Monday 21 October 2019

Dear Mary: I can't stand men and I'm not into women

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Mary O’Conor

I am 45 years of age.

My last relationship was with a man who was 10 years younger and who I have two children with. I broke it off as he did not show any serious interest or commitment to me. I had really hoped for a plan for us as a family but it wasn't happening that way. Sex was never a major feature of this relationship which ended a year ago.

None of my relationships have begun by me falling in love. It always developed after knowing them and being friends. But I think to open up to a man is bad. My dad cheated on my mum, screamed a lot and was jealous. He is still alone and finds it difficult to have a relationship.

My desire for sex has gone. Now I can't stand men and I'm also not into women. What's wrong with me?

Mary replies: I don't think there is anything wrong with you. I feel that what is going on for you sexually is a reflection of what went on in your last relationship. Sex wasn't very important in the relationship with him and so you became used to having very little sex and your body has adapted to that. Even though you had two children together this man did not treat you very well and so you finished with him. Naturally you have been hurt by all this and nobody would blame you for that.

Your family history as regards how men treat women isn't great and you can see that your father is now alone because of his treatment of your mother. So the major experiences of men in your life - your father and then the father of your children - have left you with a very bad impression of men.

But by declaring that you can't stand men you are putting all men into the same category as these two men which is not fair. There are lots of good guys out there who are capable of maintaining a loving relationship.

If you were to become involved with somebody else, somebody whom you can trust and learn to love, you would find that the natural physical response to loving somebody would kick back into place and you would once more experience the desire for sex.

I disagree that it is bad to open up to a man. Nobody opens up at the beginning - any relationship starts with exploring if the couple have anything in common, whether they share the same views on life, if they are physically attracted to each other and so on. If things are going well then they start to open up a little more admitting to their weaknesses and family secrets.

Both people let down their guards by doing this and it is on this basis that relationships are built. For instance, if either parent or a sibling has some form of addiction then this is not spoken about on a first date, but as the time comes for the new partner to meet the family then it is important that such things are spoken about. So by opening up we allow people to see the real us, warts and all, and they do the same.

I hope that you meet somebody soon who will appreciate you and that you make each other happy and that you can have the family unit that you desire.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or email her at or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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