Breaking through the man cave barrier, great 'sexpectations'

Ask Mary Jo

Dear Mary Jo,

My husband has a man cave and also a dog that sits on his lap. How can I convince him to make room for me in there too?

The lack of attention is a common problem for couples. Dogs are easy to love, they get excited to see you, they don't talk but sit with you, and they aren't moody or complicated. Your husband sounds like he is withdrawing and needs more alone time. It could be a lot of things…low testosterone, depression, or stress, but the bottom line is how you can get more visible on his radar. Marriage doesn't end with a bang…it slowly ebbs away by placing obligations before each other. It's miscommunication, and lack of involvement together. It's not his fault or yours. It's both of your responsibility for getting it back. Sit down with him and choose two activities you each can do that will bring "together time" back into your marriage. Marriages where couples say we just grew apart didn't grow apart at all…they quit nurturing the relationship they had. You need to begin now finding ways you can be together.

Dear Mary Jo,

How much sex should a happy couple be having?

There are guidelines for how much sex is expected, but it allows for a lot of variability due to constant life challenges such as small children, illness, and family issues. The biggest guideline is how satisfied the couple is…if they are both happy with the frequency, there is no issue. Couples who experience problems with sexual frequency struggle when one partner's sex drive is high and the other's is low. For these couples scheduling time for intimacy is important. If you and your spouse haven't been able to enjoy sex in six months or more, a visit to your physician can help you overcome your intimacy problems. Sex is emotionally and physically healthy, and couples with a good sex life report being happier in marriage than couples who aren't intimate.

Thank you for asking the questions that the majority of couples struggle with in their relationships.