She Needs More Passion
Q: My spouse is disabled, and I'm the caregiver. I love him completely, but this relationship has cost me so much over the years. And yet he shows no passion towards me. I have had two brief affairs just for the pleasure of being touched passionately and to have normal sex. I just wonder, after 23 years, is it time for me to be selfish and leave him? -- Daisy, 45
Dr. Susan: I wonder if your husband ever showed passion toward you, and whether the disability itself is partly to blame. You also need to consider whether his disability is causing him depression. Untreated, that can kill desire, and sadly, often the treatment itself affects levels of desire or the ability to be intimate as before. See if you can sort those issues out before making up your mind about leaving. Next, it sounds as though your husband might be taking all your sacrifices for granted. You might want to bring up the subject of leaving and see how he reacts. Is it that he can show some passion but doesn't? Brief secret affairs are rarely the whole answer, though in some situations they enable you to endure for a few more years. Right now is possibly your sexual peak, and you could wait it out and eventually not care as much. But if that is unbearably sad to you, I wouldn't blame you. Maybe it is time for you to consider your own needs. This is really too vast a topic to cover here, and I'd suggest talking it over in depth with a caring professional.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.