I married my husband 14 years ago after a traumatic seven-year abusive (but passionate) relationship with a man who finally committed suicide.
My husband was my saviour – literally. He was everything my ex-boyfriend wasn’t – a gentleman, a man of his word and a man who thought highly of me and adored me. I was not in love with him, but I appreciated him and his noble character. We got married and now have two boys.
Sex has never been emotionally fulfilling for me. Although it’s physically satisfying, I always feel empty. Now, I have started looking at other men, longing for someone who I can feel passionate about. I flirt online and have many infatuations.
My husband has now found out that I have been texting a man. I haven’t had any affairs, just flirting, but know I will if I find a man I have feelings for.
I feel I should leave my husband and start afresh, but my family tell me I’m being selfish, especially because the boys’ lives will be rocked. Am I being selfish to want to have a fulfilling relationship? I feel so confused.
First of all, don’t confuse passion with a volatile and abusive relationship. Passion exists in loving, respectful partnerships.
Look, right from the start, you admired your husband, but that spark of excitement and sexual chemistry wasn’t there. And 14 years on, it’s still not there.
I understand how much he’s done for you, but you can’t help the way you feel – and is it selfish to leave? Wouldn’t staying with someone you’re not in love with be wasting his time?
I think you’re right, you will have an affair if you meet someone you like and who pays you attention – that would hurt him more. I think unless you can work out how to put that passion into your lives, you need to have a trial separation to confirm how you feel.
It’s always hard for kids when their parents separate but, as I’ve said many times, there are ways of doing it so they feel reassured and loved by both of you and the impact on their lives is managed.
* More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems