Wife still in love, but husband's hea...

Wife still in love, but husband's health issues have hurt sex life

There are 240 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jun 22, 2008, titled Wife still in love, but husband's health issues have hurt sex life. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

D ear Cheryl : I'm a 42-year-old woman. I've been married to my husband, who's 58, for 16 years.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

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Grace54

Gary, IN

#1 Jun 23, 2008
Huh? Yes, it is controversial advise and not good advise. She is looking for more than just an orgasm (which, by the way, he could probably still help her with). She misses the physical intimacy--with her man. A "discreet affair" would just open the door for more people to get hurt--the new man, possibly his wife, who he is protecting with his "discretion" and her husband. Listen to the old Kenny Rogers song, "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." Buy a vibrator!
Neil

United States

#2 Jun 23, 2008
I've never read an advice column where the columnist advised a letter-writer to have an affair.

How exactly did Cheryl Lavin get a job writing love advise anyway?

“Get over yourself...”

Level 6

Since: Jan 08

You're not that important

#3 Jun 23, 2008
If she really loves him, she will find ways to deal with the lack of a sex life with him. Has she never heard of sex toys or other sex acts that will include him and give her the sexual release she needs? Is she so self centered that she can't realize her husband is probably suffering as well? Or is her love of her husband based solely on the healthy sex life they once had? When she took those vows, for better or worse, did she not mean them? She had the better; now is time for the worse. She needs to let him know that she loves HIM, not just sex with him.
Daria

United States

#4 Jun 23, 2008
I'd like to add that one counseling session is not enough. Of course he's not going to open up right away! There are plenty of ways he could assist her in "achieving her goal", so to speak, but only if he's willing to try.

If he's not, that speaks to a deeper issue, and she should continue to go to the therapist to help her decide on a course of action, and accept that course, whatever it turns out to be.
Wyndie

Meadville, PA

#5 Jun 23, 2008
The early-19th-century English poet George Gordon, Lord Byron had a better-than-average understanding of women and their problems with sexual frustration.

In his long epic poem "Don Juan" he writes,

"Some take a lover, some take drams or prayers,

Some mind their household, others dissipation,

Some run away, and but exchange their cares,

Losing advantage of a virtuous station."

Since: Jun 08

Omaha, NE

#6 Jun 23, 2008
I love how, when it’s the husband who feels deprived of sexual intimacy, it's HIS fault. He needs to be more understanding, he needs to do more housework, he needs to attend counseling and respect her more.

When the wife wants more sex (and the letter writer even admitted that her husband could not be sexually active due to physical discomfort and a STROKE), it is perfectly acceptable for the wife to have an extramarital affair.

Could Cheryl be anymore sexist in her comments?!
Rebecca

Savage, MN

#7 Jun 23, 2008
Unless her husband approves of her finding sex somewhere else, this is not good advice at all.

There are plenty of "toys" on the market. Her husband can "use them with her" and be a part of using them and having fun. They should try that before she cheats.

I cannot think of a single reason to cheat if you plan on staying with your man.
TimP

Chicago, IL

#8 Jun 23, 2008
Sounds like she is lacking creativity as well. I'm sure that even in his disabled state there is something he can do to help his wife find the physical release she wants / needs. Sometimes just having an audience can be fun.
Susan

Chicago, IL

#9 Jun 23, 2008
No, no, no!

Having an affair is NEVER a good idea. If she wishes her husband dead on her bad days just because he can't or won't have sex with her, she needs to do the honorable thing and let this man find someone who loves him as he is.

Then she's free to screw around all she likes.

I, also, have never read an article where an advice-giver urges someone in trouble to have an affair. Shame on you, Cheryl.
Controversial but correct

Elmhurst, NY

#10 Jun 23, 2008
Her husband has absolutely no right to expect her to agree to a celibate marriage. I agree with your advice absolutely.
Bee

Jacksonville, FL

#11 Jun 23, 2008
If it were me with those feelings, I would ask for an open marriage. If he said no, I would just divorce him and move on. You can still be friends.
suzyq

Madison, TN

#13 Jun 23, 2008
One aspect that no one brings up is the age difference. If any one is contemplating marrying someone 16 years older than them, you better give some serious thought to the changes that will occur for both of you at different times. You will find very few honest men who will not admit that sex (the act itself not the desire), isn't more difficult and unpredictable at 58 than at 42. And at 58 this man is likely to have been brought up in a time when you would as soon cut out your tongue as babble to some therapist about erectile dysfunction. The only men I see talking happily about Viagra are on commercials. And with multiple health problems, he may be completely unable and embarassed and ashamed. You did marry for better or worse and in sickness and in health - unfortunately with a partner 16 yrs your senior, you have to deal with these issues at a time when you are rarin to go.
Rational

Waymart, PA

#15 Jun 23, 2008
*Clapping hands* "Bravo Cheryl Bravo!" I have never seen and advice columnist who is so openly sexist and jaded towards men as you. This the capstone on your twisted and warped views on men and women.

You should have advised her to keep going to counseling even if on her own but to try and get the husband to go again it takes more than one time to open up.

The other thing you forgot, which to me is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself is that: She took her wedding vows, and, at age 26 she knew better, she knew her husband would be 16 years older than her, heck at 34 her husband was 50. So, she should have to deal with the consequences. Who knows why she was with this man so young, bout out of another marriage one must wonder if he provided her a level of financial security and stability.

