Sex ad­vice

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - ADVICE -

I have been mar­ried for 18 years. Four hours af­ter we were mar­ried, I found out my hus­band had been hav­ing an af­fair and – as you can imag­ine – I was ut­terly dev­as­tated. I made the de­ci­sion that my vows were im­por­tant and that we rarely have the op­por­tu­nity to truly be com­pas­sion­ate, so I for­gave him and we moved on.

How­ever, from that day we have av­er­aged love mak­ing four times a year. He is just not in­ter­ested and it has eaten into ev­ery part of my soul. He’s been to the doc­tor and there are no med­i­cal prob­lems. I’ve sat down and dis­cussed ev­ery­thing with him and his an­swer is to take me to bed, make love to me once, then not touch me again for three months.

We live har­mo­niously to­gether, but I’m not sure how much longer I can go feel­ing like I’m not wor­thy of his love be­cause he has with­held it for so long. He doesn’t kiss me, rarely hugs me and even hold­ing my hand is ask­ing for a mir­a­cle.

I un­der­stand we are all dif­fer­ent, but I feel so love de­prived I se­ri­ously ques­tion just how long I can last.

How do I fix this be­fore it be­comes ir­re­vo­ca­bly bro­ken? It is bro­ken. Your hus­band’s heart is clearly ei­ther else­where or se­curely locked away and al­ways has been for the du­ra­tion of this mar­riage. I won­der if he ever let go of his ex-lover. Your self­less­ness and ded­i­ca­tion to hon­ourable be­hav­iour, while ad­mirable, puts you at risk of be­com­ing a mar­tyr and that’s not de­sir­able for ei­ther of you.

It’s time for a meta-dis­cus­sion; not: “It’s been months since we last made love,” but a hon­est and forth­right: “This mar­riage is not work­ing for me.” I would sug­gest the two of you ei­ther get pro­fes­sional help to get to the bot­tom of what stands in the way of this man be­ing more open, af­fec­tion­ate and lov­ing or you to­gether de­cide that it is time to part.

Are you ready for that pos­si­bil­ity? Can you let your­self en­vis­age a life without this man?

Re­claim­ing you if you be­come sin­gle will re­quire giv­ing your­self some self-com­pas­sion­ate heal­ing at­ten­tion un­til you can deeply value you and know you are wor­thy of be­ing adored and de­sired.

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