“Don’t underestimate the impact of your physical situation.” — Stan Tatkin Psy.D.
When we were still dating, my boyfriend and now husband of 12 years, were like rabbits. Sex here, sex there, and sex everywhere. No corner in my apartment or his condo was left unblessed by our act of “love,” and he was such a God in the bed, table, chair, floor, and balcony… ok, I’ll stop there. What I want to stress out is that twelve years ago, our physical intimacy was off the roof.
Now, if you ask me about our sex life, it’s almost non-existent. We don’t have sex that much anymore and our last “encounter” was I think on my birthday. I became 38 about two months ago. It wasn’t even that good for he had a quickie and I was left wanting for more.
“In our 21st century culture, an intimate relationship that contains good sex is the stated ideal. Yet more than 10 percent of committed couples are having sex with each other only rarely, if at all, and yet consider themselves to be in a happy relationship.” — Isadora Alman MFT, CST
At first, I didn’t mind it. My husband was so pressured at work with his quota and all. I understood him at that time. One week became two and the weeks flew to a month. I would start with my sexy advances, and he’d say – “Oh, I would love to hun, but I’m so tired. Can we do it this weekend?” Of course, I’d say yes and then, the weekend came. Still, there was another reason and then another, and another. He shrugs it off and forgets about the whole thing. I mean, who would intentionally forget about sex?
I questioned myself. What is happening here? Is there something wrong? Am I not good enough for him? Does he not find me attractive anymore? Or maybe it’s because I’m too fat? I did gain about 15 pounds after my last delivery. He is not a fan of chubby women, I know that. What he wants is a slim and athletic woman who is not me right now. Or the worse, IS HE HAVING AN AFFAIR?
My husband doesn’t like confrontations, and in the few instances that I questioned him about something personal, it didn’t end well. I had no one to talk to about my problem, and it was making me anxious. The once happy and jolly me was also very depressed. Once I hit that “something is wrong with me” realization, I made a brilliant move for myself and my marriage. My gut told me to ring a psychiatrist for assistance and I’m so glad that I did it.
“The elusive intimacy we seek doesn’t congeal through the knee jerk reaction of criticizing and attacking our loved ones.” — John Amodeo Ph.D., MFT
She was able to talk me out of overthinking the whole situation, and on doubting myself. I hated all of that when it plagued my weak mind. It made me insecure, and my self-esteem was declining which was a lousy way of handling myself. My shrink told me that I am better than this and if I have a problem with my husband, maybe there are words to say to him that cannot offend, but still communicate how I genuinely feel.
I came to my husband on a weekend when he was relaxing on his big Papa Bear chair. My first move was asking him if we can talk. He closed Moby Dick and put down his glasses. He said that yes, he was free to speak with me. After that, I said that I love him very much and that our marriage means the world to me. I proceeded with “I want to tell you something which I hope will come to you as something constructive and repairable. Please don’t judge me and do tell me how you feel about it because I value your feelings.”
And so, I told him that I have sexual needs which haven’t been met for months. After a brief explanation from me, my husband held my hand. He said: “I’m so sorry, hun. I promise that I will do better from now on and make an effort to make you feel that you are the most attractive woman in this universe for me.” He kissed me, and you know what happened next.
It wasn’t always perfect after that. There are days when my husband would take a step back from his promise, but he would work on the issue as soon as he realizes his shortcoming. He also wanted to do a couples counseling thing and that was a good sign for me. At least, he is trying his best.