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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I am 53 and my husband is 56. We have been married for 12 years.

Customer Question

I am 53 and my husband is 56. We have been married for 12 years. We each have children but have not had any together. About 2 months ago my husband moved out of our bedroom and into our guest room to sleep. He states he sleeps better. We have a queen size bed and I suggested we get a king size bed which he said would be ok but everytime I find a good deal on one he says we can't afford it. I feel like he wants to be alone. Our sex life has gone to none. I finally told him I felt like that was a selfish move on his part. He said a lot of people do that such as his best friend and his parents. I am kinda left in the dust.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 2 years ago.

intrapsyc.com :

This is not a healthy scenario neither ok, but it is a common one whenever marital intimacy is very poor. It seems obvious to him it is ok to justify “0” sex life, with the sleep better justification.

intrapsyc.com :

The problem is not only about lack of sex but the distance it is creating between you, where he is obviously not being totally honest about things, neither empathic about you and your feelings.

intrapsyc.com :

We learn from parents-families how whenever things get ugly between spouses, they could easily choose not to sleep in the same bed, setting such boundary, like stating I do not feel comfortable next to you or feel upset because this or that, so this is my response to what happened and they way I feel about it. So many times even passive aggressiveness is used to avoid facing the very issues leading such behaviors.

intrapsyc.com :

Excuses and justifications, avoidance or lack of total honesty would not help here. Real openness and trust do, and when they have not been developed in a long term marriage, they need to start becoming a priority for couples to work ASAP, or further distance and unpleasant circumstances would follow.

intrapsyc.com :

You know your husband better than any counselor, so use such knowledge you have to try to find out what could be the issue here. Try to use such knowledge to dialogue and get him talk more about his feelings, what could be bothering him, his expectations and fears.

intrapsyc.com :

If you try this and he keeps building a bigger wall between your communication, the you would need to look for couples-marriage counseling to support you work on things.

intrapsyc.com :

Passivity and avoidance about his decision to get less closer to you would not help but enable him.

intrapsyc.com :

This painful circumstance could become the very best tool for you to work on the intimacy and communication you could have neglected in some way for the past years.

Customer:

Could you direct me to what other problems he might be dealing with so I have a starting place, of course without accusing him of anything. He is a good man and I love him very much but this is hurting me.

intrapsyc.com :

If that is not the case, and he was loving, honest and open about his feelings before, and just recently changed, then you would need to find out what happened, and for that he needs to cooperate.

intrapsyc.com :

It could be about problems with depression, anxiety, work stress or even fear about sexual performance, which could easily be impacted by stress or other emotional-mental concerns.

intrapsyc.com :

What is clear is the need you have for deepening the openness you share. Was he open and trusted you before these changes?

intrapsyc.com :

Many times males do hide-avoid taking about personal issues since believe it would show them as weak or less competent. If it is about something affecting their sexual drive-performance even worse. So it is necessary to be patient but proactive in order to get him to share and be more open and honest with you on what is going on.

intrapsyc.com :

Being gentle, patient and understanding is necessary for sure, but that should not be confused with codependent passivity enabling the avoidance and the very behaviors affecting the marital relationship.

intrapsyc.com :

When was the last time you had sexual intimacy and how was it before this change appeared?

intrapsyc.com :

What other changes have you noticed? Was he more romantic and supportive-caring about your feelings and needs before?

Customer:

Thank you. Yes my husband does tend to keep things bottled up but I can usually pry those things out of him by gentle persuasion. When we are intimate it is great! The frequency has become fewer and farther between, partly because I just finished a Master's in nursing program and was stressed in the last month but he has mentioned it is not that important to him anymore. Since I am a nurse I have suggested many things for him but typically a nurse's husband does not listen to her. He has always been very supportive, romantic sometimes.

intrapsyc.com :

Then he would need to work on improving the way he shares and trust you, since such approach uses to fuel stress in ways that undermine the person-s well-being and everything else.

intrapsyc.com :

It is wonderful that your gentleness and patience have been effective before allowing him to open up.

intrapsyc.com :

Concerning it is not working now, but we need to consider this factor about your master degree work, that could have played a big role hare.

intrapsyc.com :

Did you notice any concern-significant change in him before regarding your time being spent on this academic work and then on the changes it could imply after graduating?

Customer:

Do you think I have squashed his ego by furthering my education?

intrapsyc.com :

Sometimes that happens, do not know if that's the case. You know your husband, his personality and fears.

intrapsyc.com :

But it is true that more social exposure - sharing and professionally too could easily create fears in spouses.

intrapsyc.com :

If what you meant is that he feels it -sex- is not that important to him anymore, then that is a real concern.

Customer:

He was involved with many of my assignments because he is very good at excel and I would like to see excel fall in the ocean :)

intrapsyc.com :

Was he uninterested and with low libido for the past years of marriage, and was he happy with the way things were?

Customer:

Yes, I agree. It looks like I need to have a larger than life heart to heart with him. When I married him he was used to going long periods in between being intimate because of his previous ex wife so it carried on into this relationship. We are different in that area but he hasn't expressed being disatisfied.

intrapsyc.com :

That is very important indeed. Every insight you may develop around the dynamics impacting your marital relationship leading to this problem would be necessary and helpful. Please take consistent action setting your closeness and intimacy, emotional and romantic as priority number one, for both to develop a better friendship and openness together, where fears and need could be shared and support each other without doubting or withdrawing.

Customer:

You have helped me realize there could be many issues going on here. I may need to get us into counseling but I will try talking to him first. Thank you for your time. You have truly gone the extra mile.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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