I am often struck by the varying and disparate ways in which we solve problems. I am fascinated by the variety of routes people take on their way to a solution.
I saw a long time patient today whose situation provided such a great example of this concept. She is a 45 year old woman who is in a long term relationship. We had lowered her level of hormones looking toward the possibility of weaning her off of them. She told us, in this visit, that her sexual relationship has become lack-luster once again. As she put it, “I’m back to wishing he’d have more of a life, that he’d go off to hang out with his own friends, that he’d go back to scuba diving. Somehow, when he’s more independent and less involved with me he appears more distant, mysterious and the sex is better.”
We talked about her going back into therapy to discuss some of these sexual issues more explicitly with her husband. Then she sighed. “Or,” she said, “I could just go back on the higher level of testosterone. That worked too.”
She then went on to explain so poignantly and succinctly that when her general desire level was higher it didn’t seem to matter so much what was going on with her husband’s life. She wanted to have sex with him, the sex was hotter and, as a result the relationship was generally more passionate which kept the cycle going.
I can almost hear the naysayers shaking their heads…tut, tut, they’d say, you’re recommending drugs to wash away the real underlying problems. But I don’t see it that way. I see it as many roads leading to Rome. Understanding the realities of the road allows an individual to find the one that they can best travel.
So my patient had a choice to make — as many of us do in so many areas of our lives. There’s no one right way to handle things, just different routes. And we have to choose the ones that work best for us and the day to day workings of our lives.