She says she has low libido but..
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Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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Old 03-28-2012, 07:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default She says she has low libido but..

Hi everyone,

I would appreciate a lot any opinion on my situation.

We recently married (less than 6 months ago), we have no kids, I am 30 and she is 35.

Since after we married her libido has dropped and we have sex about once a week or less. Before marriage was a bit better 1-3 times a week. Now is going toward once every 10-14 days.

She is on ipertension medication since before the marriage. I read that this can sometimes cause low libido.

Since the beginning I was unhappy with the situation and I tried to talk to her several times. She made me feel bad every time as it was bad for me to want to make love to my wife. I always tried to bring up the subject making an effort not to hurt her feelings and to avoid a fight, but every time she gets extremely defensive and she attacks me.

So I gave up talking and tried not to think about it to give her a rest and don't worsen the situation putting pressure on her.

She works in a restaurant in the evenings and she wears nice blue-jeans and the t-shirt provided by the restaurant. She spends a lot of time for her make up. That is fine with me, I like the fact that she wants to feel good.

I am surprised when she puts on sexy underwear to go to work. I never said a thing but she doesn't wear it at home around me. Sometimes when I see her in sexy underwear I compliment her but most of the times she turns down the compliment like I shouldn't have said anything.
It's really upsetting me, I feel all the passion fading away already, and we're not even one year into our marriage.

I don't understand her behaviour, can you guys/girls help me understand?
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

Do you ever take her out on dates? Do you do any of the things you used to do when dating (outside of the bedroom I mean)?

How often do you two talk these days (I don't mean about which TV show to watch or who's turn it is to do the dishes)?

Is her job stressful for her?
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

It really sounds like it could be medical issues that are causing her low libido. She should see a doctor about it and not just because the lack of sex is harming your marriage- there could be something very wrong with her causing it, or there might be other meds that might work for her while keeping her sex drive intact. Maybe the problem is that her meds *aren't* working and it is stressing her.

Quoting an earlier post of mine out of laziness:
"If it isn't medical, it could be a lack of understanding on her part. We womenfolk live in an age where we are told that if we aren't in the mood, no one has the right to try to change our mind. Simultaneously, we are told men are *always* horny, they just want sex, they will say whatever they need to to bed you, etc. It's a terrible situation.

Yes, we should absolutely reserve the right to say no. However, to boil a husband's sexual desire down to just a physical thing is an injustice to both men and women. I know I didn't fully understand that and probably still don't completely... We are told that "men connect physically" but we told in a way that makes it sound inferior, and again, like it is an excuse they give us because they are just horny and will say anything to get sex.

She might honestly not believe you when you say it is something you need, because the importance of a physical connection may just sound like a bad pick-up line to her if she doesn't understand. This honestly might be where a lot of the problems you are having come from.

You could try having her read The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger. Is the woman right about everything? Doubtful. But it is a woman talking about the importance of sex to men, and I know it gave me some food for thought."

As to her clothing choice, some women gain confidence by wearing lingerie. I personally wear lingerie to job interviews- they have no idea I am doing it and for whatever reason, I find it very empowering and it allows me to adopt a more confident persona. Some women just find it more comfortable (they lost me on that one). Since she works at a restaurant, getting dolled up and allowing occasional "accidental" peeks at sexy underwear might net her more tips (you never know ).

I don't understand why she would be unwilling to accept compliments unless she possibly felt they were insincere (not saying you were). She might be having some self-esteem issues and might not want to believe you are attracted to her. Some people might suggest she might be cheating or trying to attract other men, which is possible but obviously exploring alternatives first is a good idea IMO.

It really sounds like you are trying to respect her and that you love her and I'm sorry you are hurting right now. Ultimately, your emotional needs are not being met (as well as physical) and if she is unwilling to work on the problems, you might have to face a hard decision about whether or not you can spend the rest of your life in that situation.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

@ Browncoat: I tried dates, and even after a good night spent with friends or a romantic dinner that I cooked for her if she's not "in the mood" there is no way I can change things. And if she is not "in the mood" I would not like to push her do it, it would seem "fake" to me.

Talking is ok, but depends on her mood a lot, sometimes she is stressed and doesn't want to talk, sometimes she is more open. I am always 100% available for her but it takes two to have a good conversation.


@ kittykat09:

Thanks a lot for your reply! I find it really helpful. I am still processing all the information though.

