Boomerangst: Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries – Rekindling The Romance

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Has sex become a sensitive topic in your marriage? Here, a reader asks for help in rekindling romance in a long relationship – and having the sex conversation. 

Q   I’ve been happily married for 29 years and, for the most part, my husband and I have enjoyed a robust and satisfying sex life – until now. Our sexual activity is almost nil these days and has been for several months. But I’m far from ready for a sexless marriage. So far, we’ve avoided the subject, but I know we can’t do that indefinitely. The whole situation upsets me. I could use some help.

—Penny, Oakville

A   Okay, first you need to try and pinpoint any underlying causes. Vancouver-based sex therapist Dr. Teesha Morgan suggests you look at external factors that might be at the root of this dry spell. Are either of you in a new job? Have you moved? Has anyone close to you died recently?

“One of the single biggest causes of sexual disinterest is stress,” says Dr. Morgan, “and it’s important to keep that in mind before jumping to any conclusions.”

In other words, don’t let your imagination go wild and think he doesn’t love you anymore or that he must be having an affair or that he doesn’t find you attractive since you gained that weight – or whatever. “Women tend to internalize problems very quickly,” says Dr. Morgan. “Yet it’s much better to just have the talk and find out what’s going on. Nothing’s going to change without communication.”

But timing is key. “Don’t try and have that discussion in the middle of watching a movie or at midnight when you have to be up at six in the morning.”

Other advice: watch out for accusatory language and stay away from words like “never” and “always.” Instead of “You’re never interested in having sex anymore,” try something like “I feel like I’m not connected to you these days.” Something else Dr. Morgan advises: “Keep in mind that as we age, biology plays an increasingly important role in lovemaking. It takes more work, more time and more communication.” You and your husband have to decide if it’s worth it. “Action expresses priorities,” Dr. Morgan points out, so if sex is important, you both need to make it a priority.

Send Diane a brief description of your dilemma, along with your first name and where you live, to [email protected]

A professional journalist for more than 25 years, Diane Sewell has written for some of the top newspapers and magazines in Canada and is a baby boomer herself. Her new blog “Boomerangst, Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries” is interactive with readers and focuses on life issues – like aging, dating, second marriages, sex, death, family and fashion. Diane will use her expertise to find the right expert to help solve your predicament, unearthing kernels of truth and quickly getting to the heart of the issue.