I think my husband is faking impotence to avoid having sex
Often a lack of sex points to communication issues, which may be masked by both partners putting on a good face. “In our experience a lot of men in these situations are angry with their wives and withdrawing sexually from the relationship as a way of expressing that. For example, they may say their wife is critical and controlling and they react by shutting down sexually.”
You don’t seem to think your husband is mad at you, though. Are you angry? In relationships therapy, counsellors tend to see many women go from feeling hurt, as you do, to feeling angry. The more hurt they feel, the angrier they get. That’s understandable in reaction to rejection, but it is very counterproductive as it makes their partners even less likely to want to have sex with them.
But you say that you still fancy your husband and that he is still affectionate and communicative outside the bedroom. This could be your greatest strength. Can you talk to him in terms of your own feelings, and speak from the heart about how vulnerable you feel, how you are missing the sexual relationship with him and want to be closer to him? In a subtle way, you can show him that you still desire him. “Try to compliment him any time he approaches anything sexual, even though it’s not overtly sexual,” Grange suggests.
It’s counterproductive when women – I’m not saying you – start criticising or blaming their partners’ lack of desire, as the underlying issues aren’t about performance (you won’t know this unless your husband sees the doctor).
You want to know what’s going on with your husband. Only he knows, but there are possibilities, suggests Tony Moore, also with Relationships Ireland. Does your husband, despite his good cheer on the surface, feel that emotional intimacy has been lost? Is he using porn to ease his sexual frustration?
What you do is up to you. I think you need some expert and sensitive help with this. Maybe it will blow over, but the underlying problems – which you may be unaware of – may still be there.
You care about your marriage and have a strong “back story”, so use those strengths to overcome this.
Helpful reading: The Sex-Starved Wife by Michele Weiner Davis; Why Men Men Stop Having Sex, the Phenomenon of Sexless Relationships and What You Can Do About It, by Bob Berkowitz and Susan Yager-Berkowitz.