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You Asked: My Friend Is Having Marriage Problems

Dear Sugar,

I have a friend who was dating this great girl. Things were going well, but he had to move away for his career, and they kept up a long-distance relationship. He recently came back to her and they got married, but something had changed. He says that she’s avoiding being intimate with him. She rejects most of his advances and refuses to make any of her own.

He’s worried that she may no longer be in love with him. She behaves like a close friend or a mother, which devastates him because he’s so attracted to her. When confronted, she says it isn't him and that she'll try harder, but can't or won't offer any reasons for her distance.

He's a great guy, but he’s starting to have some real self-confidence issues. He’s finding all these things that are wrong with himself: He's too short, he's too skinny, he isn't handsome enough, he isn't home often enough, he pesters her too much, doesn't buy her enough expensive things, and so on and so forth. He's getting awfully depressed, and I swear he's going to have a hypertensive coronary explosion from all this stress. I don't like to see my friend unhappy like this, and I don't want him to have to come to me with something this serious. Please help me think of something to help my friend.

— Concerned Carrie

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Concerned Carrie,

It's great that you are so sympathetic but honestly, the best thing you can do is to offer your support and a listening ear. The things is, there's really not much more you can do, since this problem is between your friend and his wife. You should encourage him to talk to her more, to get to the bottom of why she is acting so distant and uninterested in him. She's obviously unhappy too, so maybe she'll agree to go to couples counseling so they can work through this and repair their marriage.

If she refuses to talk to him or go to counseling, do you feel like she might feel comfortable confiding in you as a fellow woman and concerned friend of her husband's? Before you confront her, ask your friend if he'd be OK with you talking to her.

If he's not into that idea, just continue to be a loving friend to him. Encourage him to keep communicating with his wife. An emotionally supportive friend is really what he needs right now, so just keep doing what you're doing.


Join The Conversation
crocketp crocketp 9 years
Sounds to me like she was having an affair. Birth control doesn't affect your sex drive "that" much. She found someone else, and was having sex with THAT person instead.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I wonder if he talks to her as much as he talks to you. Sex drives can dissappear sometimes, its not a huge deal, she might need to go talk to someone, change her diet, whatever, tell him to talk to her about how much its hurting him, and tell him to quit over reacting
cubadog cubadog 9 years
You just need to be a good friend. The only suggestion you can really make is they get into counselling other than that all you can do is be supportive it is not your place to get overly involved.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
Why are YOU asking about HIS marriage??? He needs to sort this out with HIS WIFE; may it be a therapist, her OBGYN, pastor, whatever . . .it shouldn't be you. You better be careful also with being so "helpful". if she gets wind of this, or you give unwanted advice, then you can be the one left a*sed-out.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
I agree to just support him, but I'm questioning why he's unloading onto you with all of his problems. Perhaps his wife is a little upset that he's confiding all of his marital problems with someone other than her? I know that if I found out my husband was telling one of his friends about all of our problems and sexual relationship, I would be a little upset. It just seems kind of odd to me. I know that you're probably just concerned about your friend's well-being in this case, but I suggest the next time he comes to you with all of his marital problems, you should refer him to a marriage counselor.
candy-apple candy-apple 9 years
oh yeah, same here on the birth control front. you could bring that up with your friend as a suggestion to what's going on- that might help his ego a bit. In this case the reason the wife's not saying anything is probably because she herself doens't know the reason for her behavior. otherwise, it could be that she fell out of love with him after they rushed into marriage. whichever situation, just be there for your friend and support him. good luck.
kia kia 9 years
Be a good friend like everyone else said. He needs to work this out with her and there could be so many possibilities ranging from something that needs to be addressed in counseling to a change in her birth control. I hope it is something simple to address like birth control. I know I switched between methods at one point and my sex drive seriously dropped and my fiance had an ego crash with it until we realized what was going on.
courtneyh courtneyh 9 years
I agree with sugar, be a good friend and always be there for him.
lemassabielle lemassabielle 9 years
I'm going to side with the woman he is married to on this one. You know why? because I'm going through the same thing right now. It's not that I'm not attracted to my boyfriend because I think he is gorgeous and he turns me on. I just don't want sex for the past few months and it doesn't even make sense to me. I feel under the weather often so I'm starting to think something might be wrong with my health. It's best you don't get involved because it's their marriage and you shouldn't intrude. If he wants to talk to you let him talk, otherwise stay quiet.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Since this is his issue, in general you just need to support him. What they should do is talk and even approach a therapist. it's so easy to poke and prod from the outside looking in but they're the ones that need to fix this.
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