. Still, I needn't remind you that your present situation is not a bowl of cherries either. You both deserve more from your marriage, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to take action now to begin making the necessary changes to save it - and work your way toward being sexually and emotionally satisfied again.

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