Step Out of the Shower

QUESTION: When my man and I met we had an instant sexual attraction, we had [sex] everyday for 5 months! I LOVED IT! We went down to having sex 4-5 times a week and stayed there for 4 months.

Now we have sex once a week usual on the weekends. I have tried EVERY TRICK in my bag to spice up our sex routine but he turns me down. I love sex, I know he enjoys having sex with me yet I am sexually/emotionally frustrated.

Yesterday he washed my hair in the shower I was thinking the whole time, “ I’m going to get lucky,” when he finished he asked me to leave so he could shower! I don’t get it! I am 200% positive that he is not cheating, we live together and I drop by his job enough times unexpected to know that doesn’t happen. I JUST WANT OUR SEX LIVE TO NORMAL!

CHUCK: My initial reaction, when I hear a story like yours, is to ask, "Are you kiding me?" Then, I think about it for a while, and I say, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" He washes your hair in the shower, major foreplay in almost all circumstances, and then ASKS YOU TO LEAVE? He doesn't even offer to let you shower first? REALLY?! Wow.

Seriously, there are few clearer signs that your guy is off kilter sexually. You say that you're sure that he's not cheating. Okay, I'll accept that. But something isn't right. I'd refer you to our previous blog entry, titled "REALLY Personal Problem ," for our advice on a similar situation. I think that pretty much lays out our feelings on this issue.

But, on a personal note, this is all a little distressing to me. Couples get adjusted to each other and your sex life diminishes, but this basically going from 60 to 0 with your sex lives is not good. What is it, people? Kids? Stress? Trying to stay ahead on your sub-prime mortgage loans? What's going on?

Has He offered any kind of explanation for his lack of ardor? Even a feeble one? Please, talk to him, determine whether his problem is something you can work out together. After all, you can wash your own hair.

GARLAND: Hello and Thanks for your question.

I've gotta' start with the shower! I was forming some opinions right up until you hit us with that one. You're in the shower, hot and wet... and... uh, HOT and WET. He hooks you with the soap and the rubbing and the impossible to fight body contact and then says, "Alright Baby, get to steppin'." I wish I could give you some warm and thoughtful explanation, but Chuck and I try not to lie on this blog.

I think your man has had enough.

Typically, I'd say it was maybe something medical. Maybe some blood pressure or medication problems, or maybe he's stressed out from his job, or just needs to exercise, but to bring you into the shower, run his fingers through your hair and lean up against your naked and wet body and then kick you out so he can be alone with his Lever 2000. Something here doesn't pass the sniff test.

You SAY he's not cheating, so like Chuck - I'll just take your word for that. But to go from everyday, to quite a bit a week, to once in a while to ZERO? I think he may have just come out of the honeymoon phase and he doesn't know how to tell you, so he's SHOWING you. Teasing you with the shower and then kicking you out sounds like some serious passive aggressive bullcrap. Maybe he's trying to force YOUR hand and make you be the one to call things off. I don't know, but something here stinks real bad.

Now, the "Sniff Test" aside, you mentioned that you live together. That is always something that raises an eyebrow with me. I sometimes think that living together is the death blow for relationships. Hardly anybody wants to get married anymore, but marriage is a lot harder to get out of than 'living together' so most people that are married tend to think [just a little] before they cut-and-run. LIVING TOGETHER on the other hand, when it doesn't work can often be done away with by something as simple as turning the sex valve to the OFF position, so THAT might be another issue here.

And then, on the flip side, MAYBE he doesn't want to split up, MAYBE living together is just TOO MUCH time together!!! Some guys think living together means unlimited sexin' - and at first IT DOES MEAN THIS. But, after awhile it just becomes too much together time, and if he's not ready for that, don't take it personal, but he's JUST NOT READY FOR THAT. Then you can add in the fact that you "drop by his JOB unexpectedly..." Honestly he may have overdosed on you and needs to detox and doesn't know how to TELL you, so he's SHOWING you. You MAY have to consider giving him some space. I'm telling you this, because sometimes its hard for a boyfriend to tell this to his girlfriend.

Everything be considered, I think that you should really sit him down and talk to him about the sex AND the relationship. Don't yell, don't fuss, don't accuse, and for heaven's sake don't cry... you will get NOTHING out of him if you do any of these! I think he WANTS to tell you something but he's not up for putting it into words. Yes, it is childish - but the bottom line is that you need an answer and you need the truth - HE has it!!!! Good luck!


the Semi-Married Man

QUESTION: I am so glad to have found your blog!!! I have been wanting to ask this question of a neutral party . . .

