7 Things To Do Right Away If Your Spouse Doesn't Turn You On Anymore

Photo: WeHeartIt
sad girl hiding face
Heartbreak, Sex

Losing interest in your partner doesn't always mean it's time to part ways.

A woman looking to decide if she should either stay in her marriage or have an affair recently wrote into an advice column with the following dilemma:

After living with her childhood sweetheart for several years, getting married and giving birth to a now one-year-old son, “Mabel” found herself in a quandary due to the fact that “his love-making no longer turns me on as it used to.”

Mabel noted that while she did not want to leave her husband because her son might be “terribly hurt” by her doing so, she has acknowledged to her herself that if the opportunity to cheat arose, she “might just go for it.”

I’m sorry, but WHAT?

The following questions for Miss Mabel immediately popped into my head:

  • You have been with this man since childhood. Was the lovemaking not an issue that entire time, or is this an issue of wondering whether the grass on yards you never got to run through is any greener and more satisfying?
  • Where is the love for your husband? That emotion is not mentioned in relationship to him, even in passing.
  • What on earth would lead you to believe that cheating would cause less hurt for your spouse (not that you seem worried about his feelings), or worse, your child — who will surely face the consequences of that indiscretion at some point down the road?
  • Why would you make a decision about whether or not to be faithful or get divorced based on the potential hurt feelings of a toddler, as opposed to on your own relationship with his dad, your husband?

I put these questions aside as I curiously moved on to read the advice she received. Oh dear — in essence, Mabel was told by “Bunmi,” the columnist with no bio, this:

  • There is a “catastrophic rift” in her marriage.
  • She must be careful not to let her husband sense her “discontent.”
  • She should try to be the one to take initiative.
  • She must have a serious discussion with her husband in which she gives him instructions for how to please her.
  • She should not keep secrets from her husband.
  • Marriage is not a “wild bed of passion.”
  • A good marriage like hers is worth fighting for.

Holy mixed messages, Batgirl! The advice was even more confusing than problem!
And yet, each of those answers provide the perfect backdrop for 7 things you must consider doing when you've lost sexual desire for your husband.

1. Understand that there is a “catastrophic rift” in your marriage

Marriages don't simply end because one person lacks desire for the other or because one person cheats. Desire fades for a reason — a physiological or emotional one — and affairs happen when a marriage has already begun to suffer. If you find yourself either not feeling it for your husband or starting to feel it for someone else, take a good hard look in the mirror at what is really troubling you.

2. Stop the habit of hiding your feelings from each other

Your husband is not your fancy aunt hosting you in her home overnight on beautiful-but-scratchy sheets. Make it a practice to act like the adults you are and share the true, mature intimacy of telling each other how you feel. No need to whine or complain, you just need some straight talk.

3. Actually figure out your sexual preferences

Does it turn you on to grab your man and tell him it’s time, or do you prefer to be caught off guard and pinned against a wall? Maybe give and take? Learn your own sexual preferences so that you don’t try to force yourself into a role that actually stifles your libido even more just because some relationship expert told you to. Then apply this new information to step 4 below, telling your husband what you were imagining and asking him to share his own take in return. It has to work for both of you.

4. Discover how to tell him what you want in the bedroom WITHOUT scolding him

The last thing any man or woman wants is to be sat down like a scolded child and told what they do wrong in the bedroom — let alone what they "should" be doing to make things better. Instead, try painting the picture for him through texts, hand written notes, traded gifs or images, or a whisper in his ear at an unexpected (but appropriate) time. Just the act of figuring out what makes you hot is likely to make you hot, and fewer things turn a man on more than a woman who is already aroused. So let him know!

5. Stop keeping secrets

These discussions have to happen, and when they do, presentation, tone and intent are crucial. Your husband is your equal — your life partner. His feelings, wants and needs are every bit as important as yours. If you want to be heard, you absolutely must let him know that he can trust you, and the only way to prove that is through your actions. Hear him, consider her views and perspectives, be kind and don’t judge.

6. Expect that marriage isn't always a “wild bed of passion”

Unless the two of you have some alternate agreement, when you get married your spouse rightfully expects to be the only man in bed with you for the rest of one of your lives, just as you expect the same fidelity from him. This being 2015 and all, that means that for a good 50-60 years ahead your only sense of sexual satisfaction will be your husband or yourself. That is a long, long, long, long (I really cannot add enough "longs" to sufficiently emphasize this point) time to go without some wild passion ebbing and flowing along the way. You can't expect to maintain full throttle levels at all times, but as someone who works with divorcing couples everyday, I can guarantee that if you don't bring it to the surface more often than not, you will be headed to my office or one like it one day in the not so distant future.

7. Know that a good marriage is worth fighting for, and a REALLY bad marriage is worth leaving

At the end of Mabel's question, I had hardly concluded that she had a good marriage worth fighting for. If you neither love nor respect your spouse, as Mabel's matter-of-fact consideration of an affair would lead me to believe is the case, there is no chance that either of you are being treated the way you deserve or giving the way you should. There are few fates more hollow and numbing than a lifetime of chaste cohabitation with someone you probably wouldn't choose as roommate, let along spouse, if you had it to do over again.

Stuck in a similar rut and unsure of what to do next? Email Arianna at ajeret@ajmediation.com for a complimentary 20-minute consultation to find out how she can help you make in a move in one direction or another.