He’s Not Aroused

Lisa’s question:

I have waited 23 years to marry again. Is Dan the right man for me? is he faithful? He had a problem with porn and we discussed that. He has given it up, but now says he has a low libido and rarely comes near me. I find glitter on his clothes, and when he is confronted, he gives a simple “I don’t know where it came from” answer. Is he the right one?

Liam’s Response:

Whether someone is the “right one” or not depends on an awful lot on factors that can change drastically over time, and I’m not at all sure that is the real issue in all of this. I’m going to answer your question candidly, without much buffering, because you seem to have some very erroneous impressions regarding human sexual nature, as well as what really contributes to a successful long-term relationship. You are entertaining the idea of marrying again, after a long period of consideration on the matter, and I would like to present you with a blueprint of changes that might make that endeavor more successful. I give it to you only for the sake of insight. You need not take it to heart, unless of course you feel you are ready to handle the kind of personal transformation their application would require.

It is my fear that the beliefs you have expressed in your query and the attitudes you are exhibiting will, in the end, prevent you from finding real happiness with this man, or any other. You say you’ve waited 23 years to remarry, but I sense this is a bit of a slant on the truth that in that time period, you’ve been unsuccessful in any sort of relationship.

The fact is, your intended never had a problem with pornography. The one who had a problem with pornography was you. You have a closed and negative attitude regarding sexual expression and are basically intolerant of anyone else’s sexual needs. Dan was simply fulfilling his biological urge for sexual experiment and diversity in a harmless manner (as opposed to, say, sleeping with someone other than you).With respect for you and your exclusive relationship, he took his primitive desires to the Internet, where fantasy became part of his outlet. Men and women with active and healthy sexual interests often use porn as a safe and viable tool in maintaining their sexual vibration.

By closing off this portal of pleasure and fulfillment, you sent many problematic messages that he’s still trying to digest and understand. I can see he is very conflicted, because, after all, he did fall in love with you. But why would someone who loves him deny him a right to pleasure? Why must you seek to control such basic needs? His sexuality is his own. It does not belong to you. You have infringed on very tender and very personal territory. n doing so, I fear you have already destroyed this relationship.

Many speak of porn addiction, of people so involved in porn that they have no other means of sexual expression. My opinion is that this is mostly rubbish. While there are many people who suffer from the inability to develop healthy sex lives for various reasons, the accusation of porn “addiction” has become a mantra for those wishing to intrude and control the behavior of others. Your infringement on Dan’s humanity, your need to control his sexuality and freedom of expression, have made him resent you deeply. You did not try to understand his desires. Instead, you attempted to take from him something that is part of him. He says he has a low libido, but I sense this is only when it comes to you. Because now he sees you as an insecure control freak, and when you confront him about glitter on his clothing, you only sink yourself further in his esteem.

I sense this ship is getting ready to sail. He isn’t sleeping with her yet, but that glitter is coming from someone who gives him hugs; a squeeze at the office in the morning, perhaps. He looks so down, so depressed all the time, and there is a cute female friend or co worker who is only too happy to take a minute to soothe what she knows is an unhappy ache within. Exactly where it comes from, she pretends not to know, but her intuition tells her something very interesting. She has had her eye on him for a long time. Pretty soon, she’s going to suggest they get together in more relaxed setting, after hours. It’s only a matter of time before he’s out the door and in her arms. The thought is already on his mind.

You may think that I have been harsh in my reply, but really, I am here to help. I do see that in all this mess, you may still have a chance, if this man is worth it to you. You’re going to have to sit Dan down and talk to him. Figure out why you overreacted to his porn watching and explain it to him. Let him know that your hangups don’t have to be his hangups, and encourage him to take an interest in the art form again with a bit of a twist: you watch with him. This means an honest and painful examination of your own issues and a concerted effort to let them go. I’m not sure you’re ready to make such bold changes. But if you really want a relationship that is strong and loving and healthy, then you are going to have to do the work. Open some doors, take a few steps. You might be surprised where it takes you.


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