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Health & Sex

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Are You Spouses or Just Roommates?

You've drifted into a sexless marriage. Can this relationship be saved? Yes, experts say.

He's Just Not Up for It? continued...

The stereotype of grumpy old men exists for a reason, Foley explains. "With aging comes an increase in depression and irritability. Women complain to me -- I was ready to try these things, but I couldn't get my partner to do it."

Often, the irritability and crankiness is actually masking anxiety and depression. If your partner is downright snarly about it, then you've got to stand your ground. "This isn't the kind of thing in this day and age that people live with," she says. "Our parents or grandparents may have lived that way, but we don't anymore."

With therapy and the right medication, the irritable anxiousness and depression can disappear. If your partner won't go to counseling, then you need to go alone, she says. "Counseling can help you figure out strategies to help yourself."

Put Sex on the Schedule

If you're both on the same page, it's time you put sex on the schedule. Think of it as exercise, your regular workout -- whatever time of day you choose. After all, sexual health is an important part of general health, Foley says.

"It's a very healthy thing for a partnership, there's no question about that," she tells WebMD. "People who have sex tend to feel closer, more intimate."

When you're over 40, there's definitely a "use it or lose it" aspect to sex, she adds. "That means you have to do it every day. You have to be committed to intimate time together. That doesn't mean every single time you take off your clothes and have sex. But set aside time just for the two of you."

Fall in Love Again

Outside the bedroom, you must make time for each other. "If you're bored, you can figure your partner is probably bored, too," says Solee. "Think what would put excitement into your life. Take responsibility for doing something about it. You really owe it to yourself."

Take a cooking class together, take up kayaking or dancing -- or sign up for a sex workshop, she advises. "Share each other's interests. Find new interests together. Single people can follow their own interests. You don't want to send your partner off to a class alone. Mother Nature abhors the doldrums, so don't let someone else fill it."

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