Q My wife doesn’t want to have sex with me. I can tell because she’s stopped cuddling up to me at night, kissing me and rubbing up against me.
We used to have a great sex life, almost daily, until we had kids. Then it went down to once a week, on date night, which my wife orchestrated. We always got a sitter, went out for dinner and then to the movies. At dinner my wife would rub my leg under the table and get me excited. At the movies, we’d kiss and touch each other.
We always sent the babysitter home in a taxi because we couldn’t wait to get into our room.
Now the kids are older, but still in high school and living at home. One often goes out on the weekends but the other likes to stay home and hang out with my wife. On those nights, I just go and watch sports on TV.
How do I get my wife to have sex with me again?
A You could start by putting in some effort yourself. From your letter, it sounds like she was doing all the work, from planning to foreplay. Have you organized a date night recently? Have you tried cuddling up to her in bed at night?
Sex in a marriage goes through different phases, as life changes, and through various stages. It’s a partnership through and through. You need to start pulling your weight.
FEEDBACK: Regarding the woman constantly itching (Feb. 15):
Reader: “I barely endured 25 years of severely itchy skin from my neck to my groin. I visited several dermatologists, the first, one of the best in the country. She asked if I was under any stress but I replied, ‘No, nothing out of the ordinary.’
“The second one prescribed me a strong Cortisone cream to use sparingly. I did and it worked, but it quickly destroyed my skin, leaving me with wide stretch marks where applied. The third threw the tube out because it was so dangerous but had no solutions for me.
“On a trip to China I went to a Beijing pharmacist who mixed up a clear solution that worked to relieve the itch but I finished it quickly and couldn’t replace it. Finally, after 25 years of scratching and bleeding I went to a dermatologist who was also a pharmacist. He read my intake form and said to me, ‘I don’t even need to examine you. I know exactly what’s wrong with you. You have neurodermatitis.’ He explained it’s caused by stress.
“He prescribed two very strong antihistamines to take before bed at night and four milder ones to take throughout the day, to be used until the itch went away. I thought I would be tired all the time but I wasn’t. He also prescribed Glaxo cream with menthol and camphor to apply whenever I was itchy. It’s mild enough for a baby. In less than six months the itch was gone.
“You can imagine how relieved I was. That’s when I realized the first dermatologist was correct to ask me if I was under any stress. I never understood until then that I had been under stress for my entire life. I had been abused while growing up and consequently had not learned how to deal with it in my marriage. I was constantly under stress but didn’t even recognize it because it was the story of my life. Once that became clear to me, I was able to stand up for myself at last and everything changed. It took nearly a lifetime but my itchy skin showed me the way.”
FEEDBACK: Regarding the worried daughter (April 6):
Reader: “She is wondering how she can get her dad, who is 92, to go out to restaurants, theatre, movies, etc. I am a senior widow and can relate to this situation. The circumstances and background information is very similar. However, because of my poor hearing, these activities (which I once enjoyed) are very frustrating.
“Yes, I do have hearing aids, but their usefulness is limited — group settings being the worst scenario! I keep active and involved and know my comfort level. My family, including six grandchildren, is very supportive and understanding.
“Her Dad sounds remarkable — kudos to him!”
Lisi: I was also impressed hearing about how active and involved this 92-year-old already is. You might have hit on something with the hearing issue. Perhaps he has trouble hearing in those situations, i.e., movies, theatre, and doesn’t want to admit it — to himself and/or his daughter.
does not endorse these opinions.