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Wife needs to reopen attitude toward marriage and her place in it

I’ve been married almost seven years now to the best father to our children, best provider, hardest worker and nicest guy you will ever meet in your life. We communicate — current events are a big part, nothing any deeper. I love talking to him (actually he does most of the talking). I’ve always been a quiet person, but it works for us; I’m a great listener. We get along great, like best friends. The problem is, we don’t talk about feelings or any of that other mushy stuff, and we hardly ever spend any time together. Never have. Since day one when I met him, I knew he was a closed book in that regard. I didn’t mind. I didn’t really want the intimacy anyway.

In the past, I’ve always poured my heart out to guys. When I fell in love, I fell hard. I would smother that person to the point that they couldn’t even have a friend because it was too much of a threat to me. I hated being that way, but I couldn’t seem to be any other way. I loved them so much, I couldn’t risk the chance that they may find someone better. My last relationship was the final straw. I became hurt, and vowed not to ever fall so in love again. So when I met my husband, I knew that he was perfect for me. I didn’t have to fall deeply in love. I could love this really nice, kind, thoughtful person as my best friend, and not get too involved emotionally. It worked. I am not the same clingy, psycho, insecure person I once was. I am also not, or have never been in love with him. He’s usually gone, and I like it that way.

But, sex. I hate it!!! I would be happy if I never ever ever had sex again. It repulses me. I gag anytime I know that it’s time to do my duty, yuck! It’s so bad, I wouldn’t mind if he frequented a prostitute. Have I made my point how much I hate sex with him? How do you have sex with a stranger? That’s basically what he is to me. A stranger (emotionally speaking). This is such a major problem for me, I don’t know what to do. And he wants it all the time! He gropes me and tells me all the time how sexy I am. It makes me feel like some stranger is saying this to me. It makes me uncomfortable. I’m sitting here right now knowing he will be walking through that door anytime now and want sex. He comes home at 12 a.m., and I make sure I’m in bed by 11:55 p.m. (I feel like Cinderella.) Divorce is not an option.

— NW, Nevada

You remind me of a prison inmate who signs a bad deal from the district attorney’s office, and now she’s mad about it. Except, in this case, the inmate and the DA are both you! Seriously, hear this out …

You were originally charged with being a clingy, insecure, smothering psycho when it came to being in love. This charge carries a life sentence of anguish, terror and misery. So, you made a deal. In exchange for never ever again falling in love, you received a life sentence of being married to the nicest guy, best father, hardest worker, best provider who also thinks you’re hot. You agreed to make babies with him, have sex with him and enjoy the lifestyle he provides. In short, you brokered marriage into the exact opposite of its designed intention — a sanctuary protecting you from growth, the work of intimacy and ever really having to look at yourself.

And now you hate the deal you signed.

So, call the DA and tell her you are ready to talk. Tell her you want a new deal. Tell her you regret giving up too quickly on the clingy, insecure, smothering psycho. Tell her you are ready to confront the psycho. Heal her. Do the work of selfhood that would render the psycho unnecessary, thus rendering the prison sentence unnecessary.

In prison, you have no idea whether you could ever be in love with your husband. Hungry for him. Desiring him. Reveling in a thriving marriage.

You should fire your “lawyer” and get a new one. Which is to say you could be a much better, more faithful, more intentional advocate for yourself than you currently are.

Steven Kalas is a behavioral health consultant and counselor at Las Vegas Psychiatry and the author of “Human Matters: Wise and Witty Counsel on Relationships, Parenting, Grief and Doing the Right Thing” (Stephens Press). His columns also appear on Sundays in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Contact him at 227-4165 or skalas@reviewjournal.com.

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