EXCERPT: 'The Sex-Starved Wife'
Men with low libidos are becoming America's dirty little secret.
Jan. 9, 2008— -- Men always want more sex, right? Actually, if you believe that statement, you're wrong.
In her new book author Michele Weiner Davis reveals what really happens behind the bedroom doors -- and it might surprise you. Below is an excerpt from "The Sex-Starved Wife."
Are you a sex-starved wife? A woman who deeply desires more satisfying sex with your husband? Would you settle for just more sex? Or to put it more accurately, would some sex do? If so, I am not surprised that the title of this book piqued your interest. You are craving a loving, passionate, juicy, sexual relationship with your man. And you deserve it! The good news is that you've come to the right place. Although we've never met, I know what you've been going through and how the difference in your and your husband's sex drives has taken a toll on you. I also know that until now, effective help for your problem has been in short supply. But that's all about to change. I am going to be your personal coach and help you become an expert on getting your love life back on track.
But first, I want you to read a few letters from women who have been struggling with a desire gap in their own marriages. You're about to learn that you, my friend, are not alone:
My husband is just not interested in sex. He has no desire for me. Unless we go away and stay at a hotel or it is a special occasion, he will do anything to avoid the sex. When we do have sex, he won't touch certain parts of my body. He won't kiss. He won't say, "I love you" either. I feel worthless, ugly, undeserving. I am obsessed by the lack of sex in our relationship. When I bring it up, he gets angry and says that he should just leave, that all I want to do is create drama where there is none. Most days I just wish I could run away and not feel anymore. I am dying inside and don't know how much longer I can hang on.
My husband's libido has been at rock bottom for years. Always believing it would get better, I've stuck it out. But now I feel I am losing the best years of my life, as well as my libido. Am I not allowed to feel feminine? We have sex three to four times a year; he orgasms upon penetration, leaving me wanting more than a "clean-up" job and a good, silent cry in the bathroom. He knows I'm upset. He is laissez-faire about seeking help. I am attractive. I am very lonely with my children grown. I desperately need to feel the arms of a loving man around me once again. My husband's attempts are robotic, in an effort to keep me from divorcing him. Where am I in his emotional absence? Where am I in his life? I'd give my eyes and teeth for good sex once a year!
Does any of this sound familiar? Are you longing for more touch, sex, and physical closeness? Are you overwhelmed by feelings of hurt, rejection, loneliness, and frustration? Do you find yourself wondering what's wrong with you because your husband doesn't seem interested? Have you been so desperate that you've even considered (or are) having an affair? Do you feel ashamed that your husband isn't like other men? Have you grown increasingly exasperated that you haven't been able to get your husband to understand what's missing in your relationship? If so, hear this -- there are millions of women out there who, contrary to popular belief, feel exactly the same way you do.
Perhaps you're wondering where all these women live, because all you ever hear about are horny husbands with nearly permanent erections who chase their wives around the dining room table. Your friends at your health club complain that their husbands' sexual needs are moving targets: the more sex they get, the more they want. They can't stand their husbands' need for constant physical reassurance. And think about the media. Hardly a day passes without some magazine or newspaper article, medical study, or relationship expert offering women advice for stoking their sexual flames and rekindling their desire. The message is clear: men have insatiable sexual appetites; women have headaches. And then there's your marriage.
Perhaps it started out on fire; you couldn't keep your hands off each other, and your lovemaking was frequent and passionate. But somewhere along the line, things changed. Maybe it was when you got pregnant or when the kids were born. Or perhaps the problem started when his job became ultrastressful. It might have been around the time you started arguing about money, in-laws, or who does what around the house. Maybe it was the twenty pounds you gained or the medicine he takes every day. Or his lack of interest in sex could have something to do with his difficulties maintaining an erection, you wonder. You got dizzy trying to figure things out.
Maybe the signs of your husband's sexual sluggishness were there all along. Looking back, you now realize that you just assumed things would get better. But time passed and nothing changed. In fact, things even got worse. He almost never seems interested in you. So, out of desperation, you resigned yourself to the role of initiator. You had to. If it weren't for you, in fact, you'd never have sex. But now you've grown tired of always being the one to reach out, always being the one to risk rejection, always being the one who cares. And the fights about sex have become exasperating. The loneliness is slowly killing you. And he just doesn't get it. Or, you wonder, "Worse yet, does he? Is he doing this to punish me?" Finally, when analyzing your feelings, his feelings, your marriage, your motives, his intentions, has gotten you nowhere, perhaps you have tried to get your husband to do something about his lack of desire -- talk to your family doctor, get a checkup, go to a therapist. But he won't. He can't understand why you're making such a big deal about this sex thing and why you simply won't stop nagging. Everything would be okay, he tells you, if you would just back off.
Or maybe he has gotten medical or psychological advice in the past but his follow-through stinks. You've grown weary of repeating, "What good does testosterone do sitting on a nightstand?" You don't want to pressure him and damage his fragile male ego. You just don't know what to do anymore.
How can you openly admit that the man you married, the man you love, the man with whom you plan on spending the rest of your life, doesn't desire you? You ask yourself, "What's wrong with me. Aren't I attractive?" How did you manage to hook up with the one man in the world who would prefer doing just about anything other than making love to you? Why isn't he like all the other guys?
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