Ask Amy: Husband not attracted to wife — or any woman

FresnoApril 28, 2014 

Dear Amy: My wife, "Cari," and I have been married for almost 30 years and have four wonderful children, the youngest in high school.

I love my kids, and I love my wife, but over the years, the passion in our marriage has dropped to the point that my wife has asked more than once if I am having an affair with another woman.

Each time I have replied, truthfully, "You are the most attractive woman in the world to me." I add the promise "I will never have an affair with another woman."

What I have not yet mentioned to her is that I am not so sure that I could turn away another man.

This is my dilemma: Should I tell Cari that I really don't have any sexual interest in women?

A therapist I have seen told me to wait until I'm fully prepared before I come out. A gay pastor counseled me to work through as much as I can, but make sure I come out before I meet a boyfriend.

A third opinion came from a book whose author is a woman whose husband left her for a man. This author's advice is to tell her immediately, so that she can grieve and then get on with life.

What would you suggest?

— Want to be honest

Dear Want: I agree with all three pieces of advice. And now that you've sought advice from the counselor, the clergy, the self-help book and the columnist; I'd say that it's time for you to do what you obviously need (and want) to do.

You will not be able to inoculate your wife or kids from the shock and confusion this will cause. You will not be able to time this process perfectly.

When you are ready, you should seek the help of a counselor to navigate through this with your wife.

You cannot expect instant understanding or acceptance, and this is because when one spouse drops a bombshell into the relationship, the other spouse tends to feel upset, angry and betrayed. But you can continue to be a good and loving partner to her and a great father to your kids.

Your wife would benefit from connecting with the Straight Spouse Network: straightspouse.org.

Dear Amy: Your attitude about porn does not surprise me, of course. But many happy and healthy men basically learned about sex from their stash of Playboys, and it didn't cause any harm.

— Husband and father

Dear Husband: Today's Internet porn is not your dad's Playboy. And it can definitely be harmful.

 

You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@tribune.com, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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