Wife's No Longer Sizzling

Q: I am 79 and my wife just turned 65. When we married 24 years ago, our sex life was best described as WOW! I am in good physical condition and work out regularly. She just doesn't keep up with me in most areas and especially sex, walking, interests in sports, the arts and other educational areas. I am active in the church and try to help her in her own set of beliefs. You would expect that intimacy more than once every two months would be too infrequent for her, but she could go longer if I had less interest. I am simply puzzled. -- Don, 79

Dr. Susan: Your puzzlement may be easy to satisfy: men and women often have different sexual needs. It's that simple, and that frustrating for the more needy partner. Once capable of "WOW," some women lose interest over time. Especially in the menopausal years. Especially if you're simply doing the same old thing together.

But consider this first: If it's not only intimacy your wife has no interest in, but walking, sports, the arts, and other areas in which she once shared your enthusiasm, perhaps she's let herself get out of shape, or isn't eating well, or has undiagnosed depression. An extra-thorough medical check-up would be a good idea, if she agrees. My next thought is that the two of you find something novel to try out together. We tend to get in a rut, and that affects the mood of some of us more than it does others. You may have to accept that your "WOW" days are in the past, but I bet there are some "Umm, lovely!" days left. For both of you.

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