ASK CAROLINE: Our relationships expert Caroline West-Meads answers your questions

ASK CAROLINE: Our relationships expert Caroline West-Meads answers your questions

ASK CAROLINE: Our relationship expert Caroline West-Meads will answer your questions

If you have a problem, email Caroline at c.west-meads@mailonsunday.co.uk. Caroline reads all of your letters, but regrets that she cannot answer everyone personally

I can’t stand never having sex again

I wonder if I should end my 36 year marriage. in the In the beginning it was good and we were happy, even though ours Sex life has always been a little less than I wanted. About ten years ago when our children left home for university, my wife suffered from severe depression and anxiety. We haven’t had much sex since then. I supported them and have was kind, loving, and patient, but to no avail. She kept apologizing and saying it was menopause and later that she was too tired, not feeling well, or too busy. Eventually she admitted that she just didn’t feel like having sex – with me or anyone else – and said I couldn’t just watch porn or masturbate. But I don’t want a cold sexual experience alone to fulfill a basic need – I want a marriage with love and intimacy. She won’t even kiss or cuddle me. She says she loves me and she wants to stay together. But I wonder if she ever really loved myself at the beginning or whether she just didn’t want to to be alone. She was always quite shy and hadn’t done it I’ve had a lot of relationships and I know them had some mental health problems in her youth. I have always been loyal and different we get along well. But I’m only 62 and don’t want to Never make going through the rest of my life love again to everyone.

You really need to persuade your wife to go for a counseling as you can’t go on like this and both of you need assistance. It may be that your wife’s aversion to sex has a history. Sometimes, when people come from families where sex was rarely discussed or viewed as naughty or dirty, they can grow up with repressed attitudes. Or she has a history of sexual abuse that can cause long-term harm. You say your teenage wife had mental health problems. Did she have an eating disorder or body image problems? This can make women reluctant to be touched or seen naked because they loathe their bodies. This can get worse if a woman has difficulty aging. While you don’t want to pressurize your wife to have sex, it is a natural need to be loved, to make love, and to have that physical connection. Talk to her and explain that, ideally, you would like to stay married, but that you can’t stand never making love again. Tell her it’s not just the sex, it’s the intimacy and affection and how unloved you feel without that – and that you can’t get that by masturbating. I hope your marriage can be saved. So, contact Relate (related.org.uk) or the College of Sex and Relationship Therapists (cosrt.org.uk) for advice. This will help you and your wife decide whether to stay together or, if not, help you break up as nicely as possible.

He’s nice and loving, but me need some romance

Recently I had a message from a friend’s husband who was trying to arrange a surprise online birthday party for his wife, but that made me unhappy. I know she had a difficult time when she lost her mother a few months ago and her husband caused so much trouble, tracking down her friends and asking them all to record videos with anecdotes. I can only imagine my husband would never do that. We get along well, rarely quarrel, and he’s a good man who is kind to me and our children. But I just don’t feel like he would go out of his way to do anything special for me. Am I stupid to want a great, romantic gesture at my age – I’ll be 50 next year?

There are many different types of people in the world and maybe your boyfriend’s husband is the sociable type who loves a party and this is how he expresses his love for his wife. Perhaps your man is quieter and expresses his love differently. For example, does he do his part to cook and do housework and make time for the children? Does he really listen to you when you want to talk or worry about something? Does he make you a cup of coffee when you are tired or know what your favorite song is? There is often as much romance and love in the quieter, everyday gestures as there is in the grandiose, more extravagant. But no, you are not stupid. We all want romance, so speak to your man. Tell him about this guy’s plans and how beautiful you think them are. Then you easily suggest that maybe you could make some romantic plans together.

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