Friends Without Benefits
My husband and I have been married 30 years. We love each other, get on well and consider each other best friends. Our ongoing problem is sex.
My husband has never been attracted to me, for whatever reason I will never know. (He's not gay.) We have tried counseling and even splitting up for several years, to no avail. Finally, in my 40s I decided to have an affair which lasted eight years. It was the best thing to do under the circumstances, until my husband found out.
He didn't blame me. He forgave me, such is the kind and loving man he is, but he could not accept me continuing in the relationship. So for the last year we have attempted to have a sex life with each other. I feel I have to beg for it to happen, and when it does, it feels like a duty and obligation with little pleasure involved.
I feel angry and resentful towards him now. I feel celibacy is the only option for us, or going back to an affair, which would hurt him terribly and probably split us up again.
Victoria, since the 1980s, V8 vegetable juice has run the same commercial. It opens with a man or woman eating junk food. Then someone smacks them on the forehead and says, "You could've had a V8." Consider yourself smacked.
The problem isn't the sex. The problem isn't the cheating. The problem is you married a man who has never been attracted to you. That's the problem to fix. It explains the counseling that didn't work, the trial separation that didn't work and the cheating that only made things worse.
Why isn't the obvious answer the right answer?
There is something you are getting in this marriage. Something you are staying for. That's the tradeoff you made, the something you exchanged for a sexless marriage. There is no patch, jury-rig or duct tape to fix that.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Try A Different Lure
For a long time I hoped to fall in love with someone and share an intimate relationship. But I seem to keep going down the wrong path.
My husband, who was not attracted to me, fell in love with another woman as we were breaking up. One year I got dumped on Christmas Eve. The next year it was on my birthday. This year my boyfriend didn't get me a card on Valentine's Day because he "didn't know where the relationship was going."
Thing is, if you met these guys, you would think they were pretty nice and not the sort to act in a hurtful way. Also, seeing how women seem to be valued less and less as they age, dating sites add to my disappointment. Most men want a younger woman.
Is there a way to understand what is going on and salvage my relationship with menkind in general!
Jayne, things a good man would feel inspired to do and a bad man would feel obligated to do, your men won't do. They would rather break up.
If you want to quit smoking, you can't go where you used to go when you smoked. You have to break the pattern and that's what you need to do now. How are you dressing, what are you saying, how are you acting around men? Where do you meet them?
There's a difference between meeting a man in a bar or a book reading, meeting through friends or meeting through a class. Not that you have to be a bookworm or pester your friends.
Focus on what interests you. What things build you up, make you vibrant and engaged in life? When you do those things, men will respond. Good men will be attracted to that. Stripped of any dissembling on your part, how are you attracting men who treat you this way?
~ Wayne & Tamara
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