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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Hi I have been married for 13 years. My husband and I have

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I have been married for 13 years. My husband and I have had (in my opinion) a good sex life. But I (being the insecure one) do regularly check that he is satisfied and fulfilled. He always says yes but once in a while he may need to look after himself as he has a fairly high libido. This past summer he has been less interested in sex and I do know he had much additional stress with work and blamed that. Summer is over and the sex interest hasn't returned to it's normalcy. Still up and down, we've talked and now thinks it's his age (approaching 40) but it is not a disinterest in myself.

I accidentally found a little stash of porn dvds that have never been shared with me. I have since asked (on a slow night) if he's picked any new dvds up etc etc but he claims not to have. So it seems obvious that he doesn't want to share them with me. For about a year now I've been checking them on occasion to see if they seem to be getting used (moved around) and they have.

It bothers me. I don't know what to do. Part of me wants to let him have his fantasy if it keeps him faithful but part of me wonders if there's more. Also wonder if I'm being replaced by a porn dvd and that's why he's not wanting sex with me. Should I talk to him? He can be a bit of a liar (tells other people what they want to hear so I wonder if I'm any different) and I'm worried I won't get the truth anyway. Worried also about the fact that I've been looking in his hiding spot (which did happen accidentally to start with) he will feel intruded upon and angry.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how worrisome and distressing this situation must be for you. This has been going on for a while and it doesn't seem to be getting better. So that's worrisome. And it feeds into your worry about being satisfying to him. And so that's distressing.

But before we go into drastic action mode, let's first see if fine tuning the sex between you two will have therapeutic effect. If not, then you can write back and I'll be glad to recommend the more drastic actions that can be taken. But it's good to start first with the smaller changes as most marriages after a while need freshening.

It does not sound as though there's any extramarital activity going on. That's good. It sounds as though he's getting less and less confident about himself, though. Men get that way and express it in different ways than women. So our goal is to "bring him out" sexually. That doesn't mean you go into heavy duty female fantasy mode. But you can try being more seductive and that may help a lot:

There's nothing wrong with a trip to Victoria's Secret or online buying more seductive somethings. Not too many. Don't overwhelm.

And there's nothing wrong with you asking (very innocently...) if he would be interested in watching a sexy movie. You may not be into porn, most women aren't, and if so, that's fine. You might leave this one alone. Or tone it down to a video that actually has a plot and is a movie.

Next is Kegel exercises. That's to strengthen your vaginal muscles. Here's the Mayo Clinic entry on them:

And in fact, you might consider exercise. Exercise regularly at least 4-5 times a week and become knowledgeable about it. If you would prefer videos at home, go to and look at all the videos available. That site lets you preview them and has the leading instructors.

Let's pause: yes, I know I'm making all the suggestions for you and none for him. Two reasons. You're the one writing. But more importantly, men are funny creatures. We need to seduce our wives when we're at our prime and to be seduced as we get older, more stressed out, and less confident about ourselves. So don't forget this principle. It's honorable for the wife to be the seductress (not go overboard on this but I hope you see the idea) and not some other woman he might meet somewhere.

Now for toys: suction vibrators can help. Any vibrator can also be useful. Let him play with it on you, play with it on him as well.

If he would like to try Viagra, you can ease him into it that it's not weird in your eyes and you've "even heard" some women talking about their husband asking his doctor for a prescription and was glad it sounded so normal.

And finally, keep telling him how great he is. Yes, stroke his ego. As men age this becomes the biggest aphrodisiac. They're out there and it's brutal for men as they age and younger men are trying to get their jobs, clients, or income. Comparing themselves is inevitable. Self doubt creeps in. Wives' opinions lessen of their men. This leads to isolation, masturbation, etc.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks Dr Mark

Your advise makes alot of sense. I do exercise (a lot) and have an assortment of lingere which he loves me to wear (as it shows him my enthusiasm) and I do wear it frequently. And I do make more advances than I used to. Perhaps not enough.

I guess I feel like I've been working pretty hard at this and we've had a number of talks about it, he appeares to be very confident (always has) but I don't think he's being honest with me. We had sex a few times this week (he's been feeling better) and I still found the dvd's changing. I feel if I tell him what I have found that he'll have to be more truthful. Should I tell him or is there another way I can get him to be honest? He won't tell me his fantasies either, are they (perhaps in his mind) something I don't want to hear?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.
Okay, that is very important. It could be that he has a porn problem. Perhaps. But there are other possibilities:

It could be that he feels he "energizes" his sex life by "recharging" with the porn. Maybe.

It could be like you said that he needs the fantasy aspect. More probable.

I always hesitate to get wives to make a big deal out of porn watching by husbands in our country with what used to be called"soft porn" now being not only in newspaper and magazine ads but on bus stops, billboards, everywhere. Unless it gets out of hand. Yes, I know about nipping in the bud. But there's also the bigger chance that this is his fantasy outlet. I can't predict.

If it is his fantasy outlet, then it needs to be respected. Men and women need fantasy for sex to happen at all. Human sex is mostly in the mind. And for men, it's more fantasy about the "meat" than for women. I'm sorry to be crude, but it's like that.

That's why I'm hesitant to have you "find" the porn. You most likely aren't going to want to watch it. And it may not be an addiction. So, it's a judgment call.

I can't make that call for you, but I think at this point, I would recommend that you thank G-d he fantasizes with the dvds and has sex with YOU!

All the best, XXXXX XXXXX
Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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