DEAR SUSAN: My husband and I have been together for 15 years — and married for almost nine. His complete lack of sexual interest has almost destroyed our relationship. Shortly after I became pregnant with our son, his sex drive began to decrease. If we make love once every couple of months — and always at my instigation — it’s a miracle. We’ve been to three couples therapists and he’s gone to a doctor to have his testosterone levels checked, but none of it has made any difference. I’ve told him that I’m seriously considering divorce and now he’s jumping to the pump, but I’m afraid it may be too little, too late. My husband is going back for counselling — as am I — but my heart just isn’t in it. What should I do? SAD AND LONELY

DEAR SAD AND LONELY: This is a hard one. He loves you. You care for him too. Sex is important, but it can also mask problems. Your husband doesn’t cope well with emotions — or expressing them. When you had your son, a lot was going on at that time and you needed more care, love and attention than before. You believed that sex would fulfill that need, but you would have been okay if you had just had his support and extra love. Because of your neediness at the time — as he saw it — this made him feel insecure and he withdrew. He believes that if you don’t bring up trouble, it will go away. We both know that this isn’t true. You didn’t realize that you needed more love and care either. Sex has become a wedge between you: he’s afraid, and you’re at rock bottom. When two people meet, there’s an inequality if they don’t have the same sex drive. He will never be able to have sex with you the way you want because he doesn’t have the same drive — but not because he doesn’t love you. That said, if you sorted out your communication problems, sex would follow. So go to counselling, but I’m afraid that it may have gone too far. I’m not sure that you can get it back, but there is always hope.

DEAR SUSAN: About a month ago, I broke up with my boyfriend. After a year of dating, we decided that our goals for the future were different. Recently I met another guy, and we seem to be clicking. My old boyfriend called to say that he would love to
get back together, but I said it’s over. This new guy is amazing — he’s hot and has a fabulous personality. He kind of gives off a “bad boy” impression, but I know that he respects me and would do anything for me. I think I’m over my old relationship, but how do I know I’m not on the rebound? TORN

DEAR TORN: You’ve made your decision and now you’re wondering if it’s the right one! Have you ever opened a lovely gift only to be disappointed with what was inside? Well, that’s what I feel you’ll discover with this new guy. Yes, you will have fun, passion and excitement, but you will also have doubts, anxiety and sleepless nights. It seems like you’re determined to embark on this romance, so try it out. You and your ex are over, but you were always more confident because your background gave you a more stable start in life. Right now, your emotions are on high — you’re excited, and this new guy is the man of the moment. One last word of advice: don’t become too possessive with your new boyfriend — that will go down like a lead balloon.

DEAR SUSAN: I’m in a roller coaster of a relationship. I care about this guy, but I know that he’s not for me. I’ve tried to break it off, but he always apologizes and I cave in. Don’t get me wrong; he’s a good guy. It’s just that he has too many issues — most of which are self-inflicted. I honestly want to find someone who can really love me. What should I do? LOST IN THE DARK

DEAR LOST IN THE DARK: Your need to be wanted is outweighing your logic. You know that this man puts you down, but when he comes back with tales of woe and says that he’s sorry and can’t live without you, you’re transformed. You forget what happened and wallow in the notion that you’re needed and loved. We both know that this isn’t true. He has a foul temper and can be quite condescending and spiteful. You’re not responsible for his background, and only he can work through his hang-ups of trust and fidelity. Take heart — if you do, I feel that there will be a new man for you on the horizon. He will be someone who listens and reads a lot. He could be studying as well as working, but his thoughtfulness and caring nature will overwhelm you. Look to the light — it’s all around you.

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