Red Responds: They Haven’t Had Sex in 10 Years

Dear Red,

I will be married 35 years next month. I do love my husband but we have not had a physical relationship for nearly ten years. I feel like we are best friends, but I lost the physical attraction to him some time ago. He has some health issues, as well. We are now in therapy.

Quite unexpectedly, I had another man voice his interest in me almost two years ago. We have become best friends and soul mates. My husband also likes this man very much. There has been nothing physical between me and this man, except for an occasional hug and peck on the cheek. He does, however, tell me he loves me on a regular basis. He is married with two children and a wife living out of the country. He says that he knows that someday we will be together. In fact, he promises me. He would not, however, jeopardize his marriage or mine. He has a lot of respect for my husband as well as myself.

I feel my heart beating rapidly when I see him and dream about a possible future with this man. He tells me I am beautiful and a good person. He is also very handsome and a very good person. By the way, this person is 21 years my junior. I do look much younger than my years — I am very healthy and in good physical shape. I have three grown children and am a grandmother as well. He says age does not matter to him, that I have a lot of life left in me–he knows I will live to a ripe old age and he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.

My heart is with him, but I do still care for my husband (he knows this). I carry a lot of guilt around because of this. I have to admit that I am very flattered and this is an ego-booster for me. I do dream of a future with this man, but my husband would have to be dead before I would do such a thing. Please help me sort through my feelings. Do you feel I have a future with this other man?


Dear Amanda,

The future will unfold as it should, when it should. I’m not certain that your knowing how things are going to unfold will make this any easier on you, but I’ll tell you anyway.

I feel your conflict, your struggle, and your guilt. It’s a pretty heavy burden you carry, because you are a good person. One who does the right things, a woman who is very familiar with self-sacrifice. Unlike how it is in the movies, being in love with two men is very stressful, especially when both men love you back. If you could squish both of these men into one single being, you’d be in the land of utopia!

First things first. Your marriage. I think it is fabulous that you are in therapy to try and improve the situation. I know sometimes it can be a struggle, but ultimately it is worth it. Physical attraction and passion for a certain person aren’t things you can just create, but they are things that you can block. I think that you have rather shut down that side of yourself when it comes to your relationship with your husband. While I only see slow improvement with great effort, it’s still an improvement. Do the best you can however you have to in order to find some satisfaction in that arena. Buy some lingerie that he will find exciting, maybe a racy movie for the two of you to share, and in his excitement he may become a little more exciting to you. Let yourself take a walk on the wild side. It doesn’t really matter what you need to do behind closed doors to get your passion flowing. Invite your husband to learn a new trick or two as well, because your time with him is not yet done.

As for your younger fellow, age really isn’t a barrier for the two of you. The timing is, though. Enjoy the flattery, enjoy the lift he gives to your spirit. I’m not going to try and tell you to not feel what you feel for this man, but I am going to suggest that you change your perspective a bit.

You have decided to see things through with your husband, so that is where you should direct your energy. Dreaming of a future with your friend seems to be taking up more time and energy from you than feels healthy. It’s definitely adding to your guilt issues.

Cherish the time you have with your husband, because it will come to an end. You are correct in the idea that you will survive him. But the key here and now is surviving with him until he moves from this world to the next. That is something you will have to deal with and work through when the time comes.

But one step at a time, Amanda. While I don’t see an end to your relationship with your friend, you have to go through the natural course of events and experiences before you will be able to experience the love relationship you dream about with him. Again, cherish the time you have with the man you made a life with. When that chapter has closed for you, then you can think about writing the next one, with a clear conscience.

Brightest Blessings,
Ext. 9226

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