Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Dr. Phil is incredibly busy with his show right now. That's why he's asked our clinical team to help answer some of the millions of questions he gets. I think I can help you here. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions to better provide you with a strong, practical answer?
Thank you. What kind of reasons is he giving you for his disengagement sexually? Does he have any medical problems or conditions at this time? Are there any other issues or sources of emotional distress in your marriage? How would you rate your communication on a scale of 1 to 10?
Thank you so much for your patience. Once I have this basic additional information I'll get to work on a detailed answer. Good for you starting the process of resolving this issue. Many people avoid it and there are evidence-based ways of resolving these issues and really turning things around. Sex is on the top 3 list for sources of conflict in a marriage along with money issues and in-law related conflict. I'll check back again for your response.
things like, if i don't get a shower every single day he calls me a skank. he's unhappy about my weight gain after having a child at age 40. he calls me lazy, skank, fat, etc...
but then he turns around and tells me he loves me. HUH???? REALLY?
Oh my goodness, that must be so difficult for you at times. That actually boarders on verbal abuse. Let me really research an answer for you here and get it to you by tomorrow.
I’d like to start my formal answer to your presenting question by complementing you on really addressing this issues decreased sexual intimacy with your husband head-on. Many people don’t have the courage to talk about the problem and really get it resolved.
To answer one part of your question about the diminished testosterone, that is a very important medical question that can only be answered precisely by your family doctor. Targeted blood tests will determine the level of this hormone and inform any required medical intervention.
Two other important points for you to know is that sexual activity in couples life can and often does diminish after having a child. Although many couples do complain about and can be sensitive to their wife’s body weight gain after childbirth, this in no way excuses the hurtful negative comments he makes. These, simply have to stop.
I have a 3 step recommendation to your sexual intimacy issue, which include that you and your husband learn as much as you can about healthy relationship maintenance skills and work systematically at trying to build these into your life. Sexual intimacy often improves spontaneously through effective emotional reconnection, through strong communication and joint-problem-solving Second, seek evidence-based marital therapy if these issues are not resolved or if your sense of distress from them begins to interfere with your life (i.e. self-esteem, parenting, your sense of emotional connection to your husband etc).
I recommend taking some time to really look over the following resources and links. You may then want to share this information with your Husband, but only when both of you are have no distraction around you and when there are no conflicts or problems happening. I recommend that you both read at least the “Hold me Tight” book together and do some of the simple, short communication exercises it outlines. The author of this book is the best marital therapist and researcher in the world!
If reading and talking are not helpful, I’d ask your husband to attend at least one session of marital therapy to see if he feels comfortable. The therapists I’m recommending are the best trained in the world as demonstrated by science and so they are experts at building positive therapeutic relationships with clients (there’s a whole research literature and clinical set of best practices for doing this). Let your husband know that attending counseling in this way is as much for him and your child as it is for you.
Here are some links to help you get started in this marital learning and development process:
Dr. John Gottman (couples communication videos and link). If you can’t find an EFT therapist then your second best choice would be a fully trained and certified Gottman marriage therapist. This videos will be very helpful to you and your husband anyway:
If you choose to go to couple’s therapy at some point, please make sure that you choose a therapist from this list with a “C” or an “S” beside their name and credentials (s is usually better).
I strongly advise seeking out and working with a fully certified EFT therapist or advanced clinical trainer of therapists who also does therapy with clients. This will insure you and your husband the highest level of clinical competency. This martial therapy approach gets strong, lasting results in as little as 7 sessions!
Finally, you may also consider working with a clinical sexologist or trained and licensed sex therapist, who can provide demonstrated training and experience working with married couples. These experts are highly trained to assist clients to work on increasing the quality of their sex lives and sexual experiences with their partners. But remember, work on the emotional connection with your husband first. A trained EFT or Gotmann marriage therapist will be able to advise you regarding a referral to a clinical sexologist.
Well, I hope this helps and I wish you and your family the very best!
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