S from Texas asks:
My husband has had many excuses for his lack of desire for me in the bedroom over the years. From emotional hang ups to health issues, but he always insists that it has nothing to do with his love for me. The lack of intimacy in and out of the bedroom has left me with feelings of loneliness, and, more so now, resentment and anger for continuing what appears to be a one-sided and loveless relationship. I want to be more to someone than just their housekeeper. I have tried to talk to him about this time and time again, but it seems as though he is happy to believe that we do not have any problems and our marriage is OK. I’m not happy, and I don’t know what else to do. I can’t get through to him.
Greetings, S. It’s not uncommon in our modern, mind-numbing lives for the gauges of our sensual perception to become stuck. When they do, our existence fails to be the sumptuous banquet of promise we felt in youth and becomes a drudgery with survival our only goal. Long-term relationships generally suffer the most. Monogamous partnerships weren’t designed with passion and high romance in mind. They are social contracts, good for breeding and material maintenance. It is only fairly recently that we began thinking that our marriages should contain all the elements we need for our emotional and sexual well-being. We demand a partner who is a good business person, good parent, good provider and wanton sex machine with eyes only for us. We burden our mates and our marriages with ludicrous expectations, and should just one of these requirements not be met, we toss the whole affair aside and start the frantic search for perfection all over again.
When dealing with problems of sexuality, we find ourselves in a crazed and hazy inner world where most decline to tread at all. Your husband is legitimately troubled, and you do him no service by taking his problem and making it your issue. This isn’t his way of attacking you. He isn’t trying to hurt or reject you. But somewhere along the way, he did stop trusting you. He knows you don’t really desire him so much as you desire that he notice you. You have a tremendous need for sexual validation. You want him to make you feel sexy. The two of you are being dishonest with each other, and an utter lack of communication is a big part of the problem.
First of all, whenever a person confides that there are emotional and/or physical impediments to sexual expression, we have to see them not as lame excuses, but as valid and very frightening concerns. I want you to encourage your husband to seek professional help for both his psychological and medical issues. I realize he has many fears, but he doesn’t have to live like this. Physical pleasure and release is a vital part of a healthy mind and body. Though your husband might act indifferent to his lack of desire, I feel he is actually very tortured by all of this in ways he’s not sharing with you. His life seems to be one of high stress, with many obligations constantly clamoring at him. Male sexuality is a bit more complicated than it might seem. It relies on a very delicate balance between the masculine yang attributes of personality and a feminine yin trigger. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems have to be in alignment for the male sexual response to work at all. Any imbalance will kill the male sex drive quick. When I look at this situation, I feel that you need to bring some yin flow back into the stress-fest that is your life.
Sensual communication takes place on a very subtle level. By approaching your husband directly and demanding he speak to you about the very personal issues of his sexual dysfunctions, you employed an expressive mode filled with direct and combative yang energy. As a result, he felt threatened and retreated into a defensive posture. You need to begin communicating in a more sensual form. Avoid the male dominant energies of keeping up with the Joneses and maintaining your membership at the country club. Infuse your home environment with softer shades and soothing music. Burn incense of the finest and most exotic scents. Wear heavy eye make up. Dress in silk and go barefoot. Avoid alcohol as it has a male energy and get your bodies talking to each other again. Use your eyes, your expressions, your slight touches and sighs to convey your interest in everything he says, whether it’s interesting or not. Above all, start trying to be his friend. You’ve made sex into a sacred cow of contention and control. Talk to him about anything else. If you really have to talk at all. Personally, I think you two could use some simmering silence for a change.
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