Tales From the Front: No time for it
Dear Cheryl: For most of our marriage, my wife’s and my sex life has not been very good, but I’ve done what I could to make it work.
Recently, she informed me that she does not want to do it at night because she’s just too tired and her body will not respond. Therein lies the problem.
Mornings are out because I get up at 2:30 a.m. to go to work. I am usually home around 3:00 p.m. She’s usually not home from work at that time. Once she gets home, we share duties (laundry, preparing supper, etc.). After that, it’s getting toward evening. You see the picture.
That only leaves the weekends, and she only wants to make love once over those two days. I’ve told her that’s too much like scheduling sex — which we’ve tried — and that it just seems too robotic.
I know she reads a lot of romance novels, and I’m wondering whether she has just become bored. I’ve asked her about this, but she won’t really give me an answer. I’ve also asked her whether she’s satisfied with my size. I’m not sure where to go with this anymore. Can you help? — Lost and Confused
Dear Lost and Confused: If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve received a note about this same problem. I’d be writing this column from my yacht in the Mediterranean.
It’s time for a no-holds-barred talk with your wife.
It’s time to be brutally honest — you with her, her with you.
Tell her you’re not happy with your sex life. Tell her it’s never been good, but it’s getting worse. Once a week is not enough for you, and if things continue as they are, it will be once every other week, then once a month, then never. And that’s the end of many marriages.
Then ask her what she thinks the problem is. And it’s not a scheduling issue, I assure you. Couples who want to have sex will find the time. Couples who don’t will find a reason to avoid it even if they’re staying in the honeymoon suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Paris.
Has she lost interest in sex, in you or in both? How’s her health? If she’s lost interest in sex, she needs to see her doctor. There may be some physical reason that needs to be addressed.
Or is it you? You’re never going to be Fabio, but even Fabio isn’t Fabio 24/7. Do you need a makeover, new clothes, a new hairstyle, a diet or an exercise routine? Would you be more interesting to her if you took a class together and had something new to talk about? What about taking up a sport?
Then tell her exactly what you think a good sex life would be. Be realistic. How often would you like to be having sex? Would you want her to initiate it sometimes? Would you like to try different positions and different places?
Then ask her what her view of a good sex life would be.
The main thing is start talking. Don’t get defensive or offensive. Make is a safe space in which you can both be honest. Look at both your responses. Is there any room for compromise?
Good luck, and let me know how it goes.
— Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my e-book, “Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front.”