If your wife has turned into No-Nookie of the North, bitch goddess of the frozen tundra, the problem may be emotional rather than physical, according to recent Kinsey Institute research. The study also suggests that in any given month, nearly one-quarter of women will report some sexual distress.
"When a woman feels dissatisfied, it's very rarely in one realm," says Scott Haltzman, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. Here are some clues she's not happy:
1. She pulls away from your children
"She may resist caring for the kids because she's hoping you might notice that her needs aren't being met," says Dr. Haltzman. "What she's doing is asking you to talk."
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2. The credit-card bill is higher
"Some women resort to shop therapy to fulfill themselves," says Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., author of Adultery, the Forgivable Sin .
3. She's gained weight
"Women will over-compensate for the lack of sex by eating more to feed their sexual hunger," says Eaker Weil.
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4. She's working or drinking more
It may be an attempt to disconnect from you.
5. She lets snide comments slip out in conversations with friends
"She's telling you something's wrong," says Judy Kuriansky, Ph.D., a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University Teacher's College.
6. You catch her masturbating
"If she's having sex solo more often than usual, it's a sign that you're not taking care of all her sexual needs," says Eaker Weil. "Ask for directions. If she's shy about talking, say, 'I know that I'm not pleasing you, but I want to please you. Is this what you like?"
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7. She's turned into a vixen
"If she's bringing home sex toys or suggesting you rent videos, it may mean she thinks the old pattern isn't doing it for her anymore," says Haltzman.
8. She's turned into a cold fish
"Not moving much during sex and being less responsive are obvious withdrawal signals," says Kuriansky. "The only way to know what's up is to talk."
9. She's looking hotter lately
"She's sending the message that she's a sexual being, because she thinks you're missing it," says Dr. Haltzman.
10. She's more critical of you
It could mean you aren't paying enough attention to her outside the bedroom. "Satisfaction comes from being respected, loved, appreciated, and desired — emotionally and physically," says Eaker Weil.
Find out how to deal with her most annoying behaviors, and you'll both be happier and more satisfied with your relationship.
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