10 Steps: The Circle of Love. [Funny Comic]
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*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal opinion, view or experience of the authors, and can not reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.
I am a 44 year old, basically happily married man. My problem is my wife’s weight.
I hate to sound like the typical shallow guy, but she has put on at least 30 lbs. since we were married 22 years ago and I am no longer sexually attracted to her. I have never cheated on her and like to think I never would, but my sexual life is extremely unsatisfying due to this problem.
We really don’t have sex anymore.
As for me, I’m in pretty good shape, go to the gym etc. and still get a lot of attention from women. I know my wife feels bad about herself and the fact that she doesn’t get much attention from men anymore. When she was young, she was a natural beauty and I think she took that for granted because she never had to work at it. Now she seems unwilling to do anything to get her “mojo” back.
I really don’t know what to do. I hate to think that with my life not even (hopefully) half over, that’s it for sex. Sometimes I wonder if I should just randomly hook up with someone to get it out of my system and take the pressure off my wife. I also wonder if monogamy is really natural and if it’s realistic to expect men to suppress their sexual feelings for their entire lives.
I admit, I probably got married too young, and if I hadn’t maybe I would have chosen someone different and not be having these issues.
As a woman, what do you think about this?
As a woman, I think I’m glad I’m not married to you.
You don’t mention if you’ve communicated any of this to your wife, but if not, that should be your first step—waaaaay before “randomly hooking up with someone to get it out of your system.”
My sense from reading this letter is that, aside from your assumption that your wife feels badly about herself because of her weight gain, you really haven’t given her side of the story much thought. You two are not working as a team—whether that’s your fault, hers or both of yours, I have no idea.
Sex is a critical part of any marriage and something that changes as the years pass. In itself, this is not a problem, unless the changes aren’t addressed. You need to sit down with your wife and have a difficult conversation. You should plan on listening as well as speaking and you would be well advised to enlist the help of a couples therapist.
Your lack of sex life and possibly your wife’s weight gain are good indicators that there are deeper issues at work here. If you have the courage to be vulnerable, compassionate and honest you’ll have the chance to sort this out.
If you don’t, this relationship, and likely any future relationship you have in your life will never be one of true connection.
My dad had an affair with my boyfriend’s mom—and my boyfriend knew about it and didn’t tell me a single word.
You don’t mention how serious you and your boyfriend are, or how you finally found out about this affair, but regardless of these factors, you feel betrayed.
The first thing you should do is ask your boyfriend (calmly) why he decided not to tell you about this. Put yourself in his position. Perhaps he was scared you would be angry with him. Perhaps he promised his mother he wouldn’t say anything. Perhaps he wanted to tell you, but couldn’t find the words.
The fact is, this is between your parents and your boyfriend’s mom. It is unfortunate that you and your boyfriend got involved. If you want to break up with your boyfriend that’s your prerogative, but it sounds like you both just got hit with the unfortunate fall out of other people’s poor decision making.
As to whether you should tell your mom, only you can decide. I would only say that if I were her, I would want to know and sometimes, blood runs thicker than water.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Erica Leibrandt
Editor: Renée Picard
Photos: Joe Penna at Flickr