You ought to invite Douchehat to be a guest for one of your columns.
I'd tell him to show her the letter, and say that the current situation is not working for him. Ask for her thoughts on how they can bring some kind of sex into the marriage. If she divorces him for bringing up this topic (or refuses to discuss it at all), then she wasn't as devoted to his happiness as he was to hers, and it's better that he find that out at 40 than at 60.

This is off the table. That is off the table. I say take up porn. If she doesn't like that, too bad.
I can't make an argument as a strict proponent of monogamy. And I'm not even going to give it a hypothetical try.
I just want to say that I feel horrible for this guy. It sounds like he's been depriving himself for the sake of his wife for nearly half of his life. And, further, I'd argue that his wife is being emotionally manipulative in threatening divorce for any infidelity. Here's a man who's put his needs secondary for the better part of two decades and she's willing to let that go over a little sex? Sex that would probably make her husband more patient with her? It also seems rather short sighted and masochistic on her end. After all what chance does she think she has of finding someone to love her, marry her and stick around for 18 years while she never has sex with him? This seems like a recipe for an eventual divorce - a divorce neither party wants - over a little bit of sex. What a shame.

Also, I so want to offer this poor man a pity fuck. I can be discreet (the offer on this post notwithstanding).
@3 I am pretty sure that after 9+ years, porn might not be cutting it anymore.
Cheat on her.
I'd need to know more about their circumstances. Kids? Unemployed? Is this a marriage of equals or is he financially dependent? What does he lose if he divorces her?

Depending on the answers, I'd suggest he see a lawyer about filing for divorce himself, not in anger, but in sadness, and move on unless she's willing to reach some accommodation. If she's still not, then it's definitely time to go.
My stance on monogamy is that cheating is wrong, but openly agreeing to sleep with other people is perfectly fine. It's the betrayal that's hurtful, not the sex itself. That said, this man's wife has practically pushed him to cheat. He's been astoundingly supportive for an insanely long time. I don't doubt his wife is ill, but if she really loves her husband, she will want him to be happy. He's made it clear that part of being happy is having sex. She doesn't HAVE to "give in" and let him have sex with her or do him any sexual favors. (Besides, if she's not into it, it will be painfully obvious and nobody will enjoy it.) But if she's not willing to find a compromise, than she is being extremely selfish. I've been pregnant, which is a lot like being ill for a long time, so I understand feeling unsexy. But an extremely patient and understanding husband deserves reciprocation. If this were a temporary situation, I would tell him to suck it up, but it seems like this has become the status quo and that is NOT OK.

So he needs to remind her of how patient and understanding he has been for EIGHTEEN YEARS. He should tell her he loves her but that he just can't live this way forever. She needs an ultimatum. She must either find a way to stomach having sex with her husband (And if she really cares about him, she will WANT to want him, which should make the process easier to swallow) OR she must allow him to find satisfaction elsewhere. If she can't do this for him, she doesn't deserve to keep him.

True love is selfless. It's not always effortless, but you should always have the desire to make your partner happy. Otherwise, it's not an equal relationship. To me, THAT'S a deal-breaker.
She values fidelity ("sexual faithfulness to a spouse or partner"), but won't practice it herself? She can work and do many normal activities, but can't talk dirty, give him a handjob, and pretend to enjoy it for 5 minutes? "You can't have sex with me, but you can't have sex with anyone else either. If you try to talk to me about it, I will cry until you stop." He doesn't mention kids or any other reason to stay, other than a sense of duty to his commitment. At this point, I think it's HIS turn to decide what's on the table, and she can decide to take it or leave it.
Doesn't monogamy mean having one partner? Not zero.
He already isn't in a monogamous marriage if he never has sex with her.
I would say her fears are real and should be addressed, but not at the expense of his real needs.

I would suggest reading up on open marriages. Find a book he likes that has the right tone for him. After an introductory discussion with the wife have her read the book. This could give her a way to asses and process her feelings about the possibility of open up the marriage.

He's 40. What are the chances he can stay monogamous, married and sexless for another 40 years? This is not a sustainable situation. If the situation is as he presents it, it's frankly admirable he's made it this long.

One option is to very carefully and very occasionally cheat, preferably with professionals, since they're likely to be more skilled at the secrecy game. I think it's an inferior option, because it's a clear betrayal of her trust,

The better option, ethically at least, is to sit down with her and explain the true nature of the situation. She will cry but in this particular case you need to push through. She needs to understand that the status quo will not work. Tell her you love her, and tell her that for years you've honored your monogamous relationship and gone without something very important to you, but that it's slowly driving you crazy. Tell her you don't know when you'll be pushed beyond the breaking point but that it happening is a matter of when, not if. You'd rather be sexual with her, but you could accept some degree of liberty as a secondary, inferior option. However she must leave the conversation understanding that this will eventually break your marriage, that you can't live the rest of your life without sex. You'd rather be sexual with her than others, and you'd rather be sexual with others than divorce, but one of those three things will have to happen, and she needs to decide which she sees as most possible and tolerable.
Given infidelity numbers, I think if we include nonconsensual nonmonogamy, the math shows that most people ARE nonmonogamous - they're just not admitting it. Like how 50 years ago, there were far fewer gay people because you wouldn't count closeted gays. If faced with a situation like this one, I'd bet that purported monogamists would instinctively just follow your advice, on the down-low, taking on the risk that if they were to be caught, the marriage would end.

It seems like the difference between consensual and nonconsensual monogamists is the faith (yes, I said "faith") that their partner can have a rational, reality-based discussion about the subject without turning it into a constant fight or source of fear, guilt, and paranoia.

Because that's really what it comes down to, right? You either take the risk up front and potentially get the greater pleasure returns later, or take the pleasure now and make the high risk payments for the rest of your married life.
It sounds to me like he's a monogamist, so I'm not sure that cheating is going to make him happy, either. Without knowing any more of their background, I would say DTNFA, and find somebody that he can be monogamous with, and who also wants to have sex.
If he leaves his sick wife because she's not meeting his sexual needs, he'll also be saying goodbye to his entire social circle and more than likely alienating himself from anyone in the family who is close to his wife.

