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The sex-starved wife

Michele Weiner Davis is the author of The Sex-Starved Marriage: Boosting Your Marriage Libido - A Couple's Guide and The Sex-Starved Wife: What to Do When He's Lost Desire.

Rekindled love affair

Men always want sex. That's the message you hear from your friends, from talk-show experts, from TV sitcoms. Except when they don't. What if you find that you're the one craving a deeper sexual connection, but he simply doesn't want sex very often - or ever? How can you rescue your sex life? Read on for couple-tested solutions for bringing intimacy and heat back into your relationship in this exclusive excerpt from the new book by REDBOOK Love Network expert Michele Weiner Davis.

 

Sex Starter: Stop doing more of the same

When there's a problem in life, we generally try to fix it. And if what we do doesn't work, instead of saying to ourselves, "That didn't work — time to do something different," we usually think, That didn't work; guess I didn't do it with enough determination or insist on it loudly enough. I'll need to try again. And guess what happens when you do more of what hasn't been working? If you're thinking, Things stay the same, you're wrong. Things do not stay the same; they get worse.

 

When you started to notice that your husband was withdrawing sexually, you probably did what any logical woman would do — you talked to him about it. Perhaps he was even receptive to your discussion at first. When his receptivity didn't translate into his becoming more amorous, however, you probably concluded that it was time for more talk. This time you noticed that he seemed less patient and not nearly as receptive. In fact, he seemed rather annoyed. What was supposed to be a heart-to-heart ended up as an argument.

 

As you try again and again, you may think you're trying something new — bringing up the topic at a different time of day, for example, or finding a new way into it, with humor or pleading. So you may not even realize that you're doing more of the same. How can you tell? It's simple: You hit the same dead ends over and over. And the harder you try, the worse things seem to get.

 

Talking is a classic more-of-the-same behavior women fall into, but your actions can be more of the same too. You may be taking what seems like the most logical approach — dressing up in sexy lingerie to turn on your guy, for example — but failing to realize when it's not working. So if seeing you in a slinky nightie makes your low-libido husband feel pressured, then slipping into one again and again will only make him feel even more anxious.

 

Still having difficulty recognizing your go-nowhere strategies? Ask yourself this (and try not to be defensive!): What would your husband say you do that drives him nuts in regard to this problem?

 

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