There’s been no ro­mance, af­fec­tion or sex for 30 years

The Mail on Sunday - You - - YOUR PROBLEM ANSWERED -

I feel de­ceived, de­feated and an­gry at times, with lit­tle prospect of en­joy­ing the rest of my life and my re­tire­ment. I am a fit 64-year-old man who has a good job and am well re­spected by my col­leagues. How­ever, my mar­riage has left me un­ful­filled. We have been mar­ried for 35 years, but for the past 30 there has been no sex, af­fec­tion or ro­mance. I even ar­ranged a won­der­ful hol­i­day to Italy a cou­ple of years ago but all I got was com­plaints. My wife did not want to start a fam­ily and now I feel huge sad­ness when I see chil­dren play­ing foot­ball or rid­ing their bikes. I do some men­tor­ing at a lo­cal school with col­leagues and, while this is re­ward­ing, it makes me even more aware of my loss. We’ve had sev­eral at­tempts at cou­ples coun­selling to try to ad­dress this. My wife has never worked since we got mar­ried, which I also feel in­creas­ingly re­sent­ful about. Re­cently she has been push­ing me on my re­tire­ment plans and I just ex­ploded with all the rage that I have been sup­press­ing for so long. Sadly, I think that you need to think about leav­ing your mar­riage. You have tried so hard for so long, but stay­ing is mak­ing you des­per­ately un­happy. I’m afraid your wife sounds self­ish – to not want chil­dren and to choose not to work as well sounds as though she has per­haps been us­ing you. You still have time to meet some­one with whom you could have a lov­ing, af­fec­tion­ate, emo­tional and phys­i­cal re­la­tion­ship. Try not to hold on to the re­sent­ment, though. This tends to only make peo­ple de­pressed. I am sorry that you have not had chil­dren. How­ever, many child­less peo­ple pic­ture fam­ily life like it is in the ad­verts: yes, it can be won­der­ful; but it can also be painful. We never know what is round the cor­ner or how life might have worked out if we had made dif­fer­ent choices. We have to draw a line un­der what has gone be­fore and try to move for­ward. It is won­der­ful that you are men­tor­ing young peo­ple, so please try to throw your­self into this and also into find­ing some­one who will ap­pre­ci­ate you and all you have to of­fer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.