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Live webchat with long-term relationships expert Andrew G. Marshall, 11 October 1-2pm

(58 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 26-Sep-12 21:16:43

We're delighted that Andrew G. Marshall, whose latest book is My Wife Doesn't Love Me Any More - the Love Coach Guide to Winning her Back, will be joining us for a webchat on 11 October.

Andrew is a leading marital therapist specialising in long-term relationships, with 25 years experience as a marital therapist. He insists that (monogamous) sex gets better in your fifties. He also argues that couples can not only survive infidelity but get stronger because of it.

His books focus on infidelity (How Can I Ever Trust You Again?), sex in long-term relationships (Make Love Like a Prairie Vole), and keeping long-term relationships alive (I Love You But I'm Not in Love with You).

firenze Thu 27-Sep-12 17:13:29

Couples can survive infidelity, eh? What if fidelity is one of the founding beliefs of the relationship? What if it's non-negotiable? Isn't that a betrayal of trust?

And yes, I do speak personally.

loudmouth Thu 27-Sep-12 17:16:34

Surely if you start off with the idea that infidelity is unimportant - easily recovered from - you don't stand a chance? One or other of you is going to be unfaithful, with all the chaos that brings.

mayfly Tue 02-Oct-12 11:16:21

Do you really believe sex gets better in your fifties and beyond? The general feeling is that is gets more boring - or non-existent - as the years pass. Or perhaps that's only true if you're with the same person?

Anne58 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:18:22

I do feel a bit awkward about this, but here goes.

I am 54, my DH is coming up to 57, we have together for 11 years, married for 8 years. We have not had full sex for over 7 years. I still love him very much and feel that a full relationship should be part of that love, however it just doesn't happen.

At first I put in down to depression when he wasn't working, then a few years ago he started a job that he absolutely loved. I hoped that would mean our sex life would improve, but it didn't. There followed another patch of unemployment, he is know working again (away during the week, home at weekends) and still nothing.

I have tried all sorts of approaches, but no luck. It doesn't help that he is somewhat reserved over such matters.

I remember years ago a colleague was in the same situation and she warned me then not to let it go on for too long, or it would just become a sort of "non habit", I now understand what she meant.

We do have shared intimacy, but not full lovemaking. Oh heavens, I hope you know what I mean, this has been rather difficult! blush

Anne58 Wed 03-Oct-12 18:10:31

Sorry, in my confuddled state, I forgot to say "do you have any advice, please?"

Kathgran Wed 03-Oct-12 19:17:26

Phoenix, I'm so grateful to you for breaking the ice. Sex has become the elephant in the room with me and my partner. We've been together for 30 years, and until about ten years ago everything was fine - then it started to wane. I've looked at books and articles for help but they all say that the most important thing is to communicate. Easier said than done! I just don't know how to bring the subject up - and I can't see a way out of this rut. We talk about everything else but what's missing in our relationship.

Anne58 Wed 03-Oct-12 19:27:51

Oh Kathgran , I'm so glad that my ramblings helped! It's not easy is it, to brings these things up?

My previous marriage lasted for over 23 years, and until almost up until the point that I decided to move into the spare room (and then move out altogether) we had a reasonable sex life.

Obviously here and now is not the time or place to talk about that, as the current situation is far more important.

Kath, let's hope that a few others will now feel able to come forward!

Littlenellie Wed 03-Oct-12 19:28:54

And me even with a younger model sad and before him with a long marriage,begin to think it is down to me being the common denominator,do we live with it or move on,I moved on so it must be my fault..pheonix and kath At times I feel so ugly unwanted and unatractive,it must be my fault,even my first husband was an arse telling me it was my fault whilst he shagged everything that had a pulse,even when I was in hospital chatting up the nurses and arranging dates with them whilst I passed his baby into a kidney dish....raw nerve me thinks ...

Anne58 Wed 03-Oct-12 19:43:53

Oh Littlenellie , some chords struck there! My ex dh (althought the sex was ok up until a few months before I left, but it was me who stopped the sexual side of things, as I just couldn't stand the way he was always putting me down) I would explain, but this is neither the time or place as this thread is (I believe) designed to allow up to ask questions of the expert doing the live webchat.

I suppose I should count my blessings in that Mr P loves me, (and often tells me so). I too often feel that it must be the way I look that means we no longer indulge in what we used to jokingly refer to as "beastliness" (This was after a Harry Enfield sketch that made us both laugh, "Mr Cholmondley-Warners Guide to Beastliness), but as it is never discussed, and not for want of trying, then who knows?

Marelli Wed 03-Oct-12 19:46:25

Oh Littlenellie. Life's a rotten bitch sometimes, isn't it. sad Please do not feel as if it's your attractiveness that isn't 'enough' for him. It's the way they go sometimes. They're not all raving red-hot lovers - not in my experience anyway! They just like to think they are.

Kathgran Wed 03-Oct-12 21:48:25

Phoenix and Littlenellie , I know exactly what you mean - I'm very conscious of feeling/looking older and so a bit inadequate and unattractive. But isn't that unfair? I mean my other half is no oil painting - although he does look young. So I suppose my question to Andrew Marshall is - are women all too hung up on the way we look and does that make it harder for us to feel sexy? Maybe it's just as hard for blokes, but it doesn't feel like it.

