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Home  > Pat Love: Q & A Archive
Joseph Hurley

Q. Dear Dr. Love,
My husband and I have been married for almost five years. We are on our second child now and I pretty much lost my sex strive when I was pregnant with our first at about 7 months along. I never really got it back either. I use to want it all the time and would do anything to encourage it if you understand my meaning! Anyway now he wants it all the time and I am never in the mood. Is there anything possible to put myself in more of a mood for sex? I just don't want to lose his interest in me. I want to satisfy him and I feel I am not doing that. If you can help I would be very happy. Thank you! J.W.

A. Dear J.W.,
It's a shame that it's not standard practice for the ob/gyn to let us know how normal and predictable it is to lose your sex drive when you are pregnant and in the months which follow. This is Nature's way of getting you to focus on the child you are carrying or has just been born instead of creating another one.Since you have had two children in five years of marriage, this indicates you had another child soon after the first. The tiredness alone of adapting to a new baby can lower your sex drive, and then when the second came along, you had the first to care for too. Time is the biggest difficulty in regard to sex drive for most couples. My hunch is if you and your husband could be whisked away to a tropical island while your children were lovingly cared for by people you trusted—and all the two of you had to do was lie around, eat, drink and be merry--your sex drive would pick up. However, given that isn't realistic for everyday living, here are some suggestions:

1. Remember there are two pathways to arousal, the autogenic and the psychogenic. Some people walk around with a lot of physical sex drive. Others of us have to be intentional about it. That is, we have to psyche ourselves up, put ourselves in the mood. We have to think about it, remind ourselves that it is important.

2. You have to make time for sex. If sex is important to your relationship then you have to make it a priority. This means set aside precious time to do whatever it takes to put yourself in the mood and focus on sex. Whether it is reading romance novels, taking a soaking bath, or having 15 minutes to yourself. It may mean you eat sandwiches for dinner instead of a cooked meal, but given how important sex is to many relationships, it's worth it.

3. Your partner needs to be realistic about his sexual expectations. I don't know how often he expects sex or how much he does at home, but the greatest form of foreplay for couples with young children is for him to make time available for you to relax. This may mean doing more child care, more housework, more cooking, letting you sleep in as an act of love and caring. I have written an entire book that addresses all these issues and more. The title is Hot Monogamy. I think you will get a lot out of it. It is written for you two.

4. Finally, I would ask each of you to keep in mind an important question. This is: "What is best for our relationship?" If you both keep this in mind, that will help. Basically you each need to find out what says "I love you" to one another and become an expert at doing this.

My best to you, Pat
Q. Dear Dr. Love,
I am 70 yrs. of age my wife is 69 yrs. We are married 51yrs. I want sex she doesn't.We always had a beautiful sex life before. Until about 2 yeas ago she decided to close the door on me. I asked her what is the matter & she says she is uncomfortable there.She says it hurts and she is dry. O.K I tell her we will use a jelly or cream but don't cut me out. For 2 years I have behaved myself.I have not cheated but it is rediculus already.There is somebody at work who is 71yrs. and would lve for us to get together.I would ratherbe doing it with my wife but she seems to leave me no choice. What do you suggest for me to do.I do not like the game of SOLITARE. Thanks Have A Nice Day

A. Dear B,
Congratulations on being married 51 years! What a record. Here's to many more exciting times. Your wife's discomfort with sex sounds like a physical problem. There is a brand new product on the market called Vagisil Intimate Moisturizer (VIM), which could change her (and your) life. How this product is different is, it is designed for women to use every day. This will bring back her juiciness and encourage her interest in sex again. However, she has to want to use it. The physical discomfort is enough to dampen her interest, so taking care of that would help, but I'm not sure what her thinking is. I'm curious about what she expects from you. Many couples have the unspoken contract that goes something like this "I expect you to be monogamous, but don't expect me to meet your sexual needs." That doesn't work well. I would try letting her know how much you desire her, not just sex, but her. Let her know you want to make love to her and that you miss the intimacy. You might think she knows it, but tell her again in a way she would love to hear it. You know how to touch her heart. With a romantic card or note? Flowers? A present? Breakfast in bed with VIM on the side? Use your ingenuity. You can do it.
My best, Pat
Q. Dear Dr. Love,
My husband and I recently had a baby (almost 5 months ago) and I am breastfeeding. The problem is that I've found, since having our child, I no longer have the desire for sex. Since I'm breastfeeding, I'm not ovulating and I'm thinking that perhaps my hormone levels are not as usual and that is why. I've never had this problem before, and I certainly don't want to stop breastfeeding just yet. How can I help increase my libido?
Thank You, M

A. Dear M,
What you are experiencing is very normal. Nature has a way of focusing your attention on your baby (instead of creating another one) at this particular time. The postpartum period is a time when your interest in sex is naturally low. The good news is there are two pathways to arousal and sexual stimulation: the autogenic and the psychogenic. Your hormone level has changed for now, so the autogenic is not what it used to be. However, your brain is still the greatest sex organ! So, be proactive about sex--because your husband has probably not had a shift in his hormones--and physical intimacy is an important part of most relationships. Meanwhile, think of what you need to feel generous about sex. You might need him to let you sleep in, or take the baby while you pamper yourself, or fix dinner--whatever. Foreplay takes a lot of forms and being helpful is a natural turn on. My best to you and your family. Pat
Q. Dear Pat,
I have a bit of a mysterious situation with my boyfriend of two years. He is someone who I love dearly and forsee marrying. Recently, we have been discussing the possibility of doing so. However, he has many fears about the idea of committment and is scared to death of failure in marriage (defined by him as divorce and the inseparable devastation inflicted upon children of divorce). His own parents, though not divorced, went through a very hard time when the father had an affair about 10-12 years into the relationship. They both see other people now, although they are technically married.

