• Ben Leppier

My sex life has gone sour - what can we do?

What I (Ben) hear more than any other issue in marriage breakdown is…

She doesn’t want to have sex - EVER or there is something wrong with her or all he wants from me is sex or I find it so hard to not feel upset when she rejects me or we are never in the same book let alone the same page.

We have a big problem here over the course of this series we are going to be putting pen to paper and helping men (and women) with the most common mistakes couples make around sex that can lead to sexless marriage (no criticism, that is absolutely ok) or at least conflict, discomfort, fear and emotional stress around sex.

Here is an example conversation I have on a regular basis , Sally emailed me:

Sally: I have had it - that’s it I’m done. He (her husband John) gets home from work, yes he helps around the house, but I have been with the kids all day and working part time, I’m exhausted, can’t wait to get into bed to go to sleep, then he wants sex, I say no because I’m exhausted, he gets angry, makes me feel like sh£t, so I do it out of guilt but that makes me feel even worse

Me (Ben): Sounds like a situation that isn’t working for you. You have needs too. It can feel really sh£tty to feel like you are being manipulated into sex - you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Sally (now in tears): I just feel like this object that is constantly on autopilot ‘dish out everything’ mode every single day to everyone and even when I break my back doing it, neither him (John) or the kids are even slightly happy or grateful - it feels so hopeless.

Ben speaking to reader: For anybody reading this email I am sure many of you can directly relate to the experience Sally is having, if not exactly there will certainly be parts that do resonate.

It’s very easy to pick a side of right and wrong here, but how we work through a challenging and very sensitive situation is to suspend right and wrong until we can find a happier way through that works for both sides. That’s what we do here - we find a way that works.

Me (Ben again): Have you had any meetings at work this week?

Sally (confused): Yes

Me: Why have you had meetings?

Sally (agitated now): Because how can we run a business without communicating?

Me: Right, well you are a step ahead of me, but that’s exactly my point. Let’s take the situation with John. How much time have you guys spent talking about the subject of sex? Talking about it would be more than just:

“I want to have sex”

“I don’t want sex tonight I am too tired”

If your communication was that primitive in your business, how well would you guys perform this year?

Sally (getting the point): There wouldn’t be a business!

Me: Right, like in the same way there isn’t really a sex life here then…

Sally: Okay Okay I got it - what do I do?

Ben speaking to the reader. Both sides of the couple have different views about so many things and a very frequent difference is that of sex, who initiates, who likes what, how to plan, how to decline lovingly, the purpose of, having fun with…etc etc the list is endless. Many of us are trying to do marriage this way - just hoping it works out and without care and attention it rarely does.

A strong recommendation from us this week is to:

1) Speak with your partner and plan a date to discuss sex

2) Make sure both sides know it will NOT lead to sex, it’s an important conversation about an important marital topic

3) It’s not an attack fest, it’s a chance to have a grown up and mature conversation ABOUT sex.

4) Always start with some time spent on what is going well in your marriage right now

5) Go gently we suggest only one topic at a time if this is your first time communicating this way - the slower the better

6) Hug at the beginning, hug at the end and make a date for the next meeting

We really hope that an insight into what really happens in other peoples lives has been helpful.

If anything resonates with you or you are having challenges in this area right now don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We would be delighted to hear from you


Ben and Kerry

The marriage people

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