Dear John: My husband of 25 years is 56, and I am 51. I believe that "Leonard" is going through the change of life. His testosterone level has plummeted, while my sex drive is accelerating, due to the estrogen pills that I taken since my hysterectomy 10 years ago. Recently, he reduced his work schedule to only 20 hours a week.
He appears to be mentally and emotionally well, and is enjoying his newfound time off. However, Leonard has no desire to have sex more than once a month. He doesn't even like to discuss the problem, and he refuses to seek help or take any medication. In fact, his solution is that I get off my estrogen pills so that I am not always "oversexed," and let nature take its course with our libidos. We have always had an exciting, very fulfilling sex life and I am not ready to give it up. Hey, maybe at 90 if I live that long, but not at 50! — Hot to Trot Lady, in San Antonio, Texas
Dear Hot to Trot Lady: You are right to feel that you should not be relegated to separate corners of the bed because you're both over the age of 50. At any age, a healthy sex life is not only good for a happy marriage, it is also important for a healthy life.
As you already suspect, your husband's problem could be physical, emotional or both. In any case, his sex drive won't change if he is unwilling to address the issue with you, a doctor, or a therapist. Implore him to do so. Let him know that this is indeed affecting how you feel about your relationship, and that you are also open to the idea of reviewing with your physician your current program of estrogen replacement therapy (a good idea, given recent research findings). This may be what it takes to get him off the couch and into the doctor's office.
Dear John: I've had a dating relationship with "Seth" for almost six years. Well, I just found out that he married someone else earlier this year! And yet, he's still sleeping with me! What's up with that? — Traumatized, in Berkeley, Calif.
Dear Traumatized: The two of you may be sleeping together, but you certainly aren't doing much in the way of honest communication. The bad news: Both you and his wife are involved with the wrong guy. The good news: At least one of you is aware of his deception, and you don't have to go through the hassle of a divorce to get rid of him. All you have to do is lock your front door.
John Gray is the author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus." If you have a question, write to John by e-mail via the web site www.marsvenusliving.com. All questions are kept anonymous and will be paraphrased.
Copyright 2009 John Gray's Mars Venus Advice. Distributed By Creators Syndicate, Inc.