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joyces (@joyces)

Major Changes as Spouses Age

Aging Well | Last Active: Oct 23, 2020 | Replies (51)

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@joyces, @gingerw, @indiana Scott Not sure where to post this, but… My 75 year old husband has had diabetes for 30 years, and kidney transplant in 2018. He has no interest in sex; he will say he does but that he is impotent. He cannot take testosterone the doctor said. I am 79, not overweight, healthy, fairly attractive, and feel sad that he spends so much time in his office watching youtube videos. Or is it just normal for older couples to stop making love? Can a man ever regain a little of his sexuality with these handicaps? Or not. We have sort of made love 3 times only in the last 10 months. Is there hope?

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Replies to "@joyces, @gingerw, @indiana Scott Not sure where to post this, but... My 75 year old husband..."

Hi @maryflorida I can only answer this based on my observations and experiences. Please to not take this as 'mansplaining', but just me trying to answer your question.

During my wife's 14+ year war with brain cancer sex was the furthest thing from her mind and not ever even the remotest consideration. I understood this. Since she was fighting a deadly disease she had to focus where she was able and that was not sex. We found other ways to express our love for each other and understood that this was just one more change in our lives we hadn't anticipated nor did we enjoy. But in her words 'Scott, I'm sorry, but it is what it is'.

Here's my honest, individual take on this as a 69 year old man. I can say things don't work the same as they did when I was in my 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. As much as I might want it to work the same it isn't and that's a tough issue for every man I've ever known who has been truthful about it. As a male, overcoming the concerns of not being able to perform up to the expectations of our partner can be extremely daunting and cause for avoiding sex. It's highly embarrassing to a man to not be as virile as he once was and avoidance can become far easier to manage at times. There are also the constant societal messages men get that there is always something you can do, or take, to be 20 again and the anxiety and guilt if you can't faces you in yet another way. Then when you add personal health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, major health interventions/surgeries, etc. and the actual fear of what might happen to you during sex can be huge. I know after my stroke I was petrified of what might happen to me when I got sexually aroused and involved.

Can a guy's sex life change later in life? I'm sure this is a highly individualize question for a guy to answer, so I cannot answer this for anyone else. I can only say the biggest factor for me was connecting with someone of the opposite sex who was understanding of the sexual realities, at least for me and some of us men, of simply being older.

So just my two cents plain.

Strength, courage, and peace

@maryflorida I read your post, and read @IndianaScott's reply also. He has helped enlighten more than one of us without a doubt.
I can reply only based on what i have read, and experienced.

There seems to be science that supports the theory that a male mind considers mostly the physical act of making love, not always the emotional impact also. Humans as a species need, and indeed crave, the touch of another being, human or animal, for good emotional health. From a female's mind perspective, lovemaking and touch can come in many forms. Frankly, my husband has a much higher libido than I do. I also struggle with very real chronic physical and mental health issues, and this leads me to being a less enthusiastic partner than he would prefer. But as I have told him, and as @IndianaScott experienced "it is what it is". I am sorry it is that way, but unless my mind is also in the game, my body and sexual drive isn't there.

If you and your partner are open to it, there is always counseling to try, to recover the feelings of closeness you both need. You certainly wouldn't be the first couple to try that. Frank, open, and loving discussions can also go a long way. My husband and I are newlyweds so to speak, in our mid to late 60s, but married less than 3 years, after being singles for a long time. We are making the real attempt to be open with each other, still learning about each other . I hope this helps you, and feel free to contact me or post any concerns.

@maryflorida It's very possible that the medications he takes have caused a loss of libido. If he's not interested in sex, would he at least be interested in snuggling, that type of intimacy? If he can't actually perform then of course he would lose interest.

As you said, he does love you in his own way. You may need to be satisfied with that. I know that's not the answer you want to hear but it may be the truth.