I am a 54-year-old male, married for the fourth and last time. My wife claims the majority of women would rather not have sex and that having sex with their husbands is a duty more than anything else. We have discussed this many times and she always says: “I am always there for you.” If she doesn’t show any more interest, how am I to feel any excitement towards her? This has brought many marriages to an end, but I will not let it happen to ours. I want her to understand how important it is for her to appreciate my viewpoint. Any thoughts?


(This letter was sent in September. This is the situation today.)

Conditions have become much more depressing. Not even a marriage counselor could help. My wife said he didn’t know what he was talking about. I’m planning on moving out. If she agrees, then my problems are solved. But if she doesn’t, then I either have to live like this the rest of my life or hurt her by moving anyway. I want to be in a relationship that makes me feel like I am a welcome human being. I am not even close to having a relationship with another woman. However, it wouldn’t take but a gentle shove in the right direction to light my fire.

Dear Still Perplexed: You have to sit your wife down and tell her that (a) no matter how little interest she has in sex; (b) no matter what she believes about sexual relations between spouses; and (c) no matter how much she is “there for you,” you want a loving, reciprocal, physical relationship. Preferably with her, but if not, then with someone else. Let her digest that, then give her some options. If she wants to change, the two of you commit to sex therapy. If she doesn’t, then she has to let you go. Some couples have an arrangement. I’m not suggesting it, but it’s another option. Please let me know what it happens.

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