It could well be worth it, though. He's only 40. There's still time for happiness.
On a positive note, if he cheats, the wife doesn't have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases. Sounds like she couldn't catch cold sores from him at this point.
Heartbreaking. I think they should give counseling another shot, because she doesn't seem to understand that their relationship is about two people. She needs to meet him the middle, they both have to give and take on the subject. He has every right to find some sexual satisfaction and if she can't physically perform then she needs to, for love and the health of their relationship, allow him to meet his needs through another avenue. I think a third party would convey that to her better, and may also offer support for her
anxiety if she is not willing or able. Of course it may not help, but not talking about it doesn't help either. I really feel for them, life often takes us places we don't want to go. It is sad that she is so ill, I know I live my life with a chronically ill person who is in pain and it is so easy to allow the illness to run the show. It's easy to grant the ill person extra grace, and they need it, but the illness needn't have so many victims and steps should be taken to lessen its ability to victimize others. That is my $0.02, but I would throw monogamy out the window if it meant that my life partner would have to suffer less. I couldn't ask him to be sexless or use the
gift of masturbation as his only sexual release.
Cheating implies not following the rules, right? Since when was depriving your spouse of any or all sex for years and years following the rules of marriage?

That's what gets me about these letters about one spouse being sexual pre-marriage, then after the marriage shutting off sexually. Is this not deceit, fraud, not following the rules? Is that not the definition of cheating? That's where I think Dan's advice in general at least gives some situational equity to the concept of "cheating".

–verb (used without object)
4. to practice fraud or deceit: She cheats without regrets.
5. to violate rules or regulations: He cheats at cards.
6. to take an examination or test in a dishonest way, as by improper access to answers.
7. Informal . to be sexually unfaithful (often followed by on ): Her husband knew she had been cheating all along. He cheated on his wife.

I guess it fails in the common usage of #7. Can we change that please?

7. Informal . to be sexually unfaithful (often followed by on ). Her husband stopped going down on her after the marriage. He cheated on his wife.

Actually that is confusing. Thoughts?

7. Informal . to be sexually unfaithful (often followed by on ). Her husband stopped going down on her after the marriage. He cheated his wife (out of orgasms).

And I am under the assumption above that this has been a longstanding sexual withholding that has been exasperated by a recent illness - I'm sure the writer is leaving things out...
if she's been sick for a long time, chances are good that she's depressed as well. she may well benefit from getting her ass into therapy - not couples therapy, not therapy designed to make their sex life better, but therapy designed to make her life better in general. you can give all the ultimatums you want, but if the person you're talking to has been sucked into the black hole of depression, it won't matter. depression has a way of taking over your life in unexpected ways. i think everyone's right that they need to have a few frank talks about all this, but i'd wager she also needs some counseling of her own.
I'm not even a proponent of monogamy all the time and I don't think cheating is the answer. They have a friendship but it doesn't sound like much of a marriage. I think it's asking too much of him to say "cheat occasionally, keep that relationship secondary, stay with your wife." If he wants to be in a relationship with sex, that's something he should be able to pursue. If he wants to stay with her for health insurance and she wants to be part of that, that's one thing. But this sounds like the kind of situation that divorce was made for.
I can sympathize with her "If you have sex with someone else you'll fall in love and leave me and I'll die alone and homeless" insecurity. But maybe there are criteria she can place on his sex-on-the-side that will assuage her fears a little -- enough to make it ok for her. Such as: he only gets it from a paid pro, or he never has sex with anyone more than once/twice/thrice (obv that ups the STD risk, but if she's not fucking him it shouldn't matter to her), or... whatever. He's gotta explain that he needs this so that he DOESN'T leave her.
Sorry, clearly not a monogamust answer but I couldn't resist.
@18 "I love my wife. Sadly, she’s been ill for many years" that doesn't sound at all like a recent illness to me. Also "We’re pushing 18 years of marriage and sex has not
been a part of this relationship for most of that time" though he entered the marriage thinking sex was on the table. And since the only reasons he gives for his wife refusing are illness related I'm inclined to think that the illness began nearly 18 years ago.
"We’re pushing 18 years of marriage and sex has not
been a part of this relationship for most of that time. I am very sexual and have always been so." -- This caught my attention. Why has he waited so long if the sex has been non-existent for over a decade?

Yes, it is important to fix a broken situation, but letting it linger for a long time gives an implicit "thumbs-up" to the other person, leading to a lot of pain should he leave now. What was he thinking when he entered into this marriage? Is there a cause of her pain, and is there a treatment?

For someone so stuck on some parts of monogamous marriage - "made a deal to stay" - he didn't seem to think the other parts through - marriage usually involves having sex and agreeing on frequency. He should divorce, cough up whatever financial support she's entitled to, and move on. They're stuck in an 18-year rut that hasn't gotten better; I doubt that counseling or an affair is going to improve things. Better to let her go quickly so she can find someone who is satisfied with her and he can find someone who satisfies him.
Without knowing how ill the wife is, it's very hard to say. And without those details, his letter just makes him sound like a whiney man-child. Find some exciting porn and get yourself some nice lube. If staying married to your wife is really that important to you, you'll find a way to deal with not having sex.
I think, plainly, he must see what he values more: his marriage and its value to their children, or being something more like (to an uncertain extent) sexually fulfilled (including the value to his children of their father being a little saner).

I want to be the Devil's Advocate, and say that you really can live without sex. Perhaps a good many people think they cannot, but what they mean is that they want it so much that will have no control over their actions. Well, either you don't, in which case you should be pitied, or more if what you can't control damages others or you do, in which case you can do your own cost-benefit analysis and act accordingly.

I don't know if this person needs "sex"; I think it very possible that he more needs "sex with wife", which has a tonne of associated meanings...I think if he turned elsewhere, he would have to imbue the new partner with a level of significance that would ruin his already-shaky marriage.

For me, I think I would stay, and remember that it is better to masturbate than to burn (metaphorically, not in literally in Paul's mythical horroshow).

(The longest 'dry' period in my life? Seventeen years, for twelve of which I was conscious. I lived.)
Monogamist or no: if there are no kids (and I assume he'd've mentioned it if there were), he should man up and serve her with divorce papers. Maybe they can be friends afterward, probably they can't, but if she's well enough to work and do "many normal activities", she's well enough to find a friend+roommate (which is all he is at this point) who can help her with the grocery shopping but won't badger her with never-to-be-fulfilled requests for sex. And he's still got enough time to find a girlfriend or two before settling down with wife #2.

