Mental Health

Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Mental Health

My husband and I have been married 27 years (right out of

Customer Question
college). He is a great...
My husband and I have been married 27 years (right out of college). He is a great man but we have not had sex in 13 years and seem to be best friends. Recently, I found out he has curiosity about men and had spent a lot of time on gay websites. He swears this is not a curiosity he wants to act on. We have both had a year of individual therapy and couples therapy. First, what ideas do you have to seeing if we can feel a desire to sexually be together? I know I need this intimacy and wonder if
you simply feel it or not. I am tormented with whether to stay in the marriage. I've read things Dr. Phil has said, but so desire your help as well as his.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Mental Health
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Answered in 48 minutes by:
6/23/2011
Mental Health Professional: Doctor Blake, Psychologist replied 6 years ago
Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
Verified
Doctor Blake :

Good morning, and thanks for writing to JA.

Doctor Blake :

I believe I will only be able to confirm your suspicions that it is highly unlikely that you will be able to develop a sexually intimate relationship with your best friend. The fact that he is also your husband is immaterial. For all intents and purposes, this man has settled into the kind of relationship he wants to have with you. He enjoys your company and loves you a great deal - but he does not want to be sexually intimate with you (as the last 13 years evidences) and is unlikely to want to in the future.

Doctor Blake :

While it may be possible that you could develop brief, sporadic intimate (sexual) contact with him, it seems unlikely that he will be able (or willing) to provide a lengthy, long-lasting, on-going sexual relationship with you.

Doctor Blake :

If I were to reframe your question... instead of asking, "...can we feel a desire to sexually be together..." I believe you need to ask the following:

Doctor Blake :

1) If I am willing to stay in this relationship with my best friend as a marriage, will I be happy not having ongoing sexual intimaty as well?

Doctor Blake :

2) If I am willing to stay in this relationship with my best friend as a marriage, will I be happy looking for sexual intimacy outside of this relationship? Will I be happy knowing that he may do the same thing? Will this, for me, constitute a marriage?

Doctor Blake :

3) If I will not be happy having no sexual intimacy with my best friend, should I continue to be married to him?

Doctor Blake :

4) If I am willing to seek sexual intimacy with others, should I continue to be married to my best friend?

Doctor Blake :

5) If I am willing to allow my best friend to seek sexual intimacy with others, should I continue to be married to him?

Doctor Blake :

It is possible, by the way, that you will be able to end the PART of your relationship (marriage) that isn't working for you without necessarily having to destroy or even end your friendship. Your friendship has persisted despite your concerns about intimacy for more than a decade now. It's clear that he still loves you (and, I suspect, you love him) and that can continue in a changed relationship that doesn't have to include marriage.

Customer:

Thank you for your response. I would like to clarify this. I have many positive things in this

Doctor Blake :

Don't think that I'm saying that change will be easy for either of you... and you may both benefit from couples counseling to explore how best to end your marriage in a way that is helpful to you both, to your friendship, and to your ongoing parenting for your sons.

Doctor Blake :

Ah... yes... I see you're here. I'll wait.

Customer:

Thank you for your response. Just to clarify, I have many positive things in this marriage that many other married couples never have - he is a good provider, father, fun, etc. I am just curious why you don't feel there are some things we can try to recreate that intimacy? I wouldn't say the intimacy was a "10" years ago, but was enough of a connection or we wouldn't have married. Second, do you feel the odds are so against this marriage of surviving even if you truly believed he didn't want to act on the curiosity? Are there statistics? Are you aware of a chat room to connect with other wives struggling with the decision of staying in a marriage with a man who has these curiosities?

Doctor Blake :

Ahh, just received your follow-up. Thank you.

Customer:

Thank you for your response. A few questions. Since there was intimacy years ago do you not think there are things we can do to try and create it? Second, we have components in out marriage that many couples never have - he is a great provider, father, fun to be with. Would

Doctor Blake :

Yes... thanks.

Doctor Blake :

A marriage can consist of a variety of relationships: a business relationship (you share income and expenses); a friend relationship (you share positive, loving feelings for one another); a parenting relationship (you share the role of parents for child/ren); a sexual relationship (you share yourselves physically and intimately); a social relationship (you are viewed by society as a couple-unit); a spiritual relationship (you share your relationship with God (or whatever you call spirituality); etc.

