Sexual Challenges in a Marriage

Question: We have been married 19 years, my hubby is paralyzed from the stomach down and sex has always been a major problem in our relationship. It has come to the point that I have to please myself and try and imagine him with me sexually. To be fair to him he takes lots of meds for pain makes him have NO sexual drive and I am in OVERDRIVE. We have only been with each other sexually approx. 8 times. I would love to be able to just pounce on my hubby when he doesn’t expect it but I only get rejected and laughed at.

I think having problems in the bedroom really deadens communication in the marriage. I pray for a romantic intimate filled marriage, but I am slowly dying inside. I have tried communicating with him my needs and he gets upset and complains that is always come down to this. And that I should realize that he doesn’t/can’t do it. I have tried doing devotional books with him to help build a marriage but no response. I have asked him to get his testosterone tested and see if he can take anything to counteract the meds he is taking, he seems to always forget and procrastinate it. Recently I tried emailing him so he could have some time to think about his answers but he never responded at all. He is a great husband and father to our kids and I would never leave him because I value the vows we took, but it is getting extremely more difficult. Do you have any suggestions for me? Things to try, say or do?

I am longing for companionship and intimacy with my hubby, but am slowly sinning as I am lusting at other peoples relationships and what i imagine goes on behind closed doors that doesn’t go on behind ours

Answer: First I want to thank you for writing and sharing your story with me. I can't really give you advice without having a back and forth conversation with you so I will simply list your options as I see them. I realize from your email that you may be religious or at least take your marriage vows very seriously. That being said, I may list some options you wouldn't consider based on your values but I want to list all the possible choices I can see and let you sift through them, perhaps add some of your own and then choose the best course of action for you. If you decide you might want to have a free 20-minute coaching session, then you can call or email to schedule one.

It sounds like you have done your best attempting to communicate your needs to your husband. When we want something from someone else and they don't want to or are not capable of complying, then it's best for our own sanity to try to adjust ourselves to better manage our partner's lack of cooperation. I do believe you have done everything you can think of to communicate your needs to your husband. One option you have is to "show" him rather than "tell" him. When you ask him for something he doesn't believe he is capable of, then he may perceive that as criticism and shut down. Perhaps you could try to reintroduce him to the joys of sexual intimacy by giving him pleasure without expecting anything in return. You may have to do this several times until your husband understands you are simply loving him without needing him to do anything in return. Gradually, you can "teach" him how to pleasure you in a way that can also be enjoyable to him. This is one suggestion.

Other suggestions are to pleasure yourself as you have been. You could have an affair, with or without your husband's blessing. You could leave your husband and start dating again. You could focus your attention on all the things you love about your husband and the wonderful things he does do for you and your children. When you do this with gratitude, it will be difficult to still have room for any kind of disappointment over what he doesn't do.

Another thing I want to mention is to debunk you beliefs about what goes on in other people's bedrooms. I am a relationship counselor and can tell you, sex is one of the biggest problems in relationships next to money. Your perception of others, may be causing you to be more disappointed than need be. One thing many women have difficulty with are husbands who have sexual relationships with other women. That is one of the things you can be thankful for in your relationship.

There are probably other things I can think of if we were to have a conversation but that's it for now. I hope this helps and that you can find satisfaction in your relationship and happiness in your life. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.



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