Why isn't he interested?
Q I have been married 17 months. My husband and I don’t exactly have the same sex drive, or so he says. At times, he fusses at me saying, "That’s all you think about." I love him dearly but he really hurts my feelings at times. There are times we go almost a week if I’m on my period or not. He says he just can't. I fondle him and at times I perform oral sex on him. It doesn’t always work. I can handle that if that’s really the problem, he sometimes he has told me right after company has left that he was a little excited while so and so was here. Sometimes he will be at work and call me saying, we were talking about different things today and I got to thinking about you and I got a little excited. Well when he comes home, he can’t do anything. At times I feel resentment and think about what he has told me.
I do appreciate his honesty, but he is really ripping my heart apart. Now I feel like I can’t trust him. He has also told me a man can’t control their feelings and getting erections around other people is not wrong as long as he's not flaunting it or hides it. I feel differently about it. I feel I’m being betrayed. I also feel embarrassed and left out. It shows me that I'm not the one he is thinking about, or sexually attracted to. He says sex isn’t the most important thing in a marriage. I realize there are other things important too, but I feel if a person is sexually attracted to others instead of their own mate that something is wrong. I also feel that he is twisted, but he claims every thing is ok and that he loves me. He says he would never do any thing to "jeopardize" our marriage. He says that I put too many limitations on sexual feelings. He thinks I'm wrong for feeling the way I do. I am now beginning to consider divorce because I don’t think I want a hot-tailed husband that can’t perform when it comes to "us". I would love to hear what you think about my situation.
A The first thing I would suggest is that he be looked at by a doctor. It sounds like he has a problem getting erections, and the problem could be physical. And until you rule out a physical problem, no psychologist or therapist can do anything. If the problem is not physical, then it could be mental. He may have had a problem getting an erection once or twice with you, and now he worries about it and feels pressured and so the problem keeps repeating itself. If that’s the problem, then a sex therapist could help you out.
The fact that he is bragging when he gets an erection looking at another woman could signify one of two different things. It might be an ego boost for him, since I’m sure he’s ashamed of the fact that he can’t get erections with you. Or it could be that there is a serious problem in your relationship and he’s trying to make you feel badly. I think it’s the former, but I don’t know enough about the two of you to tell. So start by getting him to go for a physical, letting the doctor know the nature of the problem, and take it from there. Good luck.
About Dr. Ruth
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a psychosexual therapist who helped to pioneer the field of media psychology with her radio program, Sexually Speaking. It began in September of 1980 as a fifteen minute, taped show that aired Sundays after midnight on WYNY-FM (NBC) in New York. One year later it became a live, one-hour show airing at 10 PM on which Dr. Ruth, as she became known, answered call-in questions from listeners. Soon it became part of a communications network to distribute Dr. Westheimer's expertise which has included television, books, newspapers, games, home video, computer software and her own website, www.drruth.com.
Born in Germany in 1928, Dr. Westheimer was sent to a children's home in Switzerland at the age of ten which became an orphanage for most of the German Jewish students who had been sent there to escape the Holocaust. At 17 she went to Israel where she fought for that country's independence as a member of the Haganah, the Jewish freedom fighters. She then moved to Paris where she studied at the Sorbonne and taught kindergarten. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1956 where she obtained her Masters Degree in Sociology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School of Social Research. In 1970, she received a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in the Interdisciplinary Study of the Family from Columbia University Teacher's College.
She worked for Planned Parenthood for a time and it was that experience that prompted her to further her education in human sexuality by studying under Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center. She later participated in the program for five years as an Adjunct Associate Professor. She has also taught at Lehman College, Brooklyn College, Adelphi University, Columbia University and West Point.
Currently Dr. Westheimer is an Adjunct Professor at N.Y.U. and an Associate Fellow of Calhoun College at Yale University, where she teaches a course on the Jewish family, and a Fellow of Butler College at Princeton University, where she teaches a similar course. She is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and in addition to having her own private practice, she frequently lectures at universities across the country and has twice been named "College Lecturer of the Year."
Do you have a question about sex, love, or romance? Dr. Ruth's got the answers.
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