Dear Therapist..."I Don't Desire My Husband"
I feel no sexual desire for my husband. I love him but don’t fancy him.
What should I do? Am I naive to think we can recover the sexual attraction we once had for each other? We are otherwise happy and do love each other in so many ways.
The loss of desire can be startling when we realise it. There’s often a sense that vitality has vanished, and in relationships we expect sexual desire to continue. Unfortunately the limerence phase is time-limited.
You say you’re otherwise happy with your husband, and I wonder if your love has shifted into something more mature. A loving relationship that isn’t that sexual can work if both sides are content with it — it’s problematic if one of you is miserable with the lack of sex.
Sexual attraction and activity makes us feel alive so I suggest embracing alternative life forces and sources of meaning and connection together. You can restore sexual closeness together with help and intention, but it probably won’t come naturally, despite the expectation that many of us feel — that sexual rapport and intimacy in a relationship should occur effortlessly and easily. You may need to be intentional and contrived in scheduling time together for sex. If that’s what you both want — if you both desire desire itself.
Charlotte Fox Weber is the author of What We Want - one of Welldoing's books of 2022 (see the full list here)