Dear Neil: Years ago my husband of thirty-six years was introduced to blue movies. He has not done without them since. We are at the stage where these movies come first, and the intimacy in our relationship has all but gone. Where to from here?
Christchurch, New Zealand
Dear Christchurch: Perhaps you could open a very honest dialogue with him about the state of your marriage. What happened to all the closeness, intimacy and trust? Is there a way of recapturing that closeness again? How? What would he have to do if you guys were gong to have a good relationship again? What would you have to do?
Work toward rekindling the intimacy and the friendship, and see if you can figure out how to be effective friends, partners and lovers again. Openly explore what it would take to rekindle the warmth, affection and closeness in your marriage.
I predict the X-rated movies will lessen or stop when the two of you can be warm and passionate again, since they are likely a substitute for having someone he feels connected to and close with. If the movies don’t cease or lessen dramatically, confront the issue. Tell him the movies hurt and anger you, and make you feel badly, and then ask what it would take for him to cease watching them altogether. What would make it worth his while—that is, what would he like from you in exchange for giving up the movies entirely?