“My husband and I don’t feel like a married couple at all”

Query: My husband and I live like roommates in a house. Even though we had a love marriage and have a son together, we do not feel like a married couple. He never has sex with me and I get really anxious and frustrated sometimes. I feel extremely stuck in this never-ending loop. Please help me. What should I do?

Response by Omika Obhrai: As an institution, marriage has been given a lot of importance, probably even given the status of the only acceptable norm for living a life. Albeit, the essential milestone that needs to be accomplished. However, no one prepares us for the obstacles that come with it. The only focus is on the initial establishment of a unit- a family which begins with the search for a partner and getting married.

The above query is amongst the most prevalent challenge faced by couples who have been married for a sizeable amount of time.

The foremost rule for married couples is to never forget to prioritise your partner. Before you became a parent, you are a husband or a wife. This relationship needs work, attention and importance as much as any other role of yours if not more. Often your marital space is evaded and rather overshadowed by your parental responsibilities amongst others. Ensure you learn the art of balancing. Additionally, given the current scenario ranging from financial worries, to professional goals to health-related issues, sex life taking a back seat is natural. The continuous hustle and bustle and daily-life stressors often impact the sex drive as well.

The healthiest approach to this situation would be, to begin with dividing responsibilities amongst yourselves. Once contribution roles are determined, it allows you to feel less burdened and to feel supported. This will give you time to do what you like doing or what makes you happy. Some personal space is also therapeutic. Also, find at least 20-30 minutes minimum to spend alone with your husband. It could be over tea, driving to the groceries or just watching a tv series together. You need to rekindle the romance and the most effective way to do that is by appreciating, complimenting and spending quality time together- sharing jokes, reminiscence the past, singing a song on the radio together, discussing work, sharing, emoting and opening the channel for emotional intimacy which probably in the mundane routine also faded. Make an effort to look your best. Physical intimacy is as important as much as emotional, they both go hand in hand. Use your body to communicate. Touch is the purest form of establishing a connection. Give those random hugs and kisses, hold hands, fix his hair and always make eye contact. Talk about your needs, discuss what you miss about the earlier phase of your marriage and need be, and take charge of the situation. You could always plan a vacation or send your son to a friend’s house for a night and vitalise your sex life.

Don’t hesitate to make the first move. Surprise him and give him a night-that-he-never-forgets. After all, men too like to be pampered and surprised.

Omika Obhrai, Clinical Psychologist, Hope Care India

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