It’s 15 years since I've had any sexual relations with my husband of 18 years. Why? I don't know.
After spending many nights crying myself to sleep because he wouldn't touch me, and after many talks, I’ve never gotten a straight answer.
He says he loves me and he’s not having an affair. He’s a homebody so I always know where he is. He doesn’t suffer from erectile dysfunction.
I immerse myself in romance novels and erotica; it’s the only way to live out my fantasies and get any fulfillment. I’ve had counselling.
Would/should I leave him? I've been close several times but he’s my best friend, is wonderful with our boys, a good provider, and we do love each other - although for him, not in a physical way.
I could never have an affair. The guilt would kill me. I’m 51, and he's 57. Why do I feel like a failure?? Am I destined to live a celibate existence for the rest of my life? I miss the intimacy. Is there anyone else out there like me?
Night Tears in Calgary
I’m certain you’re not alone in having a marriage that has friendship and companionship without sex. I’m certain others will write their accounts.
What’s unique about your story is that you say you miss “intimacy.” Yet, you have a best friend, parenting partner, and someone you can talk to… all have intimate connections.
That’s why you haven’t felt pushed to leave. Unlike many others, you don’t feel trapped or deeply miserable.
There’s no basis to feel you’ve failed… unless you think you should’ve left long ago to find a sexual partner. But you didn’t, likely fearing you’d lose too much of what you do enjoy with him.
What’s wrong and perplexing is that he doesn’t give you an explanation. OR, you both just accept that he’s asexual.
But, as a life partner, he should’ve tried to explain, explored why, considered sex therapy, or counselling regarding his upbringing, etc.
Many readers will also assume he’s a repressed homosexual, but you two clearly haven’t discussed that.
Bottom line: You chose to accept him as he is.
And you found ways to “fulfill” yourself.
I’m divorced, unemployed, and my two university-educated children now live far away.
Though I sometimes feel fearful and helpless, I’m actually a happy, outgoing woman. I practice yoga, piano, and chess.
But I sometimes cannot concentrate because the quiet swallows me up.
I usually go out to the community center to play sport.
I divorced my children's father, because I believe that love must be honest, not cheating, false, and hurtful. He was my only love.
I thought I could live alone well. But uncomfortable feelings have struck. Will these go away with time?
Is it possible at 50-plus to find true love? I haven’t started dating online.
Do NOT try dating, online or otherwise, until you adjust to living alone. Your “uncomfortable feelings” are the seeds of depression; don’t let them grow.
Get out to sports and fitness activities even more… being with other people and staying active is currently essential for your well being.
If you can’t function normally, you need counselling, soon. Ask your doctor for a referral, seek pastoral counselling, or find a therapist, through a local search.
Living a full and happy life on your own is very possible, but you have to work at it. Dating should not be the “solution” to loneliness, but a way of meeting people and enjoying their company.
FEEDBACK Regarding the gay male whose co-worker makes inappropriate references to his being gay (April 11):
Reader – “Report his comments to HR as any woman would report a male sex offence. It’s no different just because of gender.
“The office playmate is creating a hostile environment, and this young man must never get engaged in his games. He will learn that the gay scene has its share of predators, just as does the straight world.
“His job’s on the line, because the older predator knows how to play office politics better than he. The potential question “If you didn’t like it why did you play along and not contact HR?” will kill his hopes of having a normal working relationship.
“He must tell the guy point-blank to back off. Don’t spare his feeling if other people can hear (witnesses are helpful). Go straight to HR and register a formal complaint.”
Tip of the day:
Staying in a sexless marriage is sometimes a choice for other benefits.