help to save my marriage

I have finished treatment now after having mastectomy, chemo and radio. Currently on tamoxifen with fortunately no side effects.Problem i have got is that i have no sex drive, have not had one since op and just feel that if i never had sex again i would’t be bothered. I am so tired every night after being back at work full time and getting through each day that i haven’t got eithe the energy or inclination to do anything but sleep when i get to bed. Husband of course is totally different, he has his needs, which i do understand,he tells me he still finds me attractive even with one boob, that he still loves me and just wants to make me feel like a woman again. Can anyone tell me if the old feelings will return? if they have felt a similar way and if there is anything i can do to try to get things moving again as i am desperate to save my marriage as i do lov him so much. Thank you in anticipation

hi Mounties

you’re exhausted, your body has just been through the mill - along with your emotions, so, no, i wouldn’t expect you to be raring to go when it gets to bed time! Saying that, it may be an idea to try counseling, just hearing yourself voice your worries and concerns can help so much.

In the meantime, try getting your husband to show affection in other ways that don’t involve the bedroom. It might be that after all this, whatever he says, you don’t feel really attractive to him. You need to be wooed again.

You’ll be fine, I am certain of that, just takes longer for the mind and emotions to heal than it does the body.

hugs x

Hi Mounties

It took me over a year from the end of treatment to feel like having a sex life again. As quisie says the mental scars take a long long time to fade. I dont think it matters if you have had a mastectomy at all - I feel the same and I had a lumpectomy - its is the mental problems not the physical ones. Also, tamoxifen does not do wonders for your sex drive.!! I could live without it no problem but i Think the thing is that after a while you will be prepared to make an effort for your husband which you are not, quite understandably ready to do yet.

If its any consolation, a lot of my friends a similar age to me who never had bc have all gone off sex as well ( I am 44) and Ithink a lot of it is an age /menopausal issue as well. How old are you?

Hang in there - I am sure your husband will understand.

Love Alise x

Hi Mounties

You have been through such a lot, and now the Tamoxifen treatment. No wonder you are tired. Your body and soul needs healing - and that can take time. All I can suggest is, that you have a lot of ‘cuddle’ sessions, if that is possible. Sometimes just being close and being cuddled can lead to the urge to take things further! If there are problems with vaginal dryness,which is not uncommon, try something like Sylk, it is completely natural, made from plant extracts, and feels nice. Personally, we started our sex life literally days after I came out of hospital after my mastectomy, almost as if to prove everything was still in working order and hubby was ok with my appearance. It was fine, and I was so glad we did get straight back to it. Whilst having chemo and being very poorly, things went ‘asleep’ for a while, but as soon as I was better, and despite not feeling like it, I made the effort. Just make sure you put yourself into a very relaxed and calm situation, nice candles perhaps, a drink of something lovely and no disturbance, and I am sure you both will find yourself back to normal soon.

If there are other problems however, do seek counselling, I did and found it very helpful to talk through all my cancer worries and feelings about my future.

Best of luck.


Thank you all for your lovely replies. Its nice to know i am not alone in having these worries. Went to see Gp other day to ask his advice on anything i can use, he said he will look into it and get back to me. Just one last question though, how do you get counselling? do you have to go via your gp or is there other ways of getting help. Would really appreciate your help on this. Many Thanks christina xx

Hi Mounties

There are a few ways of obtaining counselling and also whether it’s ‘counselling’ or ‘psychotherapy’ you want. Some surgeries have counsellors attached although I don’t think there are as many these days as there used to be (money issues again). This would be done via your GP

The other avenue to look at is to have a talk with your breast care nurse and see if counselling is available for you through the hospital. Ours offers a psychologist to talk to for those people who are really struggling.

The other option is to go private - if you look on the web you should find a reputable counsellor or psychotherapist in your area.

It might be that you just need to ‘off load’ all your anxieties to someone and you may well find that there are so many of us who have felt the same as you as you do mention in your post. It does take time to come to terms with your altered body image and unfortunately there’s no fast forward for that.

Hope you find what works for you.

Take care.


Hi Mounties,

Just to add to pinkdove’s reply about counselling. Where I live there are a couple of charities who provide counselling. I was referred to one of them by my hospital. Ask your onc or the nurses about provision in your area.

My hospital offers oncology counselling - free of charge. The only negative side is that it is in the oncology department, so if you’ve had enough of hospital visits… My GP also offers very good (and free) cognitive counselling - a maximum of 10 sessions. I found I really ‘clicked’ with this lady and found it tremendously helpful. We did not discuss the cancer much, but all the other issues surrounding it, which may have been heightened by the CA diagnosis. Your outlook on life will probably have changed somewhat, it is only to be expected, and to let it out to someone who is not close to you, is very helpfu. Do give it a try. Good luck.



The Breast Cancer Haven offers telephone counselling and so does the Cancer Counselling Trust. Also, depending on where you live it might help to talk to someone at a Maggie’s Centre - Google them.

GPs’ surgeries are usually able to offer a recommendation but I’m not sure if this comes free of charge.

Good luck

Thank you all of you yet again you have come up trumps. I will try your suggestions especially the telephone counselling as sometimes its easier to open up when you are not face to face and i’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you again