You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I am a 67 year old woman who has been married to a real good guy for 14 years. He is the ex husband of a good friend who after 23 years of marriage came out as gay. I ran into him a year or so after the demise of their marriage. We were all good friends so I knew him pretty well, I actually thought of him like a brother. I hadn't been seeing anyone for a few years, so when he asked me out I wasn't thinking it would be anything but friendly. But as I said we were friends, I knew he was a good person and a good father. At 55 years old, I was afraid of being alone and I guess I let that convince me that it was ok to date him. He had a great job and he was always funny and easy to talk to. I continued dating him and he eventually asked me to marry him. I said yes. The sex was never all that but I guess I was thinking that didn't matter. It's been 10 years that we have not been intimate and we pretty much are living as brother and sister. I want to leave but at 67, I am afraid. I like him a lot, I respect him and he is a good person but he is not interested in any kind of intimacy, no kisses, hugs, etc. I've told him but he feels that when you reach this age that's no big deal. I really don't know what to do.
Can you help me sort this out?
It is not totally clear if your husband's previous marriage ended because he was gay or his wife was gay. I am responding to your question based on the assumption that your husband was gay given the lack of intimacy or physical contact in your marriage for the last 10 years. You considered him a brother and now he is treating you like a sister and you are surprised. Really? I am sure you have served as a wonderful "beard " for you husband's sexuality. You walked into this situation with your eyes wide open. Knowing that he was gay, you traded intimacy for financial security. Your fear of being alone combined with his "good job" seem to be the main reasons you married him. After 10 years without intimacy, you are faced once again with choosing financial security over having your physical and emotional needs met. Financial security is important and great but it does not keep you warm at night. Nor does it provide hugs, kisses or anything else to met your emotional needs. Fear was in the center of you marrying him and it is in the center of you staying. Living a life of fear will keep you paralyzed and unhappy. Regardless if you are 67 years old or 77 years, you deserve to be happy. Gaining happiness is your responsibility. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to process issues and learn what happiness is for you. Life is too short to not have your emotional or physical needs met. Your husband may be a great friend and brother but is that what you desire? If you want something different, you must do something different. --Dr. Sherry
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