One more request: do you have a book to suggest for me too?

Possible explanation for her not accepting my compliments: maybe she thinks that I compliment her because I want sex in that moment and maybe she doesn't.


When I get rejected some days I take it lightly but some days it's very hard to cope with it. I guess this is normal but I notice that I am trying less and less to initiate sex. This way I realize she's the one that get the benefit from it but I am tired and a bit scared of being refused. [Oh my god, I'm only 30 years old! ]
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishy View Post
@ Browncoat: I tried dates, and even after a good night spent with friends or a romantic dinner that I cooked for her if she's not "in the mood" there is no way I can change things. And if she is not "in the mood" I would not like to push her do it, it would seem "fake" to me.

Talking is ok, but depends on her mood a lot, sometimes she is stressed and doesn't want to talk, sometimes she is more open. I am always 100% available for her but it takes two to have a good conversation.


@ kittykat09:

Thanks a lot for your reply! I find it really helpful. I am still processing all the information though.

One more request: do you have a book to suggest for me too?

Possible explanation for her not accepting my compliments: maybe she thinks that I compliment her because I want sex in that moment and maybe she doesn't.


When I get rejected some days I take it lightly but some days it's very hard to cope with it. I guess this is normal but I notice that I am trying less and less to initiate sex. This way I realize she's the one that get the benefit from it but I am tired and a bit scared of being refused. [Oh my god, I'm only 30 years old! ]
I have seen books suggested for men in other threads, but I'm not sure off the top of my head. If you check in some of the other LD threads there might be some titles listed.

I know when I was having troubles with LD I definitely took the slightest hint of sexual advance from my fiance as "what a pig, all he wants is sex and he would say/do anything to get me in bed." I'm not proud of it and if he wasn't so patient with me, I could have caused a lot of resentment and damage.

One thing that helped me was he stopped trying to initiate anything but still went out of his way to do nice things for me. It helped me see that his motivations weren't just sexual. I would hate to recommend a course of action that would just get you walked all over, though. >.> It was a combination of many things that helped me see that I was hurting him and that change needed to be made even if it wasn't "convenient" for me.

When you have tried communicating about your needs, how have you tried to approach it?
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishy View Post
I am surprised when she puts on sexy underwear to go to work. I never said a thing but she doesn't wear it at home around me. Sometimes when I see her in sexy underwear I compliment her but most of the times she turns down the compliment like I shouldn't have said anything.
It's really upsetting me, I feel all the passion fading away already, and we're not even one year into our marriage.
Big red flag right here Mishy. Have you considered the possibility that there's another man she's involved with who works with her at the restaurant?

The makeup is one thing, because you have to look good for customers. But putting on sexy underwear is not for customers...
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishy View Post
One more request: do you have a book to suggest for me too?

When I get rejected some days I take it lightly but some days it's very hard to cope with it. I guess this is normal but I notice that I am trying less and less to initiate sex. This way I realize she's the one that get the benefit from it but I am tired and a bit scared of being refused. [Oh my god, I'm only 30 years old! ]
You have a difficult yet common problem. It's concerning that it happened so early in your relationship and seemed to coincide with marriage.

Do you both want children? I ask because the frequency of sex decreases after children are in the picture for upwards of a yr sometimes it does not come back.

There are many good books for you. I don't think you should start by trying to figure her out. I think you need to understand yourself before you can deal with her. That is because your lack of boundaries drives what happens to you. You are being too nice.

That may sound strange but people treat you the way you allow them to treat you. You have control over how this relationship goes or does not go. You need to set up boundaries and stick to them or you will get run over.

Would you be willing to post in the Mens Clubhouse with a link back to this post. They are experienced in dealing with men that are too nice and get what they settle for - not much. The best to you.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittykat09 View Post
It really sounds like it could be medical issues that are causing her low libido. She should see a doctor about it and not just because the lack of sex is harming your marriage- there could be something very wrong with her causing it, or there might be other meds that might work for her while keeping her sex drive intact. Maybe the problem is that her meds *aren't* working and it is stressing her.

Quoting an earlier post of mine out of laziness:
"If it isn't medical, it could be a lack of understanding on her part. We womenfolk live in an age where we are told that if we aren't in the mood, no one has the right to try to change our mind. Simultaneously, we are told men are *always* horny, they just want sex, they will say whatever they need to to bed you, etc. It's a terrible situation.

