I’ve been married nine years, we have two children. I once thought we were both in love, but my husband’s sexually remote. Over time, it’s become sporadic because he’s always “too tired.”
He’ll describe every detail of his work day, and not ask about mine. During lockdowns with me homeschooling/homeworking, and him at his office, we’ve been wide apart in bed.
When I demanded to know why, he said I took “too long to climax.” I replied that his “slam-bang” wasn’t exactly arousing.
I hate to harm my children’s sense of security, but dream of divorce. Please advise.
See a lawyer privately to learn/understand what divorce actually entails. Also see a gynecologist to check whether there’s any hormonal issue affecting you. Once you’ve covered these bases, know that you’ll most likely leave this man.
Dear Reader - Consider the highly-educated people who’ve chosen social science research, then test/devise understandable theories about how to thrive in our personal relationships… if only we learn and practice them.
One example: Joelle Prevost, based in British Columbia, who holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology, is a registered clinical counselor in that province, and a passionate communication-skills coach. Her new book is The Conversation Guide: How to Skillfully Communicate, Set Boundaries, and Be Understood. Naturally, I’m particularly interested in her work regarding communicating and setting boundaries with “Romantic Partners,” and here’s why:
No matter how long you live with and love a partner, “boundaries” can still be problematic, even elusive. If your lover doesn’t want to discuss something, it feels like they’re holding back. Or refusing to modify their viewpoint or help you understand it.
Conversely, if you’re the one delaying a discussion, are you aware of what you’re actually fearing will be the result of airing it? And how long can you keep a matter under wraps without seeming to show distrust?
It’s to ponder these matters that I’m writing about the private sensitivities of couples …i.e. the ones we keep under wraps as long as possible, until they either cause us to flee the relationship tight-lipped and angry, or to carry on silently hurting and distancing to hide your inner truths.
My role as a relationship advisor in contact with the issues raised by anonymous letter-writers, is to help them know when it’s time to acknowledge their needs and hurts within a relationship - whether with partners/family/friends - and make a decision through that communication.
But, if that approach has failed, my advice inevitably includes the strong suggestion to see a professional counsellor to address what’s driving the couple apart.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding things we shouldn’t take for granted:
“My story could’ve been a joke!
“My long-time boyfriend finally said, “Let’s get married on April the first.” Of course, I said “Yes,” thinking it was a reasonable date ahead with enough time to plan a location and guest list.
“When I told my friends, one of them gently pointed out the tradition behind that date, and the fact that my guy is a prankster.
“Naturally I worried about it. As the date grew closer, and he left all plans to me, I became nervous, fearing that he wouldn’t show up. I wondered if even I should turn up.
“The day came, I arrived in a wedding dress, still anxious, and there he was with a big smile on his face. And just before he was to kiss me as his bride, he said, “April Fool’s my love.”
“We’re still together 12 years later.”
Ellie - Congratulations!
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the mother who intrusively interviews her son before briefly chatting with his family (February 17):
“I think you missed an opportunity to tell this mother (and all mothers of grown children) that if their children are doing well in their jobs, and have a happy family that obviously, when they were raised, their mother did a great job.
“Why should I worry about my grown daughters when I know I’ve equipped them with all the tools they need to problem solve, pivot when issues arise, manage their money, and just generally cope, all with a sense of humour when life goes sideways… as it seems to regularly? I did my best so now it’s up to me to trust them to use those tools. And I do.
“It reduces my stress to a huge extent when I remember the above.”
Tip of the day:
Sex isn’t a necessity in every marriage, but being rejected sexually can open the door toward divorce.