Yes, her friends and relatives will hate him. Oh well. Maybe it's a good time to move to another city anyway.
I haven't read all the comments, and I'm sure I'll be eviscerated for this, but I'm a monogamist so I'll do what Dan *asked* and give my untrained 2cents.
Suck it up. For better *or worse*, in *sickness* and health, you promised to be monogamous and forsake all others. A marriage is bigger than the 2 people in it, it's a commitment and a promise and it means more than fleeting pleasures or jerking off into a person instead of a tissue. You made a promise, without being able to see the future, to not have sex with anyone besides your wife. Unless you wrote it into your vows, the "unless you turn me down because then all bets are off" loophole wasn't there for her to agree to or object to. If you'd gone into this as an open marriage, that would be one thing. But you sold her on the idea of a lifemate who would be faithful to her and support her until she died. It's a bait and switch to give her an ultimatum now. Is it fair that she's sick and in pain and doesn't want sex anymore? No. Did anyone ever say life would be fair? Not to me, they didn't. She has, through an illness, made your marriage less than ideal. You're asking for permission to, through a refusal to see sex as a want rather than a need, make her marriage miserable and devastating.
Jerk off. A LOT. Have all the orgasm you want with all the famous hot willing flexible women you want, but do it without anyone else in the room. Buy lots of porn, or learn to photoshop it yourself, and have at it. But before you decide to hurt your wife, just do the decent thing and divorce her. She deserves someone who finishes what he starts before starting something new.
he can't force her to have sex, why should she be able to force him to not have sex?
#8 is right on. The man in this marriage has proved -- over and over again -- that he cares about his wife. It's time for the wife to prove that she cares about her husband.

@11 nails it. It's funny - sexual monagamy was SO important to me as a younger woman. Then I had a baby, and something about the physical process of pregnancy and birth caused me to have a revelation. Love is love, and sex is biology. Sometimes the two overlap, and sometimes not. And that's ok. Somehow, LW, you have to be able to convince your wife that your biological needs will not destroy your love for her if they are met elsewhere. (Can I also just add that as a Canadian, this whole "but what if she loses her health care" thing blows my fucking mind. Horrific.)
@ 27 your idea sounds so easy for you to really think hard about and type out. this person's life is passing by. could you spend you life on an idea? @4, i agree, seriously.
DTMFA. This is not a monogamy question; even if you could get an open marriage agreement, why would you stay with someone without any erotic intimacy whatsoever? If you're well enough to take out the garbage, you're well enough to say or do *something* to sexually please your partner. Your spouse is not being faithful to you. Your zombie marriage died some time ago.
I'm not a strict monogamist/monogamust myself, but if I were, I still wouldn't hold the opinion that unmet sexual needs is a bad reason to leave a relationship. So my advice with my monogamy hat on would be:

Find a sex-positive therapist who isn't averse to divorce being a solution. The husband should go in alone, first, and explain to the therapist what and why he feels how he does. Then bring the wife in, and have the therapist help explain the problem, figure out where she's at, and DON'T STOP therapy until a solution has been found that both parties can live with. If the solution stops working, GO BACK to therapy. If a solution cannot be found and the therapist agrees divorce would be better for both parties, then get as friendly a divorce as possible. And start dating other people.

Particularly if there are kids involved, a husband shouldn't risk looking the The Bad Guy by cheating. Do it honestly -- there may still be hurt feelings and resentment but it won't fester and ooze the way found out secrets do.
Spend more time with Palmela Handerson. Do what is feasible with your wife; you can have intimacy without sex, you know.
You need to choose whether sex or your wife is more important to you at this point. If she'd rather that you end your relationship with her than go behind her back, you need to honor her wishes and either get a divorce or stay celibate.
@27, I think you have a hell of a double standard here. It's unlikely their marriage vows had the phrase "And I promise to only have sex with you". Monogamy was implied in the relationship when they married. You know what else was implied in the relationshio? Sex. Unless it's two asexuals getting married, in a monogamous marriage the assumption is that you will only have sex with your spouse. That, by definition, includes having sex with your spouse, which he isn't.

Never mind the notion that people should be allowed to revisit their former commitments when they become unsustainable. You allow for him to divorce his wife, which sure as fuck is an explicit violation of "till death do us part", so how then do you justify him trying to stay sane in some way (hopefully with permission) after she has unilaterally violated the implicit assumption of a marriage with sex?
She takes his fidelity very seriously. But she is being horribly unfaithful and selfish in her own way. She's not monogamous; she doesn't have one sexual partner - she has none. And she is depriving him of one as well.

Listen. This wasn't what he signed on for. He signed on for a partnership. She has a duty to make an effort, to meet him halfway. She isn't. Sure, she probably feels horrible about it, sure it makes her cry to think about it, sure she feels guilty for emotionally manipulating him whenever the subject comes up. Tough break. She needs to make an effort, provide an accommodation, or let him go.

Ulyimatums should be rare in marriage. So rare, in fact, that more than one per spouse is almost always uncalled for. But now is his time to make one. It should be:

I love you, but I cannot live like this anymore, so you have three choices:

1. Put some effort into the long-neglected sexual aspect of the relaitonship; or

2. Let me discreetly and safely seek sex elsewhere; or

3. Let's get divorced.

Pick a choice. If you need a couple of weeks or some counseling to help you figure out what to do, let me know.

Good luck, LW. I recommend divorce, myself. But you owe it to yourself and her to give her the options.
charlie @27:
I disagree (and I think that a lot of other people will too) but it's a fair commentary, and not dickish and blunt without being finger-wagging. Thanks.
Lynx @35: Most Christian ceremonies have a variant on "forsaking all others", for example, so, yes, chances are that clause was in there, just not in the way that you state it.
When a jelous spouse worries about their pertner leaving them for someone else it does not follow logically for them to lock down their partner which will in turn drive their partner away.

I know if I was married to this woman and she was jelous of me leaving her for others I would feel like I actually need to seek more than just sex outside of the relationship. It sounds like she might be clinging onto what he provides without being willing to provide anything, even flexibility, in return.

It is too soon to tell but he might need to DTMFA.
@23 It's not fair to ding him for holding on as long as he has. He's done everything he can according to the standard rules of marriage as defined by modern society. He's been patient, he's tried to discuss things, he's gone to counselling. Non-sex is considered an inappropriate reason to break up with someone, and leaving someone during an illness makes one look like scum.

