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After 30 years of great sex, my husband’s new look is a total turn-off

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He has grown his grey hair long and I don’t find it attractive. Am I being shallow – or is it the menopause?

My husband of more than 30 years decided to grow his hair long about three years ago. Sex has always been important to us and I have always felt strongly sexually attracted to him. But he is 59, with thin, fine grey hair and, as far as I am concerned, this is not a good look. I’m struggling to maintain our previous spark. Am I just completely shallow and unreasonable to allow a small visual difference get in the way of a previously active and loving intimacy? Perhaps the issue is mine – I’m 51 and menopausal. Do other people experience this when one partner undergoes a significant physical change? Any suggestions on how to manage this would be appreciated; obviously he is his own man and if he likes the way he looks, I can’t change that.

We can’t rationalise our way out of well established visual preferences. And perhaps you are someone who happens to be very much visually attuned. Some people respond more to erotic sounds and conversation, while others are turned on by scents and smells. You might want to gently request a change. On the other hand, lowered desire can also be a natural aspect of menopause, and dwindling hormones – rather than long hair – might be the culprit. With your physician, consider options to boost your libido.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to [email protected] (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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