109 of 120 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful book, but not a magic potion
, August 26, 2010
This review is from: The Sex-Starved Marriage: Boosting Your Marriage Libido: A Couple's Guide (Paperback)
I have struggled for an embarrassingly long time in a sex-starved marriage, so when I saw this book, I felt like my prayers had been answered.
For background: I'm the high libido (HL) spouse and my wife has the low libido (LL). My wife tells me I am still tall, dark and handsome, and I know I am in good shape... but after years of isolation, lack of affection and general neglect, you can't help but question it. I'm still in my 30's and I frequently get appreciative looks from women that walk by, but... it still eats away at my self confidence. It's hard to put it out of my mind, like a dark cloud that follows me. From the book, I understand it is just as heartbreaking for women who are married to LL men. If it helps anyone else feeling this way, you are not alone.
Anyway, as hurt, demoralized and upset as I feel from the constant rejection, I realize this is a problem for couples - not just the one who is feeling unloved. I make no claims of objectivity. This kind of rejection is as personal as it gets. Even so, I was glad to see Dr. Weiner Davis treated both the HL and the LL partners fairly. After trying for years to get through to my wife, I didn't relish reading about what I might be doing to contribute to the problem, but I could see she was trying to walk a difficult line and balance the different points of view.
On the other hand, the author made many sharp observations that LL partners ought to consider. My favorite was when she pointed out the unfairness of a husband or wife knowing and acknowledging their spouse was dying for affection, still choosing *not* to fix what is missing, and still expecting the lonely one to remain faithful. Weiner Davis said that kind of attitude would only lead to infidelity, divorce or both. I believe she is correct on that.
"The Sex Starved Marriage" is a quick read. (Odds are if you are reading this review, you understand how all consuming the loneliness becomes!) If it's constantly on your mind, and you are desperate for relief, you probably could get through the book in one or two sittings. I found the book to be charming, even funny in places, but most of all it made me feel understood. Dr. Weiner Davis understands the pain you are feeling. Most importantly, she offers plenty of real world practical advice, for both the HL and LL spouses.
I was so excited to read such lucid and fair analysis, I bought a copy of the book for my wife and begged her to read it too. (She did, somewhat begrudgingly.) We talked about it, and after finishing it, my wife seemed to finally "get it." Sadly, the impression it made on her wasn't lasting, and as soon as she had come around to it, the understanding evaporated and her old attitudes and behaviors returned.
A couple more years has passed, and the problem remains. Now if I refer back to the book, my wife retorts that she can "find stuff on the internet that agrees with her too." I don't blame the author or the book, of course. The book made a wonderful case for how important *and* urgent it is for couples to work together to find some compromise for their mismatched libidos. But ultimately, the person holding the power (usually the LL partner) needs to have the motivation - and LOVE for his/her spouse - to fix the problem. My wife doesn't feel the urgency, and as long as I'm not complaining, she doesn't even feel like there is a problem. When someone writes a book that can fix that, I'll buy two copies. ;-)
For those of you who know what this feels like, I hope your significant other values you enough to face this issue and fix it. Good luck. This book might help, but it can't perform miracles.
PS: If anyone reading this knows of another book worth trying, or just some advice, please share it.
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