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Can’t Approach My Wife for Sex

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I have been living with my beloved woman for over 7 years now. We got married over a year ago. But for the past 6 years we hardly have any sex. It has been irregular and very infrequent.

My wife says she needs me to be a man, to show initiative, to be genuinely dominant at least in some aspects of life. She says I fail to take responsibility for my life. And all that prevents her from getting aroused, from wanting me.
On my side, every time I want sex, I feel a huge responsibility, a need to make things perfect, and an irrational fear of doing something wrong, causing my wife unpleasant feelings. As a result, I hardly make any advances, and all my behavior in sex is awkward and clumsy, which is hard to find sexy for any woman, I guess.

So even when we do have sex, most of the time I feel I failed miserably, didn’t satisfy my wife, did something terribly wrong. Over time, the amount of these failures has grown into a huge mountain that now stands between me and sex. It’s nearly impossible for me to initiate it.

All of this makes my wife want me even less. I have started to have premature ejaculations. There’s hardly any sensual pleasure or real intimate contact in our sex. It became mechanical and the pleasure became only physical.
Besides, prolonged financial problems worry me constantly, and I have already forgotten how it feels to be light, to have a can-do attitude towards life. And I don’t know how to let go of all the worries.

So we’re in a vicious circle. We can’t have fulfilling sex because all of my failures stop me form acting because of fear of new failures, but not acting each time becomes a new failure, only worsening the situation.┬áThe good thing is we love each other and want to fix this. We just don’t know how.┬áCan you please help?

Can’t Approach My Wife for Sex

Answered by on -


I deeply appreciate the heartfelt nature of your email. It seems clear from your description that the internal struggle you have in approaching your wife is significant. There are therapists who specialize in sexual issues in relationships. I would call your local mental health clinic to ask for a referral. Most mental health clinics, which have low or no cost therapy, will have someone on staff who can help with the specific issues.

I would let your wife know that you are taking responsibility for your part in this problem. I believe this would be a good start.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Can’t Approach My Wife for Sex

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Can’t Approach My Wife for Sex. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 15 Dec 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.