Why aren’t we having more sex?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: I am 27 years old and have been with my wife for 8 years and married for 7 now. She is now 26. When we fist met we had an extremely healthy sex life. Since having kids (3 in the last 5 years), our sex life has been a rocky road. We are both fit and healthy. My wife is EXTREMELY beautiful and I am a pretty good looking guy from what I hear. We eat healthy and exercise. We truly enjoy each other’s company. We are the picture perfect marriage as far as communication, honesty and getting along, we both say we married our best friend. I have had a vasectomy, so fear of having more children is not an issue.

Every few months we will go from having sex once or twice a month to having sex about 5 to 8 time in a week. This will last from one week to about a month at the most and then back to very little sex for 3 to 4 months. When we do have sex it great, we are not afraid to try new things, please each other in whatever way the other wants and she easily has an orgasm every time. When we are having a hard time with sex, she will nearly have an anxiety attack thinking about it (I use the word anxiety attack for lack of a better term, I don’t believe they are true anxiety attacks). If we have a romantic evening, when it comes time that we are alone, she will start to try to be intimate and then start to have a panic attack about not being able to perform or what I expect from her or anything else. This is not only frustrating for me but her as well.

She wants to have sex, she thinks about it a lot and doesn’t understand why this happens. She was not abused as a child nor ever had anyone violate her in a sexual way. This has lead to other intimacy issues as well, she hesitates to let me kiss her or hug her for fear that it might lead to sex and then her getting scared and not being able to have sex and leaving me and her disappointed. I have read about HSDD and it seems accurate except for the random couple of weeks that we do have great sex. I should note that she has a hypothyroid. For this she takes thyroid medicine and her thyroid test shows she is in balance. I thought this was important to mention but I don’t imagine it being an issue if her thyroid level shows she is fine. Please help, our lives are perfect except for this.

A: It looks to me that your problem is not your sex life. Your problem is your expectations. Both you and your wife aren’t factoring in what happens to a woman’s body when she’s had 3 babies in 5 years. Her body is going through major hormonal adjustments, especially if she is nursing. Further, however much she wants to please you, your wife is probably just plain tired. You periodically have great sex so we know that there is nothing wrong with either of you. My guess is this: If you want more great sex, find ways to give your wife more naps. Take the kids for an hour or so each day and let her sleep. Everyone will benefit. Your kids will know their dad better. You will have special time with them. Your wife will get much needed rest. And probably your sex life will pick up.

I wish all of you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jul 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Why aren’t we having more sex?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/07/13/why-arent-we-having-more-sex/