Yes, we should absolutely reserve the right to say no. However, to boil a husband's sexual desire down to just a physical thing is an injustice to both men and women. I know I didn't fully understand that and probably still don't completely... We are told that "men connect physically" but we told in a way that makes it sound inferior, and again, like it is an excuse they give us because they are just horny and will say anything to get sex.

She might honestly not believe you when you say it is something you need, because the importance of a physical connection may just sound like a bad pick-up line to her if she doesn't understand. This honestly might be where a lot of the problems you are having come from.

You could try having her read The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger. Is the woman right about everything? Doubtful. But it is a woman talking about the importance of sex to men, and I know it gave me some food for thought."

As to her clothing choice, some women gain confidence by wearing lingerie. I personally wear lingerie to job interviews- they have no idea I am doing it and for whatever reason, I find it very empowering and it allows me to adopt a more confident persona. Some women just find it more comfortable (they lost me on that one). Since she works at a restaurant, getting dolled up and allowing occasional "accidental" peeks at sexy underwear might net her more tips (you never know ).

I don't understand why she would be unwilling to accept compliments unless she possibly felt they were insincere (not saying you were). She might be having some self-esteem issues and might not want to believe you are attracted to her. Some people might suggest she might be cheating or trying to attract other men, which is possible but obviously exploring alternatives first is a good idea IMO.

It really sounds like you are trying to respect her and that you love her and I'm sorry you are hurting right now. Ultimately, your emotional needs are not being met (as well as physical) and if she is unwilling to work on the problems, you might have to face a hard decision about whether or not you can spend the rest of your life in that situation.
kittykat09 -- that is really insightful. I had really low libido AND really low self-esteem that totally collided after our son was born. I had a terrible time losing weight, and was desperately trying everything to lose it (I was mega-huge when I was PG). I didn't feel at all sexy, so I didn't really believe my husband wanted me, I thought it had to be that he just wanted sex and I happened to be there. Plus I was exhausted, so I never was in the mood anyway. He was not terribly understanding, and even though I was going to doctors to try to deal with the weight and energy issues, he wanted me to go to another doctor to deal with my libido. It was all blowing my confidence and self-esteem even more.
Even when we figured out that I had a thyroid problem and the pounds started coming off and my energy started returning, it didn't help, because he was in his 2nd EA by then. It made it impossible for me to feel like I could approach him without him mentally comparing me to her (younger, firmer, etc.) body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishy View Post
Possible explanation for her not accepting my compliments: maybe she thinks that I compliment her because I want sex in that moment and maybe she doesn't.
This is exactly the way it seemed to me during this time.

Health issues, and certain medications can cause libido issues and/or depression, which also affects libido.

Now, your wife isn't me, and maybe you already do these things, but...

1. Tell her you think she's beautiful when she's wearing a sweatshirt and scrubby jeans and just got done cleaning the bathroom, not just when she's wearing lingerie.

2. Do some of the little things you used to do when you were dating. Did you write her little notes and leave them for her to find? Leave a flower in her car? Pack her lunch? Take her back to times other than what's going on now. She's created an association of your wanting sex with her not feeling like it. You've got to help her break that association by focusing on love and romance, not sex. KWIM?

3. Whatever you do, don't mention other women or anything that can be taken as a threat that you will go elsewhere. That will do nothing to help her trust your feelings for her.

Ladies, am I off track?
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

Hi Mishy ~

I think you would be wise to explore what/if anything else may be happening at your wife's job. It is suspicious that she dresses in sexy undies for work, but not for you.

And, for you ... your sexual desires are normal. It's normal for both men and women to want to connect with their spouses sexually ... it provides an emotional connection and bond between you in your marriage.

However, you have to be willing to really make it a priority and be willing to have boundaries of actions that you hold yourself and your wife accountable to (whether that is for sex or just for your relationship in general.) A great book to give you some insight about boundaries is the following:

Amazon.com: Hold on to Your NUTs: The Relationship Manual for Men (9780979054402): Wayne M. Levine: Books

You can also go to the following site and take the 'nice guy' test to see if you fall in to that category. A nice guy is one who defers his own wants/desires to someone else (his wife, for instance) instead of standing up for them... he generally gets his sense of self-worth from another instead of himself... and he often engages in 'covert contracts'.