Grannygru Fri 05-Oct-12 12:01:03

Hmm Sex has gone from premature ejaculation to pretty much impotence, over the last 40 years. No amount of talking, crying, writing it down, Tantric weekend (which was very good-but no interest in follow up) have made any difference. There's no one else involved on either side, rightly or wrongly!

Anne58 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:34:26

So glad that a few more of us have posted. It is a very difficult subject to broach, I KNOW that the received wisdom is to talk things through with your significant other, but that is not always possible. (my beloved just will not discuss it).

My libido/sex drive, call it what you will has always been higher than his, but the current situation makes me very sad. We have had some problems, the death of my youngest son in 2008, job losses on both sides, financial worries etc, but for heavens sake making love is one thing that doesn't cost anything, isn't fattening and makes one feel better!

Littlenellie Fri 05-Oct-12 16:59:17

I can identify with all of this,have said about no1young marriage,but to an arse,no2for 26 years and I tried every thing in the book,he worked long hours but the clue was in the time after the wedding where not much happened for nearly 2months,I always felt I was pushing him into something and unpleasant and unnatural confused we did have three children but any first moves where rejected and I really think he was happier with his right hand blush no3 is very reserved and no amount of talking and crying etc changes things feel very disloyal here but PE is his problem although I don't make him feel bad about it,he is just not interested and that way inclined,my interest has always been stronger but that has gone now after all the rejections and hassle I cannot be bothered I really feel that non use has contributed to my VA not used it so I have lost it,I do feel sad,for something so precious has been lost,I do get angry and resentful especially when his needs are being met and as it is so quick game over let's go to sleep angryblush blush blush huge blush

BoomerBabe Fri 05-Oct-12 17:00:51

My ex could never leave his life/work problems and anxieties outside the front door. He was and probably still is, very self obsessed and selfish and worried about everything including his own sexual performance. I seldom enjoyed an orgasm with him because we always had this concern. That was ok though. He was my first lover at age 19 and I knew no better.
My present partner is the happiest and sunniest of men. After seven years, making love is still a joy and I climax every time. Not boasting, just pointing out that feeling relaxed and happy in a relationship seems to me to be the key.
Can I just also say that when my husband cheated on me, my GP said that it was like a bereavement....a bereavement of trust. I found it impossible to
accept. It was devastating and cruel to one who had tried very hard to make him happy and always been faithful, even when tempted otherwise.

Littlenellie Fri 05-Oct-12 17:10:59

Now feeling really guilty as he has just brought me a cuppa while doing dinner,we are friends and love each other rather than fireworks it is a bit of a damp squib,life is a lot more complicated and sex is just one more part of it,his loyalty during losing my daughter and the ensuing and continuing problems with E ,my DGD he is my rock ans my soulmate,he is very perceptive of my moods and feelings,I really do want to be with him he supported while my marriage crumbled with no2 ,so why is the sex so important confused

contrarymary Fri 05-Oct-12 17:25:38

My problem is diffent in that I am the one with a low sex drive and always have been really in the 43 years I have been married. For a while ( a few years ) my DH seemed to have lost interest in sex as well but then he became impotent. However he has in the last year become very obsessed with this and takes viagra to overcome it.

Now he seems to think about and want sex much of the time. I really don't find it pleasurable and at night I am unable to sleep afterwards.
I am lucky in that he often tells me he loves me but we spend long hours in the day and evening not speaking to each other while he is on his lap top and I am doing other things.
I feel guilty that I can't be more loving but think that if we could just communicate more, then things might improve in the bedroom.blush

Anne58 Fri 05-Oct-12 19:05:15

At last, thank goodness that more of us have made some sort of contribution!

We seem to fall into 2 categories, those who would like to, but don't and those that don't want to, but feel that they should, or try to avoid it.

mayfly Sat 06-Oct-12 17:06:05

My question is this: do both partners have to go to sex therapy/marital therapy to make it work. I expect the answer is obvious, but I'm sure I'm not the only woman whose partner would rather die than see a therapist. Is there any point going alone?

praxis Sat 06-Oct-12 19:56:43

Should you tell your (adult) children if you're having problems, or if one of you has had an affair? Or is it best to keep it private - particularly if you expect them to take your side? if you do decide to tell them, any tips on how best to do it?

minette Tue 09-Oct-12 13:55:13

I'm happily married (I think!) My question is...for a long time we have passed our evenings in the living room doing the things we both want to do (eg: watching television, reading etc etc) and I've always rather enjoyed what I have thought of as our companionable silence. But suddenly (for no reason that I can discern) it feels less like that and more like two people co existing on separate planets in the same space. How do I change this? The trouble is that we like to watch different things and enjoy different hobbies.

louella Tue 09-Oct-12 14:01:26

My husband and I have always believed that if either of us had an affair it would spell the end of our marriage. Yet we know people who (seem to) have made it work perfectly well after one or other has done this. How is it that some couples can do this when most seem to split up in these circumstances? How on earth can the injured party ever truly trust again? I think I would be permanently on edge and waiting for the next time - which would be the kiss of death to the marriage even if an affair wasn't

barbarab Tue 09-Oct-12 14:07:35

How do you stop a long-term relationship from going stale? When time and money are both short it's so easy to lose the 'romance' and get consumed with day-to-day life. What should we be doing to keep the spark alive (nothing too saucy please - my husband has a herniated disc)

Micki Tue 09-Oct-12 14:44:47

I am fascinated by the title of your sex book - Make Love Like A Prairie Vole. Have you really spent time watching voles at it? And if so what do they have that we don't in terms of success in the sack?