Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ask Dr. Seth: Trouble in the Land of Sex

Dr. Seth,

I have been with my husband for three years and it's a pretty good relationship overall. Our sex life has always been good, but that has changed in the last month or so. He stopped initiating sex and has had a difficult time keeping an erection the couple times we've tried. Should I be worried?

Stacey, 29


Dear Stacey,

The problem you are dealing with is fairly common. Many men go through periods where they have a tough time with sexual performance. The problem typically relates to difficulty maintaining an erection, ejaculating prematurely or not at all, or disinterest in sex. Unless there is a medical or serious psychological reason for the change in sexual functioning, most of these situations pass with time.

Why does your husband not have the same interest in sex? It could be due to many reasons, including preoccupation with something, anxiety, depression - all of which could have nothing to do with you. On the other hand, it could be due to negative feelings he is carrying for you which prevent him from wanting to be intimate. For example, sometimes a man's disinterest in sex could stem from his feeling seriously hurt or angry about something his wife said or did. A lot of people will tell you that a man who goes through a period of not wanting sex is having an affair, but I think men are a little more complicated than that.

The best way to handle this situation is to 1) not react emotionally, 2) allow more time to determine if a true pattern has been established, and 3) if it continues, have a gentle talk with him in which you ask him about how he feels about not having sex and share with him your feelings.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Seth

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