August 8, 2022

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Ten years ago, psychosexual therapist and relationship counsellor Mary O’Conor became the Sunday Independent’s agony...

Ten years ago, psychosexual therapist and relationship counsellor Mary O’Conor became the Sunday Independent’s agony aunt. To celebrate reaching the decade mark, she has revisited the thousands of Dear Mary letters and selected the most memorable. They cover love, loss, heartbreak, infidelity, sexual orientation, cross-dressing, abuse, swinging, Covid-19 conundrums and much more. The human condition, in all its messy complexity, can be found below, along with Mary’s sage advice.
icking off in 2012, Mary advised a retiree’s wife, who was becoming increasingly frustrated with her husband – formerly a high-powered businessman – being at home and under her feet 24/7. “…if it continues like this, then I know I will not be able to stop myself one day and I will say something that will really hurt him.” 
In 2013, Mary advised a deeply religious male reader who, at times, felt suicidal because of the pleasure he derived from dressing in women’s clothes. He had no one to confide in and was terrified of his secret being discovered. “I don’t want to be like this.”
The following year, a reader sought advice about her friend’s daughter, who she knew had married her female partner. The reader felt her friend, who had campaigned against same-sex marriage, would be deeply hurt if she knew of the union. “Should I break the news to my friend gently… or should I keep my mouth shut?” she asked Mary.
In 2015, Mary advised a distressed 32-year-old reader with multiple sclerosis who, due to his illness, suffered from sexual dysfunction and felt no woman would want him because of this: “I feel consigned to the scrap heap, with no chance of my circumstances changing.”
In 2016, a woman in a long-standing marriage wrote to Mary for advice on her husband’s porn habit. Despite loving her husband, the reader could not cope with knowing he was masturbating while she was asleep or out of the house. “Why do some men resort to this at the price of their relationship?” she asked.
Prior to Valentine’s Day 2017, a male reader sought help for his wife’s swinging addiction. He had introduced her to partner-swopping, but no longer wanted it to be part of their sex life together. She however, was refusing to stop, and had also begun taking drugs. “I am in total disarray and so sorry for what I have done,” he said.
In 2018, a “forlorn dad of four boys” sought advice on his bullying wife, who he felt “hates me”.
2019 saw another distraught husband write to Mary about his wife’s alcoholism, of which she was in denial. Her drinking was putting their young children at risk and the reader felt he had no one to turn to for help. “I love her; I miss her so much,” were his poignant words.
A worried mum wrote to Mary in 2020 about her son’s two-month affair with a colleague, saying, “She evidently has had other affairs and my son isn’t sure she will leave her husband.” He wanted to move into the parental home.
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In 2021, Mary advised a woman whose husband’s dying wish was that she would marry his gay lover, of whom they were both very fond. “…the idea of going from one sexless marriage to another is a dilemma for me,” wrote the reader.

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Get your free The Best of Dear Mary booklet with the Sunday Independent on February 13

Get your free The Best of Dear Mary booklet with the Sunday Independent on February 13

 

The Best of Dear Mary: Ten years of tackling the nation’s most intimate problems appeared first on maserietv.com.