Doctor Blake :

Many marriages have ALL of these components, some have a few, some have only a few.

Doctor Blake :

Many/most marriages in which there is a healthy sexual relationship do not require effort to "create it..." it just happens.

Customer:

What's your response on trying to create intimacy, methods that have worked?

Customer:

Also, question on the statistics and chat rooms?

Doctor Blake :

Methods to create intimacy: I believe we need to recognize that sexual intimacy starts in the head (not in the groin). But, remember, if there is no underlying desire, no amount of romantic dinners, sexy nightgowns, mutual massages, great vacations, etc. will necessarily change the underlying fact: your husband does not want to have sex with you. (I'm sorry to be so direct about this, but I remain concerned that you keep hoping for something that hasn't existed in over a decade... that "wasn't exactly a 10" when it did exist, and that (based upon all of the information you provided) is unlikely to exist in the future.)

Doctor Blake :

Statistics about the return of husband's returning to their wives after 10+ years of abstinence and exploring his sexual orientation are non-existent, to my knowledge. There are likely very few studies on this issue because, in most cases, the question is not "do these men return?" but "how long before these men come out and explore their homosexuality."

Doctor Blake :

A first step in exploring this matter with other women facing similar issues might be: http://a_musing.blogspot.com/2007/10/four-former-wives-of-ex-gay-speak-out.html

Doctor Blake :

I realize how very challenging this likely is for you. I would strongly urge you to consider returning to your individual (or even couples) therapist to share what you have recently learned about yourself (your need for intimacy... mounting in the past 5-7 years) and your husband. Sharing this with someone with whom you have previously worked will likely help to cut through 4-6 weeks of "getting to know you..." so you can move right into the important issues you're facing.

Doctor Blake :

An online support chat room can be found at: http://www.straightwives.com/ and at http://www.straightspouse.org/internet.shtml

Doctor Blake :

I do wish you the best of luck... and I will be pleased to provide any other information/perspectives if I can. Thanks. Please click <ACCEPT.>

Customer:

Thank you SO much for your sources. One last clarification. My husband has wanted

Customer:

intimacy .... hold my hand hug me and if I reacted in a positive way, he would want to create

Customer:

a sexual relationship. I want to be clear that I am most concerned about my lack of desire, not

Customer:

his. His desire is a concern too but was evaluating from my side of it. If at least we had some intimacy I could also tell more, over a few months if he truly into it or not.

Doctor Blake :

Thanks to you. I *do* wish you the best of luck - and, given your last bit of information - encourage you to explore couples counseling again... if for both of you - or just you, it couldn't hurt. Also, have you considered speaking with your physician about Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)? Another possibility (however remote) to possibly consider for yourself (not your husband). :)

Doctor Blake :

Best of luck.

Customer:

Thank you!! Ending chat but FYI I definitely have desires, but not with him.

Doctor Blake :

Thanks. Please remember to click <ACCEPT>

Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
Verified
Doctor Blake and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Doctor Blake Your Own Question
Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
146 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure

Doctor Blake is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much

Corrie MollPretoria, South Africa

I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well!

ClaudiaAlbuquerque, NM

Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion.

KevinBeaverton, OR

Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
I feel better already! Thank you.

ElanorTracy, CA

Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem.

JulieLockesburg, AR

You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions.

John and StefanieTucson, AZ

I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!!

Janet VPhoenix, AZ

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Keane

Dr. Keane

Therapist

1,379 satisfied customers

Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.

TherapistMarryAnn

TherapistMarryAnn

Therapist

4,021 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

Dr. Olsen

Dr. Olsen

Psychologist

2,336 satisfied customers

PsyD Psychologist

Norman M.

Norman M.

Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA

2,246 satisfied customers

ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

Psychologist

2,177 satisfied customers

Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.

Steven Olsen

Steven Olsen

Therapist

1,728 satisfied customers

More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education

Anna

Anna

Mental Health Professional

1,656 satisfied customers

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.

< Previous | Next >

Related Mental Health Questions
My daughter is in a terrible state. She feels as if she is
My daughter is in a terrible state. She feels as if she is close to a breakdown as she cannot control her anxiety. I am with her now just chatting to keep her calm. She is very weepy and can't sleep b… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
I get so annoyed sometimes. I feel so much anger towards my
I get so annoyed sometimes. I feel so much anger towards my mom, everything she does. She treats people in a nice way and she's cold and distant when it comes to me. She's uninterested, I came home cr… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
Been to many doctors over the past year and everything comes
Been to many doctors over the past year and everything comes back normal. One said Its my anxiety causing all my physical symptoms. What are some physical symptoms of anxiety… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
768 satisfied customers
I just got back recently with my ex girlfriend... we been
I just got back recently with my ex girlfriend... we been back together for 2 weeks now and in the middle had one serious argument. After the argument i apologized cuz it was my misjudgement. She acce… read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,021 satisfied customers
My daughter is a sociopath. How to deal with her?
How to deal with a sociopath daughter? She is 24, lives at home. She constantly makes up these crazy lies, whether it is to her friends or her family. When we talk to her, she shows no emotion, never … read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,021 satisfied customers
I'm just going to get straight to the point I went to the
Hi I'm Kim and I'm just going to get straight to the point I went to the hospital mabey two weeks ago because I woke up one night feeling hot and my heart was racing and it's been going on for a while… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
768 satisfied customers
Ever since i was little i had ocd. It started with
Ever since i was little i had ocd . It started with conpulsive hand washing and thibga of the routine nature to obessive unwanted thoughts. I had thoughts of harming myself,others , being gay and over… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
768 satisfied customers
I just found out that my husband of 8 yrs has cheated on me
I just found out that my husband of 8 yrs has cheated on me multiple times and has come forward as a sex addict. For the sake of recovery, he has confessed all of his sexual relations. The worst of th… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
768 satisfied customers
I have a serious phobia of HIV and it has taken over my
I have a serious phobia of HIV and it has taken over my life, i have been suffering since the last 1 year and have tested myself many a times, this started because of a moderately unsafe behaviour but… read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,021 satisfied customers
I put in a question earlier and it was directed to a legal
I put in a question earlier and it was directed to a legal professsional but I would like to know from the mental health side if I am thinking correctly about getting my daughter therapy for all that … read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
795 satisfied customers
I am a psychiatric outpatient in new jersey, i am prescribed
i am a psychiatric outpatient in new jersey, i am prescribed medications, i don't recall the details of my treatment plan, with regards ***** ***** what is prescribed, and adjusting or discontinuing m… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
768 satisfied customers
I am looking for a new psychiatrist and any programs for my
I am looking for a new psychiatrist and any programs for my daughter. She is 23 and bipolar. … read more
llw26
llw26
Private Practice
Doctoral Degree
11 satisfied customers
I have sever PTSD and panic attacks. As of late they have
I have sever PTSD and panic attacks. As of late they have become debilitating. I'm having to skip work. Nightmares almost every night. … read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
Is there a psychiatric diagnosis for someone, as an example
Is there a psychiatric diagnosis for someone, as an example a nurse, who fabricates and/or exaggerates situations or a patient's symptoms in order to gain attention for “handling” and/or “resolving” t… read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,021 satisfied customers
I have a question about derealization. story short i had
i have a question about derealization. Long story short i had anxiety for years/still do. I was prescribed some sort of benzo and took it as needed for some years. Sometimes i would take this daily fo… read more
Dr. Vikas
Dr. Vikas
Associate Professor
M.D (Psychiatry)
33 satisfied customers
I had been on Ativan for awhile because of severe anxiety.
I had been on Ativan for awhile because of severe anxiety. My psychiatrist recently switched me to klonopin to help with the weaning process. I still seem to have anxiety and nausea. Is this a common … read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
204 satisfied customers
My Dr. took me off xanax that I have been in for 15years,
My Dr. took me off xanax that I have been in for 15years, cold turkey, I can stand it. I also keep testing positive for meth. I am not on meth, I tried it years ago and my horrible anxiety will not to… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
795 satisfied customers
I suffer from OCD, anxiety and depression. My OCD manifests
Hello Everyone,I suffer from OCD, anxiety and depression. My OCD manifests itself in several ways: religious, bad thoughts, health anxiety, running over someone with my car...it's awful!For the past m… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
204 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x