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Strawberry Letter: The Man I Married Is Killing My Love Life

Dear Shirley and Steve,

I am a very unhappily married 48-year-old black woman. The man I am married to is white, not that should matter, but it does. Shortly after getting married I realized that the man I married does not understand me as a woman, much less a black woman. We have not been intimate in nearly ten years and have been married for 11 years. I have been in love with another man for over a year now. We were waiting for my youngest child (from my first marriage) to graduate high school before starting our life together. I know morally we are wrong, but my heart was out of this marriage long before I met this wonderful man. Well, here we are weeks away from my daughter’s graduation and the man I married became ill. While it would be easy for most women to just walk away from a man who does not support her financially or emotionally, and has even used the “N” word on more than one occasion and called me a “B” word even after I told him, to me that’s like calling a white woman the “C” word. Well, the man I married loves food and that love has almost cost him his life. He is about 450 pounds and now has to wear a colostomy bag that I have to change and keep clean for him on top of working a full-time job. He doesn’t try to take care of it himself he’ll just say “I can’t do it”. He has no true friends and although his family only lives 20 minutes away from us, they don’t come to see him. He refers to himself a jerk and he is proud of this. Everything within me wants to just leave and start a new life with the man I love and who loves me. But I feel it would be so wrong to leave this man with no one to take care of him. My friends and family all say I should just go, what do you think?

P.S. I refer to him as “the man I married” not my husband, because I feel a husband is an honorable title that he does not deserve.

Listen to Shirley and Steve respond to this letter below:


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