What to Do If Your Partner Never Wants to Have Sex Anymore
I am married to a great guy who thinks he's "too old" for sex. I'm not exactly Kate Upton, but I don't want to simply give up that part of our life. Just don't tell me to talk to him about it. Whenever I try bringing it up, he always gets embarrassed and feels guilty that he's let me down. Lisa, is 58 the new 98?
Anna, my dear,
As somebody who is three years away from 58, I sincerely hope not! But you haven't given me much to go on here, so I find myself with a few questions, some of which I'm wondering if you've been wondering, too: Did the sex used to be frequent and frisky? Did it gradually taper off, or suddenly stop? Have you noticed any other changes in his behavior? Has his drinking escalated? Does he seem more withdrawn or moody or depressed or sedentary or uncommunicative than usual? Could he have some sort of physical problem, like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, which might be causing erectile dysfunction? Is he under any unusual financial pressure? Has his work recently become more stressful? Is there a chance he's seeing someone else?
The thing is, Anna, 58 might be too old for seven nights a week with a trampoline and matching beekeeper outfits, but it is not too old for some really good sex. You're right not to want to give up that part of your life, and he's wrong to shut down conversation. But right and wrong don't much matter here. If you can't have the talk with him, then why not have it with a therapist who specializes in matters of intimacy and might be able to provide some valuable insights? Perhaps at some point he'll even decide to join you, but if he doesn't, then go by yourself. The point is, something's gotta give. Here's hoping that the something turns out to be your husband.
I've been invited to a party where there will be a lot of people I haven't seen in a good 20 years, during which time I've gone from a size 8 to a size 18. I'm riddled with anxiety and thinking maybe I should just skip the whole thing. What do you say?
I say sit back, Rosalind—I've got a little story for you.
A few years ago, I was supposed to meet an old boyfriend for a drink, but having recently achieved a new personal best in weight gain, I couldn't bring myself to go through with it. I emailed that I wasn't feeling well and promptly crawled under a quilt to let the wallowing commence. When the bell rang, I assumed it was my neighbor returning the corkscrew I'd just lent her and opened the door without a second thought. It was not my neighbor.
There I stood, in the Detroit Red Wings jersey I generally reserve for when I'm tilting back the contents of my refrigerator, and there he stood, with mushroom barley soup and flowers and get-well-soon wishes, waiting to be invited in. I finally blurted out something along the lines of "I got fat!" To which he replied, and I quote, "Sorry, babe, I was too busy panicking about my receding hairline to even begin to notice."
You see, Rosalind, none of us (with the possible exception of Christie Brinkley) is getting any younger. The only person who's actually devoting more than a fleeting five seconds of thought to your body is you. Old friends will be either glad you're there, regardless of the extra pounds, or too worried about their own wrinkles/flab/male-pattern baldness/fill in the insecurity of your choice "to even begin to notice" whatever size you're rocking. And in the unlikely event that it does register, there's an excellent chance they couldn't care less.
So go get a blow-out, treat yourself to the world's sexiest shoes, remember that it's possible to be hot and heavy (hello, Adele!), and have a blast. One more thing: The ex and I sat up talking until well after midnight. He even showed me pictures from his wedding to an absolutely stunning woman—who, I'm telling you, Roz, looked to be somewhere around a size 18.
My father is a very hip 46-year-old who looks great when he wears jeans and a leather jacket. The problem is, he's also taken to wearing a man bun. Help me.
The bottom line is this: There's not a damn thing you can do if your father has some peculiar need to be mistaken for a Brooklyn barista. Just love the man with all your heart and, of course, do everything possible not to be seen with him in public.
Lisa Kogan is O's writer at large and the author of Someone Will Be with You Shortly: Notes from a Perfectly Imperfect Life. To ask Lisa a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.