Q. It’s been at least a year since my husband and I have had sex.  There was a point that all he thought about was having sex and now he seems to be disenchanted.  I am not comfortable with my physical appearance and it has been an issue for the longest time and now it seems like he has given up on me.  How do I get over this and initiate the sex he needs from me in order for him to “feel desired”.  I feel like I’m losing him and I don’t know how to stop it from getting any worse or turning our relationship in a better direction.

A. Your situation is quite common. The initiating partner stops initiating when they have been repeatedly rejected, or if they can sense that you are simply performing “duty sex”. It sounds like he has not only stopped initiating but has also learned to turn his sex drive off around you. It’s a self-defense mechanism. If he doesn’t have the drive, he doesn’t approach you, therefore, he doesn’t risk feeling rejected. My concern in your question is that you want to get over your own lack of desire “for him to feel desired”. What about you? If you are only stepping up your sexual game for him and deriving no pleasure out of it for yourself, he will feel that. A good lover is a little selfish, meaning that you have to want your own sexual needs met. Those needs are powerful and bring great energy to the sexual experience.

I don’t have enough background regarding your struggle with your physical appearance so that is difficult for me to comment on. I encourage you to address that struggle by creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself. The effort alone can boost your libido. However, even if you become a sexy kitten, it doesn’t mean your husband will all of a sudden “turn-on”. There may be unresolved resentment, anger or even confusion on his part. He may wonder, “Why now?” and not trust the experience. Some couples who practice healthy, consistent communication can work through this on their own by maintaining on-going dialogue. Other couples who can’t get past this seek professional support. It may be helpful to share this post with him as a way to get the conversation going and ask yourselves, “What can we do about this?”.

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