I have been divorced (after 8 years of a tumultuous marriage) for the past 7 years. I am now 38 years old and have been dating a 49 year old man for the past 5 years.

I knew that this man was married at the inception of the relationship. He is also separated (living in a different state) from his wife. As a matter of fact, they have been separated by a 10-hour drive 3 years before I started dating him. Initially, it didn't matter much because I was not interested in a serious relationship - I did enjoy the companionship.

He did explain that he was staying married for the children. His youngest daughter just graduated from high school this past May. He told me (in July) that he would be divorced in 3 months.

I have not asked any more questions about this since the statement was made, and he has not volunteered any statements.

Just give me your overall impression of this relationship. . .
* Am I silly for holding on? I started REALLY liking him about three years into the relationship.
* Do I wait until the 3 month period is up??
* Should I believe that I am being strung along??
* Have I wasted my time??
* What (most likely) does this man think about our relationship? about me?
* Do I bail out, now??


CHUCK: Bewildered, Thanks for the question.

I'm going to tell you something you may already know. Some people, despite the fact that their marriage is over, like to maintain their separated status, largely because it keeps potential suitors at arm's length. "I'd love to commit to you, sweetheart," they say, "But I'm still married. Someday... I'm gonna straighten this out." Suuure.

I gather you are looking for a more stable, committed relationship with your boyfriend, but you seem wary of being played. And I also gather that he has made promises to you that you two will be having that relationship when his divorce is final. Do you believe him? That's a key question here. Just because something sounds like an excuse doesn't mean that it is.

He wants you to wait three more months after being with him for five years. I don't know. I think you should call his bluff. It's just three months. Unless you already suspect that he's a liar, and you want to spare yourself the pain and embarrassment you suspect is coming.

What I find a little hard to believe is his assertion that he's stayed married all these years "for the children." If he's stayed in a different state from his wife for an appreciable amount of years, I'd hardly call that staying together. But people define things different ways, I suppose.

If it's any consolation, him being with you for five years means , at least, he doesn't consider you a jump-off. But as to whether he wants to make any further commitments to you remains to be seen. If you give him the three months, get back to us and let us know what's happened.

GARLAND: Hello Bewildered!

Are you silly for holding on? No, not at all - as long you are realistic in what you want and are [or are not] getting out of this relationship. If all you wanted was companionship, someone to spend time with, someone to hang out with - then no, holding on met your needs.

Should you wait for the 3 months to be up? I assume, since you've been with him for five years, three more months shouldn't be a big issue. But what do you REALLY expect to happen after the three months is up? Are you expecting a ring? Honestly, that has about a 1 in 1000 chance of happening. From what you gave us in your question, your friend doesn't sound like someone who truly places a high value on the institution of marriage, at least not the same way most people think of it. I think, with this fellow, you've signed on to be the girlfriend indefinitely.

Are you being strung along? If you expect this guy to propose, marry and stay with you, then I think you MAY be being strung along. Please note that I said "MAY" and "MARRY" and "STAY" in that first sentence. Now, I could certainly be wrong but then, when it comes to him, it would be nothing for him to propose to you and then drag out the wedding for years and years. My gut feeling is that this guy isn't pressed about the role of husband and once he's done with it, he's done with it for good.

The whole "staying together for the kids" has me scratching my head - most people do that for very young children and they tend to stay under the same roof - not 500 miles away and not for high school aged kids. He hasn't divorced his wife for OTHER reasons - whether they involve you or her I don't know, but if he WANTED to marry you - I think he would have settled the divorce years ago, especially considering the ages of his kids. No teenaged kid is saying, "Yeah, my Dad who lives four states away is happily married to my Mom! Things are great!" These kids KNOW Mom and Dad are NOT happily married - this excuse fails the sniff test with me.

Have you wasted your time? If you're looking for a second husband - probably. If you are just looking for someone to spend your time with - absolutely not!

What does he think about you and your relationship? He's dating a woman over ten years younger than he is - he's probably happier than a bag of smiley faces! Aside from that, I don't know. You were willing to spend time with him even though he told you he was married - so I'm sure that puts you on his good side. And, after five years you haven't pressured him to divorce his wife, so HE is probably not unhappy about that either.

Should you bail out now? I'll leave that one to you. You know that one.

Thank you for your question and thanks for asking for our two cents. Chuck and I certainly hope that hearing a second [and third] opinion will give you the insight you need.