Sex is a Burden

Q: I'm a 29-year-old mom of 2 children, the youngest only 3 months old. My fiancé has been complaining that since I became pregnant my sex drive has gone down considerably. I feel bad that I'm never in the mood but I can't help it. I am also dealing an old problem of being molested as a child. The past few months I have been trying to deal with my past and feel better about sex but it hasn't worked yet. I hate being pressured into sex because it reminds me of when I was younger and being molested. How do I get him to understand that it will probably be a while before I'm back to wanting sex more than once a week? -- Jackie, 29

Dr. Susan: A misunderstanding about how pregnancy affects a woman's sex drive often drives a wedge between partners. Your hormones have changed, Jackie. Add that to the fact that you and your fiance have been together long enough for the thrill to wear off. It may have been that initial excitement that put thoughts of your disturbed sexual past out of your mind, but now that things have changed, it doesn't take much to inhibit your libido. Many women with two little babies don't have time to shower, much less attend to their husband's sexual needs.

Your history of molestation makes this all that much more complicated. I strongly suggest you see a good therapist to work on that so you can then focus on building your relationship. If only your mate understood that pressuring you goes against his own best interests, and that even having sex once a week isn't bad for someone who's got an infant to care for. When he complains, you'll only feel worse about yourself, though you've done nothing wrong. Women's sexual interest ebbs and flows, and the best way he can help is to find ways for the two of you to maintain closeness through this hard time. He might be satisfied with a way of making love that requires less energy on your part, but that's for the two of you to work out. So long as he maintains a loving and compassionate attitude toward what you're going through, your warm and sexy feelings toward him will have a chance to blossom again. You need to be understanding, too.

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