The Lust Bust

Marriage can sink the male libido, and here's why

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It's hard to have a decent marriage if you're not having sex. The problem is, many people find it difficult to have decent sex if they are married.

In fact, loss of libido, or "inhibited desire syndrome," is the top complaint many psychologists and family counselors hear from many of the men they counsel, according to this MSNBC story. And loss of interest in sex by one partner or both partners can ruin a marriage, the psychologists and counselors say.

For men, the lack of interest in sex is sometimes tied to anger. Some men withhold sex as a form of "payback," the story says. Or, if a woman makes more money than her husband, there can be a loss of desire. Physical and emotional ills can also contribute to a loss of desire in men, as can depression, heavy drinking, certain medications, thyroid disease and tumors of the pituitary gland. Stress and fatigue can contribute as well.

What to do? One solution is to not get married. People who live together have more sex than married couples, according to the article. Or, if you do marry, don't have kids. But then, you miss out on a lot of the fun and fulfillment children offer. The third choice is to get married, have kids and try to work it out like everyone else.

If you experience lack of desire, first rule out any physical and psychological causes. If you're taking an antidepressant, consider switching to one that actually can help increase desire, such as Wellbutrin -- if that's OK with your doctor.

But if your plan is to skip that heart-to-heart with your wife and go right for the aphrodisiacs, think again. Here's an article from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about their effectiveness. What is libido anyway? If you have to ask, click here.

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