I want to have sex with other women. My wife and I haven't shared a bed for over a decade. For years our lack of sex life didn't bother me much, but a few years ago after a health scare I lost weight (9th) and found myself attracted to women everywhere I go; they seem to notice me too - that's all I think about. I've been trying to remove this for so long, but now I'm ready to act. Although I love my wife, our marriage is over. But my son told me that if I left her, I wouldn't see the grandchildren. - Hot under the collar
Well, that's all new to you, isn't it? All that physical form and fantasy. New and clearly confusing. Our first thought, reading your letter, was that it wasn't really about sex. The sexy stuff - women who notice and want to stress it - feels like a byproduct of the trip you take. It is about a whole life: family, identity and evolution. We all change, Hot. We are built to grow and prosper. But that's what we're doing with this change, isn't it? And your own personal development is the result of enormous physical changes. Your clothes don't fit anymore and you feel like your life doesn't fit you anymore. And now?
You look like a dear, honest soul with a tendency to anxiety, and we don't think that an affair or series of affair would suit you very well. A case would muddy the waters and make everything a bit dirty: our feeling is that it's time to think about reshaping your life the way you remodeled yourself. You can feel the possibilities that are right over the hill. Now is the time to make sure your sense of yourself is as muscular as your new quads.
“Our” lack of sexual desire has become “his” lack of sexual desire. As you take charge of getting healthy and excited, she is living "our" life. The life you both signed up for.
Did you - gently - tell him about your change of perspective? Or did you just write her off and assume she was happy? Assume nothing. It may surprise you. Don't accept that your marriage is over without doing the job. The therapy will help her open a dialogue and bring her up to speed on your process. It is possible that therapy will lead to a restart, or at least some understanding. While therapy only helps formulate an exit strategy, it will still facilitate some transparency. Lies (even by omission) and refusal to communicate act as a fertilizer to hurt later.
Which brings us to your son.
Listen, children are precious and wield an almost sinister power over us, but it is inappropriate for them to blackmail us. Bad for them because they become falsely self-reliant, and bad for us because it's not a sincere way of making decisions.
Your transformation might be uncomfortable for those around you. Armchair Dad has transformed into Dynamic Dad, and if your son is making these noises, the disconnect between the old daddy and the new daddy must be stark.
Children don't react very well when it comes to their parents having alternate lives or changing identities because, so often and well as adults, they define themselves by fighting against us and our choices. Seems like everything he says is based on his take on his family.
The problem is, these cherished children we love so much are the epitome of unreliable witness and unnecessary advice. They are too invested. And friends can get goofy too: some because they take sides; others because they fear that divorce is contagious. Some will retire; others will stay close - you will be able to handle it.
Keep your horses, warm. Talk to your wife. Have tough conversations because, if you have to start a new life, why not base it on honesty? You look like the man you wanted to be; now act like the man you want to be.
Do you have a dilemma you are struggling with? Email Annabel and Emilie at email@example.com All questions are kept anonymous. They cannot respond to emails personally.
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