"What could account for a libido so markedly low that it countenance such a relationship?"
The above snippet is from a book I am reading now. I could not understand this part. Please help.
I am confused as to whether the question is about how such a low libido came about or how such a low libido could stem a relationship. What is the questioning referring to?
'Such a relationship' here means a marriage that is devoid of physical relationship.
I'm, not so sure. Until quite recently a subjunctive would be used after 'that' (to mean 'might/could/should countenance').
Good afternoon, Bennet.
(1) Perhaps I am a poor reader, but the question seems simple enough:
(a) Mr. and Mrs. X have a non-physical relationship.
(b) Either Mr. X or Mrs. X or both have no problem with this situation.
(c) What caused Mr. X and/or Mrs. X to have this low interest in that aspect of marriage? Trauma in their younger years? Confusion about their true orientation? Religious inhibitions? etc.
An American English view. As I've said elsewhere, the American chapter of the Society for the Protection of the Subjunctive is much more active than ours.