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#6 - Try a Little Tenderness

There is an old saying that goes, "If a marriage is on the rocks, the rocks are in the bed." Now before some of my more spiritual readers become upset, let me add that there are many things that can break up a marriage: money problems, alcoholism or drug addiction, abuse and lack of respect, to name a few. But take it from the Love Doctor, sexual problems in a marriage will almost always cause the two partners to drift apart.

Consider this. There are all sorts of legally recognized relationships between people: parent / child, siblings, partners, co-owners of property, employer / employee. There are laws and rules that deal with all of these relationships, but marriage is unique among human relationships.

Marriage the only legally recognized agreement between human beings that requires the sexual act to "consummate" or complete the contract. According to Websters Dictionary the verb "consummate" has as one of its definitions, "to complete by sexual intercourse - a marriage." Part of the marriage contract is the agreement to be the one and only sexual partner for another person.

 Just as married people have the right to demand fidelity (exclusivity) from their spouse, they also have the right to demand reasonable sexual performance of one another. There is a legal term called "alienation of affection" that applies to the situation where one spouse will not "perform" for the other. (Let's make one thing perfectly clear! A person never ever has the right to physically force their spouse to have sex! That is called rape!)

Recently, at a gathering of friends,  the Love Doctor became involved in a very interesting conversation with two married women, concerning sex and marriage. (People feel so comfortable with the Love Doctor that they feel free to talk about these sensitive matters.)

Both of the ladies had, at one time, experienced problems responding sexually to their husbands. During these times, they loved their husbands very much and had wanted to please them, but they couldn't get themselves to be positive about the sexual act. They both explained that "something" kept them from wanting and enjoying the sexual affections of their husbands, but at the time they didn't know what that "something" was. They were almost in tears as they began to explain their experiences.

The ladies look one to the other, shocked that they were saying almost the same things. Right then, I realized that we had hit upon a common problem that probably, caused problems in many marriages. You see, after further conversation, both of the women, puffy eyed, faces streaming with tears, explained that they had been sexually molested as little girls. What was more important was that they both also explained that at the time of their sexual problems with their husbands, they couldn't remember the sexual abuse. Their minds had blocked the unpleasant memories.
Fellows, I hope you can see what is going on here. These ladies didn't even know why they avoided sex with their husbands. I'm sure that their husbands had no idea that the problem was some dude, many years ago, who had terrorized a little girl.

There is no justification for cheating on your spouse, especially these days, when there is the possibility of bringing death home, in the form of AIDS (condoms are not 100% effective). However, very often, a man's ego will suffer if he cannot "turn on" the woman he loves. Subconsciously, the husband may begin to wonder that something is wrong with him. His ego can't take the idea of not being able to excite a woman and sometimes that leads him to do something stupid, like try to prove his sexual abilities with someone else.

Hey man, if your wife doesn't respond like you wish she would, it may have nothing to do with you. Try a little tenderness. Talk to her about how you feel. Talk to her about how she feels. Let's face it, if you are not a rich man, you can probably assume that your woman is with you because she loves you. She thinks a lot of you. The poor thing is probably hurting deep inside because she is not satisfying you. Be kind and gentle with her, chances are the person who abused her was not.

Ask her if she might have been sexually abused as a child. She may not be able to ask herself that question, because the memory is painful, but she may be able to respond to your question. Sometimes that question will trigger her memory causing her to remember. My friends said that once they remembered it helped them.

Ladies there may be some comfort in knowing that there are many more of you who have been abused as little girls than most of us can imagine. You are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you, except that a child was frightened and that certainly was not the child's fault. You are not to blame. You were a victim. If you love your husband but you become uncomfortable when its time for lovemaking, you are probably reacting to something that happened to you as a child. Get help.

Sex is one of God's gifts to husbands and wives, an inexpensive and readily available pleasure that should be enjoyed by both of you. If it isn't, get help quick! Your marriage is at stake. This is one of the times that a couple  should seek professional help. Find a marriage counselor who is sensitive to your problem. In any case, "try a little tenderness"! Be kind, have hope and share your feelings.