DEAR DEIDRE: My husband and I have sex almost every day – although it hurts – but now I find out he is having sex with another woman. It felt like a huge betrayal.
We have been married for 22 years and have two grown children.
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Our sex life was always good until a few years ago, when I had joint problems and menopause.
It made intercourse difficult and uncomfortable, and for a while, I couldn’t have full sex.
But we were still intimate and I made sure I did everything else in the bedroom.
He made it clear that he needed more than that – he always had a very high sex drive. So I decided to grin and have sex because I wanted to keep him happy, and I thought maybe that would be better for me.
I still get some pleasure out of it, even though it hurts.
But lately, he seems more distant.
A few days ago, he was taking a shower and left his phone on the kitchen table. A message popped up and, without thinking, I watched.
It was a text from a strange woman – and apparently in response to a text from him – saying what she wanted him to do with her.
I felt nausea. I scrolled through his phone and found similar conversations with two other women.
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So far, I haven’t said anything but it’s eating away at me.
I know sex is not the same as infidelity, but this is like cheating.
DEIDRE SAYS: Even if nothing physically happens between your husband and these women, texting them sexually is an emotional betrayal.
I also worry that you force yourself to have sex with him when it hurts you. You should never please another person sexually at your own expense.
Perhaps you’re afraid of losing him and feel pressured to act – even if he’s never said anything publicly.
It’s essential that you talk to him about your relationship and distance, and be honest about how painful sex is.
Explain how you stumbled across his texts and how hurt you were. My Support Packs on Stand Up for Yourself and Cheating, can you get over it? will help you do this.
It will be beneficial for both of you to get sex and relationship counseling.
Find a counselor through the College of Sex and Relationship Therapy (costt.org.uk020 8106 9635) who can help bring you closer emotionally and sexually.
And please see your GP about your pain, as HRT or other treatments may be helpful.
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