Scarlett Letters: I'd Rather Divorce Than Be Unfaithful | Scarlett Letters | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
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Scarlett Letters: I'd Rather Divorce Than Be Unfaithful 

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Dear Scarlett,

My wife and I have been married for almost five years. She is my second marriage, and I'm her third. She told me that both her previous husbands were unfaithful, and that is what caused the divorces. We waited for marriage to be intimate. I made it clear, however, that I have a very high sex drive (at least once daily) and am extremely passionate about foreplay. Turns out that she has a very low sex drive (about once a month) and really hates foreplay. We are only intimate when she's in the mood. I told her that I don't want to be unfaithful, but such temptation is greater as time goes by. I expressed my desire to seek professional help, but she is busy and doesn't have the time. I told her I would rather divorce than be unfaithful, but she refuses to give me the divorce. I don't know what to do.

Signed,

Don Juan-abee

(male, 52)

Dear Don Juan-abee,

A good marriage, including a healthy sex life, is a work in progress. You did the right thing by making it clear that sexual intimacy is important to you. The next step is to identify what's chilling your relationship and find ways to reignite the fire.

Start by ruling out health issues. Middle-aged women can experience physical changes that affect their libido. Medication side effects can diminish her sex drive, too. Talk to her about what she may be experiencing physically, and support her if she seeks treatment.

You also said she's busy. The demands of her work and daily life may be zapping her sexual energy. Is it possible for you to relieve some of her burdens?

Consider the state of your relationship outside the bedroom. For many women, the brain is as much an erogenous zone as other parts of the body. Are there unresolved conflicts? What can you do to grow closer together?

Set time aside to talk openly about your sexual likes and dislikes. Ask what gets her in the mood and explain how your desire works. Don't pressure her to adopt your turn-ons; just try to understand hers.

These tips may not revolutionize your sex life, but they're a start. The distance between having sex daily versus monthly can feel enormous. The good news? There's plenty of room to meet in the middle.

Love,

Scarlett

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