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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 1985
Experience:  Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
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Can we pls continue where we last left off?

Customer Question

Hi Doctor it's me, can we pls continue where we last left off?
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Hi there, of course! I'm here now.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

So, you had one great night, where you both connected, and then... later you had a time when you felt a bit pushed off, correct?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I don't want to be hopeful. I keep reading online once it's gone it's gone...
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

You don't WANT to be hopeful? You'd rather be hopeless? Sometimes that is true, of course, when things don't work, they are fully broken. But certainly not all the time. That doesn't necessarily apply to everyone.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay...what if it is fully broken? I really don't want to get hurt more..I don't know what to do. It's just like I thought one nice night might bring him back but it doesn't seem so.
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

These kinds of things are very painful. It is so difficult to go through the kind of unknowns and worries of rejection and drastic changes from things you had planned to be so different.. What if it is fully broken? That is a possibility, but not a certainty. And, even if it IS fully broken, that doesn't mean it is beyond repair. BUT, again... that is not the step you're at now. You're still in a stage where you're evaluating what is going on, and what options you have to intervene.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Can you tell me more about how your relationship has been in the past? Does he tend to be a leader? Do you tend to be in more of a submissive or leadership role? How were the early days of when you first met?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay in the early days when we met. He was definitely he leader...I remember thinking gosh he has sex on his mind 24/7 and how am I going to keep up with him. But I remember him cracking jokes that I had no sex drive 😕...and all the sexy stuff went out the window once I got pregnant etc which was 4 months after I got married. (Just so you know I am back to my pre pregnancy weight and I swear people find me very attractive) I just think he lost it for me. Anyway after we got married I got pregnant, he got thyroid cancer, his mom got hit by a car was in coma for two years and recently passed away and I had another baby. He started a three year fellowship in pulmonary critical care ...and we have been married 4.5 yrs. I gues after my first child came it dwindled significNtly and hasn't been the same since. But now that things are more stable I am getting worrie
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Worried also the fact that I had to plan the days for our second child or I would never get pregnant that's how bad it is.
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Aww. What a tough scenario! Good for you for thinking about it so meaningfully and carefully. That shows how much you care!

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Have you had an open discussion with him about your feelings and thoughts and worries?

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

It sounds like he has his own fair share of stress and difficulty going on in his life. How do you think he would respond to a scenario where, while still staying together, you did more of your own thing, and he did his own thing? Not in a "separation" sense, but more in a "taking a break from pressuring one another" sense. of course, there are times, in relationships, where one or the other partners feels like the other partner is less of an alleviation of burden, and more of an extra burden. Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Yeah I understand what you mean. But we did discuss this before and I did leave him alone and 4-5 months went by and nothing!!! We deeply love each other and he is always kissing me hugging me, cuddling with me at night etc. I know if I let this go it will surely die....
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I see. That's very important information, and helpful, thank you for sharing!

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

What about other ways of connecting? Have you tried providing foods, massages... presents/special treats, etc?

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Our discussions seems to have focused on sexual concerns, but is that because you feel like there are no areas other than sexual connection that need support?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Everything else is perfect, honestly. I spend all day in the kitchen cooking meals for my family and I bake a lot, we put the kids to bed and we cuddle and watch movies together. We have nice friends and go out on dates a lot....it's just the sexual connection that is not there. Before we had kids I was working, when I would get dressed for work (I am an attorney) so I had to dress up for court he used to find that so attractive. I haven't worked for over 3 years, do you think that killed it too?
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Wow! All this other stuff all sounds really sweet and nice and good! Re: work vs home mom, I think that depends very much on the relationship and the individuals... I think some men are sensitive to the pressures I was referring to before, where they feel like the only busy/working one, and want the other partner to leverage some weight too... but, of course, there are men who want a partner to dote on them, and they want to be the sole bread-winner.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

There are very real effects that stress and thyroid cancer, and the stress and subsequent death of his mother, have on his hormones. The kids also play a part, and I would imagine there is some component of you and your own sexuality and libido (usually related to childrearing or pregnancy or after-birth period) that are perfectly normal.... but not quite the sexual prototype that men sometimes imagine when they think about a woman and marriage. So, there can sometimes be an adjustment period there.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

In our last conversation, I listed several other options for ways you could reconnect sexually. Are there others on the list that seemed feasible for you?

