I’ve been in a relationship with a divorced man for almost a year; we live together and get on great.
However, lately we only have sex on weekends. He says he’s tired during the week.
Recently, he also said that it turns him off when he sees that I’m turned on, and that this is purely in his own mind having to do with emotional problems from his divorce (five years ago).
I understand that it takes a long time to get over a divorce (I’ve never been married) and especially the emotional aspects. But it’s starting to affect our relationship as well as my self-confidence.
How can I help him?
- Concerned in New York
Save your self-confidence, this is HIS problem and has little to do with you, sexually or as a partner.
He needs to talk out his emotions from his divorce with an experienced therapist, and perhaps even mourn the loss of whatever was formerly good in that marriage. He’s shadowed by things that happened between him and his ex, and it’s not necessary for you to know all those details and have them on your mind, too.
When you suggest that he seek counselling, do so from the perspective of caring about him and wanting to have a great relationship together.
This isn’t about blaming him or making him feel inadequate sexually.
My mother, in her 60’s, is caring for my grandmother who’s 91 and has senile dementia.
Grandma seems to be going downhill rather quickly and is beginning to forget who people are. She’s occasionally incontinent and is unsteady on the stairs.
My mother is beginning to crack under the strain. She seems unable to accept my grandmother's condition and sometimes yells at her out of frustration.
What's worse, she has begun to yell at me when I offer to help. She seems to take everything I say as a personal insult, as though I'm insinuating that she's not doing a good job.
I'll admit that perhaps I haven't been letting Mom know how much we value what she's doing. We're not a family that communicates that way.
How can I let her know how much it hurts me when she yells like that?
And how can I offer my support without offending her?
Since you can tell me, you can tell Mom: Say she’s been doing a great job which no one else in the family could’ve handled as well, or came forward to do.
Show compassion for her fears about “losing” her mother to progressive dementia and frailty (and be aware that Mom would also have some personal fears herself about aging, as she watches this happen).
Let her yell, at first, since she needs to vent her frustration… but persist in showing that you understand how difficult all this is, and how much you care about her.
Your own sensitivities are less important right now, and will end if you can focus on getting your mother to realize she does need help caring for Grandma.
You should also do some research in your area about how to get homecare help and nursing care for the elderly, from community social services.
Once Mom recognizes how stressed she’s getting and how increased are Grandma’s needs, this will be a necessary addition.
Share the research with your mother and explain that she can’t indefinitely do the lifting, bathing, and changing of your grandmother on her own.
I keep finding phone numbers of other women in my husband’s phone.
We supposedly have this understanding of no opposite-sex friends unless they’re our mutual friends. This problem has arisen four times - we've only been married one year.
I love him but can't trust him anymore. He always apologizes and says these women don’t mean anything to him, yet he continues to give his phone number as if he were still single.
It only happens when he goes out with his single friends.
Hubby’s having more trouble with men than with these women: He doesn’t want his guy friends to think he’s tied down by marriage.
After his boys-nights out, go through his phone together, deleting the numbers.
Help him see that his behaviour makes him appear foolish, not manly, and like he hasn’t the courage of his convictions to live his own choice to be a married man.
Tip of the day:
When emotions from a past divorce interfere with sex in a relationship, it’s time for professional help.