David asks :

Hi Lucy, 

My wife doesn't want to have sex with me anymore. I must admit she didn't have a big sex drive when married 20 years ago. Part of the problem was probably me. I haven’t slept in the same bed for the last two years as my mother died the first one and my father died the next.

She always complains about the neighbours having loud sex as the walls are not very sound proof.

I am at loss on how to fix the problem. I’ve started to do things around the house and she thinks that I expect sex in return as a payment, which is not true. Please help, David


Hi David,

Agony Aunts on Female First

Agony Aunts on Female First

Even though you are helping around the house and that is a positive gesture- what she may crave more is some intimacy again before you have sex. If you have been sleeping in separate beds, then perhaps she misses having you next to her at night.

It might help to start and sleep next to her again and get used to cuddling and kissing and having another person under the covers. If it's been a couple of years, you may need to relearn how to do this as it might be a little bit disruptive for both of you at first. This might help to relax you both and encourage you to feel comfortable enough again to eventually have sex.

A low sex drive is not a non-existent sex drive, so she may want the same amount of sex as she always did but perhaps the sleeping arrangements are giving her the wrong impression.

Although you say it was due to your grieving process for your parents- she might assume that it has something to do with her. It might be worth talking to her and telling her why you felt you needed some space. It might be time to grieve with her rather than alone.

If she is complaining about the neighbours, it might be partly down to annoyance but also jealousy. It can highlight things that are lacking in your own relationship when you can hear other couples doing things you aren't.

Helping her around the house is a nice thing to do and it probably won't hurt to keep this up. With that said, touch is very important- even if it doesn't lead to anything sexual, the closeness it brings is essential to keeping you in tune with one another. That and effective communication. If you can get to a place where you can talk openly with one another then the intimacy might naturally flow afterwards or vice versa.

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