This is the kind of question that makes me grateful to have Mary Jo Rapini, who specializes in relationship counseling, as an advisor to MiddlesexMD
. When I shared some of your story with her, she said:
It sounds as though your wife may have felt detached from you for a number of years. Recent events have caused her to realize that her concern for you was actually still love, which is a first step: She still loves you, and you still love her.
I often see that couples who lack intimacy actually lack communication. I'd recommend that you focus on communicating better, resolving conflict, and taking every opportunity to be intimate without a focus on physical intimacy or intercourse. It sounds as though your wife has feelings she's uncomfortable talking to you about, which suggests that counseling for her alone would be wise. A therapist can help her understand what she is feeling so the two of you can work together to restore a healthy sex life.
Therapy is also best when you are both healthy physically—including your sexual health. Some women react to perimenopause with depression or anxiety, which it's helpful to address first.
We hope that's helpful, and that you and your wife are able to have a full life together. We're all in favor of healthy, lasting relationships!
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