My wife and I have been married for six years. We never broke records for sexual frequency when dating.
We’re now classed as a "sexless" marriage – having had sex once in the past year.
My wife has given me varying reasons for her lack of interest in sex – from lack of interest in me specifically, to menopausal hormones, to depression.
Lately, she says it's due to memories from fat-shaming, with which her parents tortured her, that’s turned her off sex.
I don't know what to believe anymore – who is right, who is wrong, why anyone feels what they feel. And whether any of this improves our sex life.
What do you do when one partner’s happy with sex once a year, and the other partner wants it 50 times a year?
Is this reason to go our separate ways, or can men get what they need in some way that their partner can accept?
Once isn’t Enough
This is only about you and your wife, not what others would do.
Your marriage is still young, and you’ve both never fully dealt with the issues involved here.
She’s got many: hurts from the past, hormonal effects – but they’re not impossible to handle through therapy for the emotional side, and medical treatment for the physical.
But she has to want the marriage to continue.
And she has to want to be “interested” in you.
If these two elements are missing, there’s not much further to debate.
Of course, if you have children together, you’re both likely reluctant to part. So it’s fair to raise the question of your fulfilling your needs elsewhere.
Such agreements often fall apart after awhile, but then you’d both realize that another path is necessary.
Meanwhile, suggest you go for marital and sex counselling together.
She’s struggling with a lot of obstacles. If you reach out to understand her better, she might feel more supported, more loving.
Ultimately, if there’s no change, no compromise, no willingness to seek help as a couple, you’ll end up apart.
My husband of five years is allergic to smoke. My father smokes and is aware of my husband’s allergy.
He smokes in his home, in his car, generally everywhere.
At family functions we’ve asked him to leave the table, not smoke in the house if we're visiting, etc.
My mom, sister, and her family all can't stand his smoking and have made the same requests. To no avail.
It's been five years with little to no change. We're seriously considering not visiting at their home and he's about to be unwelcome at ours.
We're currently expecting our first child (it's a high risk pregnancy), and I fear that my parents won't be seeing their grandchild because of his smoking.
Tell him just that – he chooses either smoking or a relationship with grandkids.
I know how tough that sounds and I also know how hard it is to quit.
But there’s little greater incentive than being welcomed by loving family, including the adoration of a grandchild.
There are many ways he can find online for quitting but one that readers have written about as most effective is Allen Carr’s “Easy Way to Stop Smoking.”
Talk to your father openly about your real health concerns for your child and your husband.
Encourage him to start a process, and stay in contact with him, emphasizing how important this is to his health and to the whole family.
My friend of 15 years loves to discuss people we both know. He likes to analyze them, point out negative aspects, and often sums up the person as “not nice.”
He knows that I like some of those people.
I always interrupt at the start to say that I don’t agree. I’ll tell instances of when that person was helpful, kind, etc.
But they don’t change his mind.
He’s otherwise intelligent and interesting.
But I come away from those conversations feeling tarnished, like I’ve let my other friends down.
How can I better handle these negative talks?
State your limits. Tell him you’re not interested in his bad opinions of people you like.
Say you enjoy his company otherwise, but can no longer accept his dismissal of the good qualities you find in these same people.
Then change the topic to one that both of you can enjoy.
Tip of the day:
When there’s no sex, no mutual acceptance, and no agreement on a solution, the union’s already split unless professional help is sought.