My husband and I were high-school sweethearts, together for 35 glorious years, married for 27.
We got through attending separate colleges, travelling, having kids - a son, 24, daughter, 18.
My husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) 15 years ago. He’d gotten through daily challenges until two years ago and went on disability insurance, staying at home all day with absolutely nothing to do.
His sex drive has intensified tremendously, he won’t leave me alone. It’s very sweet. But when we do get intimate once a week, he can’t “finish,” even after an exhausting 30-plus minutes.
He’s asked me to do things we’ve never done, saying it turns him on so he can “finish.” I find the things he’s asked of me so degrading, that I don’t think he should ask them from his wife and mother of his kids.
I don’t comply and it turns into a huge yelling, screaming match, and a couple of days of a cold shoulder. He always blames it on his MS. Even after taking medication, it’s still a no go.
I don’t want to fight anymore.
What a shame that, after experiencing so much good together, you two are torn apart by the effects of this debilitating disease.
What your husband is asking for is basically, sexual relief that’s being blocked by pain and frustration. But if it’s unthinkable for you, then you need to find what can work if at all possible.
An MS specialist (a neurologist) will not be surprised or put off by questions about how to deal with this problem. Nor will a sex therapist who deals with people whose sex lives are diminished through a disease or injury.
Just as your husband’s needed other support through this illness, he needs you to ask the questions and do the research to find if there’s a way to help him and bring you two closer again through what you yourself have called the “sweet” need for intimacy.
Note: For readers’ better understanding, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body (as defined by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society).
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose new beau broke off a relationship when she questioned his memory (March 7):
Reader - “His behaviour sounds like the typical "love bombing" of a narcissist. This occurs when you meet someone and he/she completely overwhelms you in a short time, with over-the-top sentiments, gifts etc. . . only to change later.
“When she questioned him, he could’ve seen it as a criticism, which is definitely a no-no for a narcissist. She may’ve been lucky to get out now.”
Reader #2 – “I question how serious he was in the first place.... could he really have been in love with her so soon?
“It seems to me that fake memory loss leading to a sudden break-up after two weeks of cheap flattery and sexual liaisons is a perfect formula for cheaters and phonies.
“It also relieves the gigolo of any guilt associated with his deception, placing the blame on the innocent party.”
Reader #3 - “It was his last straw” is indicative that this wasn’t the first time that he’s felt offended by the letter-writer.
“While the age difference doesn’t seem to have been a factor for either of them, he may’ve interpreted her comment to be age-demeaning.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who proposed to her on-off boyfriend of 10 years and hasn’t heard from him since (March 8):
Reader – “She doesn't love this man - and she mentions clearly that she’s under pressure by family to marry. Two red flags, in my opinion.
“Typically, your advice is spot-on - so I'm assuming there's more length to this story than you had the space to print.
“But if not - isn't this more a case of a woman feeling pressured and relenting to it, by hoping to marry the man who happens to be in her life at the time?”
Ellie – Yes, agreed. She’s caving in to pressure but likes him enough to still be okay with dating him or just be friends (likely with benefits).
However, I believe he’s ended it all because he’s “not a closer,” doesn’t want to marry her or anyone else for now, and prefers travel and non-committal relationships.
Tip of the day:
If serious illness wrecks your sexual relationship, seek information and advice from medical and sex-therapy experts.