Since my wife left me I’ve lost my libido

Since my wife walked out on our 10-year marriage three years ago, I have completely lost any desire to have sex, even though I have been dating some very attractive women. 

I am in my early 40s and am healthy and fit. Will I ever regain my sexual drive?

Well I really do hope so, because nice, genuinely single guys in their early 40s are a rare breed.

Almost every dating site in the country has a glut of attractive 40-something women on file, and a complete dearth of middle-aged men to send them out on dates with.

So, if you can find your mojo, you will be as spoilt for choice as a kid in a candy store with a credit card.

I realise that losing your wife, your confidence and your sex drive absolutely sucks but, unless you get rid of the nasty after-taste that your marriage has left in your mouth, you won’t regain your sexual appetite.

Being dumped is awful and, arguably, women have an easier time of it than men. We are allowed to blub our feelings out while we bore our friends senseless, raking over every detail until we are sick of the sound of our own voices.

But men don’t have that opportunity. Because society says that “big boys don’t cry”, the injured male must head off into the emotional badlands to lick his wounds alone. Then he digs a great big grave, buries all his feelings in it and comes back to town to get on with his life.

He pretends that being dumped didn’t hurt and that he didn’t feel humiliated. He pretends that he can function socially and enjoy dating attractive women and that rage, abandonment, injustice, hurt, fear don’t haunt him from their shallow grave. But of course they do.

So, although you are posing as a guy who is “getting on with his life”, I suspect that you and your life aren’t getting on at all.

Your lack of desire is a discomforting symptom but the real sickness is simply that you are still so bloody angry with your ex. It’s not unusual.

Anyone who has been dumped will be familiar with the relentless, obsessive mullings and surges of fury that take an all- consuming hold of mind and body.

And anger is such a powerful physiological response that it is hard to combat rationally.

Anger is adrenalin-powered and the latter puts your body into a state of red alert, diverting bloodflow away from extremities — such as fingers, toes, and genitals — straight to the heart, lungs and muscles.

Oh, and because an erection is the last thing you need before you storm out of the room, the blood vessels in your penis contract, rendering a hard-on impossible.

No matter how intellectual an approach you adopt to anger, or how much dust is supposed to have settled, if you don’t diffuse your emotional bombs, unexpected triggers will continue to set them off for years.

The stress of tiptoeing around volatile gelignite is a full-time job and if you are not careful it can become an excuse for not dealing with anything.

Not processing your anger means that you are too traumatised to have a libido, which means you protect yourself from what you are most afraid of.

Not wanting to have sex stops you forming a sexual relationship with a woman and, as such, negates the possibility of you getting hurt. Or laughed at. Or humiliated. Or compromised. Or rejected.

A GP would probably suggest a course of Viagra or a similar drug, but this would be offering a physical fix to a mental problem.

Though “therapy” always sounds a bit ominous, I think a course of either sexual or cognitive therapy would help you enormously.

Once you can see the link between your low sex drive, your self-esteem and your relationship history, you will be able to own your feelings, diffuse your bomb and get yourself back to the candy store where a thousand sweeties await you. Bonne chance.

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