Wayne and Wanda love feedback and wanted to share some recent reader remarks regarding the letter from the married guy who was toeing (or crossing) the fine line of fidelity.
First, the indignant responses:
It is hard not to call this man the jerk he is. Perhaps if he spent as much energy being there for his wife, his family, she might feel like being close to him. Guess what nitwit? Your wife already knows you are a jerk. She's just trying to figure out what is best for her helpless babies now. Shame on you. Is it possible that she can forgive you? Continue on this path and the answer will be NO! And you will have destroyed one more family. Read the stats about kids growing up in fatherless and broken homes and grow up.
You are already cheating on her. There's nothing worse than a cheater. Do your kids a favor and either shape up and start being someone your wife would WANT to make love to and make your marriage your priority, or go kayaking in a crab pot in Bristol Bay and save them the devastation of your betrayal. What if the person who marries one of your children does this to them? Wouldn't you be absolutely disgusted? Well, we are with you. What a putz.
Wanda: Kayaking in a crab pot in Bristol Bay? Nice. Maggiepeesoutdoors (nice handle, too) raises a good devil's advocate gut-check: Are you behaving in a way that you'd want your children treated? Another way to spin it: The husband mused perhaps he could have sex without it affecting his marriage. OK then. Is it OK if your wife does the same thing? I'm guessing not.
Wayne: I've seen some fishy things along Campbell Creek in my day, but fitting this man for concrete shoes is a bit extreme in this situation. He hasn't technically cheated on his wife yet. Yes, he is considering it. Yes, he's dumb for considering it. I hope he's reconsidered after reading our responses a few weeks ago, as well as these from our readers. He still has an opportunity to work things out with his wife or at least end things like an adult.
Now some advice grounded in reason:
You could get off your rear end and take enough of the load off of her so she's not tired all the time! It's new math! Try it out! Or you can just divorce her and get out of the way so a smarter man can raise your kids for you and make her feel sexy again.
Both of you should get a check-up from your doctor. Hormonal changes (like menopause), stress/depression/anxiety, physical fitness levels, diet/food choices or other factors have significant impacts on sexual desire. Some of these conditions (if they're affecting either or both of you) can be treated with medication, some can be treated by changes in activity or behavior, and others can be treated with counseling of some sort.
Wayne: Check out the big brains on our readers! Now that's some real-life logic in play. So often we all (Wanda and I included) get caught up in the emotion of these romantic meltdowns that we can momentarily lose our clarity and sanity. Thanks for being the voice of reason. But too exhausted for sex? Really? Now that's crazy!
Wanda: So many of my married-with-children girlfriends say it's not that they don't want sex. They're just so darn tired all the time and they're too exhausted to feel sexy. Thank you, Heragain, for stating the obvious: If your spouse is always "busy" and therefore "tired," help her be less busy so she'll be less tired - and maybe more inclined to jump into bed for activities other than sleeping.
And finally, a letter that's a bit of a pep talk for our hard-up hubbie:
No one can guarantee anything to anyone, especially how they are going to feel about something tomorrow. Tomorrow itself is not guaranteed. So don't beat yourself too much. Take Wayne's advice -- be a man -- talk to her. You can be a respected man and father, if you act as an honorable man should. One more note: She might feel the same about you. You never know.
Wanda: Good advice. The lonely husband told us he was pretty sure he could have sex with someone else and it wouldn't affect his marriage or his love for his wife. But you don't know that, and there's no way to know how it would feel unless you do it - and I hope you don't. Maybe you guys can work through this. Maybe you can't. There's an ethical way to handle it, and there's a selfish, sneaky way. I hope you choose the former.
Wayne: Key words here: "Take Wayne's advice." Other key words: "Talk to her." This reader clearly gets what so many people struggle with - communication is critical in relationships, whether they are just beginning or coming to an end. Will it be a difficult conversation? Sure. But tough conversations are part of life. Final key words: "respected" and "honorable." Be a grown-up; talk to your wife.
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and believes in retail therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.