Dear Dr. Harley,
I met my wife on a BBS chatline. We hit it off, fell in love, and got married
about a year after we met. A couple of months after we got married I found out
that my wife was still sending love letters on the BBS, but they were not to me. They
were to someone else. I asked my wife about it. She said she would never cheat on me
and that this was just a pretend game. I told her to knock it off and she apologized and
stopped the game.
I got bored with the BBS shortly after our marriage. But my wife has refused to quit,
and still communicates with the same guy. I'm having a problem with it. I know my
wife is not unfaithful but I am still upset about it.
I have lost a lot of respect and love I had for her and she's mad at me because I have
been cool to her. At first, we had a great sex life, but now she feels it is the least
important part of a relationship. Do you have any advice?
People fall in love with those who meet their most important emotional needs. The
way you communicated with your wife on a BBS chatline met her emotional needs, and
she fell in love with you because of it. You probably revealed some of your deepest
feelings and she did the same. You communicated emotional interest and support for
each other. If you had continued sending each other love letters on the chatline, I
suppose you would have continued to meet her emotional needs.
Your problem arose when you stopped sending her love letters. The reason she kept
right on doing it (with someone else) was that it was extremely important to her to
receive the affection she got from those letters and she missed it terribly. She found
someone else to take your place when you quit.
You mention how upset you were when you found her writing love letters to someone
else. Granted, that would upset anyone. But if you remain cool and unforgiving to your
wife, you may as well kiss your marriage goodbye. She married you because she thought
you cared about her, but if you distance yourself from her, she'll find someone else on
the internet that's easy to get along with. Don't risk it.
Sex isn't as important for your wife as it is for you. That's the way it is for most
women. The reason you had such great sex at first was that she was in love with you.
Women in love like sex with the one they love, but they usually don't need it. When
they're out of love, they generally don't like it anymore. Most women are repulsed
when they make love to a man they don't love. She probably was more turned on with
the affection you gave her writing her letters than she was lying next to you in bed.
You, me, and most other men I know, don't feel the same way. Real sex with a live
person in the same room is usually much more fulfilling to men than love letters. That's
probably why you stopped giving them to her. You now have her in person, so why
write her any letters.
The solution to your problem is to find some way to meet her need for affection and
conversation without having to use the internet. After all, you live together now. But
you probably communicated your affection for each other 1000 times more effectively
when you were using the chatline. Perhaps you didn't know how to do it any other
Now's the time to learn, before you and your wife loose everything you felt for each
other. You simply must take the time and be as creative as you were when you were
using the chatline. You may even want to look at some of the letters you wrote each
other to understand what you did then that's now missing in your conversations.
I don't think she'll ever be as interested in sex as you. But she'll like it as much
as she did when your sexual relationship was the hottest, if you meet her needs for
affection and conversation the way you once did. She can't meet your needs if you don't
In summary, pay close attention to my basic concepts. Copy
the Love Busters Questionnaire to see if you're doing anything to turn her off (like
being "cool" to her). Have her fill out the Emotional Needs Questionnaire. I'll bet she
would agree with me that what you were once doing on the internet to meet her
emotional need for affection and conversation has vanished. Get to work!
Your problem is very common, and I have the solution. Learn to meet her
emotional needs, stop doing things that upset her, and follow my
Policy of Joint Agreement.
Then you will be in love with each other and bingo--sex will become spectacular!