Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Different Needs Not the End; Ask Dr Sex with Gabrielle Morrissey

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Different Needs Not the End; Ask Dr Sex with Gabrielle Morrissey

Article excerpt

My wife and I have been married for over 40 years. We used to get on well but our sex life was sporadic. When it did happen it was mutually satisfying and often she said we should do this more. During pre- and post-menopause things changed. My advances cause annoyance and I feel we will never make love again but the urge is very strong on my part. Is there a way I can suppress my sex drive to keep harmony?

Much of a shared life, not just our love life, needs to be negotiated. Two people who share a life need to be flexible about their desires, preferences, choices, hopes and goals. When it doesn't work, one or both people will be unhappy. Resentments can build, and those buried resentments and unmet expectations can fester over time and create larger problems than if they had been dealt with immediately.

Many people don't like to face sexual issues or deal with problems in their relationship right away. Most people stick to the belief that if they are with their asoulmatea there shouldn't be any problems, passion should be hot and heavy all the time, never wane from how it was in the beginning, and the relationship should never take work; it should always flow easily, because, after all, you are each other's aother halfa. While romantic, this is a very misguided approach to relationships, and won't be a recipe for long-term success. Additionally, couples such as yourselves, who have been together for many years, feel even more reluctance than new couples to ask for help because they think, ahey we should have this all figured out by nowa and thus feel even more self conscious about asking for help. When intimacy is assumed, and decades together often presumes intimacy, it becomes even more difficult to deal with when it becomes absent altogether. So bravo to you for being married for 40 years, navigating a relationship for all those decades, and still recognising when you don't have all the answers and could use a little advice.

Desire discrepancy between partners is common. After all, while you may think of each other as your other or better half, you are not in fact two halves of one being, but rather two (often very different) individuals who are trying to share a life and relationship together. …

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