[Two Pronged] My husband doesn't want to have sex with me
Rappler's Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes.
Jeremy has a master's degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives
Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.
Dear Dr Holmes and Mr Baer,
I’m Lara, 28, and married for almost 4 years. The main problem is my husband's weak sex drive. He is the type of man who does not find me attractive although I am beautiful and really sexy. My OB advised me to look for you because my husband really needs to consult a sex therapist.
I told my OB that when we have sex, very often he doesn’t seem that enthusiastic, even when he nears climax. He always stops.
He is only 29, so I find it impossible that he will lose interest on sex at that early age. He also doesn’t like it when I try to entice him with sexy clothes and sexy actions. In fact, we end up fighting because he says he doesn’t like to be forced into having sex.
It really hurts me when he doesn’t give me what I need.
In one month, we make love about only twice a week, and this was ever since we got together. I do all the running and, no matter what I make him drink — be it honeymoon tea and performance enhancer tablets — there is still no effect for him.
If anything does happen he always says after that he should get a reward because of what happened.
He is not malambing, not jealous, and does not care what I do. He doesn’t care if I come home in the wee hours of the morning or if I chat with someone on the internet. I feel so lonely and I hope both of you can help us.
Thank you for your email.
In any relationship there are at least two points of view. For example, you tell us that the problem in your marriage is your husband’s weak sex drive even though you are “beautiful and really sexy” whereas you report that he does not find you attractive, dislikes being forced to have sex and doesn’t care what you do (as we are only getting information about him through you, what he actually thinks may of course be radically different).
The immediate question that arises is why on earth did you ever get married in the first place.
Of course, sometimes the participants believe in no sex before marriage which can result in disappointment if say the keenly anticipated multiple orgasms turn out to be damp squibs. Or maybe things change after the wedding and one or both partners settle into a comfortable routine which tends to dull any previous excitement and one or both then realize with varying degrees of surprise, horror etc just what they have signed up for. Alternatively, one or both may have adopted a winning persona during the courting phase and their true characters are only revealed after the ink is dry on the marriage contract, often amid much consternation.
Whatever the truth, all is not necessarily lost. You have a number of options, principal among which is to go together for therapy to explore the real truth behind the breakdown and possible solution. Often, an impartial mediator and a safe space can be the catalyst for opening up without fear of recrimination and solutions to the seemingly intractable appear within reach.
If, however, your husband won’t go to therapy and won’t propose any sensible alternative, then perhaps the time has come to call an end to your marriage. If you were 69, I would say that there is still too much life ahead of you to stay shackled to a man who has so little respect for you and your wishes. Since you are only 29, how much more is this the case! Get rid of him and kick start the rest of your life.
All the best,
Thank you very much for your letter.
Before you read mine, please remember that I am suggesting changes in your behavior simply because you wrote to me, and not your husband, ok? This does not mean that, presuming all you shared about him is 100% accurate and not preceeded by some behavior on your part, I feel he is blameless.
Just because it would be useless to suggest things he could do when he may not even know you wrote to us. (I mean, he will think I am ususera or a busybody and any credibility I had to be helpful to him, will be shot to smithereens).
Lara, I think it is time to be more straightforward with him. You test him in so many ways, which he may be aware of and out of sheer resentment will behave in ways that hurt you. For example, not minding what you do is sure to hurt a woman and is easy enough for a guy to do if he feels that showing you his true feelings means na talo siya (he lost this time).
So… put your cards on the table so that, finally, he too can put his.
There is a chance your fears/suspicions may be true which will be sad but the sooner you know this, the better it will be to make plans. However, if you are wrong, and both of you can be persuaded to be honest and thus help each other be your best selves, well, wouldn’t it all be worth it?
Too much has happened and I feel therapy is needed, at least for a while. I hope your husband will not consider this another test, but perhaps your sincerity will show him it isn’t. Scary stuff, I know.
Perhaps you might be encouraged by what English author James Hawke wrote (which I have found to be helpful when I, too, am scared to do what I feel is right). Hawke wrote: “Only the brave deserve the fair” (a happy marriage, a good husband etc). And I can’t help feeling he is right, especially in your case.
Good luck, dearest Lara.
All the best,
Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately, the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.