Young couple suffers from a sexless marriage and seeking assistance

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Hi Gilbert

I came across your site online while searching for counsellors, and I’m hoping you can help me in some way.

I don’t exactly know how this works as I’ve never done this before, but here’s my story in brief.

I’m an Indian professional, working and living in Singapore with my Indian husband. He is also working but from home.

We both come from well-educated well-to-do families in India, both are 30 years and have been together for the last 7 years – married for last 3.

Our story goes smooth – met while in college, then our jobs in India and both decided to do masters from US. I was there for 3 years and he for 2 – he came in a year later.

Then after his MBA he got a job in Singapore that he loved, so though I had a very good job in US, I left it to come to Singapore.

This was my choice, as we had been living apart for 3 years (got married in between) and I wanted to finally start our life together.

I found another job in Singapore and all was set. Life was as good as it gets on paper.

Except one thing.

Our intimacy, sex life, emotional connection, has gone down to the drain. Its not a black and white situation but its not good – for sure.

We both respect each other – are good to our families and all that. And we are independent people. But I do expect a basic level of intimacy between my husband and I. I don’t expect flowers and declarations of love and all that necessarily, but I am not ready to settle in a sexless marriage at this age.

His sex drive has gone down so much that we just about make it once in a couple of months. And this is inspite of the fact that we have PLENTY of time together.

He works from home so his schedule is flexible. I work next to our home so I get evenings to myself. There is no ‘issue ‘ per say and yet…

This kind of life has been the case since we got married. But I kept reasoning it out thinking – we were in 2 cities, there were all the pressures to find jobs, he was stressed, we moved houses etc etc. But now…when there is no reason left I can see how broken my seemingly perfect marriage is.

I started feeling highly frustrated a year or more back when he wouldn’t ever initiate any intimacy and if I did, then he would brush me off.

It killed my self-esteem, made me doubt myself, led to feeling shameful, frustrated and confused. I have no family or close friends here so there was no one to talk to.

And he took every advantage of me not saying anything, and went on with his life.

Then I started voicing this out to him. I knew it was a delicate thing so I did it with as much patience as I could have. Told him we could try stuff, asked him what he thought of this, if I was in any way not good enough. But he didn’t respond to anything. He claimed nothing was wrong and I was over reacting.

I felt really hurt that he couldn’t see the frustration I was going through – every day. Even when I explicitly told him so.

And every time (yes I have broached this subject 3-4 times the last year)  his reaction is to leave the room, lock himself in the other bedroom and not talk for days. Later, when HE feel like, he comes back and pretends as if nothing happened. And I am supposed to be thankful that he at least comes back (he said so).

I really don’t know what to do anymore. I know these are pretty much standard reactions from men…and I know marriages are tricky and not like in movies etc.

But what I really battle with myself is whether to FIGHT HARDER or LEAVE!

I have started losing self-respect that I am putting up with him and his behavior. He travel once a month too and I have started looking forward to when he is gone. We don’t even talk on the phone for days unless I call him. And these days, even I don’t feel like and if I ask him, its the typical “I was busy” answer.

I am sick and tired of this so I have literally stopped asking him anything. We live totally oblivious to where the other person is.

He has further more taken to serious drinking and if I stop him, he gets rude and shuts himself up again.

I have tried reaching out to him but after a point I can’t help feeling enraged. Spiteful. Bitter. And lose all motivation to keep cool. I am no saint I know.

These days. Every time I am alone (which is 90% of the time) I am only thinking of scenarios of divorce. I am tired of just thinking about it.

But I know my family will be devastated – who feel that I am in a blissful marriage. I don’t even know if this reason is reason enough to separate.

I really don’t want to but I also don’t know what else to do and if I want to waste any more of my life with him.

Can you please please advise? Am I really overreacting ? Is it worth to be in a sexless marriage if rest of the things are fine ?

But a sexless marriage – by definition – can it ever be really fine? Unless we live in denial of course.

Please let me know soon




Hi Madhura

Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear of your predicament.

Sexless marriages are surprising not uncommon due to various reasons.

Some men may find the partner unattractive and prefer not to have intimacy with their spouses – I am not saying that you are one but this is one of the strong reason for husbands not wanting to be physically involved,

Another reason is a psychological trauma attached when they are young – probably they were molested or abused when young and the mere thought of having sex with their spouses simply hurt and put them off.

Some husbands may not be able to perform sexually due to various reasons and this will hurt their ego and manhood further putting sex off their agenda in a marriage. This particularly affects men who are 50 years old and above. Erectile dysfunction is pretty common among this age group but with the availability of Viagra things have improved alot for them. However, men who are younger say in their 30s-40s are also known to be affected nowadays due to our stressful lifestyle.

Yet another common reason why husbands are not keen on sex with their spouses is their sexual orientation – maybe they are more attracted to men and prefer to have intimacy with the same gender instead of the opposite sex. Its not uncommon for men to get married but yet maintain their sexual life with the same gender in the dark.

I agreed that it is tricky to broach the subject with your husband as the subject of sex is a huge ego prick for men in particular – why not try to pen it in writing so that it is not so intimidating? Writing out how you feel via an email is less threatening and he may even reply you in writing.

Sexless marriage is no way to progress in any marital situation and I am glad that you have brought this out in the open so that help can be rendered.

Take care and do let me know if you need further assistance.


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