Can a woman go without sex and affection and be healthy? I’m married, and have been in this relationship for 16 years, but the last six have been sexless.
There’s nothing at all - no compliments, no kisses, nothing that requires him to touch me. I have been faithful. However, I’m no longer sure about him.
Both of us are healthy.
While sexual satisfaction can make you feel healthy, lack of it isn’t what will make you sick. It’s the stress, anger, and distrust you’re building up, that can have negative health effects.
Six years of not knowing why the sex and affection have stopped, is unacceptable. You must insist on answers. He may have low libido, possibly due to health changes he hasn’t revealed, or medications, excess alcohol, or drugs. Or, he may have erectile dysfunction from other causes.
Whatever his reason, you need to know. And if he’s unfaithful, you need to know that too, and consider your own options.
If he refuses to respond, protect your emotional health, through weighing your choices.
I'm a gay guy in my early 20s. I've just started working for a new employer and sort of unexpectedly came out of the closet, with no shame in doing so.
I was informed that a male co-worker in a different department admitted to making a homophobic slur. His explanation was that he was gay so it was OK.
Since the incident occurred, I feel he’s been flirting with me, and even co-workers have questioned if we're an item.
He's said things like, "I love you, man," "You’re the best looking guy in this place,” and "You’re the most talented guy I know."
After a few days off I'll ask, "So how much did you miss me?" and he'll tell me he couldn't stop thinking of me. He’s a pretty attractive guy.
Recently, I built up the courage and asked him out for coffee. His reply was "Dude, if I was gay, I totally would.”
However, the over-friendliness/borderline flirting continues and he asked for and received a transfer to my department, which starts soon.
All my friends say enough is enough and I need to tell him to stop. I enjoy whatever’s happening, but I’m the only co-worker he treats this way. If he won't hold back, then I don't want to either, I just don't know what to say. What’s the next step?
Step aside. He’s playing games with you, and until he’s upfront about what he’s trying to say or do, you need to consider him as a co-worker, period.
Many readers will immediately assume he IS gay, or his comments wouldn’t be so pointed. But he says otherwise. Others will say he’s homophobic, but trying to rise above it by making “nice.”
Most important, however, is how you feel, which is confused. You don’t need this kind of distraction and potential discomfort while getting settled in a new job.
You’ve responded in kind to his flirting when asking if he’s missed you. But he insists he’s not gay; so don’t go that dead-end route anymore.
Next time he’s full of compliments, just brush it off with a laugh, and something like, “Sure, sure, I bet you say that to everyone!” Then walk away.
Also, if he keeps this up to the point of distraction when in your same department, consider it insulting, and not-so-subtle gay baiting. Say so, and tell him to stop.
FEEDBACK Regarding the confused teenager who’s mother specifically forbids belly piercing despite other piercings (March 14):
Reader – “I worked in body- piercing and unless this teenager is 18 (when she wouldn’t need permission), she should wait until she reaches her adult height.
“As a teenager’s body grows, the skin stretches. A piercing done before growing’s complete, can lead to the body rejecting the jewelry, painful infections, and scars.
“She’d be best to wait until she reaches her adult height before piercing any part of the body that has the potential to change size (same goes for tattoos!).
“If she does go through with it, she should visit a reputable and clean shop. A way to tell would be if they share this same information.
“Make sure it’s done with a needle and that the piercer draws where they will pierce first. She should view this, and consent that it’s straight and to her liking.”
Tip of the day:
No partner should accept a withdrawal of sex, and affection without explanation and/or mutual agreement.