(Names changed to protect identities)
In India sex is taboo, talking about sexual satisfaction is considered blasphemous. But there is a gender leniency even here; men can talk about their satisfaction and fantasies. Men can also talk about dissatisfaction and means towards better satisfaction. So what about women and sex? More and more taboo.
My client Girish was very hesitant to describe his problem; he kept beating about the bush. The first call went on talking about nothing significant. To him I’m sure it was a waste of time, but I knew this would help him built a rapport and some confidence. Then he called a week later. This time I didn’t allow him to deviate and told him to come straight to the point.
It wasn’t working
Girish is an architect and his wife Sukrithi is a nurse and they have two sons. This couple is happily settled in Madurai. Happy for the world, but their world was cracking up. The reason? His wife was not sexually satisfied with him. After they had their second child, things fell apart in their bedroom. There was a huge chasm in their bed. Girish didn’t understand her change of attitude. When he spoke to his friends, they said it was postpartum depression. So for a year he took it in his stride. Things didn’t get better, until finally she dropped the bomb, “You are not able to satisfy me these days.”
It shook his confidence and sent him into a state of shock for the next few days. He feared going home, dreading to go to bed and hear her statements of dissatisfaction. Four days in a row he went back home late and then called in sick in the night. The next week he went on an unofficial official trip to Germany. On returning he confronted his wife to know what was wrong with their sex life. All that she would say was that he wasn’t satisfying her currently.
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This worked very negatively on his libido and he suffered from premature ejaculation. And then her dissatisfaction and complaining increased. His sexual life slowly crept into his family life, where he and his wife had fights every time they crossed each other’s path. He started carrying family worries into his work place and remained frustrated right through the office hours. It was very hard for him to believe that such a flourishing architect would become dysfunctional in his workplace. He lost two major clients because he was unable to control his anger.
This was when he called me, referred by another client of mine. There was a lot of novelty in Girish’s case. I actually asked him to meet a psychologist who deals in sexual issues, but he didn’t have the confidence to go and talk to another person. I also wanted to know what Sukrithi had to say about the state her husband was in, but according to him she wasn’t willing to talk to any professionals. This meant that I had to work with the information I received from Girish and make things better for him.
Confidence is key
So my first aim with Girish was to help him regain his lost self-confidence, as I had the confidence that if I did that then he would go and talk to the apt professional to get help. By then he had completely lost his professional focus. He wasn’t able to meet his clients.
On probing further, he told me that his wife said, “My friends tell me that their husbands hold on long. So how come you can’t sustain?” She would say this to him in bed and he would promptly lose it.
“I want to prove my success and make her happy so I would brace myself, but she would say something challenging and the pressure would build and I would fail miserably,” said Girish to me in a message.
He thus had become totally dysfunctional. Everything about his life was related to this one factor. After four rounds of counselling he developed the confidence to have a talk with his wife. All that she had to say was he was not as good as before and that he should try better.
Girish is seeing a therapist now. But she wasn’t willing to go to a counsellor.
Two to tango
Sexual issues aren’t an individual problem but a couple problem; therefore both the partners together have to resolve them. If one is only pointing fingers and the other is left to solve it, it actually destroys the harmony. In this case, it’s a good sign that Girish is taking help, but his wife should be more supportive and understanding. When she doesn’t understand, the pressure on him mounts. Girish is actually trying to make the relationship work; similarly, she should stop blaming and complaining. She should be more supportive in her words and action so that he can help himself.