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This may seem a bit strange, but I’m writing because my wife wants too much sex. Since the lockdown started, she insists on having sex every day, sometimes twice a day. We hardly ever talk anymore, and she gets angry when I say I am too tired or not in the mood. My guy friends all insist that I’m lucky and I shouldn’t complain, but I really miss the connection with my wife and I wish sometimes we could just “Netflix” without the “chill,” if you know what I mean.
■ It’s certainly not strange for couples to have different expectations around sex and for this to become an issue over time. I wonder how long the sex has been an issue in your relationship and whether this has always been the case or whether it’s changed in recent times. But probably the more fundamental issue is that you hardly talk anymore and have lost the connection with your wife. It sounds like you’re saying the sex issue has created this disconnection, because the constant demand for sex has caused you to feel overwhelmed and frustrated, and your wife’s perception that you’re denying her what she wants is causing her to feel annoyed and unsatisfied.
Open and honest communication between the two of you will be key to understanding what you both need and finding a way to improve the relationship again. Some compromise will likely be required on both sides. Once you can both agree to work on your relationship together, set aside some dedicated time to discuss how to proceed. Establish some ground rules about listening to each other openly and uncritically, ensuring both of you are allowed the chance to talk and discuss concerns safely, and taking a break if things become unhelpful. Here are a few suggestions to get these discussions going:
Counsellor David Ogden
What do you appreciate most about each other?
• Maybe plan some dates together where the key is to simply enjoy each other’s company and do things you both enjoy, to help reconnect.
• The sex issue will need to be addressed – maybe explore some more creative ways to help your wife get her sexual desires met but in a way that’s less demanding on you. Be willing to experiment and try some new things that might work OK for both of you.
• If you struggle to resolve these issues by yourselves, are you willingto get some professional help?
Your relationship is obviously important to you and like all marriages will need some work to maintain, especially the way things are for you right now. If you are both willing to work on this, you can certainly make it work but it will require both of you to be honest with each other, accept each other’s needs, and be willing to compromise a bit. Remember there is help available with all this if needed.
I’m writing on behalf of me and my sister. We are mixed, our mum is Thai and our dad is English. The problem is, we don’t look alike…AT ALL. I look more western, whereas my sister looks more Thai. People constantly ask us if we are *really* related, they make rude comments and they often say I am ‘the pretty one.’ I find it so embarrassing and I feel really sorry for my sister who has low self-esteem because of this. What can I say to people who make uninvited comments? I love my sister to bits - how can I make her believe that she is a perfect mix too?
-Mixed sisters, mixed feelings
■ Thank you for reaching out on your sister’s behalf. It is very unfortunate that people think it’s OK to make comments about your comparative looks, and even worse, make rude comments about you and your sister. The love and support you have for your sister will mean a lot to her and go a long way to assuring her that she is fine the way she is.
You might want to sit down and discuss with your sister how she would like to deal with these comments. She may appreciate you standing up for her in some way, or she might prefer to stand up for herself with your support, or she might prefer to ignore such comments completely and get some support from you afterwards. Ideally, if you can decide together how to deal with these situations then it will feel like you’re in this together and she will feel less alone.
There are a few approaches you can take in dealing with the comments and it will depend on the circumstances as to which approach works best. Ignoring many of these comments might be appropriate, especially if they are ignorant comments in the first place. In this case you can talk with your sister afterwards and reassure her that she doesn’t need to let other people’s ignorance affect her because they obviously don’t really know her or what she’s like.