She at the very least needs to speak with her husband about it. SHAME ON YOU CHERYL because you danged sure know had it been the opposite way you would NEVER have told the man to creep around behind her back.
cynicalbitch

United States

#16 Jun 23, 2008
Controversial but correct wrote:
Her husband has absolutely no right to expect her to agree to a celibate marriage. I agree with your advice absolutely.
All in all, this has nothing to do with sex, toys or orgasm. It has everything to do with rejection and the vicious cycle of feeling unworthy, especially to your mate. Sex is a way for two people to 'connect'(no pun intended) and feel wanted by the one they love. If you've never been in the situation, you really don't have a clue.
Mitsy

Kirksville, MO

#17 Jun 23, 2008
I'd say that I still have a hard time understanding women who go for much older men. It stands to reason that they will have health problems much sooner than their younger wives will. I am a bit baffled as to why the husband doesn't even attempt sex anymore. Is it truly a physical problem due to his health problems or am I reading that he has pretty much put a lid on their sex life because he's just not interested? Either way, I doubt that she can stay in this marriage with the way things are going now.

However, I also think an affair would also conjure up a lot of guilt on her part. If the husband is truly "done" with sex, then I think she owes it to him to ASK him what he thinks she should do? Is he OK with her seeking an affair? There seems to be no easy answer.

Since: Apr 08

United States

#18 Jun 23, 2008
cynicalbitch wrote:
<quoted text>
All in all, this has nothing to do with sex, toys or orgasm. It has everything to do with rejection and the vicious cycle of feeling unworthy, especially to your mate. Sex is a way for two people to 'connect'(no pun intended) and feel wanted by the one they love. If you've never been in the situation, you really don't have a clue.
The strange thing is, these columns always seem to blame the man. When the columns were the other way (wife no longer wanting/able to have sex), the man was told to deal with it and to be more understanding of his wife. In this case, since it is the woman that is "suffering", it is ok to have an affair.

All I can ask is that people at least be consistent in their views, all Cheryl is consistent with is that everything is the man's problem and women can get a pass for any behavior they want. So much for "equality".
Bated Breath

United States

#19 Jun 23, 2008
Money and security - and sometimes a 'father figure' is the reason these women marry the old guys. They give no thought to the future except 'divorce' if it comes to that (after finding a replacement).

I'm the 'old hag' now but when I wasn't - I got sick to my stomach when Mia Farrow married Frank Sinatra and when Bing Crosby married Katherine Grant? All I could think about was how could they? I liked my good looking well built husband who had 4 years on me. Would not have traded places for any amount of money. Still think the same.
Mitsy wrote:
I'd say that I still have a hard time understanding women who go for much older men. It stands to reason that they will have health problems much sooner than their younger wives will. I am a bit baffled as to why the husband doesn't even attempt sex anymore. Is it truly a physical problem due to his health problems or am I reading that he has pretty much put a lid on their sex life because he's just not interested? Either way, I doubt that she can stay in this marriage with the way things are going now.
However, I also think an affair would also conjure up a lot of guilt on her part. If the husband is truly "done" with sex, then I think she owes it to him to ASK him what he thinks she should do? Is he OK with her seeking an affair? There seems to be no easy answer.
someone

United States

#20 Jun 23, 2008
Rational wrote:
*Clapping hands* "Bravo Cheryl Bravo!" I have never seen and advice columnist who is so openly sexist and jaded towards men as you. This the capstone on your twisted and warped views on men and women.
You should have advised her to keep going to counseling even if on her own but to try and get the husband to go again it takes more than one time to open up.
The other thing you forgot, which to me is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself is that: She took her wedding vows, and, at age 26 she knew better, she knew her husband would be 16 years older than her, heck at 34 her husband was 50. So, she should have to deal with the consequences. Who knows why she was with this man so young, bout out of another marriage one must wonder if he provided her a level of financial security and stability.
She at the very least needs to speak with her husband about it. SHAME ON YOU CHERYL because you danged sure know had it been the opposite way you would NEVER have told the man to creep around behind her back.
Male or female if a person actually loves their partner they talk to them and work it out. The person not getting enough or any compromises and the person who cant or wont also compromises.

These things can be worked out….heck I almost got lockjaw during my 6 wk recovery period after my daughter was born because I didn’t want my husband to feel that just because we had a kid, his desires didn’t matter to me. He never had to say anything to me but I know that he freakin would have before he even let a thought of another person enter his mind.

How is it that people can be married and talk about so many other things but the words, "honey, I love you but I need to have more sexual contact with you. When you reject me, it hurts very much. This is a problem that can only get bigger. Please help me with it."

Then just compromise. The husband's tongue and mouth are in working order, his hands are…..these things can be worked out

“Get over yourself...”

Level 6

Since: Jan 08

You're not that important

#21 Jun 23, 2008
For all the women out there who are glad this wife was advised to have an affair-how would you feel if illness left you incapable of sex and your husband was given that same advice? Would you be as happy about his infidelity as you are about that wife's impending infidelity? Or would you want your husband, who entered into a lifelong commitment with you, to stay true to the vows he took?
Jeff

North Chicago, IL

#22 Jun 23, 2008
Rational wrote:
*Clapping hands* "Bravo Cheryl Bravo!" I have never seen and advice columnist who is so openly sexist and jaded towards men as you. This the capstone on your twisted and warped views on men and women.
You should have advised her to keep going to counseling even if on her own but to try and get the husband to go again it takes more than one time to open up.
The other thing you forgot, which to me is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself is that: She took her wedding vows, and, at age 26 she knew better, she knew her husband would be 16 years older than her, heck at 34 her husband was 50. So, she should have to deal with the consequences. Who knows why she was with this man so young, bout out of another marriage one must wonder if he provided her a level of financial security and stability.
She at the very least needs to speak with her husband about it. SHAME ON YOU CHERYL because you danged sure know had it been the opposite way you would NEVER have told the man to creep around behind her back.
Both Cheryl and Amy seem to have a deep burning hatred for the male gender.

Most likely, it's all that sustains them late at night when they're all alone. Cause God knows, no man in his right mind would share in that bitterness.

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