"I Can't Stand Sex -- And It's Killing Our Marriage"

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Ryan's Turn

"How can Kiera say I'm not there for her?" said Ryan, 44, an analyst for an investment bank. "Even before we were married I went to her doctors' appointments and spent hours online trying to find a solution to her endometriosis. And even now it's not like I've gone AWOL. But lately, whenever I try to be playful or affectionate, Kiera gets this pissed-off look and makes it clear she doesn't want to be touched. It's pretty depressing. I've found it's better just to make myself scarce. So I tell her I have to stay late at work. I'm not having an affair. I thought she'd be mad if I told her I'd been at a bar. She's mad about so many things these days, it's hard to know what will set her off.

"When we first met, Kiera and I had sex all the time. It was amazing. She was full of energy and liked doing all the things I love to do -- skiing, biking, hiking. This disease has taken her away from me in so many ways. For half of every month I don't have a wife. That makes me incredibly sad but I resent her accusation that I'm not pulling my weight as a parent. Maybe some dads can take off in the middle of the day for a teacher conference, but my boss wouldn't like it. In this economy I can't afford to look like I'm not totally invested in my work.

"Kiera also thinks she's the only one who knows how to be a parent. When I'm not being the kind of dad she wants me to be, it's because I disagree with her, not because I'm avoiding responsibility. She wants me to hover over Jon so he finishes his work. But in my opinion, micromanaging isn't going to light a fire under him. He has to learn to be responsible for himself, and if he flunks a test or has to go to summer school, so be it. That'll teach him a lesson the way nagging won't.

"We definitely have our issues. But this 'no sex' thing is getting to be a deal breaker. Sex isn't the only thing in a marriage -- but it's an important part. I feel really bad that I left that website up, but in a way, it's a relief. Something has to change."

Continued on page 3:  The Counselor's Turn


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