We have no sort of life in the bedroom
Tell Me About It:Q Over the past year, I’ve lost weight, got fit and had beauty therapies to look my best. I’m in my 50s but my friends tell me I look 20 years younger (other men are even getting a little flirty), but my husband hasn’t noticed, or if he has, hasn’t mentioned it.
We’ve had no sort of life in the bedroom for a long time and I’m beginning to think we never will. No way did I think my marriage would turn out like this.
AYou must be feeling disappointed that after putting so much effort into losing weight, your husband is still rejecting you. I hope you realise how wonderful you are to have accomplished this improvement in your health, that you see the benefits for yourself, and haven’t just tried to please your husband.
“This is make or break time,” says Freda Hanley, psychotherapist. “Sometimes relationships evolve into different relationships over time and a couple can become like brother and sister.”
You need to rule out erectile dysfunction as a cause, but to do this you need to be close enough to your husband to bring up the issue and suggest a visit to the GP.
Sexuality is about more than the act of sex, looking sexy and attracting your husband’s advances. It’s about sensuality and the whole woman.
You may look better, but deep down you may not feel more attractive. You mention other men getting flirty so having an affair could be tempting, which might be fun in the short-term but would be a disastrous way to deal with your main relationship.
To really evolve your marriage, you need to have a conversation with your husband about your mutual sexual and emotional needs. Your husband also has needs – you mention looking 20 years younger, maybe he is only interested in younger women, a painful thing to know but maybe key to his aloofness.
If a lack of communication is so entrenched that you cannot speak openly with your husband, Hanley says you may want try relationship counselling, where the relationship is explored with the help of a psychotherapist. “Often one partner doesn’t want to engage with this,” she says, “but it cannot take place unless both parties are willing to make the relationship better, or to facilitate changing or ending it. It may take as few as six sessions, or six months or even a year.”
Hanley advises: “Finding a solution could be a question of discussing openly the implications of a brother-sister relationship, or of finding each other again sensually, or of having your needs met in some other way, or of separation.”
QMy widowed father has been in a very happy long-term relationship but is now uncertain about continuing with it and wants to break up.