Passionate Living Coach Abiola Abrams gives love, dating and self-esteem advice on the CW's Bill Cunningham Show and all over the web through her hit web series AbiolaTV. Now she wants to help you keep things spicy and fresh between the sheets. Are you in need of an intimacy intervention? Just ask Abiola!
I feel like my husband is not sexually attracted to me and I know it’s not because he's cheating. I am a newlywed but it feel like we have been married for years, even though it’s only been seven months.
We have both been stressed about financial issues. It really bothers him that he can't give me the world and that we didn't get a honeymoon, but I have told him I'm okay as long as we work through this together.
As the financial issues bother him more and more, the sex fades. He can go weeks and sometimes months without touching me. I'm constantly asking for sex. I feel as if I'm putting too much pressure on him, so I have stopped asking, but I'm not happy.
I love my husband and I know he is stressed about not being able to provide for the family but how do I get him interested? I'm tired of feeling unwanted.
My Dearest Lonely Wife,
As a new bride you have the right to feel desirable, adored and loved beyond measure — months without being touched is tantamount to spousal neglect. You shouldn’t have to feel the sting of rejection when you have a life partner.
It may be hard not to take this personally but you can’t blame yourself for your husband’s sexual issue. Men and women can lose desire for reasons unrelated to their partners. In my last column, I addressed a reader who said that she loved her husband but just no longer felt aroused by him. Reasons men lose interest can include: infidelity, sexual confusion, medication, insecurity, your partner’s appearance, deep personal wounds, addiction, porn, low testosterone, depression, physical and emotional issues. Advise your husband to see his doctor for a full physical to make sure that he is physiologically healthy.
The biggest causes for divorce are issues with intimacy and money. You both have challenges to meet so consider this a crossroads for your relationship. Here are seven things to get you through the dryspell. Remember, you can come back from this as a couple that's more loving than ever.
1) Stop blaming yourself.
Your husband’s self-esteem seems to have been crushed. This often results in a low libido. Men are judged as valuable based on their ability to provide. It’s important to demonstrate to your husband that his paycheck is not the only reason he is worthy of being loved. Sex has just become another item on his to-do list and another way that he’s not measuring up.
2) You asked for tips on getting your man interested but...
If it was simply a matter of seduction, this would be easy. As a Passionate Living Coach, I could easily share siren-worthy goddess tips, such as head-to-toe kisses, lingerie and perhaps some sexy role-playing. However, your husband’s issues are not a matter of seduction. Still, you want to maintain a sexy headspace in your relationship. Have you asked your husband what turns him on? His fantasies?
If he is feeling pressured by you coming on to him, you may want to stick to non-sexual touch. Share stories about your previous lovemaking. Together, come up with a list of your 10 steamiest experiences together. Create a honeymoon at home. Bring back kissing and suggestive touch with no expectations. Gift him with — and, more importantly, request — massages. Read a scandalous novel together. Cook with your man. Put on music and dance or work out together. Get your adrenaline going with heightened experiences like a scary movie or a roller coaster ride.
3) Create an emotionally safe environment.
As a smart woman, I’m sure you’ve done all of the standards with candles, clean environment and sexy lingerie. It’s time to create an emotionally loving environment. We often hear that communication is 50/50. I disagree. I teach that communication is a 100/100 enterprise. We are each 100% responsible.
Communication includes talking and listening, but it can also include being sure that you are able to speak your partner’s “love language.” Really listening to a man is a healing experience.
We may be trying to communicate with our partners and they read it as nagging, which is an absolute turn-off. The relationship should be a criticism-free zone. As Dr. Harville Hendricks says, criticism in a loving relationship is an act of violence. Be sure that your simple statements about lack of money and financial issues are not specifically pointed toward your husband’s earning capacity.
4) Date night is non-negotiable.
Whenever there are financial issues, date night is the first thing to fall by the wayside. You need regularly scheduled time together now more than ever. Add to your joint calendars two nights per week that you must spend together in addition to two weekly showers you must take together. This is time to reconnect that does not necessarily have to be sexual — although it would be welcome if it is.
Every city has a wealth of free date opportunities, especially if it’s currently summertime where you live. See what’s happening at the parks, museums and civic centers. A picnic is always a low-budget but romantic excursion.
5) Be the feminine energy.
If you are the only one coming up with solutions to save the day and you’ve swooped in with your superman cape, you may be bringing only masculine energy to the relationship. It’s tricky because somebody has to save the house from falling in, right?
Masculine energy is aggressive and goal-oriented. Feminine energy is receptive, life affirming and process-oriented. When we bring all of the masculine energy to the table, even in a crisis, men can feel like there’s no room for them. At best, they can feel like you’re mothering them. Either way, it’s not sexy.
This is, of course, incredibly frustrating for us because it can feel like you’re trying to hold everything down with no help. Be assured that if your man is a good partner, he’ll have your back equally when you need someone as well.
6) Try your best to maintain a positive state of mind.
If it's time to upgrade your financial situation, make it an adventure. Stress to your partner that this is a temporary state and you envision you both getting over this hump together. Pray together and seek out help from a counselor, coach or advisor. Maybe there’s a side hustle that you two can start together. Surround yourself with positive people and make sure that you’re not bad-mouthing your soulmate with the other people in your life.
7) Don’t neglect yourself.
In the meantime, I invite you to take care of yourself, my beautiful queen. If you can still swing a manicure and pedicure, go for it. Scour the daily deals newsletters for ways to pamper you.
Sometimes women feel that it’s betrayal to feel joy when a spouse is experiencing depression. On the contrary, you need to protect your own mental health now more than ever.
I will hold a vision for you. I see you in love, healthy and experiencing hot monogamy.
Abiola Abrams is the founder of The Bombshell Academy blog, online school and web series over at AbiolaTV. Follow her on Twitter to continue the discussion about this week's hot topic, and then email her your burning questions now. Anything you send will be posted anonymously, promise.