a Man


“Mentally Managing” Wife’s Celibacy

Dr. Neder:

How can I mentally-manage my wife’s choice of celibacy?


I don't know what you mean by "mentally manage celibacy", but frankly, that's not the issue at all anyway!

Your wife doesn't have the right to be celibate! If she wanted celibacy, she should have never married you!

If she needs celibacy for some medical reason (and it's temporary) that's one thing - and frankly, so rare that I'm not going to deal with it in this message. On any other hand, read on...

When you took your vows during your wedding, you likely promised to "...forsake all others..." In other words; you promised that you wouldn't have sex with anyone else. The problem with that promise is that it's based on an assumption; another "vow" as it were: that your partner would be making sure you had the sex you needed in order to maintain the level of relationship-promise a marriage requires.

You see, this is a vow just as much as forsaking all others is a vow.

If your wife is now choosing celibacy - and the reason (other than as I've already stated) is totally irrelevant - then you no longer have the responsibility to live by YOUR vows either! Thus, you SHOULD NOT "mentally manage" this! In fact, you should be one damn, pissed-off guy! You’re being “cheated on” by your wife!

As I've already stated, your wife does not have the right to make the decision for you or your marriage. If she's having libido problems then:

1) Get her checked out by a doctor to determine why that's happening. If it's a medical issue, the doctor can help her and your problem is; for all intents, solved.

2) If not medical, she needs to seek some emotional counseling to determine if her libido problems are mental/emotional instead. If so, the doctor can again help her here.

3) If neither of these things, then this is a choice - and one she has no right to make. Likewise, you can't demand sex from her, but you can do this instead:

Explain to her that she has a responsibility (a "promise") to you and your marriage. If she's unwilling to uphold her responsibility, then she is giving you clear and specific permission to get your sexual needs met outside the marriage.

Further, she needs to understand that if; by finding this new sexual partner, you also fall in love with that person, this sham-marriage will be over and she'll have to accept that fact knowing that she created it.

Don't "mentally manage" something so ridiculous as celibacy. You have rights here too if only you'll stand up for them.

Best regards...

© 2010, Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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Relationship is a pervading and changing mystery...brutal or lovely, the mystery waits for people wherever they go, whatever extreme they run to. - Euroda Welty

Dr. Dennis W. Neder is the author of Being a Man in a Woman's World I and Being a Man in a Woman's World II. Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? You can write to him by going to: for answers. Check out the discussion group at: . Stay tuned for our new Internet TV Show - BAM TV - starting soon!

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