Ask Mary Jo: Wanting more intimacy & setting healthy boundaries

Hey Mary Jo, 

What do you do when you’re the partner that wants more intimacy than the other? 



You’re not alone in your question. Many wives fear that there is something wrong with them when their husband wants less intimacy than they do. However statistically more than 20% of wives want more intimacy than their husbands. This leads to personalizing the problem and can cause feelings of rejection. These three suggestions can help you talk openly to your husband and begin restoring intimacy:

1. Spend time reflecting how you’re each feeling when intimacy is approached and then talk about it. Do you feel angry at him? Do you assume there must be something wrong with you? Do you resist him in return? Talking about it will take the pressure off the topic and help you begin working together to resolve it. 

2. Discover the truth. The more you’re able to stay calm and talk about it, the more likely you are to understand the reasons your partner isn’t interested in intimacy. This will be very important in the third step. Here are some possible reasons: 

  • Work/life imbalance
  • Fear of performing
  • Porn addictions 
  • Medical/psychological issues (e.g. diabetes, low hormone levels, depression, or anxiety)
  • Feeling resentful, angry, or manipulated by their partner
  • Different styles of intimacy than their partner

3. Seek professional medical help from a urologist and emotional help from a licensed intimacy therapist. The biggest sex organ is the brain, and two of the most frequent but forgotten causes of low libido or loss in sexual desire are past feelings of unresolved resentment and grief. 

Hi Mary Jo, 

How do you set a healthy boundaries for yourself without offending others? 


Our boundaries help define and protect our self-worth and what we value most in life. Therefore, they are not contingent on other people’s feelings toward you. In order to be a healthy person and seek healthy relationships, protecting your core values by setting strong boundaries is an essential milestone. Examples of healthy core values would be your faith, honesty, commitment, personal space, and time with friends and family.