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Health & Sex

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8 of Your Most Common Questions About Sex

Sex therapist Laura Berman reveals the answers to your most intimate questions and shows you how to spice up your sex life.

4. I've Lost My Sex Drive! Why?

Lack of libido is a common problem as women get older and experience the hormonal changes of menopause, but it can happen at any age. Fluctuating hormone levels can contribute (perimenopause can begin as early as age 35), but so can stress at home or at work, medications (some antidepressants and birth control pills have been linked to lowered sex drive), poor physical fitness, and lack of sleep. If you've lost interest in sex, first check physical factors. Visit your doctor for a general checkup and tests that will detect changing hormone levels. Consider whether low libido may be a side effect of a new medication, and make sure that you're getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating healthfully. Then look at your stress level: If your daily to-do list is overwhelming, don't be a hero; get help. Buy, don't bake, cookies for the school sale; tell your boss that you need more assistance on a project. If money woes have you on edge, schedule a family budget talk or a session with a financial adviser at your bank. If you find you need serious help with managing stress, don't hesitate to confide in a therapist or your clergyperson. Finally, take time for the pleasures that can reconnect you with your inner vixen: a hot bath, a spa day, time with friends, date night with your husband.

5. My Husband/I Cheated. How Do We Get Past It?

It is possible to repair after an affair. First, the partner who cheated must cut off all communication with the ex-lover, and make it clear that he or she is recommitting to the marriage. The unfaithful spouse should be 100 percent honest about the affair, but refrain from giving too many gory details. Therapy is important; a couples' counselor can help you find out what led to the infidelity and how to rebuild the relationship. Outside of the therapy session, the injured party should get to vent, rant, or cry for 10 minutes a day, and the unfaithful spouse must listen and accept the hurt he or she has caused. Limiting these venting sessions to 10 minutes a day preempts constant fighting about the subject and allows a couple to focus on rebuilding. I've seen this technique work over a six-month period or less: The more the wounded spouses allow themselves to feel and express their hurt, and the more they feel validated and heard, the lighter the emotional burden becomes, and moving on seems possible.

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