Ask Anna: 'My wife isn't interested in sex anymore – what do I do?'

Anna Williamson
·5 min read

Q: I've been married for over 10 years but my wife doesn't seem interested in the least in sex anymore.

I work hard to provide for my family and I still do plenty around the house to show that I care and that love her.

I'm not perfect but I just want to be shown some affection. Any advice would be great.

Watch: What to do when your partner loses interest in sex – Anna Williamson gives advice

Got a burning question on relationships, sex, parenting, dating or mental health you feel too embarrassed to ask?

Qualified counsellor, life coach and Celebs Go Dating’s resident expert Anna Williamson is here to help, giving advice for Yahoo Style UK. Find out how to submit your question below.

Anna says:

Thank you so much for sending in this question. I think it’s something that really resonates with a lot of couples.

Without wanting this to sound like a massive cliche, a relationship really is one of the biggest rollercoasters in life we can go on – particularly when it’s been going on for some time, and 10 years is a really good innings.

Relationships do ebb and flow. They are about give and take, passing the baton, one of you holding up the other when they need it and vice versa. It’s a constant game of push and pull.

One thing is for sure, though: a relationship has to include people working together. Both of you need to be giving 100% at all times for it to work.

Life happens, and when you reach these hurdles, the main thing I want to advise is that communication is absolutely key.

Relationship crisis in bed with feeling of guilt
Open up lines and communication and ask your partner if there's anything wrong (Getty Images)

Read more: ‘My husband left me and filed for divorce – how do I tell our three kids?

Communication, honesty and trust are the foundations of any successful relationship.

What I want you to do is speak to your wife. It might sound really obvious, but how many of us actually sit down and properly talk to our other half?

Ask your wife what is going on for her and if there’s anything she would like to talk to you about.

A lack of sex drive can be related to so many things. It can be a sign of stress or anxiety, and we’ve been living in a very stressful world recently.

A lot of people have been finding their sex drives have been dwindling because when you’re stressed, anxious, burned out or you’ve got a lot on your mind, it can really play havoc with your libido.

Ask your wife how she is, what’s going on for her. Ask if there’s anything wrong, or anything you can help her with, and work out where you both are in the relationship.

Choose your timing wisely. It’s best not to sneak up on someone in the spur of the moment and ask for a chat when she’s perhaps busy with work, looking after the kids or about to go out.

Pre-warn her – in a good way – just say you want to have a chat and reconnect. Say there are a few things you want to talk to her about and you’d love to have some time with her.

Time is the one thing we can and should all give each other.

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Young couple sitting on couch
It's important to find time to have open and honest conversations (Getty Images)

Read more: ‘Sometimes during sex I cry for no reason – is this normal?’

Go for a walk. Don’t take your phones, have no distractions and just amble. This can be a really good way to reconnect with someone.

Explain to her how you’re feeling. This is really important as it might sound obvious, but she perhaps doesn’t know what you’re thinking about your sex life.

She may feel you’re fine with it as you haven’t brought it up.

Tap into your love languages. Each of us has a preference on how we know we feel loved and want to be treated.

There are five love languages: words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, quality time and acts of service.

Telling someone you love them – words of affirmation – might be all some partners need, but if that isn’t your other half’s love language then it might not mean much to her.

You say you do a lot around the house. Well, you would be a brilliant partner for me as acts of service is my number one love language.

That’s how I know my partner loves me, even if he just loads the dishwasher so I don’t have to.

Young woman kissing boyfriend in the city
Find your partner's love language and use it to show them how you feel (Getty Images)

Read more: How do I move on with someone else after a nasty break-up?

Tap into your wife’s needs. Ask her what makes her feel loved, and then tell her what makes you feel loved.

Moving forwards, with regard to the sex life, remember that while sex is the ultimate goal, we don’t have to go straight in with that.

Start with the basics like cuddling, hand-holding, perhaps even a little massage in the kitchen while you’re cooking dinner.

Physical touch is really important to help us reconnect physically with our other half.

If she’s feeling a bit lack-lustre at the moment with sex, this could be a way to show each other that you are still affectionately loving each other.

Give it a try. Have that conversation. Effective communication really is the best thing we can all do in our relationship to make sure that everyone feels head and that we’re serving our other half as best as we possibly can.

Good luck.

Watch the video above for Anna’s full response on this issue.

Follow Anna on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Submit your question for Anna

If you would like to submit a question, e-mail it to nicola.oakley@verizonmedia.com with the subject line ‘Ask Anna’. Want to be anonymous? No problem - just let us know in your message.