Sex with my wife is virtually non-existent. Should I tell her I'm seeing an escort?
No, advises Pamela Stephenson Connolly. Instead work on your relationship with your wife
Pamela Stephenson Connolly
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 23 June 2011 21.00 BST
My wife finds penetrative sex difficult. Since her hysterectomy she's been unable to come properly. After excellent sex for three years, successive health and job pressures have meant it's become virtually non-existent.
I have to be so gentle, she gets thrush and is turned off. We share a bed and it's so frustrating. I've tried not to burden her with my needs because she's disabled and has a demanding job. I have a high sex drive and have been seeing escorts. One is phenomenally responsive. It gets better each time with this lady and she's encouraged me to try Viagra to overcome some impotence. The last two occasions have been so good for my confidence. I now wonder if I should tell my wife about my encounters? I do need satisfying, and it's becoming impossible not living with the person I make love to.
Revealing your "encounters" could end your marriage – is that what you really want? You seem attached to this escort, and receive more than sex from her. I suspect that you're harbouring a desire for a closer connection with her, but remember: this is a business relationship.
If you don't want things to stay the way they are at home, either leave, learn to compartmentalise your life better, or talk to your wife about trying to improve things (I recommend the latter).
She is struggling too, but without blaming her you could let her know how hard you find the current situation, and ask what she herself needs. Perhaps she'd be willing to join you in working on your erotic connection – and your relationship generally - with outside help. If so, it would be wise to stop seeing the escort, since currently she's unwittingly helping you to avoid your marriage impasse.
• Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.