Man’s sex shock after forgiving wife’s fling
Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au's weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred.
This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie tackles a couple who hardly have sex after getting back together, what to do if you're having sex dreams about a co-worker and a person curious to know if they're asexual.
I FORGAVE MY WIFE FOR CHEATING AND NOW WE HARDLY HAVE SEX
QUESTION: My wife and I have been together for 19 years now and have four young kids. Our relationship has been a rocky one. My wife cheated eight years ago with an old flame, but we got back together and smoothed things over. In the bedroom things are quiet. Like extremely quiet. We've had sex three times this year, which simply isn't enough for me. That's been the trend pretty much for the last 15 years. I still try to make the time at least once a week but get constantly rejected. I know we need help, but whenever I try to talk to my wife about getting help I encounter a brick wall and fire and fury. How can I approach my wife to get help without starting a fight and actually get her to follow through without resentment?
ANSWER: Although you managed to 'smooth things over' following her infidelity, it sounds like there's a lot going on under the surface that hasn't been fully addressed.
Making time for sex once a week is a really helpful idea to ensure that intimacy between you happens, but it only works if you're both on board with the idea. I feel for you - it's challenging to feel like you're constantly being rejected. It's also understandable that you want more intimacy in your relationship than you're currently having.
I agree with your assessment that you need help. A good couples therapist and sexologist can give you practical tools to communicate more effectively, strengthen your relationship and address your sexual challenges.
Based on your description of a 'rocky relationship' I suspect there are relationship factors that need to be dealt with before you can adequately address her sexual desire levels - or her desire to have sex with you.
To get her to follow through without resentment is going to require understanding more about her point of view and what's happening for her in this relationship.
In order to increase genuine desire, we need to look at what is getting in the way of that desire and consider factors that can increase it. Having sex simply in order to please someone else doesn't usually help cultivate sustained desire - it tends to have the opposite effect.
In terms of speaking to your wife about this (or any difficult topic), I suggest the following five steps:
1. Ask her for a good time to talk.
2. Begin with something positive.
Our relationship is really important to me. I love you and I'm so proud of everything we've been able to make it through together.
3. Tell her what your emotions about the current situation are.
Lately, I've been feeling upset and sad about the level of intimacy in our relationship.
4. Tell her what your needs are - in a positive way.
I have a need for connection and I have a desire for us to have a strong, lasting relationship. I'm really interested in how this relationship could be better for you too.
5. Make a clear request about what you would like.
What I would like is for us to speak to someone together so we can make a real change on this.
I can't guarantee what the outcome will be for you. Sex is a challenging topic and your wife clearly has her own emotion around it if you're currently being met with a brick wall or anger. Using these steps, however, helps you avoid blame and criticism, and makes it more likely that your wife will be willing to hear you.
You may need to be persistent in asking her to address this. It's a difficult thing to face, so if she believes by putting up a brick wall or getting angry will stop you raising this, she'll likely try that.
HELP! I KEEP HAVING SEX DREAMS ABOUT MY COLLEAGUE
QUESTION: I keep dreaming about my colleague in a sexual way. I don't fancy him (at least I don't think I do!) but the dreams are getting more frequent and extremely explicit. It's getting so bad that I now turn red when I talk to him. What do these sexual dreams mean and how do I stop them?
Our dreams aren't within our control, but often point to something going on within our unconscious. Dreams are often symbolic. Sexual dreams about someone don't necessarily mean that you fancy them or want a relationship with them.
Examine whether there's a 'feeling' or 'energetic quality' that you experience with the colleague in these dreams. Does this remind you of anything?
What is the relationship between you and your colleague like? Does he remind you of anyone? He may be representing qualities or a kind of person or relationship from your past or someone or something that you want.
Examining this in detail can help break down the embarrassment and confusion you're feeling about it right now.
RELATED: Wife's shocking 10-year sex lie
HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M ASEXUAL?
QUESTION: Is there such thing as asexual? I find people attractive but I'm not interested in having sex, in fact the thought of it makes me feel uncomfortable. My friends says I'm asexual and I was wondering what that means?
ANSWER: Yes, there is such a thing as being asexual. Estimates are that 1 per cent of the population are asexual.
Asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction for others or zero or very low desire for sexual activity with others. People who are asexual can still have romantic attraction for others and may even choose to have sex with others.
Asexuality is a sexual preference that people have their entire lives. Asexuality is different from having sexual attraction and then losing desire for various reasons or from having negative sexual beliefs or experiences that make sex uncomfortable.
I suggest researching more on asexuality and hearing other people's experiences to see if it resonates with you.
Isiah McKimmie is a couples therapist, sex therapist and sexologist. For more expert advice follow her on Instagram
Originally published as Man's sex shock after forgiving wife's fling