Sex Therapist Q&A

In 1993 I began suffering from pain in my neck. After a year of tests, CTs, strange behavior and projectile vomiting, I was referred to a neurologist. He ordered an MRI and found two, large fluid-filled cysts on the frontal lobes of my brain. During this time my libido had diminished significantly and caused a rift between my husband and me.

After brain surgery to drain the cysts my personality was back to normal but not my libido.

It has been 13 years, many doctor visits, counseling and a divorce and still no libido. I have accepted it, but my ex-spouse still blames me for his impotence. "Use it or lose it." I have not been able to get any answers from doctors or counselors. In fact, no one seems able or willing to help me solve the reason for this loss.

My ex has proposed remarriage, but I'm hesitant, as he will want to have a sexual relationship, and I don't even want him to touch me in a sexual way. I have gained a lot of weight and have difficulty losing it. I believe it's my way to avoid being sexy. That hasn't thwarted him. I am so turned off.

Davidson Responds:

It might help you to understand that libido is not a commodity that exists in isolation, separate from your psyche, body and spirit. So, rather than talk about libido the way we'd talk about blood pressure, let's talk about the desire you feel, or don't feel, for the very real person with whom you are considering signing on for life again. Given the anger and recrimination in your relationship, it puzzles me why either of you would consider remarrying one another, but under the circumstances, I'm hardly surprised that being sexually intimate is a turnoff. In fact, I'd be more worried if you were turned on by someone you believe still blames you for being ill and sees your suffering as a sexual inconvenience. Your best bet is to find a new therapist who can help you clear your sexuality of its toxic associations with your ex so that you can reclaim your own sexually and sense of desire.

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