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Flirty Wife Hates Sex With Me - Agony Aunt

Ask Anne

Dear Anne

My wife doesn't want to make love with me any more. She will have sex but it's always the same: "Don't do that," "Don't touch me there," and "Are you done yet?" She has no problem flirting with the guys at the bar but when we get home, she wants nothing to do with me. Ed

Dear Ed

I'm sorry you and your wife have been going through such an unhappy relationship breakdown. I'm sure you're sad, hurt and probably angry with your wife right now, and probably experiencing self-doubts as a result of feeling rejected. Hopefully you and your wife can rescue your marriage and rebuild that mutually-rewarding closeness.

You say your wife's not happy with certain kinds of touch. For sex to be good, it needs to be in ways that both people are happy with. She has the right to say what she does and doesn't want to do with her body or have happen with it. It sounds like you and she need to discuss your and her needs and preferences so you can decide together what you both will and won't do. That way you both stand the best chance of returning to mutual pleasure and expressions of intimate love and respect. For further ideas about mutual pleasure you might both work through Alex Comfort's classix The Joy Of Sex.

But people tend to get out of the bedroom what they put into the rest of their time together. Sadly in general men feel closer and more ready for intimacy after sex while women need the closeness in order to want and enjoy lovemaking. You say your wife doesn't pay you attention. Have you asked her what she needs in order to feel loved and valued? Sometimes that might be more affectionate greetings like a hug and a kiss on meeting and parting. Sometimes it's more interest in her as a person and as a friend. Sometimes it's more help with the chores or the bills. You can't change her and she can't change you. The only person you can change is yourself. By doing some things differently, by listening as well as talking, by sharing her feelings as well as your own, you can invite but not compel different behaviours from her.

And I do wonder about the unstated anger you must feel when she flirts with other guys but more or less blanks you. Why does she do it? She's obviously not feeling very valued or loved with you. Therefore she's engaging in harmless flirtations to invite some positive attention so she can feel better about herself, don't you think? And don't forget, flirting isn't necessarily a sexual invitation. Mostly it's just a bit of harmless fun that massages the ego of both parties with no further commitment. If she's already feeling hurt and unvalued by you and you tell her off for flirting, she's going to feel more hurt, more unvalued and more likely to look to someone else for attention, don't you think?

I do hope you and she will start remembering just what it is you love about each other. I hope you'll both show each other more kindness and affection, which may well start with you doing something loving and romantic. Once you've both re-established that intimacy with words and gestures, and when you both feel more understood, I'm sure your love will reignite. If you need help in re-establishing that connection and communication, why not invite her to couples counselling?

I wish you and your wife good love. But only the two of you can decide whether that will be with each other. Good luck.

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