Now that he’s clean, he’s sexless

Now that he’s clean, he’s sexless

I’ve been dating a guy on and off for seven years. When we met, he was fresh out of a 17-year marriage he didn’t want to leave. He was depressed, addicted to pain meds and did some really hurtful things. I stood beside him as he went in and out of treatment centers. These stresses and my life as a single parent prompted an emotional breakdown after he stopped calling. Eventually, he reappeared, clean. We’re seeing each other again–only now there’s no sex, no hugging, holding or kissing. He just has no interest in anything romantic. I do love him, but sometimes I want to feel like a woman, not like his pet, maid or Mom.

You’re already answering your own doubts. Whatever his reasons–physical, emotional, a mixture of the two–Seven Year Man is not what you want or need. You can spend seven more years rediscovering how self-defeating it is trying to whip him into shape, with no guarantee of success, or you can honor your healthy need for a fulfilling relationship. Keep him as a friend, but devote your time to exploring other possibilities. Choose a partner wisely. Evaluate one as you would a friend–look at his character, personality, values, generosity of spirit, the relationship between his words and actions, his sensitivity to your needs, his relationships with others. Freedom from substance abuse should be high on the list; consciousness is an asset. At the very least, substance abuse suggests underlying problems that need to be addressed. Respect yourself, know your needs and speak up for them clearly. Otherwise, you will face disappointment at not getting what you want and anger at your partner for not having met your (unstated) needs.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group