Because this situation is long term, it is an extreme example that illustrates what constitutes a need and who is responsible for satisfying that need. I'm sympathetic to the wife not wanting her husband to have lovers, but it is unacceptable to demand fidelity from someone without doing your best to fulfill their real needs.
Ya know what? I kinda feel like he should DTMFA, though perhaps it shouldn't be put that harshly. Either that or more counseling for both of them, and depression screenings as well. Because she just sounds like a selfish pity party. She's in pain and she's been sick - yeah that stinks. But I've spent a lot of time with people with terminal cancer, and I watched my childhood best friend struggle all her life with an absolutely horrible fatal illness before it finally killed her in her early 20s. LIFE GOES ON. No matter how unsexy she feels, if there are moments when she is not in constant pain or not exhausted, she could take the time out to just give her main source of support a BJ for cryin' out loud. Maybe I'll get smacked down by this, but there is no way she doesn't know that her husband is feeling this absence in his life, and she can't be bothered to make the effort. My best friend was capable of some spectacular moments of narcissism in her life, as I felt she was entitled to, given that she spent her entire life with a death sentence hovering over her. Hell, you try living life knowing that you'll probably be dead before you're drinking age. But she was also capable of amazing moments of empathy that still blow me away to this day (the memories of which have me crying as I type this). There were things in my life that I could not have gotten through without her. This woman continually makes it all about her, based on the LW's description. And that sucks. She'd divorce him for straying after denying him any form of sex for EIGHTEEN YEARS? That's just selfish. I'm sorry that she's been sick, but that doesn't mean you get to abdicate your humanity and make your spouse miserable.
alanmt1 @36: If she chooses "1" ("Put some effort into the long-neglected sexual aspect of the relaitonship") the likelihood is that it will be a negativity-laced charity fuck, and those are arguably worse than enforced celibacy.
They'd tell him to suck it up and never have sex again; you know, the same thing they tell their priests and gay people. This isn't an actual question, is it?

My advice is, "Leave your wife, tomorrow. Denying you sex with her AND with everyone else is unfair. And next time, before you decide to get married in a fashion where you're making promises that extend the rest of your life, consider how absurd that is, given that change is a universal constant and that a majority of marriages end in divorce (as opposed to death)."
Also, in response to Dan's question: "What if the ill spouse relies on the deprived spouse for health insurance?"

Then she's a fucking idiot for this bit: "I know she would divorce me if I cheated. There’s no doubt. I feel pretty confident that having open marriage would be off the table—she is very jealous. She takes fidelity very seriously."

If you're thoroughly dependent on a marriage for survival, making unreasonable/unrealistic demands (I don't consider e.g. "Don't beat me" to be unreasonable; I do consider "Never have partnered sex again as long as both of us are still alive" to be thoroughly unreasonable) in the context of that marriage is suicidal.
@22 - That's all true. But, like I said, he leaves out a lot of details so it's a little hard to comment. Actually, did I say that? I meant to. Regardless, his letter needs to be a little more expository. Details, people! Details!

Hmm, well, for starters, this guy does not have sexual "needs." He has "wants," reasonable ones, but they are not needs. He will not die if he never has sex again, though he may not be very happy.

This is part of the for better, for worse that he signed on for. It's lousy, but as Dan can attest to, it is not rare.

That said, I'm not convinced--with how little is here--that he cannot reach a happier outcome with his wife. It sounds as though he is deeply concerned about her and her illness, but I wonder how he talks to her. I often have been surprised how inarticulate and/or hesitant some people can be, even about very important topics. Some cannot bear to hurt someone, cannot stand being "the bad guy." So they downplay how important something is to them or they get weirdly passive aggressive, etc. And they tend to routinize these types of conversations down to a not-very-useful script.

Clearly, if his wife has been sick for a long time, she didn't get the life she had hoped for, either. A frank conversation, perhaps with a mediator of some sort who won't impose his/her values on the outcome but will push for honesty and respect of one another's preferences, would probably be a good starting point.
I find it incredibly monstrous that people are suggesting to get porn and deal without sex. Sex isn't just about orgasms, you know. It's about intimacy and self-image and self-esteem and pleasing your partner and yourself. It's about bonding with another human being. If it were just about orgasms people WOULD just masturbate 24/7 and not bother with the hassle of relationships.

I say get a divorce. Period. If this person forces her into sex, it'll be joyless, sad sex and then he'll be the bad guy for manipulating her into it and then not being satisfied with it. If he gets some on the side--he says she's jealous--there's no way to beat around that short of actually lying to her. I think divorce is the only option. This person might love his wife but she is physically capable or wiling to love him back. Cut the months of suffering through trying to compromise, cut your losses, and get out.
First of all @ 27, you're an idiot! Porn does not make up for sex with an actual human being. Total advice fail! Monogamy works for some but not all and I'd venture to speculate that monogamy that works actually involves having sex with your partner.

I on the other hand, have no advice but wanted to say that a sexless life is my worst nightmare. I love sex more than pretty much anything. It really freaks me out to realize there are tons of people who go thru this shit, lives of no sex. Not really a life is it?
I'm in a monogamous relationship but really cringe at being called a 'monogamist'--makes it sound as though I disapprove of any other relationship (which I don't) along the lines of sexist, racist, etc. Anyway, if I were in that situation, I'd hope to be able to resign myself to the situation; however, as a compromise, I think I'd try to negotiate to be able to see a sex worker. I can totally understand the jealous (read insecure) aspect of allowing your partner to stray. How will he meet his hookup? In a bar? Any romance involved? Any relationship forming? Anyone they know? There's a lot of questions and the you-can-only-see-someone-once, no kissing, etc. rules seem to make finding a one night stand partner more tricky. However, if he saw a sex worker, it would be a business transaction and there would be much less reason for the wife to feel like she's losing her mate. I'd like to think if I were the wife, that I would accept this as a compromise.
We know what the monogamist fringe would say: "Your sex life is over, suffer. It's part of the noble sacrifice that is the Institution of Marriage" blah, blah, blah.

It's the disadvantage compassionate, rational people always face in a dialogue with zealots: We have rules for what is reasonable, and for what is right. They have none.
She is not being very loving (and is in fact being a real douche) for not addressing this problem and at least talking about solutions with him. This should be a conversation that SHE initiates if she cares at all about her husband's well-being, and solving the problem might involve her having to stomach some of that jealousy of hers. It's a very unusual problem and the remedy is bound to be unusual as well.
Here's how impossible I think the letter writer's situation is:

He doesn't just want sex. He doesn't just want sex with his wife. He wants his wife to want to have sex with him.

