My wife is always posting photos of me on social media singing my praises as a husband and father. Every time she posts a photo I am overwhelmed with guilt: I have very little sexual desire for my wife. Before dating her, I was mostly involved with men. When I told my wife she confessed to have “fooled around” with a female friend when she was in college. I tried to explain that the situation was very different but she didn’t seem interested so I let it go. We’re highly compatible as companions and as parents. Should I live without sex and take pleasure from being a father while enjoying the companionship that marriage offers? Or should I tell my wife the truth?
“You’re only as sick as your secrets” is an old saying in Alcoholics Anonymous, and for good reason. There’s a psychological and spiritual burden to hiding who we are. Deception becomes a habit quickly. Soon afterward, the human ego slides into denial to protect itself from admitting regression. That’s no way to live.
I’m a fan of honesty, even if it hurts. But I’m also committed to growing in integrity. That means I must devote my mind, heart and soul to shaking out a deeper truth from the questions that arise in my life. In your case, a safe container, like therapy, will help you to discover what you really desire. You might separate or divorce. Or, you may wish to stay married and explore delicious new ways of creating sexual satisfaction. Applicable blog posts and classes can be found here: www.goodvibrations.com.
A competent psychotherapist can also help you confront parts of your story that offer clues about why you created the life you are living. One curious sign is your confession about your sexual preference. You felt that your wife replied with a non sequitur so you attempted to correct her. That didn’t work. But instead of accepting that she just didn’t understand you, or a core aspect of who you are, you continued into marriage. Why? Maybe you settled for companionship. There’s nothing wrong with that, if it makes you happy. But if you settled, and realize it was a mistake, there’s still time to begin the life you were meant to lead with the right man for you.
I’m a disabled veteran and I have spent my life taking care of friends, family and soldiers. Now that it’s time for me to take care of me, I’m struggling to find a meaningful relationship. I want to find a mate to share this life journey with me but have had little to no success. There are so many dating sites that it’s both overwhelming and intimidating. Can you help?
Yes! Healthy romantic relationships require that we commit to cherishing ourselves. So continue your intention of self-care. After all, the first meaningful human relationship is with ourselves. Finding a companion who inspires and delights you, whose interests sync with yours, and whose annoying qualities are tolerable (and vice versa) is easy. The difficult part is allowing a relationship to develop beyond the breathless, brainless infatuation phase. Online dating sites offer one option for meeting others. But the emphasis on photos, not profiles, tends to cultivate infatuation and superficial connections. So let online dating be one path to a relationship, but not your only one. The most important activity is to keep an open mind and heart, daily. Approach every outing—from a run for groceries to actual dates—with curiosity. Consider each date an opportunity to get to know yourself and to grow in clarity about what you want in a partner. Eventually, the right mate will show up in your life. In the meantime, love the journey to love.