Ask Kari: My wife of 8 years won’t be intimate with me — should I give up?

Dear Kari,

I am at the end of my rope. I love my wife, but I am tired of living in a marriage with no intimacy. We have been married 8 years; I try and be kind and romantic with her, but nothing works to entice her into wanting to be intimate with me. How long do you think I should wait before giving up?

Frozen Out

Dear Frozen Out,

You did not share with me the other aspects of your marriage (e.g. do you have respect with each other, same outlook on life, practice good communication, etc.), so I will do my best to make recommendations. First, it is not unusual for couples to have different periods of intimacy throughout their relationship. I would pick a peaceful time to speak with your wife and ask her about her outlook on sex and intimacy (i.e. does she enjoy being intimate, does she think about being intimate with you, when is she most interested in being intimate). Gently lean in to her and attempt to connect verbally, pausing at times to hear her needs vs. only reflecting on your own. Then, make some agreements to use moving forward in your relationship regarding intimacy. If this conversation does not go as well as you hope, I recommend that you seek additional support from a counselor in your community.


As published in the October 2016 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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