And she doesn't. And she knows that's what he wants and she knows that she can't give him that...

This is rejection at a core level...and the only way to solve it is for somebody to be the bad guy and hurt someone they love more than they're currently hurting--to hurt someone so bad that they accept the inevitability of change.

And even with change, there's no guarantee of happiness...because I don't think anyone in this scenario will end up getting what they want (although one person is guaranteed to always not get what they don't want.)
Just because you tried counseling years ago and you or it "failed" (no idea what that means, by the way) does not mean that therapy with an excellent, sex positive therapist will continue to fail. Whatever fail means. My husband and I went to couples counseling so I could find a way to leave the marriage. And damned if the counseling "failed" and I figured out that I really wanted to stay and that we could each change to stay together.

I say the "counseling failed" thing is just silly. Keep looking for a therapist you can both engage with and have the courage to explain the whole situation, and the whole history. Those couples counselors have heard it all. Believe me, they have heard it all over and over and over. Persist, tell the therapist that you are shopping around and would like to meet to lay out your situation, and put energy into finding someone who can help. (Some of them won't even charge for that first meeting b/c they are checking you out as potential clients just like you are checking them out as potential helpers).

Unless you just want someone to give you permission to file for divorce or find an outside sexual partner. If so, you have my permission.
When your partner is entirely unsympathetic to your needs, you are no longer in a loving & trusting relationship. You're in a mutually unhealthy & destructive relationship. Unwilling to even discuss it, lest she use tears to control the situation? After 18 years in a resentful sexless marriage, it's ultimatum time. She's not too ill to go to work, therefore she hasn't been too ill to be everything-but girl for her loving, faithful husband. Her unwillingness to get help, discuss his pain, or take any path toward mutual healing are indicators that drastic measures are required. If he tries to divorce her & she uses her illness to strap him financially, he's better off seeing other women on the side. It's not cheating when the other person has zero interest in sex, let alone zero interest in caring about your needs for 18 long years of marriage. She's not the victim, he is.
my advice: invest in a fleshlight. masturbate furiously.
I feel pretty confident that having open marriage would be off the table—[...] she becomes very defensive and will typically cry and say that she fears that I'll leave her.

Key point: People are often afraid that their partner will leave them if they open up their marriage, but in fact: there is NO guarantee a partner won't leave someone in ANY relationship -- monogamous or not. If she cares at all about her partner, then they must work through these fears and not let them be a stopping block. She is denying him a fundamental, and fun, part of life. And while he said he's staying "no matter what", this is a pretty big what to have matter.

OTOH, is it possible that "this guy" (what? not acronym?) isn't standing up for himself. If she just cries and throws emotional tantrums whenever something uncomfortable comes up, then that becomes a dysfunctional relationship, because he stops bringing up things that are uncomfortable and changes his behaviour because he fears her reactions. Partners have to be able to work through uncomfortable and difficult conversations without emotionally manipulating the other one. If she can't do that, then she need professional help. And they need a counselor or professional mediator.

I don't want to suggest divorce (although I don't consider divorce a bad thing, sometimes relationships need to end, or just end naturally... that's pretty normal) part because it is far, far too common for men to leave women if the women become sick or ill, whereas women tend to stay with men who become sick or ill. So, bravo for being a solid partner! But he has made some considerable -- and unplanned -- compromises for the relationship. Perhaps she needs to make some too.
@ all the people crying "for better or for worse!", why does that only apply to wife's refusal to have sex, and not to the husband's needing sexual release? Is it because if he cheats, he's broken his vows first and so she no longer has to respect hers?

The line in full usually goes, "Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?" Why does everyone assume that these vows only mean that the well person has to love and comfort the sick person? Why is there not also an obligation from the same vow for the sick person to love and comfort the well person? It can, and I believe should, be read both ways.

The man is clearly distressed at being celibate for this long. If she will not comfort him, hasn't she then broken her vows first? She's clearly physically able to give him hand or blow jobs and have sex play even if penetration isn't possible. And despite being ill/depressed, she's probably still emotionally able to put on her game face and pretend to enjoy it.

Contract law says you only have to hold up your end of the deal if the other person is holding up theirs.
I am going to play the professional sexworker card here. He should make discreet arrangements to see a prostitute/escort on a semi-regular basis. No danger of emotions getting in the way, merely meeting one's sexual needs. I would also argue that getting a blowjob or handjob from a prostitute doesnt meet the requirements for cheating. Its more like specialized counseling. and that is what I would tell my wife I was doing as there is no need for her to beat herself up any more than she already does for not having sex with him.

Sexual satisfaction with no change in emotional ties. their relationship will improve. the economy is strenghtened thru the exchange of services and money. Win-win-win
An observation:

While all states now have "no fault" divorce, traditionally a divorcing spouse needed to show some ground for why the marriage should be terminated. The causes one could allege included cruelty, abandonment, and lengthy imprisonment. The monogamusts will be happy to know that adultery was also considered grounds for divorce. They may be less excited to learn that lack of sex was also grounds for divorce. And no, there were no exceptions for age or illness (unless the illness and consequent lack of sex was disclosed prior to the marriage).

In other words, the traditional viewpoint was that cheating on your spouse broke the marriage. But the traditional viewpoint was also that not fucking your spouse similarly broke the marriage. In other words, withholding sex was considered just as damaging to a marriage as cheating, even if the withholder did so through no fault of his/her own.

So lets stop pretending that people should be forced to endure sexless marriages. Even back when divorce was difficult, we recognized that people enter into marriage with the expectation of sex, and that lack of sex is a valid reason to end the marriage.
@57, addendum to my third paragraph: "And despite being ill/depressed, she's probably still emotionally able to put on her game face and pretend to enjoy it," and if she's not, then she has an obligation to not give up on getting to that point, preferably with a licensed therapist specializing in these kinds of issues.
Am I the only one disgusted by the emotional blackmail here by the wife? Ill or no, bursting into tears to shut down any conversation about sex IS doing emotional violence to a partner. Monogamy is a promise to be each other's only sexual PARTNERS; it doesn't oblige someone to give up his or her sex life should one partner become unable or unwilling to have sex.

It seems to me that "staying sane" by discretely getting sex elsewhere is the best solution given that he loves her and wants to continue to care for her and live with her. Because--and I haven't seen the "Get more counseling people" acknowledge this--would you want the only sex you can expect for the rest of your days to be obligatory sex? I think that would be a worse sentence than forced celibacy.

