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For his sake, OK to fake it

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar The Spokesman-Review

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 10 years. Things are pretty good. We have two beautiful children, good jobs and a supportive family. We rarely fight except about one thing – sex.

Before we married, we were all over each other. But ever since we said “I do,” it’s like a switch has been turned off. I just don’t have any interest. He has to persuade me to have sex, although once I get into it, it’s really great. We are intimate two or three times a week. I hardly ever turn him down.

Last night, we had a really big fight about it, with both of us ending up in tears. My husband is wonderful, and I love him very much. I couldn’t ask for more. Why can’t I be sexually attracted to him? He’s a fairly good-looking guy, although he could lose a few pounds, which he is working on. I just don’t care to initiate sex because I can live with it or without it.

My new doctor put me on an anti-depressant that doesn’t suppress sexual desire. It worked great at first, but slowly things started getting back to the way they were before. I thought if my husband helped around the house and with the children, I would be less tired, but it hasn’t improved my desire. I am a healthy 40-year-old woman, so I don’t think it’s a physical problem. I’m afraid if things don’t change, my marriage will be over. How do I increase my libido? – Frigid Mom

Dear Mom: It’s not uncommon for women, especially after having children, to lose interest in sex. The reason can be psychological, but doctors now believe it may be a hormonal imbalance. We recommend you talk to your gynecologist and also contact the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (aasect.org), P.O. Box 1960, Ashland, VA 23005-1960. In the meantime, if you enjoy sex once you get started, try to fake some enthusiasm. There’s no reason to keep telling your husband you aren’t interested or don’t find him sexually appealing. Guys can be a little sensitive about such remarks, and he’s doing the best he can. This is no one’s fault.

Dear Annie: Recently I saw my husband’s e-mail. He had sent responses to two women. Women I don’t know. My husband told me these women were from an investment site. He wrote in one, “You are sweet as always,” and in the other, he said, “Anything for you, my dear.” I was devastated.

My husband says it means nothing. I feel betrayed and hurt and can’t stop thinking about it. Should married men be talking to other women that way? – Canada

Dear Canada: Actually, this sounds only like minor sexism. Many men use such phrases in business situations. They mean to be charming. Unless you have additional evidence that something more is going on, we wouldn’t be concerned, but since such things bother you, your husband should be considerate enough to stop.

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