What price for her af­fairs?

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - STAR SEARCH -

I AM 48 and my hus­band Y is 12 years older than me. We have four chil­dren aged be­tween 15 and 22. We have been mar­ried for 23 years, but our sex life has been very in­ac­tive as both of us are busy work­ing, and given our age gap, Y is past his prime.

About nine years ago, af­ter years of a dwin­dling sex life and dis­in­ter­est from Y, I was courted by a client and even­tu­ally suc­cumbed to his ad­vances. I spent a lot of time on the com­puter and mo­bile phone e-mail­ing and tex­ting se­cre­tively, and late into the night. It was the hap­pi­est mo­ments of my life and I thor­oughly en­joyed the sex, the com­pany and at­ten­tion I was get­ting af­ter years of ne­glect. Even­tu­ally, the af­fair ta­pered off and stopped. How­ever, not long af­ter that I started an­other af­fair with an ex-boss of mine.

He also show­ered me with niceties and at­ten­tion, and I even­tu­ally fell for him and slept with him.

Our com­pany has reg­u­lar in­cen­tive trips and we would spend the night to­gether in each other’s ho­tel room on such trips. The sex was not as good as my pre­vi­ous af­fair, but nev­er­the­less, it was still en­joy­able as I’ve never re­ally had good and reg­u­lar sex with Y.

Re­cently, I think some people in our com­pany have found out about us and they are gos­sip­ing about us. As we are both se­nior man­agers, I feel em­bar­rassed, es­pe­cially in the com­pany of my ju­nior team mem­bers.

I don’t want to stop, but am afraid that Y or my chil­dren will find out one day. Please ad­vise me what I should do.

M

It’s not un­com­mon to have a wan­ing sex life af­ter many years of mar­riage. And, be­cause of that, it is also not un­com­mon that one party in the mar­riage falls for the at­ten­tion from oth­ers when this hap­pens.

Two people be­come com­fort­able with their rou­tines and find sat­is­fac­tion in rais­ing their chil­dren. The fo­cus of the re­la­tion­ship then be­comes the chil­dren and not each other. People are ex­pected to put on hold their urges and needs, and this usu­ally does not go down well with them. Also, we tend to laugh off a part­ner’s need for at­ten­tion be­cause you are sup­posed to be “past that stage now”.

In your cur­rent dilemma, it does seem pretty clear that you have to come clean with your hus­band and tell him what has hap­pened. Only you can de­cide if you want to stop your af­fair. It comes with a price – your rep­u­ta­tion at work and also the fu­ture of your mar­riage.

And, of course, you may have to forego the at­ten­tion and sex that you have been en­joy­ing out­side your mar­riage. But, for that there is a rem­edy. The lack of in­ter­est in sex from your part­ner is prob­a­bly not due to his age. Just be­cause a spouse is older doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily trans­late into less in­ter­est in sex. In a re­la­tion­ship, es­pe­cially a long-term one, in­ter­est in sex is sus­tained through com­mu­ni­ca­tion. And, also, you need a bit of a sense of ad­ven­ture to keep that prover­bial flame alive.

It seems that as much as the sex it­self, what you are re­ally crav­ing for is at­ten­tion. Com­mu­ni­cate that to your hus­band. Tell him you would like him to no­tice you, flat­ter and flirt with you, and shower you with at­ten­tion once in a while. When it comes to sex, com­mu­ni­cate clearly what you want and what you like. This is very im­por­tant in or­der to ac­tu­ally en­joy a healthy and mean­ing­ful sex life with a long-term part­ner. Also, sex is not just about the or­gasms. It is just as much about touch­ing, sens­ing and en­joy­ing each oth­ers’ bod­ies and com­pany. Log­i­cally, people in long-term re­la­tion­ships should en­joy bet­ter sex as they have come to ac­cept their bod­ies and that of their part­ner’s, trans­lat­ing into less in­se­cu­ri­ties. Each cou­ple have to find their own groove and what they are com­fort­able with. There is noth­ing wrong with ex­per­i­ment­ing to ex­plore what suits you best.

Fi­nally, people tend to shrug this off, but sex is an im­por­tant as­pect in a re­la­tion­ship. It builds and main­tains close­ness and in­ti­macy. It is im­por­tant to build and main­tain trust. And, it is com­pletely healthy, ir­re­spec­tive of age or du­ra­tion of mar­riage.

Back to your dilemma: be­fore talk­ing to your hus­band, con­sider whether it is worth your sit­ting down and con­tem­plat­ing how im­por­tant your mar­riage is to you. What does your hus­band mean to you and does he have a place in your life? If so, how im­por­tant is it to you? When you have the an­swers to these ques­tions, it will make it eas­ier to let him know where you see the fu­ture of your mar­riage. And, ul­ti­mately, you will have to seek for­give­ness from him if you have in­deed hurt him with your be­hav­iour.

In the end, it is up to you to make some very im­por­tant and dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions. And then, com­mit to keep­ing to your de­ci­sions.

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