My man and I have different libidos

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“Hello! My question is about sex. But before we get there, I need to give you some background.

We have been married for over 13 years, and we have two children. A little over two years ago I learned about my husband’s mistress. At that moment, they had been seeing each other for three years. He found her right after our youngest was born. Of course, I had some suspicions, but I refused to believe it even though our relationship was horrible. We broke up many times. While we lived apart, he obviously was living with her. But every time he would come back. Finally, when I ran out of patience, I filed for divorce and kicked him out. After some time, he found a pretext that he wanted to take the children for a trip abroad. Since my older daughter has diabetes and my youngest was too little, he couldn’t manage without me. So, I went with them. The vacation was wonderful, and we talked about that we should try it again. In other words, everything was great, but his mistress lost her cool and started calling him. This is how I found out about her existence. Overall, I am a pretty strong woman, but these events were extremely stressful for me. I had prolonged depression and lost a lot of weight. He, of course, was asking for another chance, and I gave it to him. Then there was a lot of back-and-forth and round-and-about. In the end, I kicked him out and got divorced. We lived apart for 3-4 months, I don’t remember… All this time he would not let me be: he followed me, controlled me. Anyway, we started living together again. We had our ups and downs. No mistress, of course, but I could not forgive him. He was trying to support me, and I was trying to get my sanity back together. And to some degree, we were able to get back to normal. We argued very little, and our sex life was good. There was peace in our relationship.

Well, now, let me tell you about sex. My man has a high libido, and he needs sex every day. Preferably in the morning, or during the daytime, and he wants me to initiate it. Of course, almost always, he is the one initiating it, and from my side, I never say no. The only thing is that I don’t need so much sex. Long story short, we started fighting because he doesn’t feel desired, he feels like I don’t want him. There is yelling and cursing on the topic that he works all day long and I don’t even offer a blowjob.

Overall, I don’t know what to do. Sometimes, I feel that he is trying to get me to be like his mistress. But I am who I am. Perhaps, I should give in and start blowing him, pretending that I want it? But it’s just that I have a huge feeling of resistance as if I am being pressured. Or, maybe, we are just so different in this area that we will never be able to solve this problem, and it is time to split up? Anyway, I don’t understand, and I cannot find an answer. I really need advice, since because of his previous cheating, I can no longer understand what is normal and what isn’t.”

Hello A.!

I am so sorry that you had to face your husband’s infidelity. This is a hard and hurtful experience. Definitely, it is easy to lose the understanding of what is normal and what isn’t.

In your letter, I see two problems: your husband’s infidelity and your current sex life with him.

Sometimes, a couple cannot recover after infidelity. Therefore, you need to answer the following questions:

  • “Do you want to be with this man?”
  • “What kind of relationship do you want? Is he a good fit for this type of relationship?”
  • “Have you forgiven him?”
  • “Do you want to forgive him?”
  • “What needs to happen for you to forgive him?
  • “Does he understand how much he has hurt you and is he ready to work on dealing with this crisis?”

Based on your answers, you can make a more informed and balanced decision. Right now, unfortunately, you don’t sound like you are satisfied with your situation.

About sex. Sex is a two-way street.

When the partners have a big difference in their desires, they need to look for a compromise. For example, he wants it every day, but you want it once a week. Here, everyone needs to give something up in order to keep and maintain the relationship.

The person who wants more sex needs to give something up and stop pressuring their partner. And the person who wants it less should sometimes try to get in the mood for more sex. You need to consider what is acceptable to you both.

For example, you certainly don’t want or simply can’t do it more than 3 times a week. And he cannot live with 1 or 2 times. You need to find an arrangement that suits you both. Therefore, one of the ways to solve this problem is to look for a solution together, while keeping in mind that you both have different needs. But will you be able to negotiate successfully?

If we take a deeper look at this situation, then your man’s desire to have sex every day may tell us that for him, sexual intimacy serves some compensational role. When a person needs sex so often, usually it means that they don’t need sex itself, but rather other things which go along with it.

It is very rare that sex happens without some psychological needs or games. Most likely, that by having sex he realizes his necessity to feel desirable. Behind this, there may be many other factors: love, acceptance, etc. It would be great to understand what kind of needs are behind all of this.

You could go to see a sexologist together. You could find a healthier solution to this problem, rather than forcing yourself to have unwanted sex. It would be a perfect resolution to your situation.

And one more thing. When you were getting married, you were experiencing something – maybe attraction, hopes, dreams, desires, etc. There was a reason why you chose your husband then. But now, you already have a different history with him. Therefore, you can make a different decision. It is like moving to a certain county, living there for some time, and then changing your mind.

Something is going on with you right now, and your current situation became the way it is. You need to make your decision about the future based upon all the important factors.

Therefore, only you can decide whether you should try to go forward, try to find a compromise, etc. You need to listen to yourself: what do YOU want, what is important to YOU. Try to find different approaches. But forced sex is definitely not a good solution.

When I say “negotiate”, I mean that you both need to try to find a common rhythm. Nobody should force themselves to serve the needs of another person.

Take care of yourself.

Mindspa Consulting psychologist.