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‘My wife has menopause and it hasn’t been easy on our marriage. Is it too late to fix things?’

‘My wife has menopause and it hasn’t been easy on our marriage. Is it too late to fix things?’

Carol is going through menopause and is having a tough time. She’s gained weight, is not interested in sex, and it’s tearing her marriage apart. Her husband Michael is getting frustrated and ended up straying outside of their marriage … three times. Michael loves Carol and wants to repair things, but doesn’t know if it’s possible in a sexless marriage.

My Advice:

Your marriage is going through a very difficult time, and you’ve been tested in every way possible. From Carol’s physical issues to Michael’s infidelities, it doesn’t look good. I know if you two really love each other, you can work this out … but it’s not going to be easy.

Carol, you’re going to have to see a gynecologist. You should check that there are no physical reasons that sex is no longer enjoyable. It’s possible you have a prolapsed bladder — that’s when your bladder has fallen out of its normal position. This could very serious condition, so you would need to get it taken care of, both for your overall health as well as your sex life. Many women are able to maintain an active sex life even while going through menopause. It may require some adjustments, such as using a good-quality lubricant, or finding sexual positions that allow the woman to be more fully satisfied. But there’s no way to fix your sex life if there are un-attended physical concerns that are not dealt with.

Michael, you’ve been married thirty years, and you’ve had three affairs. You need to acknowledge how painful this may have been for Carol. There’s also a real issue of trust here. I suggest that you promise Carol to be faithful while you both work through this hard time. If what you want is to have sex more often, then you’ll need to be patient and stand by Carol while she takes the steps she needs to get better. This may take a lot of time and love, and you need to decide if you’re willing to be there for her or not.

We need to deal with both of your emotional and physical changes first if you two have any hope of moving forward together. You both say you love each other, and this is a good start, but restoring intimacy in this context is going to take a major effort at communication. You may find it very helpful to find a therapist who could help you both better understand each other and the barriers that may exist to physical and emotional closeness. You’ve been married thirty years, that’s a long time and the fact that you haven’t divorced yet says you both feel there is a lot work hanging on to. Ideally, you will find a solution to the sex issue that is satisfying for both of you and you’ll look back on this period as the challenging time that, ultimately, brought you closer together.

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