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Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Dear Kelly,

My wife and I have enjoyed 10 years of robust sexuality. Three years ago, I became ill with M.E., and our rich sexual life has dwindled at a rapid rate.

While my wife is the most understanding human that I have known in my lifetime, the anxiety over the loss or our intense love making, has driven her into a tizzy!

We have successfully tried various methods of sexual encounters, however these methods are not as satisfying to either of us. I have suggested that my wife either find a lover, or that we call an escort service, to aid her in her discomfort. She is completely unwilling to discover these options, and says that she is fine the way things are between us.

While I hear what she is saying, her face belies her words, when advances are denied, or satisfaction is achieved by other methods. I know my wife well, and I know she silently suffers. This puts further distress on my immune system, and I feel that it is contributing to my recovery, if indeed there is a recover to my disease.

One other note of interest, last year was spent with weekly coed marriage counseling, as well as monthly coed trips to psychologists and Physicians, to no avail.

Please help!

Wondering in Wyoming
 

Dear Wondering in Wyoming,

It sounds to me like there is more to what you are dealing with than lacking in being able to sexually please your wife.

When a person becomes chronically ill, many things that were in their previous life (before illness) go through unfamiliar stages/changes. I often hear some things exist at a lower level, or cease to exist at all. This is no fault of the person who is ill or their partner. It is a process of the illness or disease itself.

I would strongly suggest that if your loving wife is saying that things are "fine the way they are" that you believe her and that they are fine. It is also important that you understand that perhaps your feelings of "not being able to keep up" guilt are more responsible for your distress as well as the fact that you may be weighing your wife's needs as yours would be if the situation were reversed. This is where women and men differ very much.

Remembering that lovemaking does not need to be intense for it to be pleasurable....it just needs to be loving.

The methods you have suggested to your wife may be ones of option in your lifestyle, however, it appears to me that your wife is living by her marriage vows and taking them seriously in sickness and in health. You need to do the best you can, where you are with what you have, and know that your wife loves you.

While we are at it, I would love to hear from your wife to get a better perspective on how she is feeling about the situation.

Kelly


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