I’m 35 years old and I haven’t had sex in a year. That’s kind of a big deal to me for one simple reason: I sleep next to a man every night. He isn’t a relative or a platonic friend. It’s my husband. I love him. We have two wonderful children together. We enjoy the same hobbies, circle of friends and have relatively successful careers. There’s only one thing that we’re lacking… passion…

While growing up, I fantasized about what my life would be like as a married woman. I wanted to be the wife who kept it “right and tight.” Most important, I knew I needed a partner who was my friend… with benefits. The major perk being that we enjoyed being intimate with each other. My husband and I had that for a long time, but over the years it’s dwindled.

Our passion didn’t fade overnight. It was methodically seduced from us by things that seemed more practical and efficient, such as sleep, work and raising children. Pragmatic decision-making, exhaustion and poor time management were also collaborating culprits in the demise of our romantic coupledom. The result is cliche but true. I have a great friend and tremendous partner. Still, I’m missing a lover.

For many months I naively assumed our sex life would change. We talked about it, but in a very superficial way. We’d make jokes about the predicament and even tried scheduling time for “us.” Nothing has worked. My feelings about the topic morphed as the weeks turned into months. To be frank, initially I was relieved to have the “break” from bumping and grinding. The hiatus gave me a welcomed reprieve from “having to” perform my wifely duties. In addition, the same ol’ sex was starting to feel just that way, repetitive, unimaginative and stale. The thing is, I assumed my husband would use the timeout to regroup and come back stronger. That’s not what happened.

Unlike the movies, I never came home to rose petals all over the house. We never gave each other a look, then instantly fell into each other’s arms and made passionate love. I never popped out of the bedroom in a French maid’s uniform and gave him a lap dance. We just continued living life. We talked about our day, prepped our kids for the evening and went to bed… and to sleep. I’d put on my head tie. He’d give me his back. This was not my happily ever after.

Today I’m in counseling with my husband and fighting to save one of the most integral components of our relationship: intimacy. Neither of us was happy in a sexless relationship and the counselor is helping us figure out the hows and whys of our complacency — neither one of us is cheating. So far I’ve had one major perspective adjustment. It’s not up to my husband to woo me. We need to romance each other — and make it a priority. We’ve decided to start by going on date nights… and I’m optimistic. I’m looking forward to creating our own “happily ever after.”

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