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An Unquenched Thirst

Direct Answers - Column for the week of September 9, 2002

I'm engaged to a wonderful, warm and loving man whom I've been with for four years. We have always had mismatched libido. I would prefer to have sex nearly every day, but he would choose once a week or less.

Early in our relationship we fought about this issue. He let me see that if I asked for sex much more than he wanted, he felt diminished as a man. So I've adjusted by limiting myself to only rarely initiating sex. He's adjusted in offering me more verbal and nonsexual physical affection each day.

Lately I'm worrying this issue will spell disaster down the road. Even as I've accustomed myself to having infrequent sex, there has been no adjustment to my libido. I find myself daily fantasizing and writing explicit stories (starring him).

I don't hide these things from him, but I mostly keep quiet about them because I fear he feels my sexuality strange. Is this type of problem a deal-breaker when it comes to marriage?


Georgiana, you are talking about making permanent something which isn't adequate or acceptable now. It doesn't matter that you have a history with him or that you have a certain amount of feeling for each other. You both made a concerted effort to come to a mutually satisfying outcome, and it's not working.

The next step, marriage, should occur when a relationship is so fulfilling now that marriage will only enhance and deepen it. Glossing over issues puts off the day of reckoning, and wishes don't change reality. If you don't deal with reality now, reality will deal with you later.

At the end of Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises," a woman laments what might have been. "We could have had such a damn good time together," she says. If things had been right. But they weren't.


Premature Eviction

My boyfriend is in the middle of a divorce which will be final next month. He was married 20 years, with no children.

We have a very solid relationship. In fact, it is the best relationship I ever had with a man. My boyfriend wants to remain friendly with his ex-wife, but not the kind of friend you hang out with. He says he has no intention of getting back together with her, nor she with him.

Two months ago, his father was hospitalized. My boyfriend often picked up his wife to visit his dad in the hospital. His ex-wife was like a daughter to him. When his father died three days ago, I was the first person my boyfriend called. Since I am a writer by profession, he asked if I would write the eulogy for the family-only memorial service.

Over breakfast I met his mom and "interviewed" her about her husband. I loved meeting her, and she opened up to me. I wrote the eulogy later in the afternoon. My boyfriend read it and cried. He said it was perfect.

I wasn't invited to the memorial, but his soon-to-be ex was there along with members of the immediate family. His wife is still very close to his mother. I want her to get lost. How can I keep her from hanging around in the future?


Naomi, people come not only with a personality, but with a whole set of past relationships. Your boyfriend's wife had a long relationship with his parents.

You are not grieving for his father, she is, and he is still married to her. That doesn't put you in the front seat yet; it means you are still in the back seat.

The writing of the eulogy was something you did out of love for your boyfriend. It was not a ticket to the funeral. Don't try to evict his wife before her lease is up, and realize that some of her relationships, and his, will endure into the future.


About The Author

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email:

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