Dear Annie: My wife's sexual desire disappeared with menopause, although there was little desire even before then. I still like, need and enjoy sex. We have had many discussions about this conflict between us but have been unable to resolve it on our own. Apparently, one of us will be unhappy about the outcome regardless of what we do. My question is: What do your readers do to resolve this conflict so that they and their spouses stay together? Do you have any recommendations? It is my strong impression that many marriages suffer from the same conflict. — Still Interested
Dear Still: Though there's no "right" frequency with which all married couples should be having sex, it's important that both partners feel fulfilled. There are a number of possible reasons your wife has lost interest in recent years. The factors that influence sex drive range from psychological to physical. It's important to discuss the former before getting into medicinal treatments. Is she stressed about work or finances? How is your marriage outside the bedroom? How does she feel about your sex life? For more insights, check out "Wanting Sex Again: How to Rediscover Your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage," by marriage counselor and certified sex therapist Laurie Watson.
Lastly, if you haven't done so already, consider seeing a marriage counselor. With good communication, you and your wife could work through this together, just as you've worked through countless issues over the years. Be patient.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Daughter in Distress" and anyone who is concerned because a parent is in a nursing home and keeps asking to go home. Please listen to my experience.
My beloved mother suffered from gradually progressive dementia for the last 10 years of her life. Because of our circumstances, she was able to get care from us in her own home, but still she used to plead, "I want to go home." A very kind caregiver explained to me that what she meant was she wanted to go back to a better time, not a different place.
This realization has come to me fully, as I still mourn the loss of my parents and my husband and find myself crying out, "Please take me home. I want to go home." I want to go back to the emotional comfort of earlier times, not to a different place.
People should not ever feel guilty when they place their aging loved ones in well-run, caring facilities to optimize their care. — From a Different Perspective
Dear Different: What a beautiful, insightful and heartbreaking letter. I'm so sorry for your loss. I appreciate your reaching out even in your grief, as I'm sure your words will resonate with many readers.
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