Part Two of leftover questions from my online chat: “How Affairs Happen” (November 11):
My husband has a lower sex drive than I have. He loves me, but he likes to have sex in a very routine way – once on the weekend, in the dark, the same basic position.
Sometimes he even “forgets” to make sure I’m satisfied, once he’s had his climax. After eight years of this, I’m ready for anything… finding a secret lover online, one-night stands, whatever.
My husband’s a good man and a good father so I’m not seeking for a divorce, but the thought of living this sex-starved life for years more is horrible!
You love him and he’s a good father, he presumably loves you… so it’s worth a more concerted effort together.
Tell him so. This is important to your marriage, or it won’t last, no matter your preference.
He doesn’t have to have a high sex drive just to try another position, or choose a different night for a change, or satisfy you, first.
BUT, there are ways to boost his sex drive if he’s willing… and you need to make it clear that he should try some methods if he wants to have a happy life with you.
He must see his doctor, and perhaps get referred to a sex therapist. Since he only likes sex in the dark, it suggests he has sexual hang-ups and these need to be discussed in counselling.
He should be willing to try one of the drugs for erectile dysfunction in case there’s an underlying insecurity in him about his ability to last through sex play.
And you both need to plan some pre-sex romance, including more daily affection, more cuddling, intimate chat in bed, reading a sex manual together, using sex toys, etc.
I was 40 when I discovered that my father had led a secret life. His “other” son contacted me and said we should meet.
I refused and confronted my father who first denied, then broke down, and said it had happened 30 years ago.
He’d kept up the affair for a few years, had visited the woman and their son until the boy was age eight, and then ended it, realizing it’d change everything if it came out.
He admitted that he’d paid for child support till the boy was 18.
I was disgusted. I’m a father and don’t know how you can stop seeing your own child. I’m a husband and don’t know how you can betray your wife that way.
If you no longer want to be married to her, say so, try counselling, or get a divorce.
I don’t know if I should contact my half-brother. It’s been two years, I know how to reach him, but don’t know what good can come from it.
And I’m worried if it comes out, it’ll destroy my mother who’s not well.
Secrets and Lies
What a devastating discovery! You need some comfort and compassion for yourself, from your own wife, and family.
Share this story and your pain with your wife. Deepen your bond.
Don’t dwell on your father’s harsh example, but if the news and resulting images disturb your sense of what your father and your childhood with him were like, discuss it all with a therapist.
Spend good time with your mom and don’t reveal the truth. Take care of her.
When you feel strong enough to handle it, again consider contacting your half-brother, or not.
My boyfriend emigrated here along with his married best friend and his friend’s wife.
When my boyfriend and I started dating, we’d often be a four-some. The wife and I didn’t click well, so I talked more to my husband’s friend when together.
Then something happened, we both felt it, and started finding excuses to meet.
We’ve been married for eight years now and try to balance our life as part-time parents to two sets of children whom we consider “ours” in the larger sense.
We hurt our ex-spouses badly, but both have moved on and have other partners. We’re grateful for that.
Sometimes an attraction can be so powerful that you just can’t/won’t fight it. We’re still in love.
You’re among a minority of couples for whom – despite devastating others’ lives for awhile – your new life is working out well.
Keep working at it, as children of divorce drama often show reactions when older.
Tip of the day:
Changes in sex routines plus sexual therapy can improve satisfaction for couples with different sex drives.