But, again, sick or no, this woman is horribly selfish and cruel and manipulative.

I ended up talking to a coworker a few weeks ago about a Savage Letter of the Day and this coworker said definitively that once one person in a marriage says "Yeah, the sex part is overwith" the other spouse must either accept it or divorce. Period. No exceptions. She was so adamant that she was stunning in her selfishness and cruelty, but what amazed me is that the righteousness of her position ("adultery is always wrong") protected her from that insight into her own shortcomings. She was as convinced of her righteousness as I was disgusted by her selfishness.
There is something wrong with her psychologically if she is not having sex for most of their 18 year marriage, has no interest in it (not even for romance or flirting!), and refuses to discuss this with him without crying and making him feel horrible. That needs to be addressed first, so I would give her 6-months to get into private counseling so that they have a starting point from which they can then tackle the sex issues in the marriage.

This is a hard one, because I would not leave my partner of 20 years if he suddenly could no longer have sex, but I might have if this happened earlier in our relationship, or if it was something he refused to even discuss rationally. Just my 2 cents....good luck.
@27: Although I don't agree with the entirety of your argument, I thought you stated it well.

I think I am a monogamist because I cannot abide the thought of my man having sex with another woman. Not the actual intercourse, but all of the fun and intimacy leading up to the intercourse. That's the good stuff - that's our stuff - and the idea of him doing it with anyone but me is a huge betrayal.

With that definition in mind, I can understand why she has a strong negative reaction to an "open marriage." Frankly, I am embarrassed that I have a similar reaction. But where, as here, they don't have the good stuff - the fun and intimacy leading up to intercourse and orgasm - there seems to be less of a betrayal.

I can't imagine a sexless marriage. It sounds like a really lonely place. But if I wasn't having sex with my husband - if we weren't having all of the good stuff up to and including sex - then I also have a hard time imagining his extramarital liaisons as betrayals.
Just to add that I'm in constant lifelong pain, and any kind of sex act usually results in injury or a worsening of my pain. But I do it anyway, and often - because I know it's important to my husband, and it's important to me. No way am I going to let my health deprive me of intimacy and joy. And I am really scared of the thing that seems to happen to women when they don't have sex for a while - you start to not want sex, and it feels physically and mentally horrible when you start up again. This has happened to me a few times when I've been working away. I wonder how much the physiological process of women's sex drive shutting down in dry periods is acknowledged? Maybe if we recognised that there is often something physical as well as mental going on, it would help.

Anway... if you can work while in pain, you can do other things too. It's a matter of priority - you might have fewer spoons than everyone else, but you put them in the places that are most important to you.

Why isn't the wife prioritising sex? Either the husband hasn't made it clear how important it is to him, or we're back to different sex drives territory. I don't think the issue is about whether or not nonmonogamy is the answer to the husband's situation. It's about why they can't have a proper balanced negotiation. She has to stop blackmailing him, and he has to stop treating her with kid gloves - if one person is sick you have to work really hard to stop it turning the relationship into an unequal one.
Personally, as a woman who has been sick for many years with an illness involving a lot of pain and who tries to maintain a "normal" life of going to work, etc. I just want to say that trying to do that can exact an enormous physical and emotional toll on a person and can make sex and even intimacy feel undesirable simply because they require energy that isn't available. I have to say, I have been in his wife's shoes. She may be giving all of the energy she has to trying to maintain a normal life and really and truly not have anything left over at the end of the day. So, one other possible solution would be for them to help her cut back on all the other things that she is devoting her energy to so that she has something left over for their relationship and they may be able to rekindle some intimacy and sexual connection.
"You can't have sex with me, but you can't have sex with anyone else either. If you try to talk to me about it, I will cry until you stop."

That is indeed emotional blackmail. If there are no kids, leave. If there are kids, see sex workers. Your wife is not being fair to you. I'm so sorry.

Re: sex is a "want" not a "need" (several commenters)

Sex may not be not an individual "need" but it is most definitely a collective "need". The race "needs" people to have sex in order for the race to continue.

Because of this, people are wired for sex in such a way that the choice is not always left completely up to the individual, at least not to the conscious mind of the individual.

Subconscious/collective forces come into play in matters of sex. You can pretend that it is otherwise, but you do so at your own risk.

65 wins the thread.

I should say ... *individuals* can pretend that it is otherwise, but they do so at their own risk.
I'm in a monogamist relationship, so I guess that puts me in the monogamist camp. I want to qualify that by saying that I think monogamy isn't some sort of myth, although it's clearly not possible for everyone.

That said, divorce her for god's sake. I don't know where all these people are getting the idea that monogamists always think people in sexless marriages should stick it out. I've already told my partner that if he stops putting out, I consider it grounds for divorce, and I mean it. Part of a relationship is sex, plain and simple. She needs to either give him permission, or he needs to divorce her and find someone more appreciative and caring about his needs. None of this running around behind her back shit. Not only is that a bit cowardly (he can't stand her tears), but she's bound to find out sooner or later, and when she does there will be hell to pay. He thinks the situation is bad now, wait till she finds out, has a meltdown and THEN they end up divorcing. This marriage doesn't seem like a very healthy thing for anyone involved. It's time to end it.
I wish I could give my advice to him retroactively. "Marry an adult" I'd say, "Someone able to take responsibility for her part in keeping the marriage happy, someone able to understand that nobody gets exactly what they want, that marriage involves being the protector of your partner's happiness."

She's able to work, able to participate in many things (the things SHE wants to do, I'm sure) but isn't able to let you rub your dick between her well lubed thighs? Wear something sexy and talk dirty while you jerk off? Give you a hand job, for heaven's sake? Right.

You are married to, at best, a child, and more likely a selfish bitch. dump her and find an adult while you still have time.
Possibility: she is asexual the the illness is her excuse.

What a sad situation. To add a female perspective.. I knew a woman who was in a somewhat similar situation some years ago. Her husband would not sleep with her, and was very defensive and angry about it. The marriage ended in divorce, and a few years later ... she found out (from him) that he had undiagnosed health issues (along with depression) that affected his sexual functioning. While she was in the marriage she experienced a lot of pain and self esteem issues (same as this guy.. constant rejection).

