His Libido, Her Libido (Not)

Q: I am a 51-year-old male with an ongoing sex drive that, in my humble opinion, is a bit high maintenance. Ever since I met my wife, 31 years married this year, I have been crazy about her and seem to require the opportunity to show her every chance I get. Only more recently, she began to put rules and limits on our lovemaking. Quite frankly, this is putting a major cramp in my style. I know that cheating will, when uncovered or discovered, end the relationship, so I have refrained, a very hard thing to do when you're a socializing and somewhat popular entertainer. I've talked to her about it, and she now thinks, after all these years, that I put too much emphasis on sex. HELP. -- Dave, 51

Dr. Susan: Uh-oh, you've tossed me the BIG question men are always asking. A disparity of libido between husband and wife is nothing new, and indeed the difference in sexual interest often gets wider over the years. Still, there's something just a little bit troubling about your ego and expectations. They may be as oversized as your sex drive.

Your wife may be beginning menopause and having issues of her own that interfere with her libido. Certainly she can get that checked out. Perhaps she'd be more willing to compromise and offer you quickies in-between regular sessions if you showed a little more interest and compassion for her. Sure, you can say it's oh-so-hard for you to refrain from fooling around, as you're so popular and all that. But I suspect your wife is trying to tell you that she is missing something too, only it's not the same thing you're missing. Loving men with higher libidos than their wives often take care of their own "extra" needs, with perhaps at times some minimal involvement on the part of their wives (let's say her affectionate presence but not an active role). Meanwhile, how about discovering what you can do to please her outside the bedroom? I have confidence that you can work this out if you care enough about one another.

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