While I'm away, readers give the advice.
Don't torture yourself with thoughts of Mr. Unavailable
On finding a way to stop liking someone you can't have: Why stop liking him? Just stop coveting him.
As one who has been madly in love with a happily married man for several years, I have indeed been able to recognize flaws over time. But I also have done the following:
(1) Be glad I know him anyway. His wife can have him, but I hope MY guy, whenever he shows up, shares many of Mr. Unavailable's qualities.
(2) As with meditation, when a thought appears of Mr. Unavailable, let it go. I can't stop the image of the guy popping into my consciousness, but I don't have to torture myself by holding on to it.
When the sex drive wanes, partners have a choice to make
On dealing with a sexless marriage: I married a man who is my best friend, a terrific guy and a wonderful dad.
For inexplicable reasons, his sexual interest dropped off precipitously after we married. We have sex about two times a year.
We fought. We went to counseling. We went to a sex therapist. He went to a doctor — nothing helped. (No, I did not get fat, ugly or become any of the other reasons it is supposed to be the wife's fault.)
Ultimately I faced three choices: Get divorced, have affairs, or live with it. I made my choice, now he has to make his.
On sexless marriage, continued: My wife and I were married 26 years and had two great kids. After the second child, my wife became ill, and the sex became very rare.
At first I was a jerk and my needs were my needs and they were important. After she was diagnosed with cancer, things got even worse.
But one day, while away on business, I woke up and thought about what my life would be like without her. Then the really important thought crossed my mind: What is she going through?
I started thinking about her wants and needs and fears and thoughts. The next 18 years we rarely had sex, but truly loved each other, and I got more pleasure out of that than sex. We made as many moments count as we could, knowing her time was limited and our children needed to know there was more to life than death.
In recent years I have dated a few women and had sex with some, but none of the sex was as pleasurable as those moments with my family. Some people think the differences between us and animals are speech and opposable thumbs, but I found it is the way we give of ourselves. If you make your wife happier and romance her without looking for anything more in return than her happiness, you might just get what you want, albeit when she is ready. And if you leave for what you think you want now, you may find life is much longer than a few minutes in the sack.
If you can't see that far into the future, then go your own way now, before you cause even more damage; just remember you may never get back what you once had.