Rekindling Physical Passion

Dear Karen,

 I need to know what to do about this issue: I don’t want to have to have sex with my husband.  We didn’t start out like this; we were very active, and both loved it.  I know one thing that has happened is that, since the birth of our child, and what happened to my body (I gained weight I haven’t lost, I’m out of shape, and when I sit down I’ve got rolls of fat that never used to be there!), I don’t feel sexy or sensual any more.  I know I “should” have s*x with him, but that just makes me resentful, and besides, he knows when I’m in “should” mode, and he doesn’t like it at all.   I feel really stuck.  – Marian, NJ

 Dear Marian,

Thank you; you were brave to send me this question.  You’re in a very large group of women, all feeling (pretty much) the same way.


When we first meet and fall in love with our mate, one of the things that happen to both of us is that we, for an all-too-brief period of time, become perfect; we’re perfect, he’s perfect…aah!  Such bliss…

Hah!  Such delusion!  Of course we’re not perfect!

And when we start to realize that, there’s usually a very uncomfortable period of adjusting to this reality.  Hopefully, though, we navigate those tricky waters with compassion, humor and maturity, and emerge on the other side in a place that’s even better than the nirvana we thought we had: we are able to be fully ourselves: the flawed, imperfect, perfect beings, and we’re loved and accepted for exactly who we are.  We are safe at last.

WHEN SELF-ESTEEM GETS IN THE WAY                    

But what if you’re dealing with a “story” that goes something like this: “if I don’t have a AD V likely to be dealing with then is the issue that – no matter how sexy your man thinks you are (in all your glorious and growing self) – YOU cannot possibly accept that as true, because you don’t fit your requirements for what’s sexy and desirable.

For the most part, what men love about women, and what turns them on, is a woman who feels great about herself…she has a positive attitude, she’s confident, she loves herself (and treats herself like she does), she feels sexy and gorgeous – and relates with him from that juicy place.

Sure, there are men who only want women who are lean, scantily-clad, blond, young, etc.  I’ll bet you know deep inside that you aren’t married to one of them, though, right?


Whether this was stated in your marriage vows or not, you promised to meet each other’s sexual needs for the rest of your lives.  You both expect marital fidelity, and you expect not to have to stray (or starve).

If you’ve got a body image or self-esteem issue that’s in the way of honoring your promise to your husband, please do the right thing…get the help you need.


For many women, their belief is that they’re not physically appealing enough to their husbands to be sexual with them.  Interesting, though, if you observe the way some women go about handling this problem of not feeling attractive to their men: not exercising, not eating well, not dressing in a flattering way.  Is there something possibly going on here about making sure he’s kept at arm’s length?

Could it be an issue with intimacy?

I hope, for your sake as well as the sake of your marriage, that you tackle this issue courageously – and, given that you wrote to me about it, I’m betting you have the guts, and commitment to your marriage, that will help you grow through this beautifully, and have your marriage be better than ever.

I wish for you a most scrumptious intimate life with your husband…it’s nothing less than what you both deserve!