Q MY WIFE and I have been married for more than 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 it more. During pre- and post-menopause, things changed. My advances cause annoyance and I feel that 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?
A 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 so that two individuals can share a mutually rewarding and happy life together.
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. Desire discrepancy between partners is common.
After all, while you may think of one another 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.
You, together as a couple, need to decide if you want to be happy in a companionate relationship at this point or if you'd like to invest in reconnecting passionately and increasing libido for your wife, and reigniting your sex life, even sporadically as it once was.
If she is agreeable to trying, it means working on all aspects of your intimacy as a couple, not just between the sheets, as everything you do positively together increases her desire.
Her hormones may not be working in her sex drive favour any more, but that isn't the only thing that sparks desire, so it is possible to regain a love life together, if you're creative and invested.
If not, I would still encourage you to express yourself sexually privately, rather than suppress your sexual drive altogether.
After all, sex is good for you and those who engage in a regular sex life have fewer heart attacks, fewer strokes, higher immunity and greater overall health.