Your Call: How Can She Save This Marriage?

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. Warning: This week’s is a toughie!

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Dear Em & Lo,

To set the scenario: my husband and I have been married for 27 years. Sex was always a big part of our marriage but as we have aged our sex drive has slowly dropped. What really did it for me was having a hysterectomy 5 years ago. Since the surgery I don’t seem to have any sex drive. Or at least with him. My husband is complaining that once a month is not enough for him, but I view it as a chore now, and one I’m not particularly fond of.

I should mention I’m 57 and my husband is 64. He is disabled and spends his day watching tv and playing video games. I work full-time night shifts and all house and yard responsibilities fall on me. I’m sure resentment is involved with my lack of desire for him. Oh, and I don’t have the money to go to a counselor. Any advice?

— Not Feeling It

What words of wisdom do you have for N.F.I.? Leave your advice in the comments section below.



  1. He spends his days watching TV and playing video games. I don’t think its unfair to make some assumption that there are things around the house this guy could be doing, or depending on the nature of his disability, re-learning to do.

    He sounds unmotivated and… well, rather a lot like my ex-husband, actually.

  2. “He may be disabled but if he is capable of having sex, he can probably fold some clothes.”

    Please, do not make assumptions about what disabled people are and are not able to do. There will be people who are not able to do chores and are able to have sex. There are ways and means. She gives absolutely no details about his impairment, so you cannot make the assumption that he is able to help more.

    That being said, my advice to NFI would be to look into whether there IS something that he could do to help out, within his abilities. Then, perhaps look around to see if there is any domestic help available from elsewhere due to him being disabled.

    Also, talk to your husband. Tell him how you feel. He may not realise that your resentment is building. If you cannot afford a counselor, you can still try talking just the 2 of you.

    Definately get checked out medically too, as others have said.

  3. The question is, do you want to have more desire for your husband? You never really indicate what you want, only that you don’t currently have any desire for him, and it may be rooted in resentment of his inability or unwillingness to help out with chores. Laziness is a turn-off for any woman, or man for that matter. If you want to start desiring him again, you’re going to have to negotiate with him. You both want the same thing: a boost to your sex life. If that’s what he wants, he’s going to have to start being a partner in the household work again, as much as his disability allows. If he can take some of the weight off your shoulders, then you can tell him that you’ll start having sex more often. You should probably even define how much more you’ll be having at first. Once a week, once every other week…whatever he can live with. As a general rule, the more sex you have, the better you should feel, and the more sex you will want. Sex reinforces itself that way. The longer you go without sex, the easier it is to go even longer without sex. But keep in mind, this will not work if you’re dealing with a hormone imbalance after your hysterectomy. If you can’t afford counseling, hopefully you have insurance that will pay for a medical workup. Do that first, then try negotiating with your husband as I recommended above.

  4. Hmm, was your husband a great source of support through the surgery you had to undergo? If not, and if on top of that he expects you to be his mom, it’s no wonder you are not being attracted to him…
    Also you mention you don’t have a sex drive “at least with him”. Perhaps is it time to say good bye to him and see other people?

  5. I’m afraid you’ve hit an impasse. Your options are to get used to it, or to leave.

    I really don’t see anything changing, though.

  6. 1. Get a check up. Are your hormones out of wack? Medications causing problems? If there is a physical problem, treat accordingly.

    2. Talk to the hubs. Tell him that between working nights and all the housework you are kinda… What’s the word? Fucking tired? He may be disabled but if he is capable of having sex, he can probably fold some clothes. It’s not all on you.

    3. Sex toys? Lingerie? Is there anything you desire to make you feel sexier? Buy it and use it.

    4. If all of the above don’t help you feel even a little bit of a tingle, maybe try counseling, sex therapy, or an affair. Jk about the last one. Kinda.

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