Dear At A Crossroads,
It’s wonderful that after 8 years in your romantic relationship (or perhaps because of it) you and your partner have a deep friendship and affection for each other. In most successful relationships I’ve seen, it’s the mutual love and respect in couples that gives rise to a deep level of understanding between the individuals.
It appears that you understand that your partner undergoing menopause may contribute to her lack of interest in sex. You see, menopausal and post-menopausal women experience a loss of estrogen and testosterone, which lead to changes in their body, sexual drive, and mood. These women may not be easily aroused, and they may be less sensitive to being touched (for the purpose of sex). Simply put, in my counselling practice, I’ve heard women describe menopause as the “death of womanhood.” This “death” refers not only to the waning of their libido but to their absence as a lover in their partner’s life.
I believe that your sex life with your partner can be revived by helping her feel like a woman. Put sex on the back-burner for now, and, instead, woo her. Whether she’s Chinese, European, Indian, etc., all women love to be courted – to still feel, after many years with their partner, wanted and desired by them for who they are as a complete person and their love-interest.
There are many ways to show interest in your partner and spice up your relationship so that both of your needs for intimacy are met. Try to seduce her the way you used to when you first began dating. Take her to your then favorite restaurant and share what you ate the first time you went there. Dance the night away at the nightclub you both used to enjoy. Feel each other’s pulse while holding hands in silence as you walk barefoot on your favorite beach.
On weekdays, instead of coming home and immediately sifting through the mail or checking your email, give your partner a hug and then sit down with her and share both the happy incidents and disappointments of your day. Encourage her to share with you the events of her day, and listen attentively while she does this.
One of the best ways to help a woman feel like a woman is to share your core feelings with her. I recommend that you and your partner take turns telling each other what, or who, in your past has given you the most happiness, fear, anger, guilt, sadness, emptiness, passion, and so on. For example, you could begin by asking your lady: “What is the one thing in your life that makes you, or has made you, happy?” After she responds, ask her: “When was the last time you experienced this feeling?” The same two questions could then be applied to the other feelings on the list. Sharing your experiences and then discussing your feelings about them will help you and your partner rebuild intimacy with each other. Once regained, emotional intimacy will, understandably, lead to the intimacy of a more sexual nature, something you are craving.