Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Conflicting Libidos: How to Understand Each Other's Feelings

The most common sexual problem for couples during pregnancy and after the birth of their child is their conflicting libidos. Most likely, the man is interested in sex and the woman is not. Her lack of interest can stem from several factors, including hormonal changes, fatigue and illness. Sometimes a decreased interest may be due to a woman's anxiety about becoming a mother or her idea that her mate is not meeting her emotional needs. Other times, it is the man who doesn't want sex. This can be an extremely frustrating and emotionally stressful situation for both partners, but, with effective communication, they can begin to understand each other's feelings and start working toward a happier and healthier sex life.

Honest communication is very important during this time. You are probably both experiencing worry and some apprehension about becoming new parents. Sharing each other's feelings and supporting each other can create a stronger and more trusting relationship, which will positively effect your sex life.

Talk About What He Thinks Of Her New Body

Sometimes a man becomes more attracted to his wife when she is pregnant and after she becomes a mother. Other times a man may be turned off by his wife's new appearance. Neither of these feelings is unusual or wrong. If the man finds his wife extremely attractive during this time, it is important that he shares this with her. Knowing that he finds her so appealing will most likely help her to feel better about herself and may help her feel sexier and more in the mood for sex. If, on the other hand, he does not find her as attractive as he used to, this must be discussed rationally and without the woman getting defensive. He should express his feelings as sensitively as possible, explaining that he does not love her any less, but that he is simply having a difficult time seeing her as a sex object. She, in return, should not take his feelings personally and should try to understand why her husband feels this way. Sometimes just getting such feelings off of his chest will help a man to feel more comfortable about his partner's new body. The couple may also want to discuss ways to make the woman's new appearance more attractive to her mate.

Talk About What She Thinks Of Her New Body

A lot of women actually enjoy being pregnant, but they are not too crazy about their new body. They may think they are unattractive because of weight gain, stretch marks, fatigue, illness or any of several other reasons. These feelings can continue after childbirth, also, because her appearance is still not back to normal. This can impede on her and her partner's sex life because if she doesn't find herself attractive, she cannot possibly understand why her mate would. Talking to her husband about her feelings can help him understand why she isn't interested in sex, letting him know that it isn't because of him. Sharing her feelings may also prompt him to tell her how attractive she actually is to him, which may help her feel sexier.

Show Proof That You're Not Abnormal

Sometimes the person whose sexual desires are not being fulfilled cannot be convinced that his or her partner's lack of interest is not personal. In this case, whoever is not interested in sex should show his or her partner proof in the form of a pregnancy manual, doctor's opinion or the testimony of someone close to the couple that a decreased libido during this time is perfectly normal. The proof should help the rejected partner realize that there are several sound medical reasons that cause a decrease in sex drive during and after pregnancy and that it is not because he or she is no longer sexually desirable.

The most important aspect of understanding each other's conflicting libidos is to discuss the problem calmly, objectively and sensitively. Each partner must realize that pregnancy and becoming new parents are stressful for both people and that this stress can negatively effect a normally healthy sex life. Whenever conflicting libidos arise, it is almost never because one partner no longer cares for and loves the other. It is also rarely due to one partner being less attracted to the other. If the lack of interest is not discussed, though, or if it is discussed negatively and in a hurtful manner, animosity and feelings of inadequacy can lead to a much more serious problem than a decreased sex life. Honest but supportive communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship during and after pregnancy.

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