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Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm Not in Love with My Husband

Dear Mrs. Curtiss,

I have read your book Depression is a Choice: Winning the Battle Without Drugs and reference it often. I currently have an issue in my life that I'm not sure how to handle, and that could carry with it serious consequences for me. You discuss the topic a bit in the book but I'm not clear on whether my situation applies in the same way. Your book has helped me in many ways and I was wondering if you would be willing to listen to my story and offer your point of view.

Dear K_________

I will be glad to answer any questions you have

Hi there,

I hope all is well with you today. The issue that I'm dealing with right now involves my marriage. When my husband and I started dating, I realized that I just wanted to be friends and told him so. He was my friend for awhile and was a good friend. Then, I decided that I could try again to be more than friends because of the good person that he is and because he told me that he couldn't just be friends with me.

He was very romantic during that time-sending me flowers, buying me things, cooking dinner-the whole deal. I moved into a house with him and we lived together in the house for about 6 months before he asked me to marry him and I accepted. At that time I saw him as a stable anchor in my life, and I thought that we would make a good partnership-I didn't really think about the decision in depth like I should have.

We were not fully intimate except for one time before we were married, but did have intimate moments beforehand. Looking back on it now, I ended up not caring much about being that way with him in the months before we got married. We had a beautiful wedding with lots of help from our families and of course became more intimate.

Instead of feeling closer to him and more attracted, I've been feeling less and less so. In fact, we have gotten to the point of not being intimate except for maybe once a month. I can't find anything that will make me feel more than a friendship bond. I don't really know what to do at this point because I care about him but am not feeling a romantic, connected bond that makes me want to be intimate.

I feel very bad about this because he is a wonderful person and we have so much in common which is why I thought that we would have a wonderful marriage. I have looked at pg. 332 in your book and have read it over and over but without having attracted feelings come up does it apply in the same way? We don't have any children right now and we both come from families with divorced parents.

I appreciate any insight you can provide me with. I connected with your story and have felt many of the things that you describe in your book and value your opinion. At this point, I definitely think that I've learned a lot about life in the past couple of years and how the decisions we make can have huge implications. Hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely, K__________

Dear K_________

You are confusing romantic love with love that grows over the years for someone you admire and which is the best basis for a good marriage. Romantic love usually lasts a short time, time enough for us to get together initially. Then what generally happens to too many marriages is that the women are not all that interested in sex because they need the warm-up of romance to turn them on, they compare their partner to more romantic handsome men on tv, movies, and of course husbands never measure up to the "new guy".

Also in our culture, sex for women has been co-opted out of marriage and situated in meeting the "needs of the woman, herself". Sex is physically pleasurable and if it is not so for you, you have simply prevented it. You need to see sex more as a duty of marriage and that if carried on as a way to pleasure your partner, whether you are turned on or not, unless you are older and into your seventies, the physical feelings will usually develop for you.

Masters and Johhnson used the idea of "sensate focus" as a way of getting past lack of desire. Just concentrate on the physical feeling, not whether or not you are "in love" with your husband. I would suggest you read Dr. Laura Slessinger's books about marriage. I think she is spot on. One is called "The Care and Feeing of Husbands, and I think there is also one on "The Care and Feeding of Marriage. These should help.

Your problem is endemic in our culture. I had a lot of trouble with this in my own marriage. I actually hated my husband sometimes during sex. Later I learned to re-evauluate these feelings to see that the hate was simply my fear of many things which I projected onto my husband. Remember that blame (hating or disliking something or somebody) is the way we avoid feeling the pain of our fear. (Chapter 10 in Depression is a Choice is helpful in getting rid of repressed fear.) One thing that helps many women is erotic imaginary scenes, even rape, etc which are a good complement to sensate focus, until the physical feeling take hold on their own. A. B. Curtiss

1 comment:

Ginger said...

Also, we women can use sex appeal to snare a guy, but once we have him, don't want to have anything to do with sex!

One would often think, gauging by appearances, that all women think about or want is sex! The clothes, (or lack of) the hair, makeup and gestures, are so often designed to entice & be alluring to men. One glance at women's magazines reveals that the focus of most is on how to be (or at least appear) sexy! It seems so manipulative, really.

In reality, I think most women would rather not be bothered! We can become so caught up in our chores and other activities, that sex just doesn't seem that important, interesting or worth the energy.

However as A.B. points out, I think that men see sex as a priority, no matter how busy they are with other duties! We women need to be educated regarding male sexuality. I'm still learning in my 40's, & I wish I'd understood more when I was younger.

We live in such a highly sexualized culture, but yet, we seem to really understand so little about sex & the sexes. Isn't that ironic?