One thought about this man's wife- I wonder what sort of health condition she has? He mentions that she functions normally as to work but is in pain a lot. Some sort of chronic condition it seems? Here's the thought- nobody has mentioned depression, that I noticed.. there's clear and strong associations with chronic illness, pain and depression. Have they ever thought about getting help with that aspect of it? (ie antidepressants- they can also help with chronic pain conditions). Another thought- how much does the man pitch in at home? If she's able to 'function normally " ie go to work but has chronic illness and pain... it is very likely she has spent her day's energy quota by the time she gets home. If she's the primary house=keeper.. that would not help much. The more he pitches in.. the more energy she might have for other things.

Sorry, no magic bullets but ... this situation as described by Dan sounded a bit one-dimensional to me. There's always more to every situation... more things to look at than the obvious. If someone is chronically ill and in pain... sex may or may not ever be on the table, but trying OTHER things rather than dealing with sexual situation directly.. well, it could help.
I have so many questions on this one. If she is that ill I would assume she sees a doctor on a pretty regular basis? Is she healing and it's a slow process or is this something more permanent? Not knowing the answers to some pertinent information, I say go with her to her next doctor appointment and talk to the doctor with her there about your situation. Has she been on anti-depressants? Is she in some kind of pain management? Pain and depression very often go hand in hand and managing both may help save your marriage. Put all of the cards on the table and don't hold anything back. She needs to know how invested you are in her and that not being able to sit down and talk about this is killing you. Let her know that for the sake of your own sanity that there needs to be a positive change in your sex life for your marriage to have any chance of survival. Good luck to you both.

Also, great advice from Kim and EricaP.
I don't know that I would go so far as to call her tears emotional blackmail. That may be her honest reaction to the thought of her husband fucking someone else. The question is whether she refuses to talk about it because she's crying, or whether her husband immediately backs off once he sees the tears.

Difficult conversations are difficult, and they often invoke strong emotions. But adults need to power through them to get resolution. From the letter, it's not clear who isn't being the adult here.
I think 65 has a good point that she may not be able to include sex in the current setup and it seems worthwhile to try to change the circumstances so that sex becomes possible again.

On the other hand, I doubt this will work in practice. That is an answer that should have come up after two years or at most ten. If something like that was going to work, it was going to work long ago.

She cries and accuses him of wanting to leave her because she knows that is the logical end of this situation. He should leave her, she knows it, and she tries to preempt it by immediately going there when they discuss the problem. She goes to the ultimate step as a way of avoiding any of the intermediate steps.

I don't agree with Dan that cheating is the answer in this situation though. She is not going to tolerate it, and even in a no fault state he is likely to get screwed in the division of property one way or another. It will also poison their relationship. I know that sounds odd to think of when I am advocating divorce, but is possible that they can go on being friends after divorce if there is no betrayal during the marriage. People do manage that. He probably would like to maintain some relationship with someone who he has been close to for half his life. That won't be possible once she catches him cheating on her.

Tl;dr: Do divorce her, don't cheat on her
Great advice @65, beziehungsweise!
To all the "monogamists" weighing in, I think Dan is actually taking a page out of Andrew Sullivan's book with the term. Andrew differentiates between Christians (normal folk) and Christianists (fundamentalists who want to impose their narrow view of Christianity on everyone else, whether we want it or not).

Likewise, I think he's trying to differentiate the monogamous from the monogamists. The monogamous are those who are in that sort of relationship because it works for them and they see it as the best option. Monogamists are those who think that this option is the only workable one and that any degree of openess in the marriage is immoral, will lead to marital chaos, is the sign of a marriage in decline etc. That is to say, a monogamist is a monogamous person who sees strict monogamy as the only acceptable relationship type. @27 is a monogamist, people saying "well I'm monogamous but I can see where this situation may be different" are not.
I can't imagine giving advice on so little information. Dan, I don't know how you do this. Most of the comments here ask really pertinent questions, the answers to which I think are pretty necessary to make an accurate assessment.

Since lack of information have never stopped me in the past, I shall give it a go. The options:
1. Stay with marriage. Don't cheat. Be miserable.
2. Stay with marriage. Cheat. Manage potential cheater anxiety/STD's. Possibly be less miserable.
3. Talk about it, tears be damned, with or without a therapist. Maybe better, maybe end of marriage.
4. Divorce, no discussion.

Knowing full well we were not given the full story, I say start with #3. You have to be able to have the tough conversations, I think, if you want some sort of fulfilling relationship. I would say, insist she discuss it, again. If she declines, or if the discussion does not alter the situation, then consider options 1, 2 and 4.

This situation sucks.
As a general monogamist (with exceptions for these situations consensually and with communication, apparently this makes me monogamous and not "monogamist"), I'd probably push towards divorce before cheating.

"not to the point where she’s not able to work or do many normal activities" makes it sound like the issue's more psychological (or even a psychosomatic illness) than physical.
She's unwilling to compromise and emotionally blackmailing him to shut him up, even if it is out of a genuine sense of insecurity, every time he raises the issue to try to address it.

He needs to lay it all out for her, like he did in this letter, and give her a little time to think it over. Then if she still won't discuss it, or won't compromise in some way, he needs to leave. A partner's illness is not a shackle. It's generous of him to stay with her out of concern, but it's not fair to anyone. It sounds like she can take care of herself, so it's not like he'd be leaving her to die.
I just read a few more comments and people have great questions!!! I love Dan's column but.. there's more to this story than we were given. He didn't ask anything much, nor did he consider the whole picture. A person who is ill is unlikely to have a strong libido. Chronic pain, illness and depression go together.

And one more thought.. often when there is an ill spouse and the other is a caregiver, the caregiver gets burned out/ exhausted and has little libido also. Not hearing that here.. hm.

Wondering how much he helps her with daily tasks. One commenter was brilliant- said she'd dealt with chronic illness and had little energy at the end of her workday. Rather than discussing sex sex sex.. maybe they could discuss instead how to decrease her responsibilities to give her body a break. That could boost health, mood, energy (and tada, libido.. ) more than anything I can think of.

I love Dan's column but I think he kind of blew it here, perhaps cos he was a bit fixated on the whole monogamy issue. I think this couple has a bigger problem, personally...
This is NONogamy, and that is grounds to DTMFA.
@61 "Am I the only one disgusted by the emotional blackmail here by the wife? Ill or no, bursting into tears to shut down any conversation about sex IS doing emotional violence to a partner."

