Dear Maggie,

Now that the kids are a little older, my sex drive is back. Funny thing – my husband’s isn’t quite what it used to be! Help!

Sincerely,

Frustrated and Forty in Fresno

 

Dear Frustrated,

I completely understand! My libido is also currently a bit higher than my husband’s. This is a departure from how things used to be between us but is actually quite normal. Men experience a natural, gradual decline in their sex drive as they age. If your husband’s drop seems like it’s too dramatic, have a discussion with the doctor, as underlying health conditions may influence this. But if it’s just a slowing down with age, well, let me tell you about my week!

The weekend was crazy – all the kids were home and there wasn’t a moment of privacy to be had. So, Monday morning, when everyone had gone back to school, I eagerly invited my honey into the shower with me. He scrubbed my back. I scrubbed his. Then I offered to do his favorite thing. AND HE REFUSED. Yup, he turned me down, saying he’d rather save it for bedtime when we both could be satisfied. Suspicious, I thought to myself, but I guess he’s feeling generous. So I waited with anticipation for bedtime, as I’m pretty much always in the mood these days. And you know what happened at bedtime? He fell asleep.

Feeling badly, the next day he called me from the car on his way home from a meeting, and told me to wait for him in the bedroom, naked. I was in the middle of a project, but I eagerly complied, anticipating a little afternoon delight. And then you know what happened? He forgot he’d scheduled a conference call!

It ended up being another day or two before we were intimate, but when it happened, he put some effort into it – candlelight, music, my favorite toys, etc…

And it was really, really good.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about as we’ve had this little sex drive role reversal in our house – When the kids were younger, I was working full-time, and my husband was traveling, I barely had enough energy to get through each day, never mind anything left over for sexy time. This definitely caused some stress between us. My husband would say, “I feel like I’m just someone else who wants something from you.” And he wasn’t wrong.

Over time we learned that we needed to have date night, we needed little weekend getaways without the kids, we needed to pay attention to each other – not just as partners, but also as lovers. But even with all our efforts, he still wanted it more than I did. We worked it out though, with a lot of patience, and by having compassion for each other’s perspective. He tried not to take it personally, and I tried to say yes more often than no.

Now that things have tipped in the other direction, it’s very easy for me to feel insecure. I know that he’s just as into me as he ever was, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling badly when he wants to go to sleep and I’m awake and eager for some action. There’s a sting of rejection that I’ve never felt before – although he certainly has – and, I’ll be honest, I don’t like it.

But you know what? We talk about it. We’re honest about our feelings. And we’ve made some new adjustments. We have more sex in the mornings and during the day. An empty house sure makes for some interesting options – but that’s another post! He lets me know if it’s okay to wake him up in the middle of the night when I need some attention, or if he really has to get a good night’s sleep. I let him know when a quickie just won’t cut it.

The bottom line is it feels good to feel wanted. I’m sure your honey is thrilled that you are so into him! Mine is. I think if we let each other know that, yes, we’re still into each other after all these years, if we continue to share our feelings, fantasies, and even our insecurities, if we work to make our relationship a priority, then this decade will be even better than the last.

I hope this was helpful!

Warmly,

Maggie