FEEDBACK Regarding the man who’s wife of three years cheated two months before their wedding (March 28):
Reader – “This husband needs a lawyer, before a counsellor. His wife’s psychological “teasing” games are psychological abuse.
“I was married to someone like that for 14 years, and I enabled the behaviour, "hoping things would get better."
“Some cancers can't be cured.
“But he will need counselling after he’s divorced to learn that when he later dates someone who treats him like that, he needs to bail and not hope she’ll change.
“As Oprah has said, "When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them."
“This man’s already wasted seven years and life is too short to invest more time into someone who’s so narcissistic.”
Voice of Experience
Yes, counselling for him is not to save this marriage. There’s no reason for him to seek the reasons for her past cheating and persistent sexual “teasing,” then refusing him.
He now needs to find out why he’s stayed with her.
Personal experience like yours should also help him to stop thinking she’ll change, and see a lawyer instead.
I’m 49, married for almost 24 years, and have two children (ages 21 and 14). After entering menopause at 41, I’ve had NO interest in sex and find it very painful.
I’ve been to doctors/sex therapists – we’ve both been to marriage counselling several times.
It’s all good for a year or two and then he blows up again.
Last Christmas, it was so bad that he fought with my father and told everyone present (including children) that he was just sticking around for them. We haven’t had sex since early December.
I gave him an ultimatum to decide whether he’s staying or going.
Last month, he said he hasn’t been happy with our sex life for a long time. I was all over him after we got married; now he’s tired of being “rejected.”
He asked for my permission (while staying married) to satisfy his needs somewhere else. He said there was no other woman. He admitted that he’s lost feelings for me.
I’m currently seeing an acupuncturist and naturopath. If this doesn’t work, he says he’ll go elsewhere for sex.
Do I let go of my marriage or try to work it out??
I’m questioning whether I still love him.
What’s Wrong With Me?
Lessened libido at the onset of menopause is not uncommon.
Yet he says he hasn’t enjoyed sex with you for years, and has lost feelings for you.
No one likes being “rejected.” But it’s unclear whether you refused sex long before menopause.
You also don’t say if his “blow-ups” also occurred when you were still “all over him.”
These are critical questions as to whether divide is really the dynamic between you two, not just the physical effect of menopause.
Most couples work out how to deal with symptoms of pain during intercourse and lessened libido. Those who can’t, often find that it’s the emotional relationship that interferes with overcoming those symptoms.
Though you’ve seen the usual menopause advisors, I suspect you and they are dealing with the tip of the iceberg, and leaving the cold divide between you two intact.
If you decide that you don’t still love your husband, then there’s not just “something wrong with you.”
He wants an exit strategy, starting with sex elsewhere. You can’t keep accepting his tantrums.
Get counselling for yourself, only. Then make a decision.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who had sex with her ex, then got dumped (March 25):
Reader - “You wrote: "Then she can be very clear with him and herself about her reasons, and together they can decide whether resuming a relationship is possible."
“Umm…… he drove away when she tried to speak to him. He doesn’t want to talk to her.
“He got what he wanted, and he's gone. She has no chance of "being clear with him" or "deciding" something with him. She's never going to be "together" with him again.”
Ellie – Very likely true. But this woman isn’t the experienced realist you are. She thought she loved this guy who’s clearly a manipulator, and showed cruel contempt for her.
By advising her to think through her reasons for giving in, I was encouraging her to realize he’s not worth her time. I hope it worked, and that your comments will, too.
Tip of the day:
Enabling a partner to treat you badly guarantees there’s no hope for change.