I was just going through many e-mails that were written by folks who’ve read my books. And every so often I come across “fan” mail that confirms many things. My book titles and topics may seem implausiable to some, but people in real life are going through baby mama drama, women who are going after their men, or they know someone in that very situation.
Without telling all their business, some readers, especially my male readers, are very forthcoming about the struggles they have in their own marital relationships. Married yet sexless. Men who have met “Dani’s” in real-life and were so drawn to his “Dani” that he couldn’t give her up. Bottom line, this stuff is real. It’s just that we don’t talk about it because it is humiliating. And feeling humiliated is totally understandable.
But it’s good to be able to discuss these issues.
Right now I am going to share a Dear Abby column that completely represents what I’m trying to convey about what people endure behind closed doors:
I am 43, the mother of four children and just celebrated my 20th anniversary. Is it normal for someone to be married all this time and still not want your husband to see you naked?
I do not reveal myself to him. The lights must always be off, and I keep a shirt on. It’s not because I am ashamed of my body; it’s that I’m not attracted to him. I never was.
I married my husband for security and have learned to love him. But I love him like a brother, in a sisterly kind of way. I feel I owe him.
Should I tell my husband how I feel and risk losing my security after all this time? I had to talk to someone, so I confided in my best friend. She advised me to say nothing.
My husband had an affair a few years ago, and frankly, I was secretly relieved. Sometimes I wish he was still with her. Now that it’s over, I’m back in hiding. Abby, please advise. — HIDING IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR HIDING: What a sad situation. By marrying your husband feeling as you did, you have cheated both of you. Not only have you “not revealed” yourself physically, you have not revealed yourself emotionally or in any other way. You wish he was still with his lover because it took the pressure off you.
Your husband had an affair because instinctively he knew something important was missing in your marriage, and if you were happy you would not have written to me. What you have described is not a marriage; it is an “arrangement.”
My advice is to talk to your husband about making another kind of arrangement — one in which he supports the children and possibly makes some kind of settlement with you, while you both pursue your separate lives. Frankly, it won’t be much different than what you are already experiencing.
copyright Jeanne Phillips 2009
Okay, this situation says a lot. This wife did not want to have sex with her own hubby, for her own reasons. And she’s glad he had sex with another woman so she didn’t have to. Wow! What you may not put up with another woman will (bad grammar, but you know what I’m trying to say).
I’d love to generate a discussion.
What are some things you’re shocked you’ve put up with in your own relationship. We ALL do this!! 🙂 We may be embarrassed to admit it, but we do.
Like, do you tolerate your current man’s need to stay in touch with his ex-girlfriends? That’s a good one!! Let’s talk about it.