Recently I had received some criticism for saying, “if couples are not having enough sex, then men may cheat to meet their sexual needs.” Understanding that men’s sexual drives are driven by strong urges and cravings, I saw this simply as a risk factor for infidelity, a public service announcement of sorts. Other women did not see it this way and perceived this as blaming women for men’s bad behavior.
Enter Valerie (not her real name), a fifty-something divorcé, who presented to my office after having had her marriage break up (seven years prior) due to infidelity. She presented to my office because she decided she did not want to be alone for the rest of her life but she knew she needed to address her vaginal health. After menopause, which occurred at age 47 for Valerie, she experienced low sexual desire due to vaginal dryness. Because of this, her sex life with her husband, Bob (not his real name either), dwindled to a few times a year and it was painful each time. She had no idea where to turn… but he did.
He turned to other women, a few other women. Valerie was heartbroken when she received a phone call from a woman who had been sleeping with her husband. The woman called to tell Valerie that her husband was sleeping with someone new effectively cheating on both of them. Valerie’s husband felt tremendously guilty about his indiscretion (which is not uncommon). They tried to work it out and Valerie said she had sex with her husband three times per week, whether she wanted to or not, enduring pain the entire time, but she no longer felt the same about him; the betrayal was too much for her to bear and she could not get over it. So they parted ways.
Valerie had not been sexually active since her divorce and still had vaginal dryness and could not imagine having sex with anyone. When I examined Valerie, I saw that her vulva and vaginal tissues were pale and dry. She had no other vaginal symptoms. Since her sole symptom was vaginal dryness, in my mind, she was a perfect candidate for RepaGyn® (hormone free) vaginal suppositories to assist her in getting relief from her vaginal dryness. I recommended that she take RepaGyn® daily for two months, then twice weekly and informed her that this was lifelong therapy.
Valerie thanked me and said she wished I had been around seven years earlier as she thinks treating her vaginal dryness may have helped to increase her sexual desire and her marriage might have been saved. She said that couples were lucky to have me help them address their vaginal health issues and resultant low sexual desire so that their marriages don’t suffer the same fate. She was certain that I am saving many marriages through education! I told Valerie that although her marriage could not be saved, getting her vagina healthy and treating her dryness, I was sure, would help her get back to the bedroom with someone new.
I am a guy and I get this…Married for 10+ years…and still in late 30s…Our frequency is down to 1-2 per year…and skipped four years after a child. I am reminded that I am horrible person if I even think of sex within or outside marriage.
Hi Jon, Thank you so much for your honesty and heartfelt comments about your marriage. Upset, resentment, and a sense of sexual health deprivation may erode away at the intimacy in a relationship, impact a couples affection, and a marriage may be at risk for survival. Parental intimacy is important to role model for children so they have a chance at healthy relationships. Expressing normal, healthy sexual needs and urges does not make you a horrible person. It makes you a heathy person. Identification of the problem is key, healthy open communication and brainstorming to solve the problem may be of benefit to you and your wife. Sexual desire in women is an expertise of mine and I cover this topic frequently on the CKNW Sunday Night Sex Show 8 pm at http://www.cknwsundaynightsexshow.com Best of luck to you. Thanks again and best of luck to you.