This month Adultsmart’s clinical sexologist and certified sex coach Dr. Stacy Friedman has answered three questions which were anonymously sent in to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to read them, who knows she may have answered one of yours!
My relationship with my husband has gone cold. There is little intimacy and our bedroom is all but dead. Our kids are now older and our discussions regularly turn into arguments. I have seen a counselor but when I suggested he see one or we see one together he says we don’t need too. How do I get him to see that things are not that good and we need help?
Dr. Stacy Friedmans Answer
I am sorry to hear things are not so good on the home front and it’s unfortunate that you don’t seem to have a partner that understands the urgency of the situation. I try to tell people that if you have a partner asking for help or to get help, it is usually a dire situation that can go downhill fast if not taken care of. If your partner isn’t willing to do anything for the marriage and you have expressed concern and desire to seek help, there isn’t much you can do other than work on personal growth and start weighing your options of what you want for your future, to stay and do nothing or go. I would ask him why he doesn’t feel that you need to see a counselor, what scares him about going, what does he think is going to happen if you go as well as what could be the worst and best scenario if he did decide to go. If he still says he doesn’t want to go then try to have a conversation with him and ask him if he is happy with the way the relationship is and if he says no, see what his suggestions are to work on things. Maybe if he sees you are open to listening to him, he will make some suggestions that could be helpful.
What about getting away together for a weekend where it is just the two of you and you have an opportunity to connect and talk? Are you having any intimacy or sex? If not, ask him if he wants to improve that, see if he thinks that could be better. If so, you need to try to work on things together to make it happen. There are many people that don’t believe in therapy or counseling and for some people it doesn’t work because many times they have waited too long and there is no turning back. Sometimes it makes a huge impact and saves a marriage but also, people may be afraid that by going to therapy they may eventually have to make a decision on their future and it is scary so people would rather just ignore and not go. Find out what his fears are and then find out what his future goals are and if he wants you to be a part of it, he needs to tend to your fears and goals to make the marriage work.
I come from a large immediate and extended family but to my knowledge not one of them is LGBTQIA+ nor do any of them hang out or have friends that are gay or queer. I am 21 and know in myself that I am homosexual but have not come out. It is like a big, dirty secret that hangs over my head as I feel that my family will not accept me if I do come out. A couple of times I have gone out by myself to some gay bar I know about but as soon as anyone approached me I felt revulsion about the whole gay thing and rushed home. It is overwhelming and sometimes I feel incredibly sad and frustrated. What should I do?
Dr. Stacy Friedman’s Answer
It is a completely normal to feel confusion, frustration and potential revulsion because it is something that is still taboo in society and can make you question who you are and what you believe. Since you aren’t accepting of yourself, you see the disgust that others may see in your own eyes but that isn’t reality. Loving someone for who they are is a beautiful thing once accepting that within yourself. In order to be comfortable coming out to others, you need to first be comfortable in yourself and the understanding that you are perfect the way you are and that there is nothing wrong with being gay. You are attracted to whom you are attracted to and that is nothing that you can change.
What makes you think they wouldn’t be accepting of you? Do they not believe in the LGBTQIA+ population? Have they said things offensive? Are you close to at least one of your parents that you can have a talk with? What about another trusted adult or maybe a therapist near you that can help? I do Skype calls for people that aren’t local and I would be happy to help you get the confidence you need to be who you are, as that is one of my specialties so let me know if you want to make an appointment. In the meantime, surround yourself with others that are gay, support groups, maybe a local place that has resources. That way you aren’t in an environment where it may be more “sexual” such as a club so you can get to the point of acceptance and self-love and then be able to move forward. You need to have support and you shouldn’t have to lie to get it so maybe slowly breach the subject to your family by bringing up someone else in the media to gage what they think about the LGBTQIA+ population and go from there. I am here of you wanted to make an appointment for extra support. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone.
Would you like free professional advice from a Clinical Sexologist & Certified Sex Coach? Dr. Stacy Friedman may answer your question for FREE in a featured article on Adultsmart’s Blog! If you would like to send in a question please email email@example.com.