Dear Dr. Romance:

This is a diificult one for you, my daughter's stepdaughter was molested by my father about two years ago, because of it we had financial issues, had to leave our home and buy another and go through a long court proceeding, which ended several months ago. A month later, my wife had bad depression but has recovered (she has had theses issues since very young).

We get along great now and we hardly fight but my problem is that there isn't much touching or kissing or affection from her, we do not have a sex life as it is painful physically for her and she is going to a dr. this month to see if it may be endometriosis, but i wait for sexual relations, for affection, and nothing. I have tried to discuss it and she gets furious as she takes it as i am putting her down because she doesn't have sex with me, she has no drive at all.  She has talked to her mom and is on some progesterone treatment because she feels it all started after having her tubes tied and getting off of the pill in which she was on for 11 years.  She has had weight gain and can not lose it.

So there is a lot of issues within her and i have tried everything: i feel i am very loving,  i listen always, compassionate, and understanding to a point but i want so much more from the love of my life that i can not help but feel that i may be doing something wrong even though she emphatically tells me it has nothing to do with me. Romance ain't happenin' either, i have went to all lengths to be romantic and she does not like it because she feels like sex should come after it. I have discussed my needs but she will only participate if i ask and i am unable to do anything at all to her or intimately with her. Overall we are happy and have a great relationship it is just the intimate issue i can't seem to overcome or FIX as i guess men always want to do and it makes me feel inadequate and sometimes insecure.

Dear Reader:

Yes, that's a tough problem. When sex is painful for a woman, there are no easy answers. There are things you can do other than intercourse, but the first thing is to go with your wife to the doctor. Ask the doctor to recommend a counselor you can see together. Tell your wife that, because you love her, you want to go to counseling with her to figure out what can be done. Read my article "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely"  to help you find a counselor who is knowledgeable about sexual issues.  Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences contains a series of exercises to help you and your wife work through this issue.

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For low-cost counseling, email me at

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.