Ask Fiona: ‘My husband says we’re too old for sex’

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Q: My husband and I have been married for four years but since the first year there has been no physical side to our relationship at all – not even cuddles.

I WANT A PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIP

We’re both in our late fifties and when I try talking to him about it, he says we’re “too old for that sort of thing”.

Well, I’m not! I’ve tried to convince him to tell me what’s wrong, but he won’t open up to me. I’m beginning to think there is something wrong with me. Aside from this we get on well, so what can I do?

A For a start, stop thinking there is something wrong with you. There could be any number of reasons for your husband’s behaviour.

You don’t tell me anything about his past life. Has he been in a relationship before, for example? Your husband may have lost confidence in himself, he may have a very low interest in a physical relationship, or he may have a physical problem.

Whatever the reason, you’ve tried to get him to talk. You say the two of you are getting on well, but this problem is opening up a huge gulf between you that needs to be tackled.

MY BOYFRIEND TAKES ME FOR GRANTED

Q: I love my boyfriend but I really wish I didn’t.

We’ve been together for about two years now and, to begin with, we were really close and talked about everything. Now all we do is argue but he always wins and then expects me to apologise, even when it’s not my fault.

I feel he takes me for granted because if I threaten to leave him, he just laughs at me. I’ve become really depressed recently but if I burst into tears, he just tells me to get a grip. I know he’s arrogant and selfish and he’s not kind to me but I still love him, so what can I do? When he’s not getting at me, he’s nice to know.

A: Nice to know? You find this man selfish, arrogant and unfeeling. You’re expected to give in to him all the time, and you’re depressed but he makes no effort to understand.

Please stop and think clearly for a moment. Ask yourself, what it is about this unpleasant young man that you actually love?

I suspect it’s not the man he is now, but the man you thought he was when you first got together. You’re not loving the real him, you’re in love with a dream so please, wake up!

The sad truth is that men like him don’t change easily when they’re in a relationship. I’m sorry to sound harsh but the longer you stay with this man, the more he will turn you into a doormat and the unhappier you will be.

IS IT TOO LATE TO HAVE CHILDREN?

Q: When we got married, my wife and I were short of money so we decided to put off having children until we could afford it.

For several years my wife was unhappy about it and got very broody. She would stare longingly at other people’s babies and often cry about it. That was nine years ago but in the last year my wife has changed – she’s lost weight, got really into her job and seemed to change her whole outlook on life.

The thing is, though, that our circumstances have changed. We could now afford to have children, but she’s not interested and now I’m the one who’s desperate. How can I get her to change her mind?

A: Most family or marriage problems can be sorted out if people are willing to compromise, but the decision on children is never so easy. Clearly, you’ve both changed and the only way you are going to resolve this is to talk through your feelings in an open and honest way.

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