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Baggage Check

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Baggage Check: A desire to fix the problem

By Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior (that's BONN-yer!) is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and writer. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology focusing on individual and group psychotherapy for young adults and specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression.

Q: We’ve been married six years, together for 11, and he would have sex all the time if he could, but I never want to. My friends are shocked when I tell them that we haven’t been intimate in four to six months, and they say that it’s only a matter of time before he gets it elsewhere. I think he’s not happy with the situation, but he understands. Is this really so bad?

The person to answer that question, of course, is your husband, whose opinion on this is far more important than that of your friends (or some psychologist).

My question: To what extent is this a change from before? The extremes of both of your stances make it hard to know where to begin, but I’m guessing you could benefit from pushing yourself a bit. Get a physical checkup, rule out medicinal or hormone issues, examine the patterns of when you’ve wanted it more and what’s changed and start journaling. A little openness – to your underlying feelings and your dormant desires – can go a long way toward getting the ball rolling again and finding that sweet spot between “always” and “never.”

Q: I’m in charge of a work team of five people, two of whom I suspect are dating. I think this is counterproductive and unprofessional, and although they are both single and not doing anything illegal, I want to take the young woman aside and give her advice as someone who’s been there, done that. And as her boss, I want to tell her I think it’s getting in the way of her work. Without evidence, though, is that inappropriate?

You don’t want to be inappropriate in your quest to condemn something inappropriate. If you have no personal relationship with her and are not the least bit a mentor, it could be overstepping bounds to talk with her without evidence of something. But if you want to talk with her purely as a friend, and you have the respect and intimacy to support this, you need to make it clear that what you’re saying is not a direct performance evaluation.

By all means, though, if she’s not performing up to par, discuss that in its own right and see what comes up. And make sure your own past experiences aren’t unduly flavoring your opinion of this situation.

Andrea Bonior is a clinical psychologist and the author of “The Friendship Fix.” www.drandreabonior.com.
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