Still not satisfied

Joey Garcia

Before my husband and I got married, sex was amazing. Now, he’s lazy. Either I’m on top, doing all the work, or I give him oral, and he falls asleep before reciprocating. He’s very defensive, so I need a strategy to bring this up in a way that won’t set him off. Any ideas?

Is sex tired because your man’s tired? When we talked by phone, you said he has a new job, works longer hours and has financial concerns related to your push for children. My solution: Stop jumping up to go to the gym in the morning and linger in bed together. Upend your highly scheduled lives and enjoy each other’s bodies in the erotic, unexpected ways that you engaged in before marriage. Don’t let ambition or a life plan erode sexual intimacy, or you may not have much of a marriage left to enjoy. Above all, don’t confuse laziness with exhaustion. Your husband is defensive, in part, because he’s trying to make you happy, and you’re still not satisfied (yes, I mean it both ways).

My co-workers often invite me to happy hour after work or to weekend events like wine tasting or Concerts in the Park. I usually say that I have plans already, even though it’s not true. It’s just that I would rather be at home doing nothing than out doing something. I recently realized that I’m actually lying. Would it be better to explain that my idea of work-life balance is just to chill at home when I’m not working?

You don’t have to justify to co-workers how you spend leisure time. It’s not kind to overexplain, either. So save your theory of work-life balance for a Tumblr post. Instead, if they invite you to grab drinks after work when you’d rather be home on the couch, say, “Aw, thanks! I have plans. Maybe next time?” Then wave cheerfully and add, “Have a blast!” That way, you are telling the truth, because you do have a plan. Resting at home is as valid an activity as warming a barstool. (Hey, in my world, probably more so!) And, by adding the request to be included in future outings, you have options. Above all, be grateful. Your co-workers are generous-hearted enough to extend their circle to embrace you.

Every year my girlfriend’s family vacations together at their ranch. The ranch is beautiful but in the middle of nowhere. After a few days, I feel trapped and start nitpicking. That inevitably leads to a fight. My girlfriend usually laughs it off, but her family gets wary. How can I get through our vacation without fighting with her?

Go for long walks or bike rides alone. Read delicious books, take up acrylic painting, nap and watch films on your laptop. Your only real problem is an inability to manage the pressure of social interaction. So gift yourself with quiet time and solo activities. Use earplugs or headphones, if necessary. If you start nitpicking, admit it, apologize to your girlfriend, and ask for time alone. As you permit yourself the freedom to be yourself, the sense of being trapped will lessen. As it does, challenge yourself to spend more time with your girlfriend’s family. Try 10 minutes more, then 20 minutes and so on. During these extra chunks of time, find something sweet about the family members around you. Savor those characteristics until you are growing in love with each member of the family. At the end of this year’s vacation, or after a few more years of holidays, you will have matured into the kind of partner your girlfriend can trust around the people she loves. And that is a beautiful expression of your love for her.

Meditation of the week
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself,” wrote philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. How do you measure courage?

Our content is free, but not free to produce

If you value our local news, arts and entertainment coverage, become an SN&R supporter with a one-time or recurring donation. Help us keep our reporters at work, bringing you the stories that need to be told.


Stay Updated

For the latest local news, arts and entertainment, sign up for our newsletter.
We'll tell you the story behind the story.