The Midlife Sex Conundrum: Surviving a Sexual Drought

by Michelle Montoro

Somewhere on my journey into midlife, I lost my libido. I don’t know where or when or how or why. But one day, it was just gone. I had my children in my late thirties. So perhaps that was part of the reason. I was just plain old tired. Exhausted, in fact. And momming made me feel less sexual and much less desirable. Although my husband never lost his flair for compliments and adoration for me, I just couldn’t seem to see it for myself.

For the first 6 years after having children, my husband heard every possible excuse I could muster to get out of having sex. It was the elephant in the room. All the time. I knew he wanted that intimacy back. And he knew that I didn’t want anything to do with it. Rather than talk about it, we just sort of danced around the issue while the elephant took up more and more space.

While sex was literally the last thing on my mind, it quickly became at the forefront of my mind as I watched my husband become more frustrated at the repeated rejections of his advances. Occasionally, I would realize that it was quite like torture to constantly withhold sex from him. I had no ill intent in this withholding. The idea of sex simply just repelled me. I just didn’t feel sexual. And I wanted nothing to do with it.

We found ways to artificially put me in the mood during these years of the drought. Still it was never quite enough. But suddenly, just before my 43rd birthday, the drought seemed to have lifted.

I recall women a bit older than me speaking about how they suddenly experienced an increased libido in middle age. They spoke of how much better sex is during those mature years. How they felt more sex drive and more confidence and had better orgasms after the age of 40.

I thought it was a myth as I patiently waited for it to happen to me. And then it happened. To say it caught me off guard is an understatement. It literally took me by storm. I’m not complaining, I am just enjoying the ride.

But the ride is quite like a roller coaster. Because I still go through ups and downs. Weeks when my drive is insatiable quickly swing back into weeks when I want nothing to do with sex. Perhaps it has something to do with the combination of young children at home and the hormonal fluctuations of the premenopausal stage.

I don’t really have any explanation for this phenomenon. I really don’t understand this midlife sex conundrum. I’m sure hormones and life are mostly responsible. I also have no idea how long each episode of insatiable sex desire will last, when the next drought is coming, or how long that will last. But when my libido kicks back up, I enjoy the moments for what they are.

If you are in the same type of rut that I was in, just be patient. Both you and your partner. Because this midlife change is nothing short of amazing and exhilarating! When you hear women talk about their fabulous 40’s, it is not a lie. This is by far the best decade of my life on so many levels.

So I encourage you all to open the discussion on this topic. I know it may seem taboo, but for me the best solutions have come from talking about the issue. Too often, we remain alone inside our heads thinking there is something wrong with us. By opening the discussion, I have discovered that I am not alone. And neither are you!

Michelle is a stay-at-home mother of two boys, an Army wife, a passionate scholar, and a lover of words with a driving desire to help others in the pursuit of becoming the best possible versions of themselves. With a background that includes coaching, mental health counseling, philosophy, English, and law, she strives to reach people by sharing her personal stories of struggles and successes. By always keeping it raw and genuine, she reaches her readers on a level that is real and comforting, always accepting and never judgmental.

You can read more of Michelle’s story and what she shares about her life on her blog Shelbee on the Edge.

Michelle is a passionate scholar and a lover of words with a driving desire to help others in the pursuit of becoming the best possible versions of themselves.

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