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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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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