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  1. Simba
    July 4, 2017

    I feel disconnected from my husband and lonely. I reach out by either a text or an email during the day and he doesn’t respond.

    I’ve asked if he could please chat/ watch me make dinner after we both finish work and that has worked – that has really helped us connect us – otherwise he unwinds watching TV or on Facebook and we don’t exchange work stories and don’t connect.

    His love language is acts of service and physical touch and I have always made sure I fulfill those needs but I don’t get the same back. He wants sex (physical touch) but I need emotional connection first. He tells me to give him sex first and he will give me the emotional connection after he connects with me with sex. I’ve tried that for months and it doesn’t work. Once he gets the physical intimacy, he has no drive to connect emotionally. Basically I’ve had to refuse him sex (never thought I’d have to resort to that and it’s been 27 years). It’s been a month of no sex and it’s not working. He seems forgetful. I have told him what I need verbally and in a letter and he is still not working at getting the sex. He wants the sex with no effort.

    At the same time, two men 10 and 5 years my junior are being incredibly communicative with me. I feel closer to them right now. I know I’m treading in the territory of emotional cheating as the days progress.

    If I tell him my husband that my attention is wandering, he wont see it as me sharing my inner secrets or trying to save our marriage, he will see it as me threatening him or giving him an ultimatum and will get mad.

    My cousin who’s wife recently divorced him for the same reason, tells me he wished she gave him more notice and chances before picking up and leaving.

    • Name (Required)
      July 5, 2017

      You sound too lovely and too caring! Leave him! If he can’t change in 27 years what are you waiting for?

    • Brenda Knowles
      July 5, 2017

      Dear Simba, I would recommend looking for the patterns of your relationship first. Does one of you always ask for something of the other and then the other retreats or withdraws? Does one demand or criticize and then the other defends or withdraws? How do you comfort or reassure each other? How do you isolate or reject each other? Look at how you contribute to this pattern. Then I would look at what emotions and pain lie beneath the patterns? What needs are not being met for each partner? Not just the surface needs like “I want him to pick up after himself” or “I want her to stop talking”. The real attachment needs like, “I need her to hold me instead of criticize me” or “I need to know he’s not going leave me”. Notice how you affect your husband with your reactions. He needs to notice how his moves affect you too. Lastly, share with each other how hurt you are when you feel rejected or abandoned. It all comes down to feeling safe and secure with each other. Women have a biological need to feel safe before sex. We tend to put on the brakes more during sex, especially if we don’t feel emotionally safe. The key is to assuage each other’s fears, realize behind the criticism, defensiveness and withdrawal is pain or unmet attachment needs. You, as a partner, are the one to care for and ease your partner’s fears. Here’s an example to help. http://drsuejohnson.com/love/love-is-a-dance/

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