Summer wrote in on April 25th:
[CN: sex as a point of contention in a romantic relationship]
I have been married for 14 years and have two children with my husband. It was a semi arranged marriage hence I did not knew my husband much before I married him. Sex has always been the issue between us. My had intercourse a month after living with him. He is otherwise a lovely man. But romantically, sexually has let me down from the start. I conceived my kids using the ovulation kits. When the kids were young I was busy in them and stopped noticing this issue. But now the kids are a bit older (6 & 8) so I feel the lack of intimacy alot. Everytime I have tried to talk to my husband about this topic he has nothing to say. I asked if he is likes someone else, if he is gay…but he never replies. Recently I read up about asexual and it clicked that this might be the issue. But I just dont know how to ask him cause I know either he will stay quite or it will turn into an argument. We sleep in the same bed but have sex maybe once an year. This takes a toll on my and I get anxious and very easily irritable. I just dont know what to do. I still care for him but I find him extremely selfish in this context.
Hi, Summer. I don’t know if you’ll see this, since it’s been so long since you sent this message. The end of spring semester didn’t leave me a lot of time for this blog. But regardless…
It’s not clear what your questions is, and I’m not necessarily someone who can help you. But for what it’s worth, here are some of the things I have gathered from your short message:
- You told me that you did not know your husband before you married him. Where I come from, that’s kind of alarming, but anyway — in that situation, where your marriage wasn’t based on an existing relationship between you, I wouldn’t necessarily have any expectations of that relationship being a good or close one. That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a good or close one, just that there may not be a reason to expect one under those circumstances, and that if you are not getting what you want out of that relationship, you may want to consider alternatives.
- You told me that you find your husband “extremely selfish” for having sex with you less frequently than you would like. To put it bluntly, I am dead tired of people telling me, a gray-asexual person, things like that.
- You told me that when you ask your husband about who else he might be sexually interested in, he does not reply, and based on previous experience you don’t think asking him if he’s asexual will go well. From what little I know, I can’t necessarily get a read on that situation. There are any number of reasons he might not be open to discussing that, some neutral and some not. I can’t really advise you there.
- You told me that you get anxious and irritable, and you don’t know what to do about it. There are lots of different ways that people try to cope with anxiety (not all of them advisable). There’s no one-size-fits-all approach I’d recommend here. That said, you can do some introspection with yourself (is there a pattern to what usually sets off your anxiety? can any of those things be avoided? are there any things that help soothe you or calm you down? can you find a way to have more reliable access to any of those things?) and pursue some of the different resources from there. I don’t think it should all be about controlling your thoughts, either — in order to feel better, you might have to make some major changes in your life and your relationships.