• "My husband has changed over the years from a happy, kind man into someone I don't recognise."


    My husband has changed over the years from a happy, genuinely kind man into someone I don’t recognise. He constantly puts me down and rarely gives me compliments, yet still expects sex. My reaction is to think ‘Why should I have sex with him? What’s he done that’s nice for me?’. The end result is that we have stopped having sex and the tension has got even worse. I don’t know what to do to fix either our sex life or our relationship.


    You can’t have great sex if you’re permanently angry at your partner. Sex is about generosity: you both have to like each other in order to enthusiastically give each other pleasure. If you see your husband as the enemy, why would you want to open your heart and other parts to him?

    If he’s constantly attacking you, your self-esteem is in tatters and you feel undermined and bad about yourself. Solve the relationship issues first by seeing a good counsellor (see the ‘therapy’ box at the end) or having a long overdue honest talk, deciding first what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. Think back to when you were both happy and your husband was the nice man you fell in love with. There’s often one issue that didn’t get dealt with which festers over time.

    You are angry with him but he also sounds pretty angry with you too! What changed him or what happened to make him turn from kind to critical? If something happened that didn’t get talked about or solved, trivial things become super-annoying and further toxic feelings get lumped on top, masking the initial problem and piling up until all that was good is buried. Clearing the air with a good chat will shovel away all the superfluous stuff until you find the root cause. Don’t approach it by saying ‘You’re horrible to me and that’s why I don’t want to have sex with you’, say ‘Honey, we used to be so happy and we’re not anymore. Can we have a good chat to find out what’s gone wrong because I really do love you and want both of us to be happy again’. Tell him what you think might have happened and what you need from him to fall back in love but also really listen to what he has to say as well.

    Remember, you’ve had time to think things through and he hasn’t, so ask him if he needs time to compose his thoughts before you have the big chat. If there’s too much pent-up emotion for you to get through this together, a good counsellor can mean the difference between getting your marriage back on track and the end of it.

    Fix your love life fast

    Comments (3)

    • bx: September 18, 2011 10:26
      Tracey's advice is good IF this is just a relationship that has lost its way - however - 9 times out of ten where one partner (male or female, gay or straight) turns suddenly from loving, nice partner into belittling, abusive and nasty including about sex then this - is - an abusive relationship and then different advice and rules apply, ones that Tracey SHOULD have mentioned.

      Think of your own safety first (and any dependents such as children, pets, relatives) - confronting them, no matter how calmly and rationally, will not work and it WILL be held against you if not then at some future time - and yes Tracy that is how an abuser WILL interpret the 'advice' you gave.

      In the short term things may change as the abuser works to re-establish control, sex may be considerate, the abuser may do other things which smack of consideration, these are ALL manipulations designed to get their control over their 'partner' back again.

      For a quick red flag list you can see https://sites.google.com/site/survivorsdawn2/redflags and related links and references to really learn about how abusers operate please read lundy bancrofts book "why does he do that? living with angry and controlling men" - it may be gender specific but trust me this applies to female to male abuse and male to male and female to female ...

      Please do not give advice on such obvious abuse cases without knowing what you're talking about.

    • Krys: September 22, 2011 23:05
      Tracey Cox's bad advice, especially regarding abuse, is legendary. It's shocking to me that she's allowed to continue to write for Lovehoney.


      "Don't be yourself, boys don't like that"


      "His sexual preferences (and consent) don't matter! Coerce him into sex!"


      Decent advice, but NO mention of the fact that this is abuse and needs to be taken very seriously

    • bx: September 23, 2011 01:17
      imho anyone working in therapy, law enforcement (including judges), social work etc should have to attend and pass mandatory specialist training in abuse and abuse recognition - and anyone who raises red flags should automatically be prohibited from practicing these professions.

      the harm done through ignorance about abuse is shocking, the amount of bad advice given by those who should know better is appalling.

      People die because of this kind of poor advice, that is what gets me the most is folks like Tracey just don't 'get' how dangerous this stuff is.

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