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Friday, 28 January 2011

Losing It: A Couple's Crisis

Written by  Silvet Sufar Shalit, PhD

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Jack, 56, and Rose, 49, have been married for 25 years. They have three children aged 24, 21 and 19. Rose works as a financial advisor in a bank. Jack is a lawyer in a private office.

Rose: Jack, we need to talk.

Jack: You sound serious, is there anything wrong? Are you feeling OK?

Rose: Let's have some coffee in the kitchen.

They sit down in the kitchen.

Jack: Rose, what's on your mind?

Rose: I feel we're growing apart Jack. I feel like you're avoiding me. You seem distant and withdrawn.

Jack: You know how busy I've been.

Rose: That's not it. You've always been busy. That's nothing new. What is unusual is your not coming to bed at night. For a few weeks now you've been consistently avoiding going to bed with me. You either have to work a little longer, or you want to watch something on TV, or you say you're not tired yet. Anything, just any excuse to avoid coming to bed. I want to know what's going on. Is there another woman? I want the truth Jack.

Jack: No, Rose, there is no other woman in my life.

Rose: So what is it then? Is it because I'm aging and not that sexually attractive to you anymore?

Jack: No Rose, I'm attracted to you.

Rose: So what is it? Why haven't you gotten that excited the last few times we've been together?

Jack: It has nothing to do with you. I've just had ...(he pauses) trouble with my erection. It had nothing to do with being un-attracted or un-excited. Something was happening with the erection and the more I failed, the more I was afraid to approach you.

Rose: Why didn't you say anything to me about it? I was going crazy thinking that something was going wrong between us, that something was wrong with me.

Jack: I hoped that it was temporary, that if I waited it might go away.

Rose: Didn't it go through your mind what this might do to me? Didn't you think that I might feel rejected?

Jack: I was scared and preoccupied. You don't know how upset I've been with all this. One minute I was denying it was happening and the other I was worried sick that it was the end of my sexual life. I just can't face losing my virility.

Rose: You should have talked to me, Jack. For Pete's sake we're not in the Middle Ages. We can do something. We can consult a specialist. I'm sure that there's something I can do to help you.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 09:37
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Silvet Sufar Shalit, PhD

Dr. Silvet Sufar Shalit is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She is a certified clinical psychologist with twenty years experience in psychotherapy.. She works in a psychiatrist outpatient clinic and has a private practice. with twenty years experience in psychotherapy. Silvet studied acting in New York, freelances as a creative writer and is an accomplished photographer. Silvet Sufar Shalit is the mother of Eitan, a 20-year-old autistic young man.

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