No More Mr. Nice Guy! - Take the No More Mr. Nice Guy! Self-Assessment

If you score high on the assessment, the following book may be beneficial to read. This is a free copy of the book:

http://7chan.org/lit/src/Robert_Glov...r_Nice_Guy.pdf

There are a number of men who have had success with the following book as well. There is a companion blog and the author also posts periodically on TAM.

Married Man Sex Life

I hope that you can figure out what is going on with your wife. But, that shouldn't cause you to delay in trying to improve yourself.

Best wishes.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittykat09 View Post
I have seen books suggested for men in other threads, but I'm not sure off the top of my head. If you check in some of the other LD threads there might be some titles listed.

I know when I was having troubles with LD I definitely took the slightest hint of sexual advance from my fiance as "what a pig, all he wants is sex and he would say/do anything to get me in bed." I'm not proud of it and if he wasn't so patient with me, I could have caused a lot of resentment and damage.

One thing that helped me was he stopped trying to initiate anything but still went out of his way to do nice things for me. It helped me see that his motivations weren't just sexual. I would hate to recommend a course of action that would just get you walked all over, though. >.> It was a combination of many things that helped me see that I was hurting him and that change needed to be made even if it wasn't "convenient" for me.

When you have tried communicating about your needs, how have you tried to approach it?
On one hand I understand what you are saying. But I disagree that a man has to turn off his needs and attend to a woman's needs even more to resolve problems like this. It takes two to tango. That is not fair to ask or expect anyone to put their needs aside. I'd say the same thing if a man came in here and said I expect her to have sex with me and I'm not going to do XYZ for her. Relationships are naturally a give and take. From a man who has done the patient waiting game for years, its not a recipe for happiness.

I think for HD spouses, the LD is not the issue, even a lack of sex, but the attitude is. The sexual mismatch and tension doesn't just come from a lack of sex. That's the symptom of the core issue. There is a profound difference between acknowledging you don't want to have sex and making yourself freely available while you or the two of you sort out the LD issue. There are plenty of other things we do in relationship out of obligation that we don't enjoy at the moment or that are wrapped up in duty. You don't make it to the finish line of the race by stopping, giving up and sitting on the side of the road because you got a side cramp. You slow down, let the pain subside, walk till you run and persevere.

I understand why women think the way they do. They hate to think that a man sees them as a piece of meat, only good for one thing. It's not true BTW...They think that all men want is in your pants. Actually YES thats EXACTLY what we want. It's not bad, its not evil, its not sexist. Its male sexuality 101. Everything we do from the time we're old enough to look at a set of boobs and get turned on is designed to get us back in from whence we came. Getting a job, finishing school, dressing nice, EVERYTHING to pea**** and attract you to get back to the promised land and procreate. Everything we have to offer a partner hinges on meeting our primary needs and being connected to them. Some men do not need that to connect. Most do, myself included. Some women need that connection just as badly as men do.

The OP has every right to be concerned. On one hand, there may be things he's done or does that turns her off. I'm a two to tango guy. It's rarely one sided but it can be. It may be a hormonal thing or medication. In the short term, any one or all of those may be a reasonable explanation for a slowdown. The correct response (or attitude as I like to put it) is to put your hard hat on, do the work and get to the bottom of the issue. It's too important to the long term success of a relationship not to. You should never let a marriage suffer because you can't be mature enough to keep your promises made to each other over a feeling or lack thereof. The circumstantial evidence given here sounds like she's just not into him or she's pushing him away because she doesn't want to deal with the issue.

To the OP, I suggest doing more research. Definitely like the MMSLP and No More Mr. Nice Guy materials as well. There's a lot of good information out there. Don't accept where things are and take action to remedy it starting with eliminating anything that you do that may contribute to the problem. It won't hurt. Make yourself the best man you can be and have enough confidence and love for yourself to expect your wife to do the same. Easier said than done...
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with the posters advising you to look for another man. Look at her cell phone usage. Does one number pop up a great deal, or at odd times? Check the phone itself. If she doesn't think you suspect her, she may not delete her texts/emails. Check her credit card statements. Dinners out when she claims to be working? Hotel rooms? Check her email and Facebook accounts. Any inappropriate messages?

If you find something, then you should kick her out of the house and start from there. Reconciliation is possible, if you both want it.

If you don't find anything, then you have to work on yourself. Stop asking for sex like an awkward teenager. Women don't like that. Leave her alone. Do you own thing. Women like independent men. Start dressing nicer. Work out. It may be possible to pull her interest back to you.

