‘My husband refuses to see a doctor because of his low libido’

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Men are more likely than women to avoid going to the doctor. And if you don’t believe us, check out the many studies showing that the majority of men would choose to endure a disease rather than seek help.

So imagine the reluctance when the issue in question has to do with sex – a topic many already choose to keep behind closed doors.

This week’s reader, Alice, shared her dilemma.

“My husband refuses to see a doctor about why he has a low libido,” she said. ‘How do I convince him I’m going to die from lack of sex? He says he goes and never goes. I offered to go with him. He just works his stressful job and puts everything into that job. We have no sex life at all. It’s been a year.”

This is difficult because they have both acknowledged that there is a problem, but Alice feels that her husband does not want to find a solution. So, what should she do?

What would you say to this reader?

“This isn’t a case of you versus your husband, but this is something you can team up with and think about how to solve this problem together,” Counseling Directory member and therapist Siobhan Butt tells Alice.

“Sex is as important to a relationship as eggs and flour are to a cake. It’s not just about what happens in the bedroom, it’s how we listen to each other, how we respond to each other’s requests for affection, how we cherish the relationship and have fun together.”

Likewise, Butt asks Alice what sex means to her, pointing out that sex doesn’t have to involve penetration. “What else would give you more sexual pleasure that you and your man could do together?” she asks.

What are some reasons why we may experience low libido?

The reader has mentioned that her husband has a stressful job and Butt says this is something to watch out for. “I wonder how your husband handles the stress and what he needs from you to help him?” she asks.

She goes on to explain that good communication leads to great sex, as it can lead to more intimacy in the bedroom. “Another way to think of intimacy is ‘into-me-see’. When our partner sees us and we trust that they are there for us, we can experience more sexual pleasure.”

In other words, Butt encourages anyone faced with this dilemma to be there for their partner before criticizing them.

“Our imagination is probably the greatest sexual tool we have. We have the ability to turn ourselves on and off,” she adds. “Thinking about the work projects, the chores, or feeling self-conscious about our bodies will hold back our enjoyment of sex.”

How can the reader communicate how important her sexual needs are to her husband?

Butt wants Alice to remember that we can never change someone else and that she can’t force her husband to go to the doctor or therapy, but she can change how she discusses this with him.

“This sounds like a really important issue to you, especially since you say you’re ‘dying from lack of sex,'” she says.

“I wonder if this is a way of conveying how much you would like your needs to be met? How do you ask for your needs to be met in other areas of your relationship and respond in a different way?

“I hear you want to support him by saying you’re taking him to the doctor, but I wonder if he hears anything different for him? Have you thought about using many “I” statements to explain how important sex is to you, how you feel about it? And be open to hear from him whatever he needs.”

Rebecca Zisser/HuffPost UK

Love Stuck is for those who have hit a romantic wall, whether you are single or have been a couple for decades. With the help of trained sex and relationship therapists, HuffPost UK will help answer your dilemmas. Ask a question here.

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