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I'm finding celibacy difficult

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 28 February 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I love my husband of over twenty years very much, however I'm finding celibacy very difficult. We have not shared any intimacy for well over a year now and I am unsure of how to deal with this. Every time I attempt to be affectionate, he pulls away from me. If I confront him he just walks away. I appreciate he works hard and comes home exhausted, but I do everything to make life as easy as possible for him, yet still he is so distant towards me. We are both in our early fifties, but instead of enjoying life as a husband and wife should be, we have become more like brother and sister. How can I change this?

Patricia Marie says...

If two people are in agreement that they no longer want to make love, they can bond in other ways and still maintain a good relationship. However, if one person no longer wants to, it is frustrating and hurtful for the other.

Your partner is being unfair by dismissing your advances without any explanation, which is causing you to feel rejected. You have every right to insist on hearing why he is behaving this way, if he refuses to talk, write him a letter. A painful question you need to ask is, has he lost all interest in making love, which can be caused by a number of factors including stress, depression and exhaustion, or is it that he no longer wants sex with you because there is a relationship issue? You cannot move forward until you know what the problem is.

He needs to be honest with you about his feelings towards you, understand that your needs aren't being met and and that intimacy is a vital part of keeping a loving link alive. Whatever the outcome, wherever things may have gone wrong, if you both feel this relationship is worth saving, you can start to work together towards a more positive future. Relate offer excellent professional support (relate.org.uk) which may prove helpful to you both. In addition, your G.P could refer you to a sexual therapist for further help.


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows
Dear Patricia Marie,

 I love my husband of over twenty years very much, however I'm finding celibacy very difficult. We have not shared any intimacy for well over a year now and I am unsure of how to deal with this. Every time I attempt to be affectionate, he pulls away from me. If I confront him he just walks away. I appreciate he works hard and comes home exhausted, but I do everything to make life as easy as possible for him, yet still he is so distant towards me.  We are both in our early fifties, but instead of enjoying life as a husband and wife should be, we have become more like brother and sister. How can I change this?



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