Dear Amy: I am a woman in a long term relationship with a man.
We have good relations, talk on issues and agree on most things. When we disagree, we communicate, clear the air and move on.
That night, my partner woke up in the middle of the night and had a sexual act with me, which I did not enjoy and would never consent to if asked.
I did not, at this time, stop it or verbalize non-consent.
It took me a few days to process the incident. Then I tried to talk to her about it.
He said he vaguely remembers it, but claims not to remember any details.
He told me he felt bad that this happened, and I asked for time to process my feelings.
He wants to jump straight back into our normal, physically affectionate relationship, but I’m not sure I’m ready. I don’t think I want that right now.
I know he would be disappointed but respectful if I told him to stop having sex, but he can’t be forever.
How can I continue to process my feelings about this, and work toward building emotional and physical intimacy with my partner?
I can’t afford therapy right now, and I’m not sure I even know how I feel about talking about it with anyone.
Can you give me some feedback?
– confused and anxious
Dear Confused: Because this episode is outside the norm for both of you, I would wonder why your partner did it — and why he claims not to remember. Does he have a sleeping disorder? Is he taking medication that has affected both his behavior and his memory?
If so, he clearly needs to disclose it to you.
If not, then his memory is unacceptably fuzzy.
The issue of consent between lovers may seem complicated, but your partner has sex “with you” in the middle of the night—whether or not you verbalized your lack of consent at the time.
This is your body. Asleep or half asleep, you were in no position to consent or refuse.
Because he won’t acknowledge your legitimate concern about his behavior, your partner may want to resume your physical relationship, but it won’t solve anything for you.
You seem to frame it as your problem to be solved. it. You shouldn’t need to “ask him to stop the physical intimacy” as if he’s doing you some sort of favor by “ending” the episode.
If he wants to resume an emotional and physical relationship with you, he should put in a lot of effort to understand your reaction and rebuild trust.
I request for your consultation. RAINN.org Offers a 24-hour chat “helpline” where you can communicate with a volunteer counselor.
Dear Amy: This has been an ongoing problem between my husband and I:
If I ask a question like, “Do you mind if I turn off this program, or are you listening?” He’ll answer “yes” or “no,” and these one-word answers don’t make sense to me.
He says that it is my mistake to ask two questions, but I am of the opinion that even a short answer of two words will make their meaning clear.
He thinks I am being unreasonable and that I should limit myself to one question.
I guess my way of asking is just being polite.
am I wrong?
– M / s
Dear MS: If you want a straight answer, ask a simple question.
I agree with your husband that your habit of asking two potentially opposing questions (“Do you mind if I turn it off, or are you listening?”) forces him to issue more than one-word responses. Is.
I agree with you that your way of asking is polite.
And I hope you both will agree with me that husband and wife should always do their best to be generous in all their communications.
Dear Amy: “Looking for Love” is a 72-year-old man who wrote about not having intimacy in his marriage of 20 years.
He should see whether he helps his wife in household chores or not.
If he treats her like the staff at the assisted living facility, she shouldn’t complain that she doesn’t want to be intimate with him. This would violate his employment contract.
This suggestion is based on my 74-year-old husband being an employee in an assisted living facility for more than three decades.
– been there
Dear been there: Ouch.
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