Friday, July 12, 2013

Dear Abby column

I'm reposting this because there's some excellent advice and insight
within. Take note! :)

(From Jul 2, 2013)

DEAR ABBY: I'll bet you've gotten a ton of mail about Mike in Missouri (March 15), who was worried about his wife's declining sex drive. While your point about hormone levels is a good one, it could be something simpler than that.

I am a wife who would love to have sex more often, but I'm tired! I work full-time and do most of the household chores. I also do most of the cooking.

When my husband heads up to the bedroom at 10 o'clock and gives me that come hither look, I'm not in the mood for sex. I'm thinking about the two loads of laundry and the sink full of dishes that still need to be done. Or I'm trying to remember whether I signed that permission slip for our daughter and making a mental note about picking up my prescriptions on the way to a client meeting in the morning.

Speaking of prescriptions, is Mike's wife perhaps on birth control pills? Those can decrease a woman's sex drive. I took a particular pill for a year before realizing how much it killed my desire. My doctor changed the prescription. Although there's a big difference, I'm still too tired to do much about it most days.

However, my husband has figured out I have more energy in the mornings, so his timing is better on those come hither looks. Now if I could only get him to help out more with the chores ... -- G. IN DAYTON, OHIO

DEAR G.: Thank you for sharing. And you're right -- readers wasted no time flooding my office with comments on this topic:

DEAR ABBY: After conversations with women of all ages, I have concluded that more often than not, it is the husband who has caused the wife's sex drive to diminish, not hormones or other physical problems.

Ask Mike how he treats his wife on a daily basis; whether he has habits or hygiene that are off-putting; whether he indulges in pornography; whether he has taken care of his health and appearance. After 17 years, is he a good lover?

Many women are as dissatisfied with their sex lives as their complaining husbands are. Anyone who wants to have a satisfying sex partner needs to be one. -- OVER 50 AND STILL INTERESTED

DEAR ABBY: A woman's sex drive is a complex issue that in my experience has nothing to do with her hormone levels. A decline can occur at any age even though she has no obvious medical issues. The most common causes are stress, unresolved and deeply buried sexual issues, concern about body image, empty nest syndrome, distraction with family problems, worry over work or finances, and the side effects of medications such as antidepressants. -- SAN DIEGO GYNECOLOGIST

DEAR ABBY: When sex was mind-blowing for me was when I felt the most loved by my husband. The way he treats me has changed over the years, and lately I'm so turned off that I can no longer physically respond to him. Often, a woman loses interest in sex because her partner makes her feel like he has lost interest in her.

At the beginning of a relationship, both people do special things for each other to show their affection. These are the things women need. To continue feeling loved, each woman has different emotional needs that can stay the same or evolve as life's circumstances change.

The bottom line is, if men want their wives to want them physically, they need to learn what their wives want emotionally -- and then do a lot of it. Pay attention to her, communicate, make her a priority. I'm amazed that so many men don't understand how enormous the payoff would be if they made the effort to make their wives feel they are still special. -- OUTTA HERE SOON


  1. Good stuff! And good for every person in a relationship to be aware of as far as keeping the magic alive with their partner.

  2. I hate to cry cop out on most of these points but have to. I'd also have to say that Dear Abby's answer is the most legit. Followed by the first reply. I know a lot of women who enjoy sex and change their life habits to accommodate it. Strangely the rest of these comments act like sex is a burden to women and men's feeling do not matter. Let's be frank, there are plenty of women who are treated like goddesses have great lovers as partners and still use excuses not to have sex as...
    a: a way to control a situation.
    b: a bartering tool in a relationship.
    If a woman loves a man and a man loves a woman, they will find a way to have sex. I have several female friends, that have (privately) admitted they do not like sex with their husbands, they still have it with them because, gasp, they love them. One has even gone to countless doctors and psychiatrists behind her husbands back in hopes of wanting it more. That is someone who deserves a great relationship.

    I love it when they say it is because a woman does not feel appreciated. WTF. Women go out of there way to make men feel unappreciated, often by withholding sex.
    I'm not saying men can't be total dicks but sadly, total dicks are the ones that are generally getting more sex. Ask female friends about their exes and they'll confirm it.
    As grownups, I hope people realize part of a marital relationship includes sex. Barring medical reasons, if you refuse to have it, you do not belong in that marriage.
    The End.

  3. I really just think intimacy is a barometer of the connection between a couple. Strip away whatever other layers are on top and that's the end result, I believe. If the sex life is suffering, there's usually something else going on that is affecting the connection the couple has.

    Unfortunately, there are lots of opportunities for things to get in the way of that connection -- not just being busy or overwhelmed, but communication styles, as Dr. Gottman mentions here:

  4. Excellent article!!!!!!
    I laugh at the fact that all of these articles mention rolling of the eyes.
    As you know, my ex was a master at the eye roll. She (I assume) and I did not realize how disrespectful it actually was until someone saw her do it at a party and made mention of it harshly. Now it seems to be in all of the relationship literature. I do believe a lot of non-verbal communication tweaks peoples subconscious and also that a lot of people do not realize the 'vibes' they are putting out. All things in a relationship tend to weigh on BOTH parties in a relationship and in turn hurt intimacy.