Changing a Willingness to Make Love into a
Desire to Make Love
Dear Dr. Harley,
My husband and I continue to have long periods of time where we are not intimate (in fact we're going on three weeks now since the last time we made love). He still wants it more than I do, and I still want to want it more!!!
But HOW!!!!????? I adore him and appreciate his wonderful attributes... why can't I want to show him (the way every man wants to be shown)???!!! Can't somebody help me desire my husband before he decides to leave me for another more sexual woman!??
In the last letter I sent, I encouraged you and your husband to experiment with love-making fairly frequently (at least 3 times a week) where he would try various ways to arouse you sexually. He would take the initiative in all of these exercises, and the purpose would be to discover how and where on your body his touch would create a sexual feeling (for most women, touch is the most sexually arousing thing a man can do for her, but the most effective places and sequence vary from woman to woman). Until you have a predictably good experience every time you make love, don't expect to feel like taking the initiative -- your willingness to make love is all that's needed right now.
Your husband needs to get into the habit of initiating sex with you, and you need to train him how to do it in a way that will predictably arouse you. One problem you seem to have is that he assumes that you will do the initiating. When you don't initiate sex, he feels rejected. I strongly recommend that you make it very clear to him that he will be initiating sex for the next three months, and that he do it with the purpose of learning how to make sexual arousal almost effortless for you. Where does he touch you, and how do you react to it? Both of you should experiment with various approaches to getting you sexually aroused after the kids are in bed.
Women do initiate sex sometimes, it's true. But the most common experience is for the man to do most of the initiating. And he has the unenviable job of having to learn how to do it right. Men don't like rejection any more than women, and after a man fails to arouse a woman, he gets gun-shy. That may be why your husband wants you to do the initiating, because if you initiate sex, he knows he won't be rejected. And your failure to be aroused may be interpreted by him as rejection. The solution, of course, is for him to remain a student until he gets it right, and try to overlook his sensitivities for this period of learning.
You indicated in one of your earlier letters that your husband's primary goal is to make love more often. By following my advice, he will have his wish, while he is learning how to become a better lover. Try to have some kind of sexual experience with him as often as possible, at least three times a week. Women tend to be more sexually responsive when it is frequent and predictable and done the right way, so you may eventually find yourselves making love every night before you go to sleep. In the meantime, I suggest you make love frequently and predictably, and eventually you will learn to do it the right way. Begin this week to experiment with various methods of foreplay and record your reaction to them.
You are willing to make love to your husband because you love him, but you have no desire to make love because whenever you do, it's usually more work than it's worth. If you and your husband can figure out how to make your sexual arousal and climax more effortless, and more predictable, you will find yourself desiring it more often, because you will look forward to sexual enjoyment with very little effort. That's what makes anything desirable -- the anticipation of an enjoyable experience.
There's no substitute for the trial and error it will take for you to learn how to make your love making sexually arousing to you in a predictable and effortless way.
Get started tonight, and don't let yourselves give up if it takes a while to find the right combination. My experience has been that once a woman figures out what it takes for her husband to arouse her sexually, she has it for life.