For the past several years, I've resigned myself to the fact that my wife and I aren't going to have sex , so pornography and self-gratification are the alternative .
I understand she can be tired, ill or angry or just not feel like it . But that's all the time . She says I take it too personally when she turns me down . Yet, when she insists she likes sex and wants me to initiate it, I get slapped and turned away as soon as I approach her . How can I not take that personally ? I finally realized I am better off accepting that we aren't going to have sex and I no longer get frustrated .
I send flowers, take her out to dinner, make her coffee in the morning, make her lunch for work, clean up after dinner and make breakfast on weekends . Her interest declined when our children were young . She told me if I didn't like it I could leave, but we both know that will be bad for the children . We talked about counseling, but she wouldn't go, so I went by myself . The counselor wasn't too helpful , saying suck it up or leave .
I guess I'm angry . So it's no use talking to her about it anymore . So why am I writing ? I want someone to change my wife . But I know she's the only one that can do that and she doesn't have much interest . Men like me lead lives of quiet desperation .
Dear In Pain,
Please understand that your counselor was right . In situations where the other person is unwilling to make changes, your choice is to go or stay . But although you decided to stay ( for all the right reasons ), you didn't truly deal with the emotional fallout and became increasingly resentful, lonely and bitter . I understand how empty and isolated you must feel and it appears that your wife no longer wants an intimate relationship with you.
Additional counseling may help you let go of that and be more at peace . You have put your children's well being before your own and that is admirable. When they are older and more independent, you should consider your own happiness first and perhaps reconsider ending the relationship.
Recently I was sub-tweeted ... someone tweeted something negative about me on Twitter, but did not tweet me directly ... by several of my acquaintances . I took the time to call them out on it and respond to the rude things they were saying, for example, calling me a disgrace to my race . Should I have pretended I didn't see what they were saying or was I right to defend myself .
Dear Tweet Snubbed ,
In the world of social media, so much information is swirling about that it can be hard to keep track of it . If someone badmouths you, you absolutely have the right to speak up for yourself, whether the insult came directly or via-sub-tweet .
That said, you have to weigh when it's best to stand up for yourself and when it might be better to say nothing or, at least, say it in person . Make your decision on a case-by-case basis . If something is flagrantly out of line, you can also contact the provider to ask for the comment to be removed .
I am a 68-year-old woman who has been divorced for more than 30 years . I haven't been in an intimate relationship for the past 10 years .
Last year I discovered that I have genital herpes . The doctor said that may have had it for years before experiencing symptoms . I was devastated, When I have an outbreak, I take medication that shortens the discomfort and I decided not to have intimate contact anymore . I'm quite busy with my retirement lifestyle and very content .
Here's the problem ; I recently met a man my age. I don't want to tell him about my personal medical history, but I also don't want him to think I'm a prude . We went out casually once and he has called since, but I have put him off . I can't decide if I should see him again and say nothing, or whether I should tell him I have an STD and let him decide whether he wants a 'friend without benefits.' What do you suggest ?
Dear K ,
It seems a shame to end your sex life because you fear transmitting an STD . There are ways to advoid that . And your future partner may be more understanding than you realize . Please contact the American Sexual Health Association (ashasexualhealth.org ) for information on all STDs , including herpes, and for support in communicating with potential partners . Remember, It is always better to be up front and honest with someone you wish to have any kind of relationship with.