Counselling

Intimacy missing in marriage, please help

My husband keeps putting off sex
Sad girl

Question:

I have been married for 1 year and a half. Ours was an arranged marriage but we dated for a few months before. In the course of time before marriage my husband had initiated sex talks with me and though it had seemed a bit weird at first I had indulged in it later on thinking maybe that’s the way it is supposed to proceed. Back then we had started talking intimately almost every day. After our honeymoon was over and a few months into the marriage however things have changed drastically. He never initiated sex and doesn’t even touch me intimately. Yes, we are playful and yes I have expressed my desires to him so many times but he denies that anything is wrong. He says he likes when I initiated and is not rejecting me but when I try initiating, he just shows that he is being ticklish and somehow postpones making out. We have since then gone on a few outings away from home and even then nothing happened except on our anniversary when again I initiated. We live in a joint family but recently when our folks were away for months I had hoped something would happen but nothing did. His job is stressful but could that be the only reason? I have communicated what I feel about this to him. I break down after a few weeks every time. I hold back at other times. I fail to understand why things have changed so drastically and if this is how things are in the beginning wonder what will happen later on. I told him the last time that maybe I will go to a therapist but he is always in denial mode that there is no need to go as we will have sex someday (like on a vacation or some weekend) but that day doesn’t come. I miss those few times that we did it. I turned to porn a few times but I started to cry and now the very thought of sex is something that I am trying to deviate my mind away from. My husband is great otherwise. A provider- yes, a carer-yes, a playful friend-yes but a passionate lover -I guess that’s too much to ask for. I am not able to discuss this with anyone for the fear of coming across as a failure. I don’t know what to do.

Relationship counselling

Answer:

Hi,
First, since you (referring to you both) have had sex on a few dispersed occasions we’ll take it for granted that there’s no physical problem with the act. Yes, many couples like to initiate sex talks so that it is a gradual progression and not an awkward first night.

You said that few months into marriage he changed… May be there was something that happened. If you recall any incidence or any chance remarks that can give you a clue into this change. There are many issues that need to be looked in to. Is he having difficulty in actual act? Is he finding arousal difficult? With you or otherwise? Stress could be one of the reasons but unlikely the only one. Sexual orientation also needs to be looked into.

It’s good that you have tried to discuss this with him. May be you need to drive home the point. Ask if it’s okay for you to withhold food from him. Sex is also a basic need and fulfillment of it within the permitted social boundaries is your right. Also ask him if he can suggest what he’d want you to do or what he’d do in a similar situation. These discussions are bound to be hard and may not give results in one go. But if you are serious about it he’ll eventually respond. In any case, do not accuse or issue ultimatums but seek a dialogue.

Do look within. Remember, it’s not your fault or inadequacy. Watch for early signs of depression or loss of self esteem. Porn can be a short term solution, not a long-term answer. And if all else fails, get a family member that you trust, involved. Going to a therapist is definitely a step in the right direction. Sooner done, the better.

Dr Avani Tiwari

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