She needs to recharge her low sex drive

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Q: My hubby thinks I don't love him because of my lack of interest in sex. I am in menopause and have lost my sex drive. I know it is not fair to him, but when I do plan to have sex with him, he gets on my nerves or we fight about something, which turns me off. I also try using gels for dryness, but it still hurts. We just don't understand each other.

A: While the sex life of couples can actually improve after a woman goes through menopause, if the partners don't communicate properly, then their sex life can become seriously damaged. And it seems in your particular case we have a bit of a chicken-or-egg situation, because I don't know whether the fights you've been having stem from the lack of sex or whether they came first and have damaged your relationship and that's why you've lost your desire.

What you two have to do is start from scratch. You have to make repairs to your relationship and fall in love again. I'm sure that if you can do that, your sex drive will come back. It may not be as strong as before, but it should be enough to satisfy the two of you.

If you can't make these repairs by yourselves, then go to see a marriage counselor.

Q: My boyfriend and I have a great life together, except for his one thing: He has issues of erectile dysfunction. He is 45 and says it's because there is so much on his mind that he can't relax. It's been more than a month since we have had sex of any kind. I want to believe that it is the stress he is under, but I am starting to think that he just isn't turned on by me.

I am 47. Before this relationship I was with a much older man, who also couldn't maintain an erection. I have a strong sex drive and am starting to become very frustrated. Is there something wrong with me? And is it wrong of me to think that even if he can't have an erection, he still has other ways to please me? I am tired of sex with a vibrator. What should I do?

A: How is his overall health? Is he overweight? Does he smoke or drink excessively? Having ED can be a sign of other health problems. I doubt that it has much to do with you, per se. He might be under some stress and might have some physical problems; combine these, and it becomes a problem. And if he had a problem having an erection one time, the worries about this occurring again could keep him from having erections.

Without putting pressure on him to necessarily please you, see if you can get him to be more physical with you. Perhaps if you lie together naked and cuddle, without it leading to sex, he might get over whatever problem he is encountering, and then you could resume having sex. It's true that he could please you, and perhaps that would happen as well. But if he is under pressure and you add to that pressure, it's not going to help. So for the immediate future, keep masturbating with your vibrator while you see if you can repair your sex life by taking it easy and not putting pressure on him.

You also might suggest that he get checked by a medical doctor to make sure that he doesn't have some serious circulatory issues that are preventing him from having erections.

Q: My fiance and I are high-school sweethearts. We are 25 years old, and we have a 10-month-old girl. Long story short, I caught him a couple of months ago looking at sexy, nude pictures of random girls online. At the time, we weren't having sex as much as we usually do, so he said that was his relief. I cried and expressed that I was willing to do whatever he wanted sexually. Well, I just caught him looking again last night. He was not masturbating this time, but he was looking.

I am open and willing to do things sexually. Why is he going out of his way to look at other women? I gave him his ring back and told him that if he wants other women, he can have them, but not me. I am willing to watch porn or do things to spice up our sex life. I need advice. Why does he still look, and what can I do to make our sex life less predictable?

A: On the one hand, I cannot tell you that your emotional response to this is wrong, because it is what it is. But if you want an objective point of view, especially because there is a baby in the picture, I would say that you are overreacting. There is behavior that deserves to be dealt with by separating, but his behavior doesn't appear to be reaching that level.

You two probably need professional counseling — on the one hand you may be too emotional about this issue to handle it, and on the other hand, he may have some psychological problem that is causing him to risk your relationship together simply over looking at pictures.

I wish I could help you, but you two need to see a professional in person in order to iron out this situation. The only thing I can say to you is not to simply end the relationship without putting in a lot more time and effort to see if it can be repaired.

Write to Dr. Ruth at drruth.com.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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