Sometimes when making love it seems to be going OK until I am about to reach orgasm but then I just ‘lose it’ – i.e. there is no ‘feeling’ - it just comes to an end. My wife says she had felt me ‘come’ inside her but I didn’t feel it. This is happening more and more lately over the last few years. I am 54 and we have been together for almost 30 years. This may be purely physical but I’m wondering if a contributing factor in this might be my wife’s weight problem, which I do find a problem as far as sexual desire is concerned. This is not a new issue (18 years since our first child at least), but I’ve felt increasingly frustrated in recent years that she is unable to do anything about it and maybe I’ve given up hope. Like most men I am mainly visually attracted or put off. I wish this were not the case and especially wish I were not so attracted to other women in our church. I have prayed about this for years and we’ve got more marriage books and been on more marriage courses than had hot dinners.

"I’m so glad you have been able to talk about this by writing in. You are not alone in your sexual problems. Between 9% and 31% of men are known to have some form of ejaculatory disturbance. It sounds like you are ejaculating, but that you have become disconnected from being able to feel this. In my experience, this is most likely caused by the emotional and relational issues going on for you, which I appreciate your honesty in describing. However, it is also worth just checking if you are taking any prescribed drugs that could be adding to this problem. Many drugs are known to potentially impair ejaculation, including alcohol, medications used to treat depression such as amitriptyline, and Valium type drugs.

But predominantly, it sounds like you have a desire problem. It would be great if your wife could lose weight, but this approach neuters you as it is out of your control. Instead, what is within your control is for you to harness your own sexual feelings.

In Jesus’ day, men could divorce their wives for almost any grievance, no matter how trivial; but Jesus cut across this attitude and re-focused the debate onto committing into the marriage relationship. This challenges us to learn to reignite our passions for each other through every season. Have an honest conversation with your wife, asking her to do her bit to work on her weight problems. On your part, take the approach that even if your wife never loses weight, you can choose to accept her as she is and work on learning to be visually attracted within her weight issues. I’m not saying this is easy, but nor has it been easy to bring up teenagers together, yet you have done that.

We had an African pastor visit our church. As he relaxed over a meal with us after the service he commented on the differences he had noticed between English women and those in his church. “We like our women more rounded”, he said with a twinkle in his eye. What we find erotic is culturally created. Spend an afternoon in an art gallery and let some romantic artists through the centuries teach you to appreciate the sensuality of your wife’s curves and folds. Are there parts of her body that you can find erotic with her weight? Keep going until you can answer ‘yes’!

You need to let go of your frustration that she hasn’t lost weight, forgive her and focus on the positive. If you don’t, you will continue to reap what you are sowing: the frustration you have with her will entrench as sexual frustration for you. The choice is yours. When you are building up to ejaculating, stay focused on the pleasurable feelings, the things that turn you on and your love for your wife. James chapter 1 describes how double-mindedness makes it impossible to receive from God. There is an applicable principle here in our sexual intimacy within marriage. If we are harbouring frustration or negative feelings against each other, it is very hard to receive and be abandoned with one another.

The other important area that I believe is affecting your inability to feel yourself ejaculating is your visual attraction to other women. Of course, you will be in a ‘chicken and egg’ experience here. Your attraction to other women is going to be increased by you denying yourself the full pleasure with your wife; and your lack of sensuality with your wife will be exacerbated by the guilt and distractions coming from other women. You need to redirect your sexual energy into your marriage. Put effort into looking nice and smelling nice for your wife. Be her knight in shining armour and let this make you feel good too. When you see an attractive woman at church, don’t dwell on that woman, but quickly channel your sexy feelings into imagining yourself romancing your wife. I’m sure God will be happy if this is where your mind lingers during the sermon rather than on your pastor’s words! With any luck, the sermon will be on Philippians 4:8 and you can apply it to your marriage."