Dear Eve,

I find myself not interested in sex with my wife but do so to my neighbour's .please help

Dear reader,

Thank you for writing me on such a sensitive issue. I have a few thoughts and question about your question.

The first thing I would like to suggest is that this is about more than sex. In other words, it sounds to me like there is a promise in the possibility of a sexual relationship with your neighbor's wife that is absent to you in your own marriage. Please note that this is not about blame: blaming you, your wife or anybody else would actually serve no purpose so I'd like to avoid it. Back to your question: what is this desire pegged on? What desire would sex with your neighbor's wife fulfil? What would sex with your neighbor's give you that feels absent in your own home? As I mentioned, this is about more than just sex. If this was just about sex, you would be (thinking about) sleeping with many other women.

Secondly, remember that your wife has her own sexual drive and desires. This means that she could also desire a new partner; a neighbor, a friend, a colleague or maybe even your neighbor himself. Before you make yourself crazy with suppositions and accusations, I would like you to pause and pay attention to how you feel at the mere suggestion of these possibilities. My guess is that you don't like these ideas at all. To be clear, I don't you know you or your wife so you can be sure that I'm just offering you these possibilities for the benefit of understanding your hopes, fears, thought processes about your sexual and non-sexual relationship with your wife. These suggestions are intended to provide you with the opportunity to learn from your reaction to them. So, how does it feel when I suggest these possibilities? Jealous? Angry? Disconnected? Anxious? Nothing? These responses offer you clues as to how you really feel about your wife and your marriage.

As a marriage therapist, I never assume that a couple wants to stay together; you must choose what they want for yourself and your marriage, and you have many options, some of which include staying together but unhappily, staying together and working to improve things for both of you, to separate, to divorce. Whatever you choose, choose wisely and resist the temptation to jumo to a drastic conclusion.

In fact, my advice would be that you resist the urge to decide - for now. Take this time instead to explore your needs, hopes, wishes etc so you can reach a decision from a position of strength and understanding instead of a place of hurt or misunderstanding. Even in the event that a couple wants to separate of divorce, there is a way to do this in a kind and less toxic way especially where children are concerned.

Studies have shown that the effect of divorce on children comes not from the divorce itself but from the conflicts that arise as a result of a divorce, so take your time. If you do choose to stay together, use the knowledge that your wife has options too to redirect your sexual desire for your neighbor's wife into a sexual desire for her (your wife). Ask yourself, "what do I wish my sexual relationship with my wife was like?" and also "what gets in the way of having this relationship?" Those two questions will offer you clues on where to begin to find your way back into enjoying your marriage, in and out of bed.

Finally, I'd like to point out something that is obvious to many married couples, and yet can sound rather controversial: in the life of any marriage – even the happiest ones – the thought or desire for a different sexual partner can occur. Does this mean that just because you have the desire then you should satisfy it? No, it does not. Aside from the moral code that married men should not sleep with women who are not their wives, or that neighbors should not engage in sexual relationships with their neighbor's wives, choosing a different sexual partner denies you the opportunity to deepen your own sexual and marital relationship with your own wife.

I have a feeling that if you could be guaranteed greater sexual and marital satisfaction with your wife, you may not desire your neighbor's wife so much. May I ask you to consider the following questions: what is your marital relationship like now? What do you wish your marital relationship was like? What are you prepared to do or not do in order to strengthen your own marriage? Finally, when you look back at this season of your life, which decision will make you feel most proud of yourself? These questions are not an end but a beginning into a new marriage with the same woman, if that's what you *choose*. Remember that life is all about choices so make the choices that you can not only live with but choices that you can be proud of. I wish you the very best!

Maggie Gitu is a Marriage, Family & Sex Therapist. She can be reached at and via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu


What is on your Christmas wishlist this year?