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Sharing pornography, a trip to an adult store, role playing, trying new locations? Have you taken vacations together, where it's just you two?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
we just came back from cancun Mexico without the kids!!!! I was expecting something, but nothing!!!! I initiated and it happened once!!!! I knew at that point something is very very wrong. Okay I need your professional opinion....does the possibility of getting back a sexual relationship one in which e desires me and wants me sound grim?
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Well, cancun seems nice.. I am always going to be an optimist, unfortunately.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I think, almost universally, that where there is a will, there is a way. It's not always easy.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I think all of your specific solutions are going to be available to you through communication with your husband. Have you considered therapy? Is that something you think he would want?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
He said no, not
Until we try on our own....okay I really don't want your optimism I want statistical professional
Opinion of our odds
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

ok... let me think..

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

the tricky part to calculate is the effect of his stress and the mix of permanent stress (being a physician) and temporary stressors (the sickness, coma, death, mourning, stress of your sexual dysfunction)

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I think there is a safety net built into the marriage itself... the formal agreements, the financial entanglements, the threat of loneliness within divorce... all of those kinds of pressure push reasonable and educated people away from divorce. That being said, 60% of marriages do end in divorce. educated and non-.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I would say that if you're very committed to trying to get it back, and put in the kind of effort that you seem to want to, and give that enough time, I'd say there's a 75% chance that things will work out.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

A lot of what you're telling me is very positive, although I certainly hear the magnitude of the impression that the sexual rejection has on you.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I think you're such a motivated woman, and seem so caring and invested. I think it will work out. I'm happy to be there, to hep by your side along the way, if you'd like.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay so you think there is a 75 percent chance I'll have a man who desires me and will initiate sex with me again?
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

yes, in time. and with considerable effort on your part too.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I have some books I could recommend that may help, and some techniques that may interest you. I think if you put some effort into mastering certain relationship skills, you could help turn up the desire between you.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay turn up the desire like fix my strategy in bed?
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

no no.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Although I'm sure everyone can always improve that aspect of a relationship, my experience and education has pushed me into a space that involves mostly interpersonal skill improvements. The ways we interact with people have a deep and profound impact on our sexual relationship.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

Especially for men, physiologically, the hormonal input to achieving an erection depends on the man being excited and stimulated, but also relaxed and comfortable. A small percentage of that is simply sexual stimulation, but a much greater percentage, again at least in my view, has to do with his brain.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
That's very true....I understand the psychological aspect of it...we r moving to
Another state in August. He just accepted a job opportunity and we r looking for homes. You think a total change of environment can help too?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Also I just keep thinking in cancun I had the time to fix myself and look nice and nothing :((( we want clubbing, frank etc and nothing!!! Sounds beyond over to
Me
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I think a complete change on environment would be a very very stressful experience, and may make things worse initially, but would likely hlep in the long-run, provided you are working on things which may not have been working beforehand.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I understand your despair. I'm so sorry that it feels so horrible.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

it sounds like the plan to move houses and locations is very stressful too... another terrible, but still temporary stress.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay give me very detailed instructions on what to do.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I feel we focused more on why this is happening then a solution
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

I think it would make more sense for us to have a phone call or a skype call.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

what do you think?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay when are you free? It's hard for me today.
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

tomorrow works for me.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

oh. that's thanksgiving. perhaps the day following? or over the weekend?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Over the weekend is good. In the meantime what should I do?
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

What strikes you as a reasonable option, for your mood and his recent moods? Do you think he would respond to a night of special attention on him, the way he responded with oral sex ?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
He told me yesterday not to put pressure...my birthday is ***** up (sadly I will be 35)...should I tell him my birthday wish is to do it once a week set a time every week??? Ughh I feel so stupid, but do you think that could be a good start?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
You know he spends so much time following the stock market etc...and everything else...I deserve some time too...
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

don't feel stupid... it's a very difficult situation, and you feel many levels of pressure. This is unfortunately very common... and a horrible situation. no reason for you to feel bad about your difficulty with it.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

yes, you do deserve some time. I agree. and the part of him which loves you and married you... also agrees. But, that part may be preoccupied, or overwhelmed... and not available to give you the part that you need.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

If he told you not to pressure him, that's exactly what I would suggest doing.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

things which could be perceived as pressuring him are only going to drive him farther away from you, while he's dealing with whatever it is he's dealing with.

Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 16 days ago.

would you like to speak on the phone?