I am too. Plus, I've had periods of chronic pain/depression before and sex usually *alleviates* pain and unhappiness, and helps renew the bond of your relationship-all good things. Plus this guy sounds like someone who would be GGG and would really care about doing it right.

I can't really think of an illness where you can work and do normal actvities, but can't have sex. I mean, it's not for us to judge, I guess, whether her claim is valid, but it sounds like perhaps this is just an excuse-which means it's extra shitty and manipulative. He's buying that explanation, but maybe he shouldn't.
@83 and others. This is one of many "my wife won't fuck me" letters. This one--unlike the others--was explicitly presented as a hypothetically "pure" case of the cheat/divorce/chop-your-cock-off dilema.

Therefore, clarifying question--while a touching meditation on this anonymous and unknowable individual--are rather beside the point.
@19 & @65 have it - this is a deep physical and psychological issue for his wife. She needs therapy and to make more of an effort at her personal life, the rest be damned, if her marriage is at all important to her. This means that the husband might have to pick up some slack with regards to the household/kids/money. But if their marriage is a priority, they will do it. And it might all fall apart anyway.

I am in a monogamous marriage, for what it's worth, and I would rather eat glass than let my relationship fall apart. If I or my spouse weren't satisfied with any aspect of our relationship, I would hope that we would commit to fixing it, whatever it took, even if it meant relinquishing monogamy. Or maybe just getting separate bathrooms (no marriage is perfect).
Having said that, @65 has a good point as well. I feel sorry for them both.
Jeez. So you married her in sickness and in health as long as sickness doesn't mean she's unable to have sex. Hope you remembered to add this caveat to your vows.
This is coming from a poly woman:

"she becomes very defensive and will typically cry and say that she fears that I'll leave her."

Then, instead of being patient and supportive when she starts to cry and freak out about you leaving her, tell her the truth: that without a resolution, you just might.

In my opinion, honesty is the best way to go about this sort of thing, as long as it's possible. It sounds like he's tried everything but a very hard truth, and a very hard conversation, because when he has, she's stopped that conversation with tears and fears. It's entirely possible that working past those fears will not only open up new options in their relationship, but might remove some of the negative stigma she has been feeling about sex, a stigma that has probably grown the more it's talked about and made her less interested in having it, even on her pain-free days.
@76, I agree that difficult conversations can bring up strong emotions and that maturity dictates you muscle through it and discuss what needs to be discussed.

However, from his email it appears he has brought up the subject multiple times. Even if he backed off a little too early each time, the fact he didn't entirely drop the matter should indicate to her it's something that requires discussion. Her failure to address it is indeed a failure. It sounds like she's content to suppress the topic.
Please please PLEASE follow up with this guy and make sure he reads this post and this comments thread. And then, again, after he decides what to do so that we know how this plays out. I'm really rooting for her to come to her senses.
As someone who has a chronic condition all I can say is she needs to cut the bs, stop feeling sorry for herself and maybe, just maybe cut her husband some slack & stop the emotional blackmail. If you have a chronic condition & you know what it is then it's your responsibility to do the work & not make other people carry the burden. If she can't do that he should find someone else & either 'cheat' or divorce her. There are many questionable "illnesses" out there that people use as excuses for not getting on with things. Of course, we've just got his side of the story but if it's even half true the guy deserves a medal.
What I don't understand about Dan's position in these scenarios is what reason does the guy have to stay?

If a man in this situation goes outside his marriage and finds a young, healthy woman who likes sex, and likes having it with him, he'd be a fucking fool to stay in the marriage, no matter how "committed" he is or how guilty he feels for ditching a chronically ill spouse.

So why even suggest cheating? Cheating will only result in divorce under these circumstances. The ONLY benefit to cheating is that he'll have his new girlfriend/living situation already lined up before he's served with divorce papers.
They're not monogamous. They're celibate. Not the same thing at all. And not a marriage, in many cultures and traditions.

Time to lay the cards on the table. "I understand that you have fears and issues with regards to me getting my sexual needs met. But I can't live my life this way. I want to stay married to you. If you are unable/unwilling to continue the sexual part of our marriage, then we need to work this out in order to stay married. Your need for no sex is being met. My need for sex is not. That situation is not equitable and cannot continue. What I would like is for us to agree on boundaries and parameters - i.e., I have sex only with partners you approve, I only perform certain acts and not others, I only have sex with a given person x number of times - whatever will work to ease your insecurity about this. I love you and want to stay with you, but you are torturing me."
Sex for some is a want, not a need- optional. Sex for others is actually a physical need that must be met or insanity ensues.
Dump this woman if you love her. She will never meet your needs and you are only delaying the inevitable end. I'm sorry for your awful situation, but many have been where you are, and have left their spouses to remain sane and try to find happiness.
Our culture is hopelessly sex-negative, as many comments above indicate. The sooner a person understands themselves enough to know if sex is a want or a need, all cards need to go on the table, and more suitable mates should be found.
I can add that I am in a similar situation as this man, but it is my husband who became ill soon after we married 12 years ago. I used to feel angry and cheated as I love sex, have a strong drive, and we had a lovely time before the illness. Also, I really wanted children. I remain monogamous though I do have the blessing of my husband to do whatever I need to do. I choose not to. It would change what we have. Sex for the sake of sexual release is not what I want. We are intimate in touching and words and the love we share. Sometimes I will masturbate with him watching but do it mostly on my own. I have an active sexual fantasy life with him and sometimes it almost seems real. I write down fantasies for him and do dramatic readings of them for him, which he loves. I found exercise and creative outlets for my sexual energy. I think that if the illness does prevent sex and monogamy is what you want, a little imagination goes a long way.
Might have to get a divorce here
I agree that the wife needs to get some counseling because honestly, if she's well enough to work, she's well enough to have SOME form of sex. My boyfriend and I both have physically strenuous jobs and recurring injuries and though I realize these are not the same as a long term chronic illness, my point is, because we **want** to, we are able to be sexual with each other at the end of a long day. We enjoy the intimacy and on days when we're not up to the full shebang, there are plenty of manual and oral ways to have fun together that even if everyone doesn't have an orgasm have given us intimacy and satisfaction that help keep our relationship strong. But the desire has to be there! He says he'll accept any type of sex, and if she won't put on lingerie and talk dirty to him or SOMETHING, then she (and they) needs some help with the psychological/self esteem/intimacy issues that are keeping that from happening.
Sad story.
Divorce. Don't cheat.

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