She doesn't want sex anymore
As humans, people need to be close to and around others. As couples age, they still hope to maintain a level of intimacy with their partners, but with a number of arising factors, women may not desire an active sex life and no longer see the value of sex in their marriages.
Many would think that menopause could be the only cause of the decline in an older woman's sex drive, but according to clinical sexologist, Karen Carpenter, even though menopause causes different changes in the female's body, there are other factors that can cause these changes in a woman.
"There are other reasons why women may not seek an active sex life. It may be partner-specific, where she is not sexually interested in her partner; situational, where there is a reason or a situation that makes her partner unfavourable; or generalised, where she doesn't want sex because of her belief system, low libido or generally lacks interest," Carpenter expressed.
Grace Welders*, a 57-year-old mother who has been married for 28 years, shares with Outlook that there were a number of factors that led to a decrease in her sexual desires. One of the factors was that she was postmenopausal and did not want to be touched by her husband.
"At the time, I didn't know why I wasn't interested in intimate encounters with my husband. I knew menopause would cause a lot of changes to my lifestyle, but I didn't know the extent of it. My husband complained about not getting sex from me, but I just did not feel aroused by him. After months had passed, I realised that not only was I not interested because of the change in my body, but because of our lingering unresolved issues," Welders expressed.
This created a lot of problems in her marriage, but with years of challenges and affairs, the issue of her husband lacking sex seemed minor. To avoid him requesting or expecting sex, she took up more responsibilities in the church and threw herself into her work. After four years without sex, she and her husband worked on their problems, and she now makes a sacrifice to ensure that her husband is sexually satisfied.
According to Carpenter, "Sex is dynamic and requires interaction, so if there is a problem between spouses, it is natural for sex to not be any interest. Sex is also a 'we' problem and not a 'me' problem. There are eight types of love, and the type will identify the basis of the relationship. For some couples, sex is not the basis of their relationship."
She went on to advise that senior couples who are having issues should seek professional help so they can get consultation on resolving the issues.
"Some couples are just fine with their situation and should be left alone," she added.