Do a search for the thermostat threads in the Men's Clubhouse. Basically, you don't want your wife to believe that you're more invested in the relationship than she is.

Good luck.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the replies.

@ kittykat09
Quote:
When you have tried communicating about your needs, how have you tried to approach it?
Different ways. At first I was disappointed and "pouting". She was frustrated with me and we had arguments. Then I tried a more "adult" approach, talking to her about how I feel when she says "no". Again her reaction was "I have done nothing wrong, what do you want from me?". Then I tried again this time being more supportive, suggesting to ask her doctor about the meds she is taking, she said she would do it but it was just a way to procrastinate. In fact she hasn't seen the doctor yet. Then again I bring up the thing after two weeks of being rejected and we had a fight, I left the house and went to have a coffee not far from the house. She complained about me not doing enough etc. I really felt she was just trying to make me feel bad. After a few hours she calmed down and we were able to talk again, but the best I got is "I will try to be better", so she is procrastinating again to keep me quiet. So no more talking, it does not lead anywhere.


@ Bottled Up, PHTlump, Enchantment

Quote:
Big red flag right here Mishy. Have you considered the possibility that there's another man she's involved with who works with her at the restaurant?
Well, anything is possible, but I don't think is the case. We have separate laptops and she leave her facebook open when she is at work. She is not protective of her cellphone, she leave it around the house so it's not a problem for me to access it. I could read into her email account no problem if I wanted but I don't think I should. I would feel dishonest and controlling.

About her job, I have been to the restaurant a few times and met quite a few people. Sometimes I stop by before she finishes and have a drink while I wait for her and then we go home together.

I don't think (and I really hope) that she is having an affair. She could be "interested" in a co-worker maybe, but I don't see any sigh, the people at the restaurant seem pretty comfortable when I stop by.

OR...Am I just being "blind" ?


@ Enchantment:

I have downloaded and started reading "No More Mr Nice Guy!" and I believe I am one of them given my childhood and teenage experience. Really interesting book, thanks!


All in All, looks like I have a ton of work to do, but I don't like to sit and watch, let's see how it goes.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomfan View Post
On one hand I understand what you are saying. But I disagree that a man has to turn off his needs and attend to a woman's needs even more to resolve problems like this. It takes two to tango. That is not fair to ask or expect anyone to put their needs aside. I'd say the same thing if a man came in here and said I expect her to have sex with me and I'm not going to do XYZ for her. Relationships are naturally a give and take. From a man who has done the patient waiting game for years, its not a recipe for happiness.
I don't remember saying anything that said a man needs to turn his needs off... I talked about my thought processes when I was LD and that I realized that it *was* damaging to the relationship and that sex *is* a need for guys.

I think where are you getting that interpretation from was when I said that it helped when he expressed interest in me in a non-sexual way so I saw he wasn't just saying things to get sex. I don't think that is an unreasonable thing to want from a partner. o.O It wasn't meant as a way of saying "Do what I want or no sex for you," just that feeling like you are only attractive when a guy wants to have sex with you is not conducive to having sex.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

Mishy,
Read "married man sex life" by Athol Kay. Great book.

If you want 1-2 pages on what may be happening I have a link for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishy View Post
@ Browncoat: I tried dates, and even after a good night spent with friends or a romantic dinner that I cooked for her if she's not "in the mood" there is no way I can change things. And if she is not "in the mood" I would not like to push her do it, it would seem "fake" to me.

Talking is ok, but depends on her mood a lot, sometimes she is stressed and doesn't want to talk, sometimes she is more open. I am always 100% available for her but it takes two to have a good conversation.


@ kittykat09:

Thanks a lot for your reply! I find it really helpful. I am still processing all the information though.

One more request: do you have a book to suggest for me too?

Possible explanation for her not accepting my compliments: maybe she thinks that I compliment her because I want sex in that moment and maybe she doesn't.


When I get rejected some days I take it lightly but some days it's very hard to cope with it. I guess this is normal but I notice that I am trying less and less to initiate sex. This way I realize she's the one that get the benefit from it but I am tired and a bit scared of being refused. [Oh my god, I'm only 30 years old! ]
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: She says she has low libido but..

My suggestion would be to have a friend she may not recognize go in one night she's working and see if things seem fishy. Like the others, I think she's got another man in her life at work. I hope that's not the case, but it really does sound like it.
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