A man’s public appeal for advice has gone viral after he admitted trying to encourage his wife to lose weight after the birth of their youngest child – and withholding sex as a punishment when she ignored his input.
The unnamed man wrote to Pamela Stephenson Connolly, advice columnist at The Guardian, to seek help, explaining that the couple have now not had sex for six years as a result of his actions.
‘I haven’t had sex with my wife since my youngest daughter’s birth six years ago,’ he wrote. ‘This is due, in part, to me.’
‘After the birth, I tried assisting my wife with her weight-loss efforts, but she ignored my advice. I got fed up and avoided intercourse. I realise that my approach was not a good one and I have been making efforts for the past two years to go back to normal, but she is always running away.’
Pamela, a psychotherapist who specialises in sexual disorders, replied that he would need to be ‘patient’, as it will take a long time for their previous bond to be rebuild after his initial rejection.
‘You have learned that sex should never be used as a weapon. Your best option is to sit down and talk to your wife. Apologise sincerely, and ask what you can do to gain her trust,’ she said.
‘Ask her to express her own feelings about being physically close to you, and listen very carefully without interruption, defensiveness or turning blame back on her. She needs to feel safe with you again or she will never be comfortable with intimacy.’
However, the commenters on the piece weren’t quite as forgiving as Pamela.
‘I’m amazed she’s not divorced you. You sound like a vile, self-centred person,’ one wrote, whilst another agreed: ‘Grow up and stop behaving like a spoiled child to the woman who clearly gave enough of a damn about your sorry hide that she actually bred with you and may now be regretting it.’
‘The moment that woman gets an ounce of self-esteem back, you are dead in the water, buddy.’