Sex-Starved Dad: Don’t Get Your Hopes–Or Anything Else–Up

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m a new dad and love everything about fatherhood. But my marriage is fraying. Our baby’s birth was uneventful and my wife’s OB told us that we could have sex again after six weeks. He’s eight months old now and my wife and I have had sex exactly one time since the birth. That’s it. I’ve tried talking with her about this, and her response is that she simply has no sex drive anymore. I’m 27 and my sex drive is pretty healthy. I feel bad bugging her to do something she apparently doesn’t feel like doing and I don’t want our relationship to end over this. I’m trying to be as sympathetic as I can, but is it normal for women to lose their sex drive for this long after giving birth? Is there anything I can do to increase her sex drive?

The reason most OBs tell new parents to hold off on having sex for those famous six weeks is that it usually takes that long for the woman’s body to recover. But that six-week guideline can lead to unrealistic expectations, which in turn can lead to resentment and relationship strain. Sound familiar? The reality is that plenty of couples take as long as a year to get back to their pre-pregnancy and pre-baby sex life.

Here are a few of the many factors that could be putting a damper on your wife’s sex drive:

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Testosterone Is Bad. No, It’s Good. No, Bad. Wait, It’s Good Again

The news about testosterone changes so quickly that just reading about it could give you whiplash. On one hand, testosterone increases sex drive and muscle growth. That’s good. On the other hand, it’s associated with hair loss and increased risk of prostate cancer. That’s bad. Now new research is looking at testosterone as a way […]

She’s Not a Mother—She’s My Wife

Dear Mr. Dad: I need a man’s advice but am too embarrassed to ask my own father, family, or male friends. I’ve been married about two years now and have a 9-month old baby. The problem is that my sexual relationship with my husband is basically non-existent. I feel sad and lonely and I have mentioned this to my husband before. I was in shock when he told me that he didn’t want to get me pregnant and that he thinks I’m a bit*h! Whoa! Where did that come from?! I don’t think that he is cheating because he comes home right after work. If I call him during the day, he’s always around, and on the weekend he’s home with me. I have not gained weight and stay in good physical shape. I don’t understand what’s wrong. What gives?

A: Thanks very much for your note. It must have been incredibly hard to write.

Of course, not knowing your husband, I can’t say for sure what’s bothering him. But there are a few possibilities that come up fairly often with relatively new dads. First of all, your husband may be having trouble seeing you as a mother. I know that may sound irrational, but your being a mother might be making him think of his own mother—and, as we all know, it’s hard for most adults to imagine our parents—moms or dads—actually having sex. (Of course we know they did, but we just don’t want to think about it.)
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No Sex, Please, We’re Expecting

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m now in my seventh month of pregnancy and our sex life is non-existent. My husband used to want it all the time and we made love a lot. But he has hardly touched me since my first trimester ended. I haven’t gained that much weight and I don’t feel unattractive. He says I look adorable and cute but it never goes any further. Even more depressing, I caught him texting an ex girlfriend sexually graphic messages. She lives out of town so I know he’s not sleeping with her, but I feel cheated and betrayed. What have I done wrong?

A: The short answer s that you haven’t done anything wrong at all. But for your own peace of mind, it may help to understand some of the things that could be going on inside your husband’s head.
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