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When Men Don't Want Sex: America's Best Kept Secret (thumbnail)1. His fears. “Women aren’t typically reluctant to share fears,” says Audrey Sherman, PhD, developer of PsychSkills. But divulging that he’s scared of, say, thunder or big dogs, can make him appear weak. More importantly, the fears were shared with you in confidence; telling his secrets shows you’re not safe to confide in, says Sue Johnson, PhD, author of Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships. “This is a classic first step in loss of trust,” she adds. Before you share his fears, think about how this would make him feel, which can prevent causing real hurt, Dr. Johnson says.

2. Your sex life-unless it’s rave reviews. Swapping juicy stories is part of the fun of a girls’ dinner. Bringing up your husband’s size, appearance or functioning, though, is forbidden, says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. “Women tend to be sensitive about their looks,” points out Dr. Lombardo, so imagine if your husband told his buddies that you wear Spanx every day or that you’d really aged the last few years. You’d feel insulted and betrayed, right? So if you share between-the-sheets details, keep it positive-and brief.


3. His annoying habits-to his family. Putting down your hubby, even for seemingly innocuous things like leaving shoes out, can create tension between you and those relatives. “Your husband’s flaws could be viewed as a negative reflection of them,” Dr. Lombardo explains. “Plus, they’re protective of him.” Feel the need to vent about tripping over his loafers again? Tell your friends. If it’s done in a jovial manner, it isn’t a violation of trust. Just don’t divulge more serious problems that you haven’t discussed with your spouse.

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