Anyway, my boyfriend points to the idea of marriage as one that "chains" a couple. He says that although he loves me, he can see a pretty girl and have thoughts of sleeping with her. Marriage, to him, would limit his "fantasy" in a way because he would feel guilty about his thoughts, even if he never acted upon them.

I thought at first that he must just need some time to "have his fun". I am fine with this and can recognize it as someone who is not ready for a more serious committment. However, given the opportunity, he does not "have his fun". He has a pattern of long term committments, during which he was never unfaithful. For this reason, I am confused about his thoughts. I feel that if he could come to terms with his feelings about committment it would help us to determine if we are ready for a committment such as marriage. Why is he "distracted" by others to the extent that he questions his love for me when he really has no pattern of acting upon these seeming desires? Does this mean that if we did get married one day he would act upon them? I am not really a jealous type and prefer to give everyone the freedom they need or desire, so if this is what he wants (he says in fact, that he doesn't want me to leave him and let him play around), I would understand it. I too, recognize sexually appealing men when in their presence but don't take it further than imagery,really... Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, KC

A. Dear KC,
The situation you describe with your boyfriend sounds like a relationship style known as "ambivalent." These individuals often send mixed messages — not because they don't love you, but because they have conflicting views about relationships. It could very well be that your boyfriend genuinely loves you but has concerns about marriage and commitment based upon the hurt he experienced watching his parents struggle and go their separate ways emotionally. He may also be uncertain about how to create a happy, stable love relationship due to the fact that he did not have a strong model at home. It seems to me what is important for you is not to try to be the one to convince him that your relationship can work. This is something he will have to figure out for himself. Meanwhile you have to ask yourself how long you can be comfortable with his ambivalence and maintain your integrity to yourself. My best, Pat
Q. Dear Pat,
I have this friend that I have been friends with for about 6 or 7 years, and she has had problems with her boyfriend, and they arent together anymoreandi like her and she knows it. but I dont want to jeapordize are friendship because it is really good but I also like her alot. should I try and go for it or just stay with being friends.

A. Dear J,
You said your friend knows you like her, so my question is, has she given you any encouragement beyond friendship? Are you sure she knows you are interested in her romantically? If you are sure she knows you are interested in more than friendship, and she has not encouraged or responded to you in any way except as friends, I'd say she is not interested in a romantic relationship with you at this time. Keep in mind, you may think she knows that you are interested, but she may not. If you do make it clear to her, and she is still not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship, you can still remain friends--if you can accept that she isn't interested in more. You don't have to lose the friendship just because the two of you want something different. My best to you. Pat
Q. Dear Pat,
My fiance is probably the most easy going, quiet, level-headed and sweetest guy on the planet. I wouldn't trade him for anything else. I do have a question about how to get him to understand somethings. He doesn't like me to use any type of sexual verbage even when making love. He doesn't think it's ladylike. I believe part of it comes from having and "old school" highly Christian mom (who is a wonderful lady by the way) and the fact that he has two ex-wives that both cheated on him resulting in the subsequent divorces. It's not just "sex talk" either. For instance I once called my ex-husband a "fart" and you should have seen the look of disapproval I got for it. Like I said, I wouldn't give this guy away for 20 million dollars, but sometimes I am afraid to open my mouth for fear of offending him or looking bad in his eyes. Our sex life is fabulous - I have never had better (4 to 7 times a week/multiple orgasms). So how do you suggest I adjust? Thanks, M

A. Dear M,
Your question is a good one and illustrates how opposites do attract. It is very common for couples to have different desires. Over time you and your fiance' will experience many changes in your preferences and will need to adjust accordingly. Meanwhile think about how the two of you could handle this difference creatively. Instead of making it an either/or, how else could you address it? You will always have differences, so how are you going to handle them? Use one another as a resource. What is it that he loves about you? How could you use this trait to address this issue? What is it you love about him? How could he use this trait to address this difference? Maybe this is something you will change about yourself; maybe he will change. How you handle this will reflect how you will likely handle issues in the future. How will that be? How does he think you should handle this difference? Is this a reflection on what he expects in the future? I know I am asking tough questions, however an engagement period is the time to address differences and come up with a process for navigating life's changes. It sounds like you have a strong love and are one fortunate couple. How are you going to handle your good fortune? I think you have the answers between you. My best, Pat

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