Like many married couples, Marie and Clem are facing intimate challenge in their 22 years together. In a therapy’s session, husband Clam confesses:
“I guess I’ve tried different ways, and nothing seems to . . . to . . . ,” said Clem, who stutters when he’s challenged, or trying to plead his case. He is the personification of mild: fit and trim, with cornflower blue eyes. “It doesn’t seem like you hear me no matter how I say it.” Later, he’ll say, even more plaintively: “It sounds like you want me to initiate sex, but it’s just hard to because the answer is always no, or ‘O.K.,’ and that just doesn’t turn me on. It really takes all the wind out of my sails to know that you’re only saying yes to appease me.”
Sound familiar? You might be interested in reading New York Times Magazine’s cover story “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” by Laurie Abraham.