Sunday 19 February 2017

Dear Patricia: He so rarely makes love to me and I've found him wearing my lingerie

Patricia Redlich

Published 03/04/2011 | 05:00

MY husband and I do not have sex. We are happy as a family, so we decided to make an effort to have our marriage work. He makes love to me, but only when I ask for it, which is about twice a year. He sometimes turns me down. I want him to want me, but he tells me he is tired and has a low sexual urge. I have been miserable.

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I have caught him five times wearing lingerie -- mine and some things he bought too -- and masturbating. I was shocked. The sight was silly and one I can't get out of my mind. As a result, I have a problem trying to make myself feel sexually attracted to him as a man.

I am also sad that he doesn't express that sexual urge by being interested in me. I think it's not fair.

We have two wonderful children, and our daughter in particular loves her dad. I want to save this marriage, as well as rescuing myself as a woman.

I am afraid that his lingerie urge may be getting stronger, to the point where he's taking risks about being seen. I cannot imagine how devastating it would be for the children if they found out about this.

If I accommodate his dressing-up behaviour for the sake of the marriage, will this perhaps increase the possibility of him taking more risks in order to seek more thrills? Do we have a hope?

Patricia replies:

NO, it's not fair. It's not fair at all that this man married you when he is clearly ambivalent about his sexual orientation. And not only married you, but now fails to discuss the situation with you in any meaningful way.

I can see that at some very real level you have avoided having that discussion too. It's clear you want this marriage to work, and not just because you've said so. Despite everything, you're still there.

To be very honest, I think you're hiding from the truth. Your husband shows no sexual interest in you. That's not just because he cross-dresses. Many men who are heterosexual cross-dress. In other words, they still fancy their wives. Your husband does not.

I can't, of course, tell what's going on his head. But it is clear that women are not what turns him on. In other words, you can't take this personally. It's not just you he fails to fancy.

Maybe he's homosexual. Maybe he's unable to be sexual with any other human being. Maybe sitting there, lonely, dressed up in women's lingerie and masturbating, is all he's able for. We don't know.

We can, however, reasonably presume, given the track record of your marriage, that this behaviour will not change. That's very sad. Hiding from it, however, won't help you.

I don't know if he'll become more daring with his cross-dressing, but your question is very valid. It is, indeed, possible that he will take more risks, particularly if he feels you won't resist. It depends on how strong his own sense of boundaries is. Or what price he feels he'll have to pay if he steps over the mark.

I know he doesn't fancy you, but he may well put a lot of value on having you and his children around him. And if there was a threat he might lose you all, that could contain his behaviour.

On the other hand, some sexual behaviour is so compulsive that boundaries mean nothing -- just as alcohol- or drug-abuse can be so addictive that nothing else counts.

You do have to talk to your husband. The two of you also badly need to see a counsellor. Stop dodging and find professional help.

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