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kerri, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 15
Experience:  Psychotherapist. Family & Couple Counsellor, Practical Parenting Advisor. Rapid assessment expertise.
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I ve been married for 20 years, but my husband and I are more

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I' ve been married for 20 years, but my husband and I are more like friends, than anything else. We haven' had sex for 5 years. I can't even imagine being intimate with him. He feels the same. We don't have any lovers on the side either. I am 51, he is 11 years older. Other than that everything is fine. Is it normal?

jenhelant :

I would not say it is normal because there are many couples in your situation whom are sexually active, but on the other hand hand I would not say it abnormal because there are couples whom are not int mate and are fine with that. I think what is important is not what others are doing, but rather if the both of you are happy with the situation. If the both of you are happy then it really doesn't matter what is " normal" because there really isn't any complete " normal". It seems like this situation is working well for the both of you and that is what matters most. Now if one of you were not happy that is what would be a problem. Sex in a relationship is normal, but if you both do not mind being without it there is nothing wrong with that. However if one of you are not happy then I would suggest you both discuss your feelings about it and try to make a compromise as well as to understand one another better. I hope this helped and I wish you well. Please let me know if I can be if further help.

Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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Hello and Welcome. Please take your time to read and consider all replies as they are carefully structured with your best interests in mind.

The fact you are asking whether your situation would be considered normal or not, might indicate that you have some doubts. Relationships are complex things! due to the variety of types that make a relationship possible. The variation leads to a rather difficult definition of what's actually normal and what is not. So to simplify matters, it's 'normal' if it feels right and if it does not, then obviously something has to change. Are you asking this question because you want things to be different, better, more exciting, or are you asking to gain confirmation that you have not wasted all these years remaining together and the last 5 years without intimacy? From the limited information you provided, one can only assume that the friendship aspect of your relationship has kept you both reasonably happy over time. If you provide more detail, there is a possibility that an assessment of your situation might reveal where things could be improved or changed or the level of satisfaction increased perhaps. Feel free to ask further questions and you will get a response. Until then, I gain the impression that your relationship is based on the most important factor and that's friendship. Needs do play an important part of course, but it depends on what those needs are and if each partner acknowledges those needs. You might let us know. Thank you for sharing this issue and I hope we are able to provide some useful suggestions if you say you need them.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Kerri, thank you for your reply. Of course, I am not 100 percent happy, and maybe not even 50, but who is? A lot of my friends in their 50s, smart and pretty, are still single. Financially and otherwise, I can't be alone. That I know for sure. My husband doesn't restrict me in any way. I am free to do anything I want, basically. If I had found someone better, I would have left him, but I didn't. Sex on the side? I could have it, if I wanted it, but I don't want it as much as before. To leave him would be to betray him after 20 years of his loyalty and everything he has done for me. However, I am still wondering if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?
Hi, Yes, it appears you have quite a satisfactory arrangement there. There is never any guarantee that the grass is greener elsewhere. You have already worked out that being along is not an option due to financial reasons, so staying where you are, with what you have and someone with whom you feel secure, is quite an ideal situation from which you could make various improvements to your life and the way you feel. Many people at some stage in their marriage or relationship ponder the possibilities of what it might be like with someone else or being somewhere else. Sometimes they do this out of boredom. They have the time to dwell on things and time to dream of a more fulfilling life. However, in your situation as you have said, you are not restricted and basically have the freedom to do what you want. In which case, you have ample opportunity to expand your options in all sorts of directions for example, this might include experimenting with new ventures such as planning trips away to places of interest, taking up voluntary work/community projects etc to help others less fortunate, learning something new through online learning or something you have always wanted to do but not previously attempted. As long as what you do suits your lifestyle and budget, you could have a lot to look forward to. This might also aleviate some of your pondering while keeping your focus on what it is you can do for yourself in a positive sense. I guess in one way, it's about making the most of what you have and building upon that situation to make things better. Most people have the ability to become more interesting by making life more interesting for themselves.
kerri, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 15
Experience: Psychotherapist. Family & Couple Counsellor, Practical Parenting Advisor. Rapid assessment expertise.
kerri and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you