"I Can't Stand to Have Him Touch Me!"

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His Turn, continued

"We'd been married about four years when Heather was born. Melissa had a tough delivery and was really sore afterward. It took about two months for her to be comfortable having sex again, but eventually she was all right. The doctor said a lot of women go through that. Heather was an easy baby so Melissa and I managed to have sex fairly often. But it's been a whole different story since Zoe was born, five months ago. Again, Melissa had a hard delivery and said it hurt when we made love the first time after the birth even though we waited three months this time.

"Then she shut down completely. I would try to initiate something and she would say she was scared -- that she couldn't get the pain out of her mind. I tried to reason with her, pointing out how enough time had passed for her to have healed completely, but she wouldn't listen. The other problem is that Zoe is a real handful. She has had colic from day one. We've talked to doctors and researched it on the Internet, but we haven't been able to get her to stop crying. Even so, I know that eventually Zoe will get over her colic and life will settle down. What concerns me, though, is that I can't foresee our sex life getting back to what it should be.

"Melissa actually told me that she wants a break from sex. Is it me? I'm in pretty good shape, if I do say so myself, and she certainly had no complaints during the early years. I have been totally faithful, unlike my own father, who was always fooling around. And I'm a good breadwinner, too. Why is she totally turned off ? I can't do anything right. If I make an overture -- in spite of being pretty sure I'll be rejected -- she starts in on all the things I do wrong. The last time this happened, she ranted about how I leave my clothes on the chair instead of hanging them up. This is not a federal offense in my opinion, but she wouldn't let up. I ended up kicking the wall and breaking my toe.

"A day later she told me she needed to get away with her sister. I was crushed. First Melissa rejects all my sexual advances, then she says she has to get away from me? I have to wonder if she's thinking about leaving me. After all, my first girlfriend bailed after almost 10 years. I don't want a repeat of that scenario. I want the old Melissa back. It's not just the sex, either. I miss the way we used to do stuff together, talk about books we'd read, even just watch Comedy Central and crack up laughing. I think about the good years and I can't believe we've ended up like this."

Continued on page 